Video / Webcam

Some gear below to improve the quality of your video conferencing.  Note the prices are probably inflated right now due to short supply, and high demand.  Unfortunately at this time, I don’t know when prices will be back to ‘normal’.

You definitely need a webcam to show your face.  Logitech webcams are typically the lead USB webcams of all manufacturers available but they are definitely out of stock in many places.  If you have a compatible Canon camera, you can download some beta software to make it work like a web cam, link here.  Also there are workarounds for other cameras as well if you don’t mind getting a bit more technical.  But for most people, a webcam is the way to go.

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Lighting So You Don't Look Like a Dark Mysterious Figure

Some of the best lighting you can use is typically good indirect light from the sun.  A big window without glare is good for the daytime.  After hours, you may want to get a nice lamp or go with an LED light.  I recommend getting a ring light for a more flattering look – the bigger the better.  You can also get two lamps to cover you from the left and right – 45 degrees from you good for standard beauty light.  Make sure it comes from at least a higher angle than your webcam.

An example of a desk lamp I use for Zoom meetings.

Audio / Microphone

Its arguable more important for you to have crisp, clean, audio than it is to have a good video feed when presenting.  For most people who are individually contributing in a conference call, a USB microphone is the way to go.  One exception is if you are using your smartphone to connect to the meeting anyway.  I’ve found most modern mid-high range smartphones do a decent job of handling audio in conference meetings provided there is a good reception, and the application supports higher quality audio.  I use Gotomeeting frequently, and the call quality on that isn’t great most cases when calling in, but when connecting using VOIP its decent in the call but horrible in recorded webinars/meetings.  

As with most things audio, you get what you pay for.  However, the closer you can get the microphone to your mouth, the better overall quality you can expect.  So a microphone up close at under $50 is going to beat a microphone a foot away from you at twice the price just about in any situation.

Best USB Microphone today in November 2020 for voice, is the Shure MV7.

Some Microphones to Consider (Note Covid-19 Has Impacted Price/Availability)

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