Autofocus Vs. Manual Focus Webcam

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Updated July 27, 2022

If you’re looking into the best webcams on the market, you’re probably already familiar with autofocus. This handy webcam software lets your camera track your movements and keeps your video smoother. If you’re in the market for a new model, comparing an autofocus vs a manual focus webcam will help you decide which one is best for your needs.


  • Even a decent webcam will struggle to keep up with movement if it doesn’t have the ability to autofocus on a subject.
  • Autofocus is the best option for those with great lighting that will be moving around a lot and want a smooth video.
  • Manual focus is better for any situation with low lighting, and you’re going to be relatively stationary.

Webcams: Manual Focus vs Autofocus

Knowing how to choose a webcam is crucial in the modern age, especially if you want to participate in Zoom meetings, video calls, or even streaming. Therefore, it’s important to compare the different types of webcams available, such as a wide-angle vs a normal webcam, when purchasing a new model to find the best fit and learn more about the features they offer.

Insider Tip

Some webcam models allow you to turn autofocus on or off by adjusting the video settings.

Lighting Conditions

When it comes to video, the visibility of content matters above all. An autofocus webcam has trouble honing in on the subject if the lighting is less than perfect. As a result, the manual focus webcam wins this round because you’ll be able to control the sharpness of the image regardless of lighting.

Smooth Video

If you have flattering lighting and want an overall higher quality video, the autofocus model will yield the best results. It’s just like when you’re comparing a webcam vs a phone camera; one will produce better image quality than the other.


If you want a webcam to create streaming content or high-quality video, budget models may not provide everything you need.

Extra Features

Premium webcams always come with more options for customization than their inexpensive counterparts. If you’re looking for the best webcams for YouTube or another content-sharing website, having those features can make or break your account. In this case, more expensive models have the autofocus feature and provide more webcam settings.

STAT: Two-thirds of students in Poland used a laptop during online school activities in 2020. (source)

Webcams: Auto Focus vs Manual Focus FAQs

How can I eliminate background noise?

There are a few things you can do to avoid unwanted ambient noise, such as moving to a quieter location, closing your windows, using an external microphone, and using noise reduction technology.

How can I improve my webcam security?

One of the best things you can do is invest in a privacy shutter. A privacy shutter can be placed over your standalone webcam lens so that you know it isn’t spying on you while you aren’t using it.

Are built-in webcams good quality?

Unfortunately, built-in models don’t have the same quality as standalone options. One big reason is that their image sensor is much smaller, so the built-in version has a harder time producing details.

Are high-end webcams worth it?

While an expensive webcam might seem like a significant investment, they have far better color accuracy than cheaper models, produce more detailed images, and allow a seamless video recording experience. So, if these are things you consider important, the extra cost is certainly worth it.
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