Small devices can offer great hardware performance. AnkerWork has hit the mark with its PowerConf C300 Webcam.
This webcam, primarily aimed at businesses users, is a great replacement for the standard camera found on most laptops. Zoom Certified’s dual stereo mics and low-light capabilities are impressive, making it a valuable home office upgrade.
PowerConf C300 is compatible with any computer, and no software or special setup is needed. AnkerWork’s website offers support software that allows you to customize settings. But many of the adjustments are not needed for most office video conference needs.
The black, tiny structure can be used to cover a low-resolution camera on a laptop or sit atop an oversized desktop monitor. It is perfect for single-user or small-group conferences.
PowerConf C300 Webcam offers premium service for a low price of $99.99.
Lightweight and powerful performance
The C300 does not require an external power supply as it is powered by the computer attached. Only one USB-C connector is required, which can be connected directly to the computer USB port via a hub/adapter or directly into its USB port.
The two microphones on board this small device allow it to collect voice input. The video image has a sharp, bright quality and doesn’t require manual adjustment through software or the device controls.
The video quality was excellent. The conference partners were able to see sharp images even with the window blinds in my office closed and bright overhead light dimmed.
The 1080p produces images that are clear and have sharply defined colours. (Photo by the Author)
In small offices, the dual microphone array is a great option. In large conference rooms, a speakerphone with a dedicated microphone is the best option to ensure maximum voice clarity.
Webcams do not have speakers built in, so if you don’t use a speakerphone, or any other external sound device to output audio, it will be the computer’s own speaker system. It could be a problem for laptops or lower-end desktops.
Ideal Fields of View
This webcam was introduced in 2021 and had one of the largest fields of view in a model priced for consumers. It captured a 115 degree field of vision (FOV). This is a far superior capability to many of the webcams available today, for either business or home use.
As an example, FOVs 60 degrees can capture a person sitting infront of a computer. Two people can be captured facing a camera mounted on a computer screen at 78 degrees. A whiteboard, or a table with a number of people at it, can be seen clearly by using an FOV of about 90 degrees.
Comparatively, a field of view that is ideal for streaming purposes should be at least 78°. With its adjustable FOV, the C300 offers users a great deal of flexibility.
With a fixed digital lens, its sharp 1080p video camera can capture at 30 or even 60 frames per second in 720p or 360p. Auto Frame mode keeps you in the shot even if your movements or animations are erratic during conference calls.
AI is behind some of the best automatic features. These range from frame adjustments to colour correction. Self-frame maintains your head in the center of the screen while you move. Auto-frame adjusts its frame when it detects more than one person on screen.
The webcam also offers HDR, which adjusts the contrast between lightest and darkest areas of an image. It also has an anti-flicker function to reduce flickering when recording in artificial lighting.
The PowerConf C300 is equipped with an automatic white-balance feature that adjusts the color balance automatically, giving you true-to life colors and skin tones.
Compelling Compact Design
The shape and size of webcams are determined by the features they contain. PowerConf defies this strategy, relying instead on artificial intelligence in order to pack a lot of digital controls into a simple rectangular black box.
(Image Credit: AnkerWork)
A pair of microphone pinholes are located at the ends of the center lens. An LED on the right side of the lens indicates when the camera is in use. A single USB-C connector is located on the rear of the casing.
The webcam can be attached to a laptop or monitor screen using a black hinged clip. It can also sit on a flat surface nearby. Instead, you can screw in a small tripod.
When the webcam’s not in use, a removable plastic cover covers the lens to provide additional security. (Photo by the Author)
The removable plastic cover is one of the best features. It allows you to easily cover the lens and add extra security when the camera is not being used. As a matter of fact, the webcam comes with a second identical piece as a replacement.
Add-ons for software that are useful
Although I mainly used this webcam on Linux and Chromebook computers, Anker only supports — at least with its software enablement package — Windows and macOS. This webcam does work on Chromebooks.
Anker products have always worked for me on Chromebooks of all types. Anker’s product documentation has not yet made this information public. Chromebooks have a single limitation: they cannot run any software-based additional features or adjustments.
The manufacturer would do well to create supporting software for Linux or ChromeOS as they would attract more customers with their superior products.
Some of the features are already working on their own. The software download allows access to all settings customized, such as those for the display, field of vision, and firmware upgrades.
With just a single click, you can switch between Custom, Personal Live Streamer and Conference Room modes.
The AnkerWork PowerConf C300 Webcam delivers exceptional performance in an elegant plastic shell.
You can start teleconferencing as soon as you open the box and plug in the USB cord. This product is very user-friendly and affordable.
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