Video calls are not going away like lockdowns and bad haircuts, so investing in a good webcam makes sense. This doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive one out there as I discovered while testing the ‘Red Dot’ and ‘iF Product Design’ award-winning Ausdom AW651 2K HDR Webcam.
The Ausdom AW651 is a stylish webcam that can be mounted on your desk via the supplied tripod or it can be hung over the top of your monitor.
The classic all-black design features microphones on either side of the camera which is right in the centre of the unit. On the top is a physical slider that when pushed to the left will completely cover the camera to ensure you have guaranteed privacy. A blue LED will light up when the camera is active so you’ll always know when it’s live.
The mechanism upon which the camera is mounted allows for swivel and tilt but if you mount it to the supplied mini tripod you get even more flexibility. The latter has extendable legs that work great on a desktop but I found I needed to fully extend the legs and tilting base to get the maximum height for the best angle for face-to-face meetings.
The camera features autofocus which is a little slow and tends to ‘bounce’ when finding focus but if it’s fixed on your face it does an excellent job of keeping you in focus. It also works well for focusing on products you may want to display on camera. It has a short minimum focus of up to a few centimetres away from the camera which is excellent for showing detail.
The camera features High Dynamic Range (HDR), which works well most of the time to ensure your face isn’t a silhouette, but I did find that at times, under certain lighting conditions, it would make my face too flat with little contrast and lacking in depth. As most of us have learned, lighting is key to achieving a good look on camera and HDR can only help but not do miracles in bad lighting.
The AW651 also features up to QHD 2K with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 at 30fps or 1080p at 60 fps with a five megapixels sensor. You can toggle between views via an ‘M’ button on the back of the camera going from wide-angle to a closer view.
The dual omnidirectional microphones come with built-in noise cancellation that can filter out background noise, thereby improving the quality of your voice without all the distractions of what might be happening elsewhere in the house.