With the popularity of video calling using the likes of Skype to keep in touch with family, friends and business contacts, you may find yourself in need of a webcam so you’re not left out of the conversation.
While most new laptops come with an inbuilt camera – all you see is a small “eye” above your screen – if you have an older model, it could come without what is now considered by many as an essential piece of kit.
Or it may be you use your webcam so much, you want something more impressive than the one your computer came with. A good web camera is a really worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to be able to communicate virtually face-to-face on a regular basis. Whether that’s because you want more face time with your grandchild in Australia or a business contact in Hong Kong, the right webcam can help. And, webcams are about so much more than a real-time chat. They can help you shoot a home movie, put together a slideshow or add special effects.
Here, we give you a rundown of some of the best on the market.
Logitech C920 HD Webcam
Giving amazing clarity and detail with full HD video calling, the Logitech C920 gives you smoother, faster video calls. Not only will your loved ones be able to see you with greater clearness, they’ll be able to hear you better too as there are two mics on either side of the wecam, creating a stereo effect. Costing around £90, you can also send full HD videos, or upload them to the likes of Facebook or Twitter with just one click.
Microsoft Lifecam Cinema HD
This one’s for when you want your life to look like the movies. It’s the widest angle of capture ever for a Microsoft webcam. Created to deliver a cinema-like video, it delivers amazing video quality and makes users look well lit. With auto-focus and crystal-clear audio, the Lifecam fits onto any notebook or PC. RRP £69.99.
TeckNet USB Webcam Camera
If budget’s an issue, then TeckNet’s USB Webcam could be for you. It doesn’t come with any fancy software, but it does a great job for around £20. With up to five megapixels resolution, it comes with a built in microphone and auto-face tracking.
Kinobo USB Origami Webcam
Another good budget option, with a RRP of £24.99, Kinobo’s piece of kit is called the origami because it can be folded into any number of configurations. It installs immediately without extra software and is perfect for use with Skype or MSN, so you can start chatting to family or friends instantly.
D-Link DCS-932L Securicam
If you’re buying a webcam for security rather than face-time chatting, D-Link’s DCS-932L is a good option. It provides a monitoring solution for your home or small office, whether by day or by night as it comes with built-in Infrared LEDs. So you can keep an eye on whatever is important to you, whether that’s a possession or your sleeping baby. There’s a detection system so you can set it up to email you of any motion on a window or door and you can manage the webcam via your computer or the free app you get for your iPhone, Android or tablet.