Don’t buy a $1000 webcam – you already have one

Don’t buy a $1000 webcam – you already have one

June 3, 2020 Off By jaykayenn

So recently, I was looking to get some webcams for producing a series of live streaming events, and discovered I wasn’t the only one. In fact, it seems THE WHOLE WORLD is buying webcams like SpaceX stock, because prices right now are just astronomical. Run of the mill Logitech webcams at 720 to 1080P are going for around MYR1000, if you can even find one in stock. 

But then I thought, wait, don’t our phones come with cameras? And the camera on my phone isn’t just 720 or 1080P, it goes all the way to 4K. And it’s also, y’know, a phone, with wifi, and apps. Even flagship phones with excellent cameras from 2-3 years ago can now be had for far less money than webcams today.

So began my journey down the rabbit hole to co-opt dirt-cheap 4K camera phones for webcasting. Turns out, all I need to do is use software like IPCAM or ManyCam to feed video into whatever platform I wanted, like Zoom or YouTube. In fact, as the name ManyCam suggests, I can stream ALL the phones I want and bring out my inner Scorcese without the need for a multi-million dollar budget. Wide shots, portraits, close ups, even macro shots if I wanted to. All without having to give price-gougers a single cent.

At least as far as video is concerned. As for audio, which is often overlooked, that’s a whole other matter for another day.