Webcam – An Overview

I have an outstanding Hewlett Packard laptop with Vista Home Premium 32 bit operating system that is barely three years old that started showing monitor or screen problems. After many trials, blood, sweat and tears, the problem turned out to be a worn out LCD cable from all the years of daily opening and closing. I ordered a new one, replaced it and everything is good as new. Well, almost good as new.

Everything worked perfectly except the webcam. Nothing seemed to correct the integrated webcam issue so I decided to buy an external USB webcam. There are as many webcam choices as there are choices of new automobiles. Making a decision on a webcam became a small project. Webcams range in price from ten dollars to several thousand dollars.

Lower cost cams tend to have standard definition and lower resolution than the higher priced cams. While the lower cost cams offer a decent picture, the ability to make picture or video larger is not an option with the lower resolution capabilities of these cams. Mid priced cams offer better definition and resolution for the price change and the higher priced cams offer high definition and 1080p resolution.

When comparing the quality of video and photo between the different priced cams there is a very noticeable difference in quality. High definition looks almost perfect compared to the lower priced standard definition cams. However, the price gaps varies just as much. My favorite Logitech HD webcam has 1080p resolution and offers so many other options as well as programs that are included on Disc. It has an average cost of $90.

After careful consideration of how little I use a webcam free laptop, I actually bought a standard definition webcam. I made this purchase at a well known electronics supply chain for the low price of $10. This cam has a good picture and makes a reasonable clear video and priced really well. This webcam will sit on a desktop or will sit on top of a pc monitor and has no drivers or software to install. Just plug and play.

Webcam – Guidelines

Trying to determine which webcam is right for your computer and your personal needs can seem a bit confusing. So, are all webcams the same? Sure. At their most basic, webcams are fundamentally the same. They have a camera and a microphone.

What more do you need?

What you’ll notice, however, when you begin shopping for a webcam is that the prices will vary tremendously. You can find webcams for as little as $12 and others upwards of $100. What is the difference? It basically comes down to what you require from the webcam itself.

Basic Communications

If you are looking for a basic communication tool to chat with friends and family on Skype, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, or any number of other programs, you’ll probably be more than happy with a basic Gear Head webcam, Macally USB webcam, or even entry level webcams from Logitech and Creative Labs.

While these entry level webcams will provide a basic image for your friends or family to see you, the quality may not be ideal. You will also be limited on the options that you’ll have with regard to setup, zooming, and more.

If you are planning on using your webcam for professional use, such as telecommuting for work or building your own home-based business, then you might find these less expensive webcams not ideal. In that case, you’ll want to consider a webcam that has higher picture resolution, the ability to zoom in and out, and a better condenser microphone built in so that your audience can hear you.

Manhattan webcams, as well as Logitech and Cyber Track webcams offer more refined and effective webcams for the discerning individual.

What If You Have Never Used a Webcam Before?

Avoid making the common mistake that so many other computer users have done by purchasing the cheapest webcam because you don’t know much about them. If you are particular about quality and demand the best out of the products you use, then you’ll want to take the time and determine which will be most suitable for your needs.

Purchasing an entry level webcam will certainly allow you to connect and video chat over the Internet with people, but before long you may discover that the connection is slow, the quality is not suited for your needs, and have to invest in a higher quality webcam.