The Best Lighting for Webcams and Videos
It’s a common misconception that shooting with a high-quality camera will automatically result in top-notch images and footage. While a premium camera certainly does make an impact, the number one factor to create clear, crisp, and high-definition videos and images actually stem from your lighting. So if you’re struggling with poor quality images, it may just be a matter of making some small (and free!) adjustments to your light source and soon enough, you’ll have the best lighting for webcams.
For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus solely on the best lighting for webcam videos. With the rise of the remote workplace, many businesses heavily rely on using webcam videos to personalize outreach, add a touch of humanization to the conversation, and communicate more effectively.
With that said, there is absolutely no fancy video recording equipment required – all you need is your built-in webcam on your phone or computer. So, you can elevate the quality of your videos in a matter of seconds.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about webcam lighting. We’ll guide you through the best lighting for webcam videos, along with a few video lighting techniques, and a step-by-step guide on how to get good lighting for video conferencing & recordings.
Good lighting vs bad lighting
Whether you have the best camera on the market, or you’re using your internal webcam on your phone or computer, it’s no doubt that good lighting makes all the difference in the picture quality. Finding the best lighting for webcam videos will instantly elevate the quality of your videos, making them looking higher resolution and more professional.
Poor lighting produces images and videos that are dark, granular, and shadowy, typically hiding the main subject. On the other hand, good lighting creates a picture that is clear, crisp, has consistent coloring, and illuminates the primary subject. Take a look at the example below, these videos were both recorded using my computer’s internal webcam. In addition, they were captured from a similar angle and perspective. The only difference here is the light source – and as you can see, it makes a pretty big difference.
Why is video lighting important?
Whether you are looking for the best lighting for video conferencing, the best lights for filming professionally, or the best lighting for video recording on your webcam, mastering your light source will capture your audience’s attention, make your message more engaging, and can affect the mood.
Next time you start recording, take into consideration these helpful lighting tips for video messages, calls, recordings, and more!
Best lighting for webcam videos – tips & tricks
1. Use natural light by facing a window
Ideally, the best light source to use is the sun’s natural light. Positioning yourself in front of a window will create some of the best lighting for webcam video calls and recordings. In most cases the sun will help create a clear, crisp image, while also lighting up the main subject’s (you!) face.
With that in mind, avoid recording videos with your back to a window. This will result in a dark and shadowy appearance.
2. Artificial lighting
Depending on the time of day or your office space, natural lighting may not be an option for you – or you may find yourself still needing a brighter light. If this is the case, you’ll have to rely on artificial lights which are your overhead lights, lamps, or even a ring light.
For a great image and the best lighting for webcam videos, you’ll want a bright, soft light positioned behind and above your webcam. If you’re using a lamp, keep the shade on as it prevents glare and shadows. If you’re still having trouble with lighting, consider purchasing a ring light as an easy and affordable solution. Attach your ring light onto your computer and you’ll find the main subject illuminated evenly and effectively.
3. Recording outdoors
Wondering how to get good lighting for videos when recording outdoors? Finding the best light for zoom meetings & recording outdoors is not as easy as you may imagine. If the sun is directly overhead, it can cause harsh shadows. But if it’s directly behind you, it can make the video too dark. If it’s directly in front of you, it may cause you to squint.
So while you may think a bright, sunny day will yield the best looking images, it actually has the opposite effect. Instead, finding some shade to sit under will result in an even balance of light.
For more tips on recording outdoors, check out this blog or the video below!
A few extra webcam lighting tips…
Now that you know how to set up lighting for video webcams, keep these other tips in mind to enhance the quality and effectiveness of your videos.
- Clean off your webcam lens: Your screen may be dirty and streaky without you even realizing it. Grab a paper towel and dab it with water or rubbing alcohol and gently clean off your screen and webcam.
- Keep the camera at eye level: Raising your camera to eye level by using books, a standing desk, or another creative solution.
- Look directly into the camera: To give off the perception of making eye contact, look into the webcam when speaking, rather than watching yourself on screen.
Good lighting for videos = a more effective message
Like we mentioned, perfecting your light source has the ability to elevate your videos and create an even more effective message. So next time you start recording, make these few simple adjustments to your lighting and see just how big of an impact it can make on your image quality. Keep these tips in mind next time you’re searching for the best lighting for webcam videos.
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