Center Cam Review

Center Cam
Company: Center Cam
Type: USB Webcam
MSRP: $119.99

The internet has provided us ways of connecting with people that simply didn’t exist in the past. For those of you who have never lived in a world without the internet, first of all, congratulations on the fact that your back doesn’t hurt all the time, but you’ve also never experienced a world where, when someone moved away, a phone call or letter were the only ways to connect with them. Now you have video chat.

We even live in a world now where working from home has become possible and you can be among your colleagues from the comfort of your own desk. The one thing that you still lose compared to an in-person encounter, however, is the fact that you aren’t looking each other in the eye.  

Center Cam

Ian Foster, the CEO of Center Cam who, as COVID-19 hit, was doing an internship as a counsellor, noticed a drop-off in engagement as he was participating in counselling sessions. He came up with the notion that a small camera in the centre of the screen could bring back the eye contact missing from in-person interactions. He found the smallest USB webcam that he could find (a security camera) and, with the help of duct tape and a zip tie, created the first prototype for Center Cam, the webcam designed to bring personal connection back to remote meetings. 

“Center Cam setup was incredibly easy, only requiring you to find the right spot to mount to your monitor, run the cable through the rings of the clamp and plug it into your computer.”

The package consists of the Center Cam, attached to a long flextube, through which the usb cable connected to the camera travels and a clamp to attach the camera to your monitor. The camera body has ridges, acting as a passive heatsink to keep the camera cool in the absence of an active heatsink which would have necessitated a larger camera. 

Center Cam Review

Center Cam setup was incredibly easy, only requiring you to find the right spot to mount to your monitor, run the cable through the rings of the clamp and plug it into your computer. There is no need for software to control the webcam. You just add it as your video input device on your program of choice (Zoom, Teams, etc.) and you are good to go.  Video Quality is decent given the small size of the sensor on the camera. You aren’t getting the quality of a gaming webcam, but you will look better than the average laptop webcam. 

Having the Center Cam directly on your screen takes a little getting used to, but the camera itself is small enough to not be considered too burdensome. When placed correctly on your monitor, people will see you looking right at them both when you are talking and when they are.  

What’s more is that having the camera directly on the monitor effectively turns your monitor into a teleprompter when giving presentations. You can look like you have the information down pat while keeping your eyes on that audience, allowing you to look confident as you present to your audience. 

Center Cam

Beyond just work, using Center Cam to connect to loved ones is a wonderful thing. Looking each other in the eyes rather than the cheekbones or nose due to them staring off at their webcam is a pretty nice gift when you are talking to them from long distances. 

You can get the Center Cam for $119.99 USD, or upgrade to the deluxe package, which includes a mini ring light and a soft carrying case for $139.99 USD. It’s more expensive than a lower end gaming webcam, but taking into account that this camera isn’t meant for the gaming market and its true value is in the fact that it is the only camera on the market that does what it does. 

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE

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