One Thing: How a little camera made my day less stressful

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The right webcam can make all the difference with remote work and clients. (Navin Kumar)

The pandemic forced many of us to repurpose our homes into ad-hoc classrooms, unequipped gyms and barebones home offices. Video calls, for better or worse, became the new norm through which many of us connected with colleagues and clients. We weren’t all prepared for this and had to get by with the limitations of what we had.

The native webcams in our laptops weren’t always up for the task in the early days. I needed a higher-end tool for video self-presentation and opted for the Logitech C930e 1080p business webcam. This small change helped me feel more connected with teammates and less stressed about video calls.

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At first, it was amusing to see the creative camera angles people chose when using their laptop’s native camera and how poor lighting conditions rendered faces as if they were part of a witness protection program.

Then I realized that I too was showing up this way to my colleagues, making me self-conscious and causing me to spend way more effort than I wanted on making my setup look more ‘natural.’ That changed one day when I hopped on a call with a teammate who looked as sharp as if he was in the room right next to me. I asked what kind of webcam he was using, and he pointed me to the C930e.

I picked it up the following week and never looked back.

I was blown away by the fidelity of the camera and how clear the image quality was. There was no graininess in low light, and the wide, 90-degree field of view allowed my grandparents on the other end of the video call to see my whole family gathered around our computer, without requiring us and the family dog to pile on top of each other. I also enjoyed using Logitech’s Logi Tune software to adjust the digital zoom and dial in settings for brightness, contrast, sharpness, and saturation. Out of the box the C930e was just about perfect for my needs.

Investing in a standalone webcam can be a game changer that boosts confidence and improves your connection with others when you can’t be face to face.

Making the investment for a better webcam has made a big difference in my online presence; indeed, I’ve since gotten a lot of inquiries about what camera I’m running. Since getting the C930e, I’ve also started to think of other ways to improve my home-office setup, including getting a condenser microphone to boost my audio quality and reduce echo.

There have been a lot of other great webcam models that have come out since I upgraded mine two years ago, as well as newer laptops that have better quality native webcams and video processing. If you are running an older webcam and find yourself on video calls often, investing in a standalone webcam can be a game changer that boosts confidence and improves your connection with others when you can’t be face to face.

Have any gear you’ve discovered and loved during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments!