Webcams are small cameras that connect to a computer and record high-definition videos. Most webcams offer a built-in microphone for clear audio.
External webcams have added advantages over embedded/built-in webcams since the latter are limited in quality and performance due to their components' size. Because of their larger body, external webcams often offer higher quality in terms of resolution, speed, fluidity, color balance, and noise reduction.
Unlike built-in webcams, you can easily connect external webcams to different devices.
Advantages of external webcams over embedded webcams
Here are five major advantages of an external webcam vs. a built-in webcam:
Higher quality components
The quality of camera components has a detrimental influence on parameters such as resolution, picture quality, color balance, and noise reduction. As of now, better components are typically larger and require more space. Laptops have less room for webcam components, which leads to built-in webcams often lacking the quality of external webcams.
Focal length adjustment
Many external cameras, such as Rapoo webcams, offer autofocus. This is a feature that is not present in built-in webcams and matters a lot, especially for those who engage frequently in video calls. Autofocus keeps the subject sharp and in focus, leading to better image quality.
Field of view/positioning
External webcams for computers are the way to go if you want to include more than one person in a video conversation because of their ability to offer a broader field of vision than built-in webcams. Many external cameras such as the best Logitech webcam , can swivel 360 degrees, making it simple to capture different speakers in the frame.
Most modern external cameras can automatically alter the image brightness and contrast based on the lighting conditions. Moreover, many external webcams offer built-in software that enables you to manually adjust various factors to capture the most appropriate image quality during your calls.
The quality of laptop microphones varies widely, but external cameras are typically equipped with superior microphones when compared to built-in webcams and are optimized for use with services like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which are commonly used for video conferencing.
Features to look for in a webcam
Resolution and frame rate
Resolution is one of the first factors considered before purchasing a webcam. A webcam’s resolution is measured by the number of pixels it displays on a screen, and its frame rate is the number of frames played per second.
Webcams with a higher resolution produce better image quality. Conversely, the higher their frame rate is, the smoother the displayed video becomes. The resolution and the frame rate of a webcam are important, but the degree of their importance depends on a person’s intended use of the webcam.
The most standard resolutions are 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, and most recently, 4K. And as for frame rates, 30fps and 60fps are the most common ones, with 120p being on the rise in recent years. There are varying combinations of picture resolution and frame rates among the webcams on the market since each is designed for different purposes and is suitable for various people in different situations and conditions.
Webcam lenses are typically made of plastic or glass. Plastic lenses are less expensive and are mainly used in budget webcams, whereas high-end webcams use glass lenses.
Using plastic allows webcam manufacturers to produce strongly aspherical lens elements, which is almost impossible to do with glass. Therefore, some of the most modern, high-performance lenses from popular manufacturers contain hybrid aspherical elements. On the other hand, glass lenses are very resistant to scratching and have great optical properties.
Plastic bodies and lenses are generally more affordable and have some unique positive qualities, whereas metal bodies and glass lenses are often used for high-end webcam models.
A microphone that is already included in the device is also a regular feature. Over time, microphones have become much better. Most premium and mid-tier cameras have omnidirectional ones, which can capture images from any angle.
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