9 Best Practices To Follow While Using A Webcam
Making professional videos with a webcam may sound like a simple task, but you’d be surprised by the problems you run into after you’re done recording. From blurry images, bad noise, poor lighting – the list could go on.
And getting an expensive webcam won’t fix your problems. It’s your entire setup and how you record, in general.
Here are 9 best practices to follow when using a webcam to make sure your videos look clean and professional.
1. Consider The Background
The background is the first element that becomes glaringly obvious when someone watches your video. You want it to be clean and simple. A white background does best if you want to make your videos look lighter and pop-out. Black backgrounds are good for exuding the mood that you’re recording from a darker room.
You can use a green screen for your background if you’re planning to make the video fun, entertaining, and interactive using animated video elements.
2. Set Your Webcam Properly
This may sound funny and way too obvious, but most people set up their webcam devices incorrectly. They’re either too high, low or placed from awkward angles in the room. Make sure your webcam is facing your face at eye-level. And when you’re making a video, look into the lens of the webcam to establish eye-contact with your virtual audience.
Keep a relaxed posture when talking, breathe, and go at an even pace when making the video. These small tips go a long way in improving the quality of your video content.
3. Adjust The Lighting
We’ve talked about setting up the background before, but your lighting goes hand-in-hand with your webcam. A good lighting setup would be using natural lighting from your window if you don’t want to invest in any equipment. Stand in front of the window and set the webcam on the pane to get good natural lighting.
Don’t let the window face your back and record since that will mess up the footage. The window should be facing the front of you. Also, if you’re recording outside natural lighting or at night, consider investing in a pair of good LED lights. You can get them on a budget and make your custom lighting setup for easier recording experience.
4. Don’t Use The In-Built Microphone
Now, this goes without saying but using the in-built microphone on your webcam is a bad idea. The audio quality isn’t that great, and frankly, you can do better. We suggest going with a cardioid condenser microphone or anything that offers noise cancellation/isolation features.
Do a mic test and see how the audio quality is. Try to reduce white noise from your environment by recording indoors or from a place that doesn’t have environmental noises. If you’re recording in your room and it’s noisy, you can use noise-blocking panels and install them onto walls for a better experience.
5. Use A Good Video Editing Software
Editing your videos, adding in text, and making sure everything flows right – are key to making high-quality content. It doesn’t matter if you’re recording live streams or putting up your content on YouTube, a reliable video editing suite will come in handy.
We’d recommend going with Hippo Video if you’re looking for an alternative to Vidyard. It’s simple, straightforward, and very easy to use for beginners. Vidyard has a huge price tag while Hippo Video is extremely affordable, which is a big plus. There’s also the added advantage that you can export your videos in various formats for convenient uploading and sharing experience on different platforms.
6. Plan Your Content
Okay, so you’ve got the recording conditions right, the lights set up, microphone in place, and everything else perfect. Good. But now what? Yes, your content.
Before you hit the record button and start using your webcam, be sure you know what you’re going to talk about. Avoid rambling, stuttering and practice seeing how you talk before doing the edits. You’d be surprised to notice a few nuances and habits you’re prone to when you review your own videos. Work on these and before putting out your content, get feedback from your friends and family on what can be done better.
It takes work to get good at content creation, but you can get there as long as you stay patient and keep at it.
7. Edit What You Shoot
After you record the footage, it’s time to edit your content. Add text, transitions, and animations to make your content look engaging. Your edits should work with your content and not be disruptive. For the background audio, you can insert simple soundtracks that create the mood for the video.
Hippo, an alternative to Vidyard, has an in-built library that’s full of useful assets for video editors. You can browse through their offerings and see what you can use or get some more ideas from there.
8. Get A Good Quality Webcam
No, we didn’t forget to mention this, but it’s still relevant to this post. Invest in a good quality webcam. Look for models that are ideal for gaming, streaming, and provide 4k HD recording. A 1080p webcam is an affordable choice for those on a budget. There are many brands you can try out like Logitech, Razer Kiyo, etc.
9. Try A Wide-Angle Lens
There are many telephoto lens kits available online that you can experiment with. Wide-angle lenses included in these kits give a bigger view of your room while recording. You can play around with the fisheye lens and really get creative with your webcam for an interesting recording experience. Just try it, it is lots of fun!
That pretty much wraps up our tips for getting a fantastic recording experience when using a webcam. Granted, some of these are unconventional, but you’ll notice your production quality goes way up once you start implementing them. See what works for you, don’t be afraid to play around with your webcam recording setup, and most important of all – have fun with the process!