In this work-from-home world of instant coffee and pyjama bottoms, the webcam is king. Sitting silently atop our laptops, it’s a portal onto different countries, continents — and co-worker’s kitchens. But nothing takes the zip out of a Zoom like bad resolution. If your audio stalls, your video freezes or you start speaking out-of-sync, it won’t take long for the digital boardroom to turn on you.
So, to keep you ahead of the virtual video curve, we’ve plugged in and rounded up some of the best 4K webcams on the market. From compact personal options to big conference-ready videobars, there are plenty of top-line cameras ready to bring your work calls into focus. Here are the high-res best…
A compact 4K webcam is perfect for your personal computer
First things first; high-resolution brings with it a high price tag. But there are benefits to investing in a super sharp webcam. Firstly, you’ll never look grainy or glitch-out in the middle of an important work call (or on the tiebreaker of your next virtual pub quiz). But, even more importantly, your co-workers will be able to see every single title of every single book you’ve carefully curated into your Zoom background.
In the compact category, the clear winner for both quality and price-point is Logitech’s Brio Ultra. Designed with Advanced HDR technology to ensure vivid colour, RightLight 3 technology also automatically adjusts to both poor lighting and direct sunlight. Jabra’s PanaCast is a portable, multi-camera option that covers a 180-degree field of view — and Aver’s CAM540 uses SmartFrame technology and facial recognition to automatically place you in the centre of the picture.
A video bar is an essential if your home office means business
As we spend more time in lockdown, our home offices are pivoting to become more professional. Old dining room furniture has been swapped out for an ergonomic office chair. Our desks have been decked out with productivity-boosting plants. And our webcams should be upgraded to tech-forward, top-of-the-line videobars.
Logitech, again, lead the pack here. The MeetUp is kitted out with premium camera optics, Bluetooth speakerphone, RightSound voice optimisation and RightSight face detection. The Videobar VB1 from Bose boasts six beam-steering microphones that automatically focus on voices in the room. And Poly’s Studio webcam is the only 4K videobar fitted with patented Noiseblock technology; to intelligently tune out distracting work-from-home interruptions — everything from barking dogs to fighting children…
A laptop with an HD webcam is the next-best thing
For those of you without £1,000 to splurge on a high-end webcam, we’ve got some bad news. No manufacturer has — as yet — managed to squeeze the high-res might of a 4K camera into a laptop. But they’re getting there. Many modern computers come fitted with super HD webcams that are only imperceptibly fuzzier than 4K.
The new XPS 17 laptop from Dell, for example. With a 4K display, the 1280 x 720 webcam offers 30 fps and is more than sharp enough to get you through your morning meetings. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is packing the same pixels, but also benefits from Dual far-field Studio Mics to enhance your audio. And Apple’s MacBook Pro also has a 720p webcam — but the brand’s desktop computer goes one better, with the iMac Pro offering a 1080p camera.
Want more home office accessories? These are the headphones you should be wearing at your desk…
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