Everybody has a far too familiar relationship with their webcams over the past year. I feel redundant even pointing that out to open the discussion, but a big with familiarity has come a sense that laptops have been skimping out on us with camera quality for years and the old webcams we’ve been putting up with are well past due for an update.
There are more than a few good webcams out there now, but webcams are always playing a trade-off between the space they take up and the amount of light they can get into the lens. Short of doing something really badly, a bigger lens is fundamentally better than a pinhole camera like you usually find on laptops. So it’s impressive to see the size of the camera on the new Dell UltraSharp Webcam.
The Dell UltraSharp Webcam looks well designed, taking design cues from DSLR cameras to put a big barrel on a big lens to let the sensor capture a lot of light, ensuring a great image even in a poorly lit office. It also features HDR capabilities so if you don’t have any choice about where your desk is – like having a window directly behind you – then you should still be nicely visible with HDR mode running.
The mounting system is also versatile, designed to either mount to a small stand to sit behind a laptop or it can mount to the top of a monitor. Other features include keeping you centred in frame and Windows login features, plus a magnetic privacy cover.
For a price of $379 in Australia it’s in a solid category where that lens has a good chance of surpassing the similarly priced competition.
In many respects the best webcam upgrade you can get is the one that you can find in stock. Good luck getting your hands on one!
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Seamus runs Byteside. You may also have spotted his words at the Australian Financial Review, the ABC, Junkee, Gamespot, The Esports Observer, CNET, Gizmodo and a few other spots over the years. He's very happy that he gets to nerd out for a living.