With video becoming all-pervasive, I thought it about time I upgraded my camera equipment. It turned out to be a remarkably easy and affordable exercise.

Of course I have Webcams already, built into a couple of notebooks, plus an IP surveillance camera and the usual handheld cameras to capture family moments. Even a tiny camera that fits on top of a helmet for action sports shots! However, they're all pretty low quality (especially the hat-cam!) so I thought it about time I got into HD, starting with a webcam for my main desktop PC.

As it turned out there  were plenty to choose from, and prices were far from prohibitive. Not quite as cheap as chips, at least not yet, but for well under £100 I found products from leading vendors including Logitech and Microsoft, all with very impressive specifications.

Don't treat this as a product endorsement, but in the end I plumped for a wide screen Logitech camera capable of recording 1080p which, for a shade under £60 was soon winging its way to my front door.

Related:

It duly arrived and took around 10 minutes to install, most of that time being taken up with downloading drivers to work with 64-bit Windows 7. It also came with some nice video capture software, plus tools to upload still shots and video direct to Facebook and other social media services.

The picture quality is great, the auto-focus works well and I was pleased to find the camera automatically configured for use with Skype, even if most of the people I call only have low res equipment at their end. I just wish that getting to use it with the new Facebook video calling option was as easy, but that's something I'll leave for another post.

This article is written by Alan Stevens and sponsored by Avaya. The opinions reflected in this piece are solely those of Alan Stevens and may not reflect those of Avaya management