How to Narrow a Webcam View

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Updated August 24, 2022

In the age of live-streaming, YouTube content, and online gaming, the role webcams play in the lives of consumers and producers continues to increase. Unfortunately, content creators often look far and wide for the best webcams, only to face issues once they’re up and running. If you want your audience to focus more on you and less on your environment, let’s take a look at how to narrow a webcam view.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Webcam frames can either be cropped or adjusted to narrow the viewing angle.
  • Specific streaming software lets users crop views to match various green screen or profile background sizes.
  • Many web conferencing platforms and streaming software have settings where users can change their webcam’s viewing angle.

You might also consider learning how to make a webcam border if you’re a YouTube creator

Insider Tip

For those who know they won’t need to capture wide-angle shots, there are dedicated webcams specializing in a narrow view, such as the Logitech Brio.

How to Narrow the Screen for a Webcam

Manipulating your webcam view is vital to creating an outstanding video feed and attracting audiences. Unfortunately, after figuring out how to record video on a webcam, many users realize that the frame is too large and particular parts need to be cropped out or zoomed in, such as when learning how to take a picture with a webcam. While it might sound confusing, understanding how to fix a webcam to get the perfect view is very easy. 

Crop Your Webcam View

One handy feature to help narrow your video stream for those using systems like OBS is to crop it. Once you have the webcam source selected, all you have to do is hold down the ALT key (or Option on a Mac) and click on one of the dots surrounding the video frame. Then, you can drag it until you’ve cropped out the parts you want. If you’re looking for the exact dimensions, you can enter them into the OBS settings and input the size manually. 

Change Your Webcam Angle

Changing the webcam angle is possible for any average webcam. Whether you use a program such as Skype or Zoom or have software unique to the webcam manufacturer, enter into the general settings and set the viewing angle to around 60mm. You can also rotate the camera view, turning the picture into a vertical shot rather than a horizontal viewing angle. 

Warning

For many budget webcams, cropping or adjusting the camera angle reduces the overall image quality.

Additionally, you can adjust the aspect ratio within the webcam settings. For example, if you want a more narrow view, enter your webcam settings and change the aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3.

STAT: Any camera with a focal length below 35mm is considered a wide angled lens. (source)

How to Narrow a Webcam View FAQs

Do webcams work on both laptop and desktop computers?

Most webcams are compatible with both laptop and desktop computers. However, checking to ensure that your computer and webcam manufacturer has compatible software systems is always good.

What is the best placement angle for a webcam?

Videographers say that the best position for a webcam is right above eye level, so it points downward slightly.

Is having a webcam with a high resolution a guarantee premium webcam footage?

While the resolution is essential for high-quality video, a webcam's quality depends on how good the auto-focus is.
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