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Webcams are valuable tools for business and recreation purposes. They come with a range of features, so whether you want impressive image quality, convenient portability, a rich multimedia experience or efficient functionality, you can find the right model at Staples.

Webcams that fit Every Purpose
Web cameras for office use have different features than those designed for recreation or content creation. Consider how you will use the device before making a purchase.

If the cam is used for video conferencing with a group, opt for one with an ultra-wide lens so the whole team can get in the frame. Choose a freestanding camera with an 180-degree view that lets everyone sit comfortably around a table during the meeting. Consider the technical limitations of the program you'll be using when purchasing a camera. There's no need for a high-resolution image if the program won't support it.

If the cameras primary use is to stay in touch with family, friends and co-workers during travel, consider a lightweight foldable model. These devices fit neatly in a briefcase and are sturdy enough to resist drops and impacts. Quickly set up and use a portable camera when you need to touch base while waiting for a flight or after checking into a hotel.

Getting the Best Image Quality
A high-quality image makes teleconferences and chats with friends more enjoyable. HD webcams ensure a consistently sharp picture, and cameras with a high number of frames per second are less likely to freeze or stall than others. Features such as autofocus and auto light adjustment are helpful if you don't want to adjust your camera manually.

How do You Set Up a Webcam?
First, install the software that came with the device. It may come on a disk, or it might be available for download through the manufacturer's website. Place the camera on the computer and secure it for stability -- some models clip onto the monitor, while others have screw-in bases. Use the software to adjust the light balance and other settings for a clear image. It's a good idea to disable the computer's internal webcam and shut down any programs that might compete for system resources.

What are the Advantages of an External Webcam?
External webcams often have higher-end specs than built-in cams, and it's easier to place them at a convenient angle. An external device also offers better security, since most have a lens cover. Covering the camera when it's not in use protects the computer from malware that can remotely turn on the device even if it's disabled.

Do Webcams Have Microphones?
Some do, but not all. If the webcam has a microphone and a stable base, you can point it in any direction you like or even use it as you would a handheld camcorder. This is handy if you want to video chat but don't want to sit at your desk. If the camera doesn't include a microphone, it must be paired with a separate microphone to pick up sound when you're not at your computer.
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