There are lots of ways to shoot an online video. You can hire a professional production company (costs a ton of money), use a fancy camcorder (if you have one), or just use the webcam that’s built into or connected to your computer.
Webcam videos are easy to shoot and can look great – if you know the right tricks. If you don’t do it right, your webcam video can look dark and grainy and pretty much unwatchable.
Fortunately, it’s easy to shoot a good-looking webcam video. Read on to learn a few easy-to-implement tips that you can use to create first-class videos for uploading to YouTube and other online video sites.
Get a Better Webcam
One way to shoot better-quality webcam videos is to use a better-quality webcam. Let me tell you what I mean.
Many older webcams, as well as newer, lower-priced ones, shoot a relatively low-quality picture. I’m talking about standard resolution video or so –640 x 480 pixels, non-widescreen picture. That might be good enough when watching a video on a small window in your web browser, but not when you blow up the picture to fit a larger screen.
What you want is a webcam that can shoot in true high definition (HD). That means a resolution of 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) or, even better, 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). HD video means a more detailed, crystal clear picture, in full widescreen glory. The HD picture is much sharper than one shot with a standard definition webcam; we’re talking more than three times the picture information than SD.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a bunch of money to buy an HD webcam. For example, Logitech offers HD webcams for as low as $40. You can easily connect a new HD webcam to your desktop PC, typically via USB. You can also connect an external webcam to a notebook PC that already has an internal webcam; the external one bypasses the internal one. And the results are worth it.
Figure 1 Logitech’s C270 HD webcam.