Best practices for using a webcam for video sharing sites, video conferencing, and video blogging.
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A webcam isn’t the best option for creating online video. It sits close, the angle is bad, and the quality is a bit light, but it is possible to use a webcam and improve the overall quality and presentation of your online videos by using a few simple tips and tricks.
A big piece of the puzzle would be to adjust the positioning of your webcam, keeping it along the same line of site as your eye level, which is generally the best possible angle that would feel the most natural and look the best.
If you have head room, this angle should eliminate it.
If you have to cut something out, make it the top of the head, as cutting out chins tends to look a bit more unnatural.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re looking into the camera lens directly and not at your computer screen. When your eyes are off access with the webcam, it is much less compelling and prevents you from making eye contact with the viewer.
When using a webcam, remember that the human eye sees a lot more than a video camera. Just because you can see everything clearly with a little bit of natural light, doesn’t mean that on video it will look good. This is why you should always try to add additional light when using a webcam. Even if you only have some simple houselights, remember some light is always better than no light. Keep a three-point lighting structure in mind and try to replicate it at home with your normal houselights. You’ll be surprised at how much eliminating shadows can add to your video’s overall look and feel.
If you’re using the webcam to create a video blog or for video conferencing purposes, you’re going to need to pay attention to how you capture your audio. The first step is to avoid having your speakers on when talking or your audio will come through with an echo and a harsh reverb tone to your voice that makes it hard to understand. The second is to use some kind of external microphone connected to your computer and be sure to place that microphone as close to your mouth as possible. By moving the mic close, you lose a lot of that hollow, tingy sound and environmental noise and get a crisp, clear audio track that helps to keep people listening.
These webcams aren’t as impressive as your standard camera, but you can still create impressive online video with a few simple tips and tricks.
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