Your next video conference could be as professional as a studio one. Here are some tips and tricks to achieve this efficiently and affordably.

While we’ve just said goodbye to the one-year-old ‘panni anni’ (social media nickname for the anniversary of the pandemic), there’s a good chance you’re still working from home. Video call fatigue is real and many of us fear it. This doesn’t have to be the case; you can change it just to look more professional for your video conferences.

MetroPlus has put together some technical tips for upgrading your camera settings in the office, from ergonomics to fitting your camera to the right setting to make you feel like you’re in a fancy remote studio instead of the same room where you probably had breakfast that morning. .

To be situated

First, we need to get this posture as close to perfection as possible. You are at your best on a video call if you are ergonomically seated and want specific information, websites like Omnicalculator.com have tools that help you calculate this, where you can point your waist while wearing shoes and at your desk height.

Using a smartphone as a webcam via the EpocCam application | Photo credit: EpocCam

Ultimately, your thighs and feet should be parallel to the floor, with your thighs and lower legs at a 90-110 degree angle. In many cases, you don’t have to worry about the standard height of the chairs, as they are adjustable and their position is easily changed. Your elbows and armpits should rest straight on the table and armrests; try to have a 90 to 110 degree angle at the elbow. The key is to avoid the dreaded “technical neck”; you should be looking straight, you should be looking at the top third of the screen. Additionally, your monitor, if there is a webcam attached, should be tilted 10-20 degrees.

The aforementioned margins are basic suggestions, and since every body is different, it is advisable to keep fine-tuning until you feel completely comfortable. These metrics are especially important because office time over the past year has increased and the more comfortable you are, the smoother your recording experience.

Shine

Lighting is everything, and not all webcams built into laptops deliver the clarity they promise. While some may opt for an external HD webcam, fixing your lighting can help. There are the basic tips: no backlighting and try to make the most of natural light.

Using a ring light

Many are now opting for a ring light; Initially a staple for professional shoots, we’ve seen a ton be used for live streaming on social media in 2020, often seeing them in the reflections of the subject’s eyes and glasses. Light rings, which often cost between ₹ 1,000 to ₹ 5,000, help distribute warm or cold light evenly over the subject without creating washout and invite little shadow. Make sure you place your light about two feet away from you. This makes it easier to autofocus the camera, which makes recording much easier. Light rings are also a vanity favorite as they help minimize the appearance of imperfections when recording on the camera.

Need a quick hack? Open a white picture or blank word processing document on your monitor or laptop and use it as a source of light on your face.

… And action!

The camera is important – very important. Everything you have put together so far has led to the success of this latest gadget. As mentioned, not all laptops or tablets come with the best built-in webcams and many may choose to purchase an external webcam.

What about digital SLRs?

  • And it gets more chic; the more technically savvy may want to connect their long-neglected DSLR to their laptop via an HDMI or USB cable. Companies like Canon and Sony have a way to connect their cameras to your computer, depending on the model. All you might need is a USB cable, which should come in your camera case.
  • Users can download the corresponding software: EOS Webcam Utility Beta for Canon and Imaging Edge Webcam for Sony. Be prepared for the occasional bug and for the possibility of consuming some battery power, so charge and schedule your calls accordingly.

Most people who want to save money will find that the best webcam they have is actually in their hands: the smartphone. Paired with excellent lighting, the smartphone can help you in a video conference that you don’t connect to from your phone. Apps that convert your smartphone to an external webcam like Epoccam, IP Webcam, and Droid Cam have grown in popularity. They are installed on your smartphone and your computer and in a few simple steps once the two devices are connected to each other via WiFi or USB, everything is working. Remember to turn off incoming notifications so that your video conference is not interrupted.

Frame rate is an integral deciding factor; it has an impact on the style and the visual experience. Basically, different frame rates result in different viewing experiences, and choosing a frame rate often means thinking about multiple factors – in this case, that’s how realistic you want your video to be. Therefore, setting your camera or choosing a webcam that offers 60 frames per second is ideal.

And of course, the angles. Straight ahead and at subject’s eye level is recommended. We’ve seen inclines and high angles for more casual environments like YouTube vlogs.

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