Most webcams are fixed at the top of the screen which makes you look up and that means you are not really looking directly into the eyes of the viewer for Zoom or other teleconferencing meeting.
The Center Cam is a new webcam that resides in the middle of the screen so your eyeline is centered. The first time I used it that was a big improvement but the image quality was even better. Some time ago my laptop and its built-in webcam had taken a fall which broke the screen. The webcam survived, but my tech who replaced the screen did warn me that the built-in webcam might not look its best. He was right, but it wasn’t terrible so I kept using it to lead my bi-weekly Zoom meetings with my high school class. It seemed alright. Most of my other classmates’ webcams looked about the same or maybe a little better.
With the Center Cam I immediately noticed two things: the color temperature was warmer which made me look warm and approachable; the small focus knob worked so for the first time I was also in sharp focus and with increased resolution.
The Center Cam offers an optional ring light which I bought. It’s only a couple inches in diameter and fits around the cam. It has it’s own built-in power supply which lasts a long time. The pleasing soft light makes me look a lot less like Dracula.
The Center Cam plugs right into a USB port and has it’s own carrying case. The computer recognizes it anytime you are running Zoom or something like it. Now I can choose the old ugly out-of-focus cam or the new one. Hmmm?
Yes, the Center Cam blocks out a tiny bit of the center of the screen, but it is on an adjustable arm so it very easy to move if necessary. Center Cam is one I found on their successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. It’s cost is $115 for the basic package or $135 which includes the ring light with three power settings to make it brighter or dimmer and a soft carry case. Additional options include a wider 52 mm field of view lens, a USB camera switch and more.
The Center Cam might be ideal for use on a teleprompter. And you would not need to use the semi-reflective glass. That alone will make the teleprompter work so much easier. Zoom and other video conferencing packages allow recording, but you can also record these meetings with VLC or Obsproject.
Ian Foster is the inventor. He’s from Utah. He does have his own website for it, but all sales are from the the Indiegogo pages. He has shipped several batches. I am very happy with mine. The next shipping cycle is March 2022.
Center Cam Tech Specs:
-1920x1080p HD camera
-30fps native frame rate –
-Will support WINXP/WIN7/WIN8/WIN10/Linux/Android/MAC
-1/2.7inch lens size
-f2.1, CMOS sensor, 2.0 megapixel
-USB 2.0 interface, (compatible with MAC USB C)
-14mm dia, 48mm total camera length
-6mm, 55 and 65 HFOV degree lens size/aspect options