For some, Zoom may be bridging a gap during the early days of the pandemic. For others, it is now a way of life.
If you find yourself in the latter camp, there are some very simple but effective settings you can tweak to make sure the video you send to all of your co-workers, friends, and family looks its best.
Most of the controls you’ll need are in the Settings > Video section of the Zoom desktop app for Windows and Mac, which you can access by opening the app and clicking the gear icon in the upper-right corner.
Make sure you play HD video
There is a good chance that your webcam will be able to handle HD video. But if Zoom’s HD setting isn’t turned on, you won’t get the most out of your camera.
Head to the Settings > Video section and make sure the HD box is checked. It’s located just below the camera selector.
Adjust low light
Of all the tweaks here, the low light setting is arguably the most positive change you can make. The necessary setting is located in the Settings > Video section under the title of my video.
Make sure to check the box, then if you find that your preview image is either too bright or not bright enough, you can use the dropdown menu next to the feature to set it to manual mode. Play around with it a bit to get it just the way you want it to be.
improve your look
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having some wrinkles and laugh lines. But as for the recording, Zoom has a “Touch up my Shape” setting that smooths it out. You’ll find it above the Low Light setting in Settings > Video section of My Video.
There is a slider that lets you experiment with the amount of touch, so play with it a bit. Be careful, though: If you get too aggressive, you could end up looking like a wax figure from Madame Tussauds.
Buy the best camera
If you’ve modified the above settings and are still not satisfied, it’s time to consider buying a new camera, especially if you’re using a compact laptop camera. Standalone webcams can provide better quality, and mounting a webcam on a tripod allows you to frame yourself in a more pleasing manner. (Try placing the camera relatively high and pointing it slightly downward on your face.)
There is no shortage of decent webcams available for under $100 –This is a Logitech one It’s very popular—but it’s important to note that the zoom feature beats standard HD (1280 x 720) at 30 fps. So, when you’re shopping, it’s not necessary at this point to spend $150 to $200 on a 4K capable webcam unless you’re going to use it for non-zoom things like live streaming of games or offline recording in general.
However, there’s nothing wrong with a little scrutiny ahead: a 4K webcam just won’t do it Not Work with Zoom. And you never know what the app might support in the future.