When deciding how to set up your webcam for streaming, you may ask yourself: “What are the best camera angles that will make me look good?”
Here is how to position your camera for streaming:
If you’re using a single monitor, place the camera in front of you, looking down,
If you’re using a multiple monitor setup, set the camera on one side of the main screen,
Make sure you’re included in the center and reduce the headroom.
If you have ever seen a Twitch stream you know that most streamers position their webcam at eye level or above, and from the side. There are many reasons why this is and we will explore them in detail.
We will be talking about how different aspects of a webcam affect the video feed, no matter the camera angle you decide to use.
Table of Contents
What Is The Best Webcam Angle For Streaming?
Why Do Most People Use the Same Camera Angle?
Studies have been done on the effects of people’s perceptions on camera angles. It has been proven what angle is used to film something will determine how people will react to it. Angles are frequently used in filmmaking to convey a “power dynamic.” Low angles imply vulnerability, while high angles imply superiority. By portraying powerful people and characters from a low camera angle, the media and film industry capitalize on this association.
This can mean that low angles may cause viewers to have a sympathetic response with the person being filmed. Thus it is far more likely that we will watch a person who has positioned his webcam in that manner. This is not just the case with live streaming, this is the case whether we are talking about a film, a youtube video, or a stream.
Does this indicate that you should always set your webcam at a low angle when you are live-streaming your video? The answer is no. Most streamers will tell you to do exactly the opposite.
When deciding on an angle for your camera, there are numerous things to keep in mind.
Webcam in Front of You or to the Side?
If you are using a single monitor you can use a single webcam in front, of you looking down. Streamers use this method since it is easy and simple.
On the other hand. If you have a multiple monitor setup, you can put your webcam on the monitor that is on the right or the left side of your main screen. This way you will create a more interesting and dynamic frame.
You Can Use a Tripod Stand
This is a good option because it allows you to experiment with a wide range of webcam placements and angles with a tripod for your webcam. You have complete control over where and how high the webcam is placed in front of you.
The possibilities for where you can put your webcam are virtually endless when you have it mounted on an adjustable tripod.
What Else Goes Into Making You Look Good on Stream?
Looking at webcam angles may be the first thing that people think about when they want to start streaming, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. There is much more that goes into “looking good on stream” than just a good webcam angle. Before you start recording you should consider:
- Your lighting
- Your background
- Your framing
How Do You Decide on the Best Lighting for Your Live Stream?
Natural light isn’t the best source of illumination when setting up Your stream. To put it another way, this is because the quantity of natural light in your room fluctuates dramatically during the day. If you want your webcam video to look the best it possibly can, you need to have control over your lighting.
If you want to have good lighting, the light should come from the front (a built-in ring-light) or the side, not from behind you. Never from behind. Backlight will create a silhouette which is not ideal for streaming.
Consider placing a lamp on or near your desk to provide additional light sources for your eyes and face. A clear and pleasing image can be achieved by experimenting with various lighting techniques.
Glare and washout can ruin good lighting so you need to watch out for that. Using two inexpensive clip lights on either side of your webcam, at eye level will ensure that your face is completely illuminated and that your camera can pick up all the details it needs to. You do not need more light than that.
Make Your Background Nice
Find a neutral background unless you have a semi-professional one with branded props or things of that nature. When we say “neutral,” we don’t necessarily mean “empty,” but rather, “free of clutter and distraction.” It’s fine, as long as it doesn’t get in the way.
You want your audience’s attention to be drawn to you, not the stuff that is around you. If you’re using a laptop, you have a lot of freedom in terms of where you can take it to get the background you want. But on a computer, it is a bit harder, so you need to keep in mind what is around you.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of live streaming, it’s a good idea to set aside some space in your house just for that. Using the same area each time you live stream will ensure that you get the best possible light and background.
Think About Your Framing
What is the point of setting up the angle, the light, and the background if you are not going to frame yourself the right way?
There are only two things you need to do to accomplish this.
- Reduced headroom: make sure that there is not a lot of distance from the top of your head to the top of the frame.
- Center yourself: Try to include the top of your torso as well as your entire head in the frame when filming yourself.
Doing these things is critical and it will make a big difference when trying to make everything look as best it can be.
You Need a Decent Webcam as Well!
If you use a cheap, low-quality webcam like most laptop webcams are, your video will be dull and dark. You can make it better if you follow the tips we recommend to you, but with a bad web cam, those tips can only take you so far.
A webcam does not have to be expensive. What we recommend is an external USB webcam. They provide increased flexibility in addition to other enhancements that help you look and sound your best on your webcam’s screen.
There are different kinds of webcams that range in price from thirty dollars to thousands of dollars. In truth, all you really need to spend is $30. That will be enough to make your streams look sharp, clear, and professional.
There are many things you should consider about a webcam before purchasing it:
- Resolution and frame rate
- Video compression
- Field of view
- Software controls
When It Comes to Resolution
Perhaps the most crucial component of a webcam is the clarity of the video it records, referred to as the picture quality. It determines how good your video feed will come out. This is expressed in terms of resolution and frame rate for digital video.
Clearer images have a higher resolution, while a higher frame rate makes movement on the screen appear more fluid. The higher the resolution and frame rate of a webcam, the more expensive it is.
As you may be aware from shopping for a television or computer monitor, resolution is defined as the number of pixels on the screen, measured in length by width.
- HD: has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
- Full-HD: has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
- UHD: has a resolution of 3,840 by 2160 pixels.
Full HD webcams are always the best option. Recording video at this resolution is standard practice for professionals. Even so, if you ever desire to upgrade to a higher resolution webcam, you can do so, but know that it will cost you more.
The Frames per Second of the Webcam
The second measure of video quality is Framerate. It determines how many still images(frames) are shown in a single second of video. It is measured in frames per second (fps).
Higher frame rates (60 fps and above) result in smoother-looking footage, but it also results in larger file sizes, especially when the frames are of high resolution.
Twitch streamers that play first-person shooters prefer to stream in 720p resolution at 60 frames per second because the fast-paced nature of this type of game necessitates a high framerate.
On the other hand, most people who film static videos with not a lot of things happening in them tend to use 1080p at 30 frames per second. Webcams aimed at streamers can be set to 720p at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps.
Streams of digital video may carry enormous quantities of information. In order to stream HD or better quality video over the Internet, video compression is necessary.
It is common for professional-grade cameras to utilize H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) since it provides high-quality video at a substantially lower bit rate than earlier codecs.
When encoding and decoding, H.264 puts less strain on the CPU than other codecs. This guarantees that the resolution and frame rate of the user experience is consistent with the claimed specifications.
Webcam’s Field of View
A webcam’s field of view (FOV) is a measurement of how wide it can capture, and it is directly related to the lens. A wider field of view is provided by a wide-angle lens. When it comes to the field of view (FOV), manufacturers express it as a number of degrees:
- 60 FOV is best for filming a single subject that is situated right in front of the camera
- 78 FOV is best for filming two subjects in a single frame, or one subject with more of the background
- 90 FOV is best used for filming groups of individuals in front of the camera
Many webcams include software controls. This includes the ability to pan, tilt, as well as for digital zoom. In most cases, you may adjust the brightness, contrast, color intensity, and white balance of your images.
In addition to that, some webcams allow for split-screen functionality, but that is usually possible only on more sophisticated models of the software.
Sound is more important than people think. When capturing video, most people are so focused on the image that they overlook the importance of having good audio as well.
Most webcams include at least one microphone, it is no boom mic but it will do the job. Audio output from webcams with two microphones on each side of the lens sounds more realistic.
If you are relying on your webcams microphones, try to keep other sounds in the room to a minimum. Turn off any devices or fans that may be generating too much white noise. This way, you will make sure that the sound quality is the best it can be.
With that said, We recommend that you use a USB microphone instead of the onboard ones from your webcam. A USB condenser microphone will cost you between $20 and $50, but the improvement in background noise reduction and the quality of your output will be worth every penny.
Webcam positioning along with deciding on the angle, as well as good lighting and framing, are important parts of streaming. If you do not think about those things before you start your stream, you will not be able to keep people watching you for long.
You must also pay attention to other aspects of making a webcam work for you instead of against you. All these webcam tips do not apply only to streaming. They apply to video blogging, recording videos for your youtube channel, having video skype calls or anything else that involves using a webcam.