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Looking for suitable small light for webcam use

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Rupert49, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Rupert49

    Rupert49 Well-Known Member

    Having recently equipped myself with a decent webcam (Logitech c920s) so that I can at last join in zoom groups, I'm finding that, unless there's good daylight in the room, the camera seems unable to focus properly on me. I can adjust the camera's light setting okay, but the focus doesn't work so well in lower light.

    I'm not able to change the arrangement of things in my back office room; the PC is in a dark corner (ideal for photo processing of course), the room light is overhead (60 watts) and the window is about ten feet away to my right. I need some auxiliary lighting, slightly to my left and either level with or slightly higher than my eyeline.

    The webcam is mounted on the front of the shelf immediately above my monitor and there is space on the shelf edge a bit to my left where a clip-on light could go. I've been looking at USB powered LED goose-neck lamps that have adjustable brightness and colour temperature settings, something like this perhaps.

    I'd appreciate a bit of feedback in respect of the suitability of this sort of light - would it be bright enough, is the colour temperature range sufficient and so on. Alternatively, if anyone's got a better idea for a suitable light, I'd love to hear about it. There happens to be enough space on the work top to the left of the monitor for a pocket tripod on which a light could be mounted, if that turns out to be a better option.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    My limited experience of web-cams is that they work over quite a wide range of brightness. I usually "zoom" from my desk and I just put my desk-light on, I don't like sitting with an overhead room light. It is a little day-light balanced work lamp, bought from Hobbycraft, which I use for print evaluation or reading printed material. Our ancient logitech is manual focus. The built in cameras in monitor (iMac, laptop) seem to give sharp enough pictures but I'd put that down to their focal length which is shorter than that of the dedicated web-cam.
  3. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I had to get a small 'clip on' camera/microphone of this make a few month ago when my wife wanted to go Zooming and Skyping.
    Usually I work with a small dimmable LED table lamp behind my PC monitor (so no light falls directly on the screen), but when using the webcam a ceiling light above and about 2 or 3 feet behind the monitor gives results that look surprisingly good. I suspect that the type of light source helps - a 'cool daylight' 100W 'equivalent' LED light bulb in a cheap round white glass fitting that is opaque and hence gives a soft and diffuse light (which reduces harsh shadows). The webcam appears to focus correctly and produces an image with far less 'noise' than if used without the light, presumably because the image is not being processed/amplified so much to make it visible.

    Also, it plugs into a USB extension lead (my PC is under a table), so is only connected when in use. Which means no software can activate it until it has been reconnected.

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