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How To IMPROVE Your Webcam Quality: ULTIMATE GUIDE

March 26, 2020


– Let’s say that you just
picked up a brand new Logitech webcam because you want to improve the production quality of your livestream. Maybe you picked up the
ever popular Logitech C920 or the 4K Logitech BRIO or maybe even the brand
new Logitech StreamCam that I reviewed last month. You’re excited. You open the box. You mount on top of your monitor and add it into your streaming software just to be left with a
feeling of disappointment because it doesn’t look anything like what you thought it would do. Well, fear not my streaming friends because in this video we’ll be showing you exactly how
you can take your webcam from looking like this, to looking like this, and we’ll be going through
all of the improvements that you can make to fix things like low frame rate, pulsing auto-focus, over or under exposure, white balance, washed-out or just strange looking colors, and finally, maybe most importantly, how you can actually save these settings so you don’t need to reset them every single time you restart your pc. (Techno Music) Just before we get started, I want to give a quick shout-out to the sponsor of this video, Nerd or Die, who have just released
their new stream pack called Grid, a minimal impact stream
package influenced by street west style graphic design. It features a clean look with bold typography that’s available in both Korean and English translations with overlays, webcam
frames, stinger transitions, LUTs, and so much more. It contains everything
you need for your stream and as part of Nerd or Die
supercharge collection, You can install it with OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, or stream elements in just a few clicks. Check it out and get 10 percent off using the link in the description. Okay, so right now you’re looking at the image of the Sony A64 100. But I’ve just put in my Logitech BRIO so let’s add it as a source in OBS. It’s got the same
process in Streamlabs OBS and that’s exactly how it looks. So, let’s come down to our sources list. Click add video capture device. I’m going to call this BRIO. Click okay and it should find the device and as you can see, straight off the bat, horrible image, wrong resolution. Sometimes, you’ll see these colors improve over time because it’s using
the auto white balance. So, very very red now, but I wouldn’t be surprised
if in the next 30 seconds, it starts to slowly adjust and get my skin tones a
little bit more correct, but this is the exact problem, right. Default settings out of the box. You want to repackage up
this up this Logitech BRIO or whatever camera you’ve got and send it back for a full refund ‘cuz it just looks awful, but hold your horses. We can fix it. So, what we’re going
to do is right click on our source and go to properties, which is going to bring
up the camera properties and the first thing that
we’re going to fix is this resolution and frame rate. You can see now that the color’s slightly getting better as the auto
adjustments are coming in, but it’s still 4 by 3 and it’s not using the right frame rate. So, the first thing we want to do is resolution/FPS type. We want to change that to custom. Now we’re going to loose
our preview just because we haven’t got our resolution set. I’m going to set mine to 1920 by 1080. You should see now. We get this 16 by 9 frame fully filled. Now the BRIO, as well as
some other webcams can actually run at 4K and I want to quickly mention why would you want to run
your camera at a higher resolution and why you
would want to run it at a lower resolution. So first at higher resolution
is going to require more processing power
from your computer to actually downscale that
for your stream and encode it so it goes off to Twitch or whatever you’re streaming to. So, if you’re running at
4K and you only have your webcam in the bottom
corner of your gameplay and it’s very small, that’s probably a waste of resources. The real reason you want
to use a higher resolution, is if you’re doing things
like punching into your image and running a full screen webcam to maybe emphasize a point that
you’re making on a stream. If you run that at a higher resolution when you punch in, you
actually won’t loose any detail because
you’re still technically, at least pixel to pixel ratio. Whereas if you are running
your webcam at say 720p and you’re streaming at 1080p and you punch in, then obviously you’re
loosing some details. So, there’s a benefit and
a cost to running at a higher resolution. If you’re not sure, I would just run your webcam at 1080p. It may only go up to 1080p if you’re using something like the C920 anyway. Now for FPS you can choose to actually dial this in exactly if you know what FPS you want to get out of your webcam or you can just select
to run it at the highest FPS possible, which is
coming out of your camera. For me, I’m going to do 1080p 60. So once that refreshes you can see we now have a nice and
smooth 60 FPS stream. For video format, usually webcams only have
one or two options for this. This is just the compression
type that is being used. As you can see the BRIO
and, I believe, the C920 both use MJPEG, which is motion JPEG, so essentially just a
lot of different JPEG’s strung together in a video format, but if you do have more than one option, it’s sometimes worth just selecting and trying them both out or
all three of them out and seeing which one
performs the best for you. Sometimes they’ll run
a really uncompressed video format, which means you
get a very low frame rate. So just try them out
and see which one looks the best in your opinion. Similarly, for color space, there’s a few different options, usually 709 or 601. Try them both out and see which one looks
better in your opinion. Lastly, for color range, I’d recommend setting this at full so you get the full amount of colors available from your camera. There’s not usually a
massive difference between full and partial, but I would recommend setting it at full. You can leave everything else as it is and just click okay to return back to your stream preview. Okay, so we are looking slightly better, but the colors still look pretty awful and you can see that
overtime I’m slowly getting more and more natural as the BRIO is slowly adjusting to be more
natural to my skin tones, but still there is definitely some work we want to do and the first ever advice I’ll
give you is to do with lights. Webcams typically have
extremely small sensors so the more light that
you can get on yourself, the better quality and
the higher frame rate that your webcam is going
to be able to run at. Now, I’m not saying you
need to necessarily go out and spend loads on money on something like the Elgato key lights because I do realize
that they’re expensive and you know soft boxes
aren’t great either because they take up a lot of room and not everybody has an
infinite amount of room to be able to pull their desk back and put a big light behind, but even something really cheap. I think I paid about 25
pounds or 30 dollars for this light from Amazon or you can get some
slightly bigger ones from companies like Neewer, but some LED panels from
Amazon can be really cheap and make a massive
difference to your webcam because it just allows you to
light yourself much better. Separate yourself from the background and then give your webcam
a much greater opportunity to be able to run at its full spec. Another tip is that you
want to be lighting yourself more brightly than you
do for your background so if you do things like close the blinds, like I’ve done here, turn
off any lights that you have in the rest of your room, and make sure the light
really is brightest on yourself, on your subject. Darker in the background. That again is going to help
your webcam be able to focus on you as the subject. Right so presuming that we
have some sort of lighting set up sorted, we can actually jump
into the webcam settings and try and fix some of these colors. So how you would usually
do that is, again, right click on this source. Click properties and open up
this configure video window, and I know a lot of you
have seen this window far too much because
typically what happens with some of the Logitech cameras is that you can play around with
all the setting in here. Adjust them. Get it looking exactly as you want to and when it comes to
you restarting your pc or starting it up the
next day for your stream, all of these settings have
reset back to their default values which is infuriating
and I understand people’s point of view
of why they don’t want to go around playing with their settings when they have to do it
every single time that they start their stream. Well, the good news is
I believe I have found some kind of a fix to this where you can use a separate
program from Logitech called Logitech capture. It doesn’t have quite as many settings as this properties window does, but it does save the settings
between reboot cycles so you don’t have to
go in and adjust all of your settings every
time you want to stream. You can download Logitech capture software for free from Logitech’s website. I will include a link for
sure down in the description below the like button. So if you want to download this, it’s a much better way
of being able to set up your webcam settings. Once that’s downloaded and installed, you’ll probably see a window like this with a big box saying the BRIO 4K, which is the one that I’ve
selected, is not available. That’s just because we’ve
already got OBS open. So, if we head back to OBS
and just close it down, we should then get the preview of dating in Logitech capture to
show our camera that we’ve selected which for me is the BRIO 4K, but it might be C920 for you or it might be the StreamCam. So let’s work through these settings from top to bottom. First thing, like I said,
make sure that you have the right source selected, so the actual camera that
you’re wanting to customize and you’ll be able to see the preview. Make sure the preset is set to custom. That just allows you
to actually change the settings down here rather
than use some of the defaults that they’ve already got set up for you. The next option we get is the priority. You want to prioritize the
frame rate or the exposure and this can be useful if your lighting is going to change a lot. Let’s say you’re streaming
in an open environment where, you know, windows
are letting in a lot of different light. You can set this to prioritize
exposure at the cost of frame rate, but typically I would recommend selecting frame rate here which means we get a nice consistent frame rate for
the BRIO that is 60 frames per second or it might
be 30 frames per second depending on how you got it set up, but it should be consistent and it won’t prioritize the exposure. Next, depending on the kind
of camera that you have plugged in, you have some
options for the field of view and HDR. The BRIO, you can actually
go from 65 degree field of view up to 90 degrees and select HDR mode, which
doesn’t really seem to do much in my opinion, but other cameras, I don’t
think have these two options. So the next option we really
care about is auto focus. Now, this sounds like
a feature in practice. It obviously keeps you in
focus even though you move around or if you hold
something up to your camera, but it comes with a couple of caveats. Firstly, auto focus
obviously needs some type of processing part because
it’s always going to try and keep you in focus. And secondly, one cameras,
older cameras specifically, like the C920, when you
have auto focus enabled, quite often do that
focus hunting thing where it sort of warps in and out of your face and looks like it’s trying to find focus. Newer cameras, like the
BRIO and the StreamCam, don’t seem to do this quite as much so you can leave auto focus on especially if you’re going to be moving around a lot or holding something up to the camera if you’re like reviewing
a product or something like that, but if you can get away
with disabling auto focus and just setting the focus manually because you don’t move around a lot, that will save you a
little bit of power on the Logitech webcams and obviously will mean you don’t get that focus hunting. Okay, so next we have auto white balance, which has kind of been the bane of my life for the last few days whilst I’ve been writing this video. The difficulty that webcams
have with auto white balance is that you’re
usually in front of your computer monitor which
makes a sort of blue light and the auto white balance
will even show that blue light and kind of make
you look a bit zombie like or it’ll overcompensate
and just end up showing you super red or orange, a much too warm in the
white balance looking like you’ve been out in the sun for too long. So, really when I was scripting this video and originally planning it, I wanted to tell you guys to
disable auto white balance. Come in here and pick the
exact setting that you need to give you a correctly exposed image to make sure that your
skin tones look natural in terms of white balance, but what I found in my testing is that depending on the webcam that you’re using, if you disable this, it can be really difficult to dial in an exact number that looks natural compared to the auto setting. So, you can see here
that I’m kind of close, but as soon as I enable
auto white balance, and give it some time to adjust again, it just gives me a color that I can’t seem to find on the slider. It’s really strange and
it’s partly the reason why I just hate webcam software so much. It seems that some
settings are hidden behind these automatic levels
and you can’t access them through manual controls. What I can tell you is that in my testing, I found that for the Logitech StreamCam, the newest camera, auto white balance seems to work quite well. For the C920, I found
that setting the white balance manually works quite well, but for the BRIO, it just- it’s really confusing me because in the review video
that I did for the StreamCam, the BRIO seemed to have
just, by far, the worst colors on auto settings
and so I definitely thought I was going to
be doing manual settings for the BRIO, but upon testing
the last couple of days, I can’t seem to reproduce
this color that I’m getting right now, which is quite close to what my natural skin tone is without
using auto white balance. So, for BRIO, honestly it seems to be sometimes you need it
and sometimes you don’t, which I know isn’t helpful, but it’s just- that is
how inconsistent this software is. So, what is my advice
actually for you when you’re setting this up? What I would do is I would
enable auto white balance if it looks fairly accurate
to the skin tone you have. If not, you can disable it. Try and play around with
the white balance slider and make sure that you
can dial in something that looks a little bit more accurate, but you’ve just got to experiment and play around for yourselves. So next we have the image settings. This just allows you to
fine tune things like the brightness, contrast,
sharpness, and saturation of the current image. So, hopefully you won’t
have to do too much adjusting here, but it does allow you to have a bit more granular control if you
do want to adjust things. So I’m just going to lower my
brightness ever so slightly. Maybe, just bump the contrast a tiny bit. Bump the sharpness a tiny bit, then I’m going to leave
saturation at default because we’re actually
going to be fixing the saturation and making
the image look a lot more cinematic when we get back
into our streaming software so I don’t need to do that here. The last thing that we need to do just in the Logitech capture software is set the anti-flicker rate. So this is the frequency
of your power lines in the country that you live in. So typically for the
UK, for Europe, and for Australia, this is 50 Hertz and for America, Canada,
and, I believe, Japan, this is 60 Hertz. So just make sure that
you’ve set this correctly and it will stop the
lights that you have in your house or your LED background lights from flickering in your webcam image. So back in our streaming software, you can see that our webcam
is looking quite a lot cleaner now, but the last step that we’re going to do is to add a filter or a LUT, which is going to make
our image look a lot more cinematic and this is really
where you’re going to see the biggest difference
in your webcam footage. So, what a filter or
LUT is, is it’s really similar to those that you
get on apps like Instagram, where you can basically
change the colors and the look of an image
basically from applying a certain type of filter
and then choosing how high of a percentage of that filter you want to apply to the image. So, maybe a year and a half ago, I released a pack of 30
free LUTs for streaming software like OBS and
Streamlabs OBS that you can apply to your webcam and they come in all
different kinds of colors, so really I hopefully
have created enough of a variation that no matter
how your webcam image looks, you’ll find one that really works for you. So, I’ll show you how to do that here. If you right click on your webcam source and go to filters, and in the bottom section
here we have effect filters. You want to click plus and apply a LUT. Now you can name this LUT if you want to. I’m just going to leave it as ApplyLUT and then you need to browse the path. So, I will leave links in the description, the links of a website
where you can download my pack of 30 for your LUTs. All you need to do is unzip them. Leave them somewhere on your computer where they’ll always be and then browse through that path and then choose which LUT it is that you want. So, you can see here OBS
comes with some default looks. I’m just going to go to the
path where all my looks are created and really what
you should be doing is opening one, seeing how it looks. Seeing if it’s right for you
and then opening the next one and choosing one based like that. I already know that this
Cain one looks quite good so I’m going to apply that. You can see instantly
the LUT has been applied. If I drag this over, you can see it in the full screen preview. Now this is running at 100 percent so it might be a bit too heavy
of a LUT for some people. You can see the difference
if I took this eye icon. This is without a LUT and this is with one. So, I think it’s a bit too high for me. I’m going to move it
down to say 65 percent or something like that. You can see how much of
a difference that makes. It just makes the image
look a little bit more professional and more cinematic and like I said, there’s
30 different LUTs in there so you can go through. Make sure that you are
changing the browser path. Apply a different one each time and find one that really suits
your camera and your look. One last thing to know is that obviously, the whole point of this
Logitech capture software is that you didn’t need
to go in and dive into the setting and change them
every single time that you restart your computer, but one thing that you do need to do is, you usually need to launch
the Logitech capture software and then as
soon as it’s launched, you can close it again. It will then apply the
settings that you have saved for your Logitech webcam and then it’s going to be accessible
in your streaming software system. Sometimes you just need to
launch Logitech capture, so it forces those settings on the camera and then you can close it and run your stream as normal. Hopefully you guys have
found this video helpful and you have now gotten
much better image out of your webcam. Do share your results with me over on Instagram or Twitter or Discord. Just send me a screenshot
of what your webcam is looking like now and which LUT filter you ended up using. Also, if you’re not already, why not hop into the
Gaming Careers Discord where we have a whole heap of people who are content creators and streamers and they’re discussing this
kind of thing all day long. So I’ll leave a link to
that in the top of the description as well. As always, a massive
thank you to the patrons this month who have
supported the Gaming Careers channel and I will catch
you guys in the next video. Peace. There’s a way to like triple stand these. The stream cam. The ultimate stream cam. 25 megapixels. Okay. I’m done

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