Webcams are back, obviously

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“Gadget of the Year”. Not by choice, I can you that much. . .


Just slightly off-topic but possibly useful: I’ve found that during Zoom calls, by leaving my camera on for the participants but shutting off self-view, I’m far less mentally exhausted at the end of the day.

Conversations are a little more enjoyable because I’m not watching myself pull faces. YMMV.


Oh, that’s good to know. I’ve been using my tablet, but it’s nearly impossible to get it into a position where I can both see the screen and the image on the camera is remotely flattering.

I do have a ton of cameras and a tripod, though.


Go figure, the one pictured in the article (the 920s, not the regular 920) is the one with the privacy flap, and ten bucks cheaper than the one without, despite the two being identical.

That’s OK, I have mine pointed at a Pimoroni unicorn HD HAT sitting on a Pi3b+ running one of the example scripts for the hat that shows the matrix. :slight_smile:


I’ve also found that (if your conferencing app supports it) it helps to put the display in the mode where whoever is talking gets the whole screen, and everyone else is put small in the ‘peanut gallery.’

I found that when everyone was displayed in a grid, Brady Bunch-style, it was easy to feel like I was alone and everyone was ganging up on me. Literally “on the other side of the table” since no one is in the room with me and everyone else is directly across from me. Making the simple change of having people take turns taking the focus changed the experience for me.


Your phone can also make a very handy webcam. Assuming you have a phone with a decent camera.


I’d personally recommend the Logitech C925e, it’s been really reliable, has good image quality, decent microphones and has a built-in privacy screen. I’ve about about a hundred of them at the start of covid and been handing them out to staff like candy. Definite improvement over built-in cameras.

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Meh, what’s the point? All you need is a microphone.
I mean what do you need the camera for? Accidentally get up get yourself fired like that New Yorker guy?


Are they? Have you tried finding one at retail price?

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Somewhat related to product shortages - I’ve been looking for RTMP streaming hardware and compared to last year, it is shocking how little variety is out there. There used to be viable solutions at $500 … those seem gone and now you’re looking at +$2,000 for something good.

Yes, there’s $100 units on Amazon. fine for hobby stuff but not right for a broadcast facility. So far the only brand I’ve used that does a great job is Teradek.

There were so many other brands & models last time I looked. I guess those $100 generic encoders, OBS and Zoom have really altered the face/need of RTMP. Times change I guess.

Have a C920 on my monitor (unplugged, along with stickers on all my laptop webcams).

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I haven’t seen any evidence that the “situation settled down as the year went on.” The Amazon link you posted has offers that are almost all at least 10% over the MSRP, and some of those offers are for used cameras. still says the C920 is sold out.

My existing web cam stopped being recognized by Skype or Zoom at the beginning of the year, but it still works fine with code I’ve written using Window’s current video APIs, so I’m not sure how the video conferencing apps are screwing it up. I was forced to buy a meh quality, manual focus, off-brand camera to participate in virtual events.

I’ve been using a C920 to lecture from a whiteboard and love it. With Ubuntu’s “gucview” one can fix many of its settings, and what was most important for me, turn off the autofocus feature (leaving it permafocused on the board). Just bringing up this game-changer in hopes it helps someone else as much as it did me.

Some people are very adamant about having a webcam turned on for meetings or chats.

He would have been better off with two turntables and a microphone. I think the tape is still on my laptop webcam. I haven’t had to Zoom yet.

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Note that the Nikon software requires a recent camera body-- and not an entry model either.


It’s a shame. I think only Canon makes its software available for old models and still only for Windows 10.

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