Graham Donald can’t recall using the built-in camera on his laptop for business purposes before the pandemic.
That changed suddenly in early 2020, when Donald’s company, Brainstorm Strategy Group — a student recruitment consulting and training company based in Ontario, Canada — pivoted from in-person events to online webinars. He soon realized that the built-in camera on his laptop wasn’t up to the task.
Donald, who hosted 20 individual webinars and online conferences in the first four months of the pandemic, says his biggest concerns were sound quality, lighting, and camera quality. “All three of those things had to come from something external from my computer to get it to where I wanted it to be,” he says, noting that he purchased peripheral devices, including an external webcam, to get the quality he needed.
From staying connected to family and friends to distance learning and remote work, the cameras built into our computers have taken on new significance in the past two years. Pixelated or grainy images aren’t just an annoyance anymore — they can have a negative impact on how colleagues and clients perceive you, how effectively your kids learn from home, and how close you feel to a faraway friend or family member.