Webcams have come a long way since remote work made the workspace staple more important than ever. Contemporary models just do so much more compared to the webcams of old (and by old, we mean just three years ago), bringing in elements like lighting correction, subject tracking, and all sorts of other intelligent features. The CA Essential Webcam Flex brings all these same advancements, all while adding some manual adjustments that significantly change the way you can use your webcam.
Most webcams are designed to mount in a fixed manner. You snap them on top of a monitor or screw them onto a desk tripod, then let the software handle the rest. As great as the experience is, it would be nice to have a little more flexibility as far as the webcam’s positioning goes. That’s exactly what this new webcam delivers.
The CA Essential Webcam Flex can mount on top of a monitor with the lens facing the user much like any webcam out there. Except, it also comes with an extendable arm that allows you to move the camera closer to the user by up to 7.5 inches. That’s right, you can physically move the lens much closer to your face whenever it’s needed, eliminating the need to use optical or digital zooming. You can also rotate the camera and the arm along with it a full 360-degrees, so you can have the darn thing facing the wall for a little privacy without having to remove it from its mounted position.
With the arm extended out front, you can also tilt the camera down up to 90 degrees, allowing you to focus on the lens on whatever you have on the desk. That’s right, no need to lift something to show it to the camera – you can now move the camera to show off what’s lying on the desk. Whether you want to demonstrate how to run some shortcut macros on a keyboard, focus on a physical circuit board you made for a lecture, or just show off your Pokemon cards to a friend on the other end, that should make for a useful feature many people can appreciate.
The CA Essential Webcam Flex also allows you to tilt the actual camera and arm assembly, which places the arm in a vertical position, allowing you to put the camera in the middle of your monitor. This can be very useful for folks who want to make a better impression onscreen, as they can look straight at the lens instead of glancing down at the monitor like they normally do, with no need for the corrective software people use these days to mimic this angle.
As for the hardware itself, it’s equipped with a 5MP camera that can record you in 1080p at 30 fps with a 75-degree field of view. It has built-in autofocus and low-light correction, so there are some AI smarts onboard, as well as 5x digital zoom, which you can activate with the press of a button. A pair of omnidirectional mics handle the audio pickup.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the CA Essential Webcam Flex. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $79.