If you've started doing more online physical activity classes you might have decided to invest in a webcam. There are so many to choose from it makes your head spin. Most of us are new to this and baffled at the range. Then we buy one and it's no good for what we need:-( Or we choose a cheap one that doesn't work well:-( With the number of webcams on offer we can spend ages researching, reading reviews, camera specifications, checking against what will work on our computers. Before you know it it's night time and you're no where near knowing which one would work best for you.
Bear in mind after losing most of my income at first lockdown, conveniently at the same time as my laptop decided to say it's last farewell, I had to really stick to a shoestring budget. I mean this in the most literal sense as I could only get a steady signal from my Iphone mobile data hung on a shoestring 3/4 way up the window! Additionally my son built my computer from new and old parts (and still keeps reminding me to pay him!).
Here's what I've been using and how well they worked.
Ipad. First I had to use my Ipad attached to an old music stand. I still use this for small classes if I'm not working from home as a last resort. The image is superb with no need to keep refocusing and the sound is superior to anything else tried so far. The image even picks up where I haven't painted my wall with enough coats of white to cover the yellow underneath:-) The downside is the screen is too small for teaching classes as the main device. I have to keep getting closer to the screen to observe and correct technique. However, this is a great device for participants who have them already as long as they figure out a way of positioning the device so it doesn't keep falling over (I've seen plenty of ceilings during classes:-)
Larmtek HD Webcam. As a plug and play webcam with microphone this was ok but not brilliant. A participant reported the image came across pixelated. Additionally the microphone didn't work so I had to use a seperate microphone which suffered drop out after a couple of months of use. As a starter for participants it's cheapish (I think I paid less than £50) and if you have an inbuilt computer mic you might be ok but definitely not ggod enough for teaching live online classes.
Logitech C922 Pro HD Stream Webcam. After reading reviews on this webcam, and not being able to afford anything better I thought I'd give this one a wurl. At £149 it's more expensive than the previous one. The device can be used through the logitech app "capture" or alone. A participant reported that the microphone sounded muffled when not used through Capture. When used through Capture I'm not disappointed, it is what it is for the price. It's not exactly what I want but it's just about what I can afford just now. When used through capture the auto focus needs to be switched off because when you move the focus doesn't catch up as quickly as you move so you appear out of focus frequently. This device is capable of 60 frames per second which sounds great but if you have it set at this speed then you can't have the high resolution so the image isn't as sharp. Set at 30 frames per second when you're moving faster the image movement seems to lag so you have to choose between frame speed or a sharper image. The sound works fine with no drop out. The wide angle is wide enough for the exercise classes I'm teaching but the height is limited and needs to be quite far back or your head's chopped off (great if you're having a bad hair day:-) Although I may seem critical I just want you to be aware, while this is a good device you get what you pay for and this is a good workable solution and still the best of the 2 I've used on my desktop until I can upgrade to the ultimate solution.
I have added a link to the Logitech webcam name and picture. If you would like to purchase this device from Amazon. We earn a small commission if you purchase from these links at no extra cost to you. This small commission goes towards the running of our website during this difficult time. Other products we use can be found in our website shop. We'd love to have you check out our website and join us for classes or other services. Thank-you to those who have already purchased services and plans we really appreciate you. Thank-you for your support:-) Suzanne McCollum