Amcrest 5-Megapixel Webcam
Amcrest 5 MP Webcam (AWC5100)
Very excited to get the new Amcrest 5MP Webcam (AWC5100). For the past few months, I've been using a lot more Skype and Zoom video meetings. Usually I would be using my Macbook Pro’s builtin HD camera. But the quality is fine - 720p. I was looking for a better quality camera. Then I saw the 5 MP webcam from Amcrest, and at a reasonable retail price, I just had to order it.
Upon receiving the webcam, the packaging and protection of the webcam is excellent. The webcam is protected in a plastic molding. Comes with a long USB cable, I believe over 6ft. More than enough for my purpose, but the longer the better. Plugged into my PC or Macbook Pro, and both picked it up right away. No issues at all.
Attached 2 screenshots using Zoom on my Macbook Pro. First photo is from the Amcrest webcam. Second is from the builtin HD camera. As you can see, the quality from the Amcrest webcam is much better. Color is more vibrant and accurate. The builtin HD camera is a bit wider though.
Macbook Pro HD camera screenshot:
This webcam has a builtin dual microphone. Tested on a zoom meeting and users felt it wasn’t as clear as my builtin microphone. I then tested on a Skype video call and the audio was fine. Tried on several other occasions and seems to be the same situation. So I think it’s more of a software issue than the Amcrest dual microphone.
The main problem most people will have is the auto focus. This webcam has an auto focus feature and it’s both good and bad. The good is, it’s auto focus. You don’t need to manually turn the knob around the camera lens. The bad is, it’s also auto focus. By default, the focus is on automatic. When you use any camera software, it will constantly try to find the subject and adjust the focus on. That is the definition of auto focus. But the problem is, any slight movement, the camera refocuses again. So while you’re on a video call, and any slight movement you have, the camera refocuses. When it refocuses, it readjusts it’s lens therefore it goes from a blur image to clear. Very soon, this continuous refocusing turns your video call into a distraction.
On the PC, I was able to find a solution. Using the builtin Microsoft camera app, it allows the camera to be manually focused. Once you’ve adjusted the focal length, you can then use any other software like Zoom or Skype and the camera will stay focused. As for OSX, I haven’t found any builtin app that can manually adjust the focus. There are some paid apps that would have this feature, but I haven’t tried.
For my usage, I’m normally sitting at the same spot and don’t move my computer or myself. Therefore once I’ve adjusted the focus issue, I don’t have to worry or need to adjust anything anymore. If your usage requires you to have a lot of range of motion, then the focusing issue might be a problem.
The Amcrest webcam is not perfect. Yes the focusing issue is very annoying. But once manually adjusted, the camera works great. No issues on compatibility. The image quality is exactly what I was looking for. Hopefully in the future they might have a firmware update to address the focus issue. But for now, I’m happy with the camera quality and will continue to use it on the video calls.