Better Webcam results. Part One.
With the increasing popularity of FaceTime, Skype and iChat, more and more people are using their computers to communicate with family and friends. Since half the fun is being able to see the person you’re talking to, we’d like to offer some tips to make your video chatting more productive.
Do something about your image.
Some customers have expressed frustration with grainy, unclear images. They wonder if their webcam is working properly. In all likelihood, the problem is not the camera itself; it’s the lighting.
Remember, your webcam operates on the same principle as any still or video camera. Insufficient light, or light coming from the wrong direction is usually the cause of coarse, dark pictures. It takes good lighting for superior images.
Not enough light?
Try to conduct your web chat session in a bright room. If you must work in a dark study, for example, switch on a table lamp to increase the light levels. Even better, use a desk lamp and aim light on your face. The best angle is from the side, slightly above the face. You don’t need to flood everything with light; just add enough to take the graininess out of the image.
Or too much light?
If you’re working in a room with a bright window behind you, your web cam may meter the light incorrectly and put your face in shadow. If possible, draw the blinds, close the curtains – or add a desk lamp to balance the light.
Watch your background.
Mirrors and other reflective surfaces can “fool” your web cam’s light meter. A lot of background activity will distract the viewer. Try to keep the background simple.
Finally, be sure to ask the person you’re chatting with if you can be seen clearly. He or she is your “mirror”. (So don’t forget to comb your hair).
Need more control?
iGlasses 3 from ecamm is a Mac application which provides you with tweaks that are missing from Apple’s iSight interface, allowing you to fine tune colour, contrast & exposure settings. Other features include tilt, pan and zoom effects. The app costs $19.95, but a free demo version is available so you can try before you buy -http://ecamm.com/mac/iglasses/