This article is a review of the Amcrest 1080p webcam (AWC201-B)
I got this product on Amazon, and now you have a chance to learn more about it.
Note: This is not a sponsored review. I'm not an Amcrest employee, neither a sales representative, so you are about to read my honest opinion about the camera. I earn a small commission if you buy the product on Amazon using my affiliate link, but that does not change the official camera price.
Leet's dive into the product details.
Amcrest webcam overview
The Amcrest 1080P Webcam has a CMOS 1/3 sensor and a 3.6mm lens to capture FullHD video with a 70º field of view. There are a built-in microphone and a mount to put the camera on a laptop or a tripod.
The camera can be connected to a MAC or Windows computer via USB cable, and it's plug and play, which means it works without any extra configuration.
Compatibility: Skype, Youtube, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, Zoom, Windows Live Messager, Gmail, WeChat and other instant messaging applications.
A privacy cover is available in the kit to allow you to block the camera lens.
What is in the box
The box contains the Amcrest webcam, a privacy cover, and a quick guide.
It's pretty simple. Here you have all you need to get started.
Amcrest webcam installation
The camera installation is straightforward.
Just use the articulate arm to place the camera on the top of your laptop.
The picture below shows the details.
You can also use a tripod to install the camera, as shown in the picture below.
There's a 1/4" tread on the mount for tripod installation.
The camera setup
How about the camera setup?
It's super easy my friend...
Just connect the camera USB cable to the computer and it's done.
The computer or laptop immediately recognizes the camera and get it ready to work with your favorite software.
The picture below show the camera on the Windows device manager.
If you want to confirm if the camera is available, just open this device manager.
The Amcrest webcam video quality
The camera video quality is good for conference calls, classes, and meetings and can be used with the most popular software such as Skype and Zoom.
The picture below shows my Amcrest webcam working on Zoom.
I just connected my camera to the USB port, opened Zoom, and it was there 😉
There's a wide-angle lens that allows seeing more of the room.
It's suitable for video calls with more people or to show something in the background. Due to the type of lens used, the face shows up more slim on the camera, but the image gets a little bit darker compared to other cameras.
As a comparison, take a look at the picture below that shows the video from the buit-in camera's laptop working on zoom
As you can see, the Amcrest Webcam has better contrast and shows more shadow details. The image doesn't look flat as the one from the built-in camera.
It's a question of preference, but you can be more creative with the Amcrest webcam by changing the camera and light position to play with the shadows.
With a wider field of view, the edges appear rounded on the video (see the door frame), but that's a principle of optics, and the camera is not the one to blame 😉
The camera audio quality
Audio is essential for conference calls and meetings.
Unfortunately, the audio in this camera is a bit quiet and muffled.
I tested the Amcrest webcam's audio with the (Windows) settings on 100%,
In my opinion, the audio is a little bit quiet but still good enough for video calls.
Play the audio below to listen to a comparison between the Amcrest and the laptop's built-in camera mic. The mics are using the same Windows settings.
Amcrest Webcam's mic: 1 to 18 s
Laptoo built-in mic: 18 to 34 s
The picture below shows the audio wave for the Amcrest camera.
As you can see, the audio peak is -18dB, which is a little bit quiet for conversation.
The audio peak is around -10dB for the laptop's built-in camera, which is good enough for a conversation without clipping the audio.
Even if I shout during a conversation during my tests, both microphones won't clip or distort the audio, but the laptop's built-in mic still gets clearer audio.
If you are camera shy and want some privacy during a chat, it's possible to mute your camera on the software you are using, but sometimes you just forget to do that or are afraid somebody could still see your camera, right? 🙂
OK, you use the camera's cover to block the camera.
It comes in the package, and it's easy to install; just stick it to the camera lens.
Yeah. With the cover, your privacy is 100% protected.
As I said before, the video from the Amcrest webcam has better contrast and allows you to have an overall better video quality as long as you have some way to control the light in the environment.
I had a small issue with my room's lights and got some horizontal black bars rolling in the video. But don't worry, the camera is not the one to blame.
The problem is related to the light frequency which causes this effect on cameras that don't have a flicker elimination feature. I have the same problem with other cameras, and I could solve that by just changing the types of lights I'm using.
The picture below shows the rolling horizontal bars.
Since there's no camera configuration to eliminate the flicker, I changed the room's type of lights, and the problem disappeared.
The Barina LED lights were causing the flicker.
No big deal, however that could happen to other people.
Pros and cons
Every product has pros and cons, right?
Let's just take a look at some of them (my opinion).
OK, let's move to the conclusion...
This Amcrest webcam review helps people better understand the advantages and disadvantages of the camera, and that is what I kept my focus on.
I see Amcrest as a great company that tries to improve each of the products, and this webcam deserves a little bit of improvement.
The question is, "would I buy the Amcrest webcam?"
Yes. I would buy it.
I think this webcam is good enough for its tag price.
If you need a webcam for chats, meetings, and virtual classes, this product is good enough since it's inexpensive and brings the necessary quality for such applications.
Sure there's the issue with the quiet and muffled audio, but if you are not planning to use this camera to film yourself as the next sensation on YouTube, you are OK.
I have a daughter myself, and shes uses an earplug during the classes for the audio, no matter what webcam is available, so.... the audio is not a big deal 😉