Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
These days I spend far too much time attending virtual meetings. And, while the Zoom software we use works perfectly well with an audio connection, my associates have strongly suggested that I pick up a webcam.
Since I'm an older fellow with a wispy white goatee and plenty of wrinkles, I've been putting this purchase off. Sadly, however, the boss has decided that video conferences are the way to go.
I checked out Amazon's offerings and discovered that this type of device is far more popular than I'd imagined. There are hundreds of different webcams available.
The majority of these devices provide HD quality video, although several expensive units can output a 4K signal. The main differences between most of these webcams are related to the width of the camera's viewing angle and the type of focus.
Faced with such a vast array of possibilities, I decided to go with a company I trusted. Since I've used plenty of Logitech mice over the years and eMeet manufactures an excellent speakerphone, I compared their webcams' specifications and price. My final choice was the eMeet Nova.
The eMeet Nova sits atop a clip that can be attached to the top of either a laptop or a standard monitor. It may also be mounted to a tripod or laid flat on a desk.
The camera can be swiveled completely around and angled upward or downward. A six-foot cable, terminated with a USB3 connector, trails from the back.
This webcam is fitted with two microphones equipped with noise reduction and features an autofocus camera lens.
- Manufacturer: eMeet Technology
- Name: Webcam
- Model: Nova
- Camera: 1-layer anti-glare glass and 4-layer plastic lens
- Lens: Wide angle 96-degrees
- Image quality: 2 Megapixel
- Video quality: 1920 X 1080p video at 30fps
- Autofocus: Yes
- Light correction: Corrects white balance in low light
- Angle adjustment: Left and right, upward and downward
- Microphone: 2 built-in omnidirectional Noise-canceling microphones
- Mount: Flexible monitor clip that can be attached to a tripod
- Plug and play: Yes, with Windows
Shenzhen eMeet Technology develops innovative products based on intelligent voice, intelligent image, and natural language processing.
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The eMeet Nova attaches to a computer by means of a six-foot cable terminating with a USB3 plug. Because I worry, probably unduly, that some unseen entity is spying on me through my camera, I installed a powered USB hub between the webcam and my computer. When finished using the webcam, I press a button on the hub to disconnect the camera's signal.
Setup proved to be very easy as my Windows operating system automatically loaded the appropriate sound and video drivers.
Like most webcams, the eMeet Nova is fitted with a rubber-backed clip designed to allow the device to perch on top of a wide variety of monitors and laptops. This system works well enough for temporary use. If the webcam were to be installed permanently, I would probably secure it in place with tape.
The clip can also be mounted to a tripod or placed on a level surface.
I set up a Zoom meeting to examine the viability of this product. My associate remarked that my voice came across crisply and clearly. The air purifier and air conditioner's sound were completely muffled by the webcam microphones' noise reduction system.
The eMeet Nova provides a 96-degree viewing angle. This presents a view wide enough to include several people without inducing the dreaded fish-eye effect.
Using Debut Video, I captured a series of still shots from this webcam at different levels of light.
I employed a Vogek Grow Light to provide illumination during these tests. This device is fitted with three sets of LED lights; connected to flexible arms, which can be either dimmed or brightened. This lamp, which is intended for use with plants, looks very much like a prop from a 1950's science fiction movie.
In one test, taken at night, my computer's monitor provided the only lighting. While the resulting snapshot was not perfect, my associate on Zoom felt that the video looked good.
This webcam appears to be engineered to work best in low to normal light levels. Bright sunlight tended to result in faded images and shiny skin surfaces.
With a backlight on and a medium level light bathing my face, the captured photographs looked great.
The sound quality of this device is impressive, and its video is quite good. For those who work in areas that are not particularly well lit, the eMeet Nova is especially recommended.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Walter Shillington