1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Record Webcam Videos That Look and Sound Great

By

webcam still

Still frame from a webcam recording.

Gretchen Siegchrist
Recording webcam footage is an easy and convenient way to make videos. However, many webcam recordings suffer from very poor video and audio quality. But by making a few adjustments you record with your webcam, you can quickly and drastically improve the quality of your webcam videos.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Set up your webcam.

    Many computers now come with a webcam built in at the top of the screen. Otherwise, you can purchase an inexpensive webcam that connects to your computer via USB. It's also possible to use many digital camcorders as webcams, by connecting them to the computer and recording directly onto the hard drive.

  2. Set up your audio recording.

    Most computers have built-in microphones, but you'll get better sound quality using an external microphone. Even a basic desktop microphone that connects to your computer will greatly improve the audio quality of your webcam recording.

  3. Position your webcam.

    Too many webcam recordings feature people staring at their computer screen, while the webcam stares down at them from above. Avoid this by placing your webcam at eye-level. When recording, make sure to look into the webcam and not at the recording screen.

  4. Clean up the background.

    I know that many webcam videos are recorded in people's homes or bedrooms, and the intimacy of the setting is part of the charm. However, it's important to make sure that the background isn't to cluttered, and that there's nothing inappropriate showing on the screen.

  5. Adjust the lighting. The brighter it is, the better your webcam recording will look. For a simple solution, you can use your household lamps to approximate three-point lighting.
  6. Record, record, record.

    Once you have your equipment set up, you're ready to start recording with your webcam. The nice thing about webcam video is that it's easy to do multiple takes until you get something perfect, but viewers aren't looking for perfection, so you can easily get away with quick takes and off-the-cuff videos.

Tips:

  1. Adjust the quality of your webcam recording.

    Many webcams let you adjust the format and compression of your video. If quality is important, you can increase the resolution and decrease the compression. If file size and speed are critical, you can record smaller, lower-resolution video files.

  2. Use your webcam for live, streaming video.

    These webcam recording instructions work whether you're recording directly to your computer, importing the video to a site like YouTube, or streaming the video live.

What You Need

  • Webcam
  • Cables to connect to your computer
  • External microphone
  • High speed internet connection
  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Desktop Video
  4. Home Video Projects & Tips
  5. Record Webcam Videos That Look and Sound Great

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.