A webcam is a small camera that is attached to a computer. These devices have several functions, from capturing still images to conducting a live video/webinar over conference calls. Most laptops nowadays have a webcam built in to the computer screen, but external webcams are also available for sale. Webcams include a built in microphone but you can supplement this with your own microphone for better quality, if desired.
A webcam can be used as a digital camera, to capture still images. Usually, once a webcam is activated, and the image it is focused on appears on your computer screen, a picture can be taken by hitting a specific key on the keyboard or clicking a button on the screen. Once an image is captured, it is saved to the computer’s hard drive.
Webcams can also be used to record short video messages for informational or educational purposes. Similar to taking still images, you can start creating a video by clicking on a designated button on the display. Unlike still images, videos require you to start and then stop the camera once the recording is completed. The start and stop button are usually the same, and have a red blinking light when the camera is recording. A video is also saved to the computer’s hard drive.
Many communication platforms, such as Zoom or Teams, offer video conferencing. During video conferencing, a webcam gives a user the ability to offer a video image of both the originator and the recipients online. Video conferences can also be recorded, but rather is normally used to display a live feed of whatever the webcam is capturing in real time. For video conferencing all users need to have a webcam in order for their live image to be available.
Webcams can be purchased from a variety of technology stores such as Best Buy, Source, etc. Basic webcams can be purchased for around $40.00, whereas high end webcams can cost a few hundred dollars. It is important to figure the usage of the device before investing.
Faraz Mehmood is a Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Triella. We are a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium-sized firms. Faraz can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to our blog page. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Webroot Reseller.
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