With the increase in people’s attention towards social networking sites and other video chat services, webcams have had a greater role to play in the modern internet era. Right from filming silly stuff back home to much serious events like business meetings, these tiny devices are always at your reach. Though they don’t produce the same quality images like your digital cameras, they cost much less and help you broadcast online! In this article we look into understanding few basic things about Webcams.
What Webcams Do?
The entire process Webcams accomplish can be simplified into these three aspects:
- Hardware: A Webcam connected to your computer through the USB port.
- Software: The software which accepts images from the webcam time to time
- Broadcasting: A server to store your images and broadcast them on the internet.
The hardware involved is similar to that present in digital cameras. The working mechanism involves a small lens which captures light in form of pixels and assigns strings of 1’s and 0’s uniquely to each pixel. Now the most important factor is the frame rate, which determines if this image is just a still image or a streaming video. It is recommended that your webcam has a frame rate of 30 frames per second (A frame is simply one static image).
But the main difference from a digital camera is, a web cam doesn’t have any memory card or such options. All it does is transmits this image information (in form of string of numbers) to the computer. The software then plays its part based on the resources it collects from the user. Generally, the quality of images produced from the webcam is much lower than the basic megapixel digital camera in the market. This is mainly to enable faster transmission of these images even across slow internet connections.
But can your digital cameras be used as webcams?
Actually it’s a ‘YES’ but with many complications. First of all there is no reason in the world you would want to use a digital camera after taking a look at these points:
- Digital cameras are not made keeping computers in mind, so USB connectivity is a big question mark!
- Though you have a proper USB connectivity, thing is that the batteries in the digital camera need not more than a 5 minutes charging, after which there is constant heating of your digital
- With more resolution comes more problems, so if incase you somehow choose not to care of the above issues you will take a beating here. Simply the larger the image size the difficult it gets while streaming and eventually video chat will be a mess.
- If you are so determined to have such high performing webcam installed to your computer, you can check out the list of few of the best webcams here in our website.
Frame rate, Resolution, Form, Material with which webcam is made of are a few factors you should consider while purchasing a webcam. Also make sure you are very clear about what you actually need a webcam for and purchase a model as per your requirements.