Do Attorneys Need an External Camera and Microphone for Professional Video Conferencing?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Attorneys are held to higher standards than most in regard to expectations for professionalism; this has become particularly problematic in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with more and more clients seeking legal help and representation via the internet. While an attorney might be highly skilled at conducting themselves with evident professionalism in a brick-and-mortar law firm, communicating professionalism via a virtual environment is a whole different ball game. One of the best ways an attorney can stand out as exceptionally professional and more virtually competent than others in their field is by producing top-tier video content and video calls.
The built-in cameras and microphones on most computers are woefully inadequate.
While the instinctual assumption regarding the cameras and microphones built into a professional desktop or laptop computer is that they should be useful for professional purposes, this really isn’t the case. While the built-in audio/visual gear on most laptops might be sufficient for personal use, videos, and calls between friends and family, it leaves much to be desired for professional use.
Built-in computer cameras tend to produce fuzzy, light-altered images.
There are several problems with the built-in cameras on most laptops and computers. First, the location of the camera makes it difficult to achieve a complementary angle or proper framing. It is important to make sure you are horizontally centered in any video or video conference, and that your eyes are generally centered between the top and middle third of the screen. It is also important to make sure that the camera is sitting at eye level, allowing you to look directly into the camera as if having an in-person conversation with the person across from you. If the camera is positioned too low or too high, the resulting image could range from unprofessional to embarrassing.
Second, the actual image quality of the video tends to be fuzzy at best. Built-in web cameras can alter the lighting of the room around you, causing it to appear darker or lighter than it actually is. It is important to use a camera for professional use in which you have significant control over video elements such as clarity, lighting, framing, and angles.
Built-in microphones tend to produce dull, muted, or crackly audio.
Built-in microphones also have a variety of problems which can result in poor audio quality in recorded videos and live video calls. Since attorneys are frequently involved in remote video conferences, it is particularly important to consider investing in a good external microphone and webcam.
Built-in microphones are omnidirectional; this means they absorb sound from everywhere, resulting in a lot of background noise and echoes. The difference between a built-in omnidirectional microphone and an external single direction microphone can be hard right away. The sound quality and crispness is off the charts and can set your video or video calls significantly apart from others using the built-in mics.
Do your research; expensive doesn’t always mean better.
Purchasing additional equipment like a high-quality camera and microphone might sound financially intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. While some high-quality audio/visual gear can be expensive, not all of it is. Before purchasing an external web camera and microphone, do your research. Check out customer reviews and compare prices. More expensive doesn't always mean better. It is also important to make sure you pay attention to reviews from customers who used the camera or microphone for a purpose similar to yours; some gear might be better for outdoor use or to record multiple speakers but perform poorly indoors with one speaker.
To learn more about how you can set apart your video calls and recordings from other law firms, or for camera/microphone recommendations, reach out to a video marketing professional or AskTheLawyers™.