Last month we gave you some Pro Tips on how to adjust your environment to improve your professional presence on video conferencing calls. Now let’s talk about a key piece of hardware for video conferencing: the camera.

The built in camera in your laptop computer is … adequate, but not great and generally has poor resolution. Additionally, the angle it provides is not optimal for providing your best look. The challenge you have now is availability. While Hybridge has used Logitech’s HD Pro series cameras for many of the video conferencing solutions we’ve provided to clients, these cameras are currently only available from 3rd party sellers and at exorbitant prices. If you happen to have one in a conference room no one is currently using, by all means, repurpose that camera for your use in the short term. If however, that is not an option, almost any other USB web cam will have higher resolution than your computer’s built-in camera. Additionally, you can position an external webcam so that the angle is more favorable using a camera tripod like the one mentioned in gadget of the month in this newsletter.

Great, but I can’t find/don’t want to buy an extra webcam? Well, did you buy your kids a GoPro? Did you treat yourself to an expensive camera for your last vacation? This solution will take a little more work on your part and a willingness to experiment on your own, but if you have a newer camera, chances are it allows for clean HDMI output and using that little cable it came with, you may be able to plug it into your computer for a better video solution. Depending on your camera, you may need a HMDI capture stick. Do a quick Google search for video solutions using your specific camera, Canon published a list of cameras that are web ready without needing an adapter, and other manufacturers are doing the same to allow their customers to use their regular cameras as web cams.

We all hope soon to go back to some type of “business as usual”, but until then, video conference calls are a fixture in our work life so we might as well look good doing them!

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