In times when it is used a lot to work from home via video conferencing, take lessons online and meet friends or relatives via video call, the computer webcam has become essential, which has never been used so much until this year. But while with a smartphone the camera works automatically and does not need many adjustments, the webcam of the laptop or the one connected to the PC may need to be configured correctly. The webcams on laptops are especially not feature-rich; at best they have a good resolution, but beyond that, they are not comparable to an external webcam or the camera of a modern smartphone.
What is surprising is that on a Windows 10 PC there is no control panel for managing the webcam settings (although as we will see there is a hidden menu). It may therefore be useful to have an external program that allows you to change brightness, contrast, and other options to optimize the image captured by the PC camera.
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Change webcam brightness
First of all, at least for the brightness of the image, it is not necessary to install any external program because in Windows 10 there is a way to set it. Precisely, you have to open the Start menu and then search for “Camera” to open the Windows 10 Camera app. There isn’t much you can do here, but you can press the gear key on the top left and activate the Pro Mode. Then close the settings menu and press the second button, from top to bottom, on the left side of the webcam screen. That is the button to increase or decrease the brightness of the image captured by the computer’s camera or webcam.
Adjust contrast and other webcam settings
To change other webcam display settings you would have to act on the command line, which is complicated.
To have more control, however, you need to install an external program called Webcam Settings.
This little free software, absolutely safe, allows you to easily access the hidden settings of Windows 10 to be able to change every adjustment, not just the brightness, but also Contrast (to have a more defined image), Hue (to change color), Saturation (to give more or less emphasis to the colors), Sharpness (to make the webcam less blurry), Range, White balance, Backlight is I earn (to add brightness) and then also advanced settings if supported by the webcam, such as Zoom, Exposure, Aperture, Pan, Tilt and Rotate.
The Webcam Settings program can be downloaded from the developer’s website with a choice between a program to be installed or a program only to be run without installation. By downloading the latter, just extract the zip file in a folder and then run the file WebcamConfigurationTool.exe to open the webcam control panel.
In the program window, you just need to choose the webcam to configure from the drop-down menu at the top. After doing this, the captured image appears on the screen.
Then press the key Settings, you can use the various sliders to change the brightness, contrast, hue, sharpness, etc., previewing how it changes. Once satisfied, you can press OK to save the changes. The new settings will be saved and all programs and apps that can use the webcam, such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Chrome, etc. they will all use the same settings.
Keep in mind that we may not be able to change all the webcam adjustment settings, due to hardware limitations or because the manufacturer has blocked them preventing external software from modifying the basic configuration.
Reset webcam settings
If you need to change the webcam settings again, through the WebCam Settings program, you can press the Settings button at the top and then, in the list of controls, click the button Default which is located at the bottom. All sliders will return to their initial value.
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