How Webcams Work And What Should You Be Aware Of Before Buying

how webcams work

Technology has progressed a long way in terms of communication, there are many ways by which one can interact with one another and webcams are one of the most innovative forms of technology used for this reason today.

Webcams allow you to see and interact with people from all around the planet and are used by a variety of organizations to hold important meetings, and are often used by academic institutions to hold distance learning classes.

There are many industries in which webcams have a critical part to play, such as surveillance, marketing or traffic management.

The webcam implementations are infinite, and that is why they are becoming much more important in today’s society.

It’s been a year since the Covid-19 pandemic took over the planet, lockdowns have been placed almost all over the globe, and online conferences and classes have kept companies operating, and this has contributed to the increasing popularity of webcams.

External And Embedded Webcams

Almost all laptops and a number of desktop computers come with a built-in webcam, however, these webcams lack a lot of functionality that external webcams provide. Attributed to the reason that built-in webcams are tiny, multi-piece lenses really aren’t feasible and this is what results in a decreased image quality. External webcams, on the other side, provide a very strong picture quality.

Adjusting the positioning o0f an external webcam is quite simple, it can be positioned in any place you like. But the same thing is not feasible with built-in webcams.

How Webcams Work

A webcam is essentially a lightweight digi (digital camera that functions much like a traditional digi camera, but the big distinction is that it is designed in a way that communicates with the web pages.

Webcams record real-time images from the position where they are placed through a tiny grid of light detectors called Charge Coupled Devices (CCDs). The CCD transforms the image/image to a digital configuration (format), making it available to the device.

Since webcams don’t even have a storage or memory card slot as such, the information is transmitted instantly via a USB cable (or just about any cable) to the host computer.

Many of these computers and webcams come with an in-built mic, which also helps to relay sound in real time.

Other than recording and uploading images to other devices, they also arrive with software that will help you communicate with your host computer.

This software will allow the user to modify videos and photos for a specific time period.

This program essentially takes digital information from a camera at certain time-intervals and shows photos or videos on computers, laptops, or other devices depending on the frame rate.

The program gets the picture from the webcam and then converts it to the JPEG format, which is then sent to the webserver with the aid of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

Choosing Webcams

As stated before, there are 2 kinds of webcams that can be used. In-built webcams and external webcams.

However before you buy an external webcam, there are some items you need to know which might help you make an educated decision. But whatever your decision is, ensure you get a thorough webcam test done before you make the final purchase.


Megapixels help to assess the quality of an image or a video. In reality, most webcams offer adequate image quality. But you really should realize that using 320 x 240 pixels or 640 x 480 pixels is a great idea, but to get much better quality images, select 1280 x 720 resolution or 4K resolution webcams.

Frames Per Second (FPS)

FPS defines the speed at which the objects are moving on the screen. The minimum FPS is 15fps, but if you’d like to have a great video streaming capability, 30fps is a great option. But to do that, you must have a decent internet speed.


This aspect is also critical as it correlates to the video being recorded. It’s extremely useful when you’re part of online conventions and classes, and getting a great audio quality should be a must once you’re part of those meetings. Before purchasing one, be sure to perform a detailed mic test.

Also it’s worth mentioning that if the audio quality of your webcam isn’t up to the mark, you could always invest in an external mic.

Or you can even use gaming headphones with a mic.

These are among the things you must bear in mind when you’re looking to buy a webcam.


As described previously in the article, when it comes to utilizing a webcam, there are many implementations.

Webcams can be used to track unauthorized activities in a mall, workplace or other building. It can be used to enhance connectivity in offices via webcam meetings. Webcams are often utilized in the banking sector, almost every section of the bank is monitored by webcams, and video files are forwarded and stored on the main server and that can be used for investigative purposes later.

Besides these professional applications, you could also use them to connect (video calls) with your buddies. Or you can even use them to watch live shows like a few YouTubers and online celebrities do.

Of course, these are a few of the many applications of a webcam, there are a few more, but bear in mind, the utilization of webcams is mostly based on the industry you work in.


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