Usually the first thing you will consider when buying a webcam is how much money that you are willing to spend. Fortunately, because of constant advances in technology, you do not necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get a versatile webcam with many useful features. A webcam can have many uses, and you should first think about all of the things that you might use it for once you bring it home. These useful devices can be used as video phones, to record videos, to take pictures, to stream live video on the Internet, and even as security devices to monitor your home or office while you are not there.
As priorities go with buying a webcam, the quality of the camera’s picture ranks right up there with the cost that many people are willing to pay, and the price will usually increase as the picture quality increases. The picture quality of a webcam is determined by its resolution, which is expressed by the total number of pixels. Webcams with a moderate maximum resolution, for example 960 by 720 pixels, are usually all that is necessary for the camera to be able to capture relatively clear motion video. You might want to consider a camera with a high resolution, for instance 1600 by 1200 pixels, if you are planning on taking still pictures with the camera or if you would like to send high quality video over the web. Also keep in mind that your computer will need to have a fast processor and a good graphics card to see the webcam’s maximum potential, including a high amount of frames per second for better quality video.
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You will also need to have a high-speed internet connection if you plan on sending and receiving video via a webcam. There are many websites where you can communicate with others via video chat, and some even offer free services to connect with other people online. Other services and programs allow you to set up a home security network that utilizes the potential of a web camera, and can even have the camera turn on when it detects motion in the area being monitored.
Most webcams are small enough to be portable, but size may be a factor for you if you have a laptop computer and plan on using a camera outside of your home. Another feature to consider is a built-in microphone, and some webcams have more advanced microphones than others, with noise filters, sound detection and more. Other features to keep in mind include digital zoom, automatic face tracking, effective pixel resolution, and the type of mounting device that comes with the webcam.