Online webcams are video cameras used for real-time video communication via the Internet. They can be built into laptops or they are standalone units that attach to the monitor of a desktop computer. The first widespread webcam was the black-and-white QuickCam from Connectix that became available in 1994. Since then, webcams have become a popular tool for instant messaging and videoconferencing. In addition, they have increased in popularity for teaching remote learners and streaming applications.
Webcams are typically less complicated than digital still or camcorder cameras, allowing them to be simple plug-and-play devices for most users. However, their quality is not on par with professional cameras, and they don’t offer many features like manual settings. Some feature a variety of video encoding options, but the majority of them use a standard, H.264, which is generally compatible with most platforms.
When shopping for a new webcam, it is important to understand what the different options are so that you can select a device with the right specifications and features for your needs. For example, if you’re going to be using the camera for videoconferencing, you want an image with high resolution and clear focus that is easy to see. You also want to be able to adjust the audio and video quality with a microphone included.
Some models of webcams come with a wide field of view (FOV), while others have narrower FOV that is better for home office use. If the camera has a wide FOV, look for one that doesn’t have distortion or that can compensate for it. A few higher-end webcams, such as those from Insta360 and Obsbot, have autoframing capabilities that track your face to avoid blurring and provide a sharp, clear image. online webcams