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The Webcam You Use Makes A Big Difference! Here's my Favorites

larry computersIn putting together our SoCal Media Pros event for May 24th ("How to Make Money Providing Live Streaming INTERACTIVE Webinars For Yourself and Your Clients!") a few of us got together on Zoom to play with the video conferencing application. It's a lot better than some of the apps we were using before —I won't embarrass them by mentioning any names— but Zoom seems to be better quality and offers all the features we want, including sharing sharing the screen with up to 50 participants, rolling in video, etc!  Anyway we all noticed the difference in video quality among the participants. Fiddling with each one made us realize it wasn't a problem with Zoom but the individual cameras! (Duh!) The lesson was simple; if you're not using a webcam built into your computer you need to have a good camera or you don't look good!  And I'm not talking about clothes or hair, I'm talking about looking like a knowledgeable media professional! Impressions count—especially with clients! So, of course that was all I needed to test some webcams and upgrade my camera!   

This is what I’ve learned from my Zoom test this afternoon:

The Zoom program should work with most any webcams.  I tested 3:

  • Lenovo Y510p IdealPad Notebook built-in webcam (3 years old)
  • Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 (at least 10 years old)
  • Logitech C930e Webcam  (new this year)

The new Logitech C930e had the best picture.  The Lenovo built-in webcam had the worst picture, even though it was only 3 years old. Yep, there's a reason you need to upgrade! In the world of electronics even 3 years is a lifetime! I was able to switch between cameras while on Zoom It’s pretty simple.  You just click on the down arrow next the video icon and select a camera. This means you can participate with the camera on you as well as switch to another cam aimed at someone else inthe room--or the audience!

I also tested 4 microphonesLenovo Notebook built-in mic; Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 built-in mic; Logitech C930e built-in stereo mics; Yeti Blue USB mic. The Yeti mic worked the best (most expensive, too)The Logitech C930e stereo mics worked pretty goodThe Lenovo built-in mic was ok but not as good as the other 3. Like the cameras, you can change microphones while on Zoom by simply clicking the down arrow next to the mic icon.

Our Lenovo Notebook has an HDMI plug so I plugged it into our Panasonic Big Screen TVThe picture quality from the best source (Logitech C930e) over the web was ok but not DVD qualityMy Panasonic 4K camera has a USB outlet so I plugged it into the Notebook computer – it didn’t work. The purpose of this connection is to export videos to a computer drivebut I thought I would give it a try anyway.  As I mention before, the Logitech C930e can be mounted on a tripod.

Remember: Just because you're on an easy-to-use popular app doesn't mean you shouldn't look professional!  Get a good webcam for use on applications like Zoom, Skype, Go to Meeting and others!

I'll see you at our online meeting on May 24th!  Anne Ganguzza is terriffic and I know we'll get a lot of great ideas!

—Larry Stimson