What did Amcrest change in the AWC195-B webcam?
Amcrest seemingly seized on the market's shortage of webcams, leveraged their knowledge of security cameras, and quickly put out the AWC201-B HD webcam, but the microphone was terrible and the wide field of view distorted the image a bit too much for video chat.
The AWC195-B HD webcam is a newer release and I was curious to see what changes were made besides the obvious cosmetic ones. This webcam maintains the very affordable $50-60 price point for a 1080p camera, includes a slightly larger CMOS sensor than its predecessor, new lens, and has a stereo mic.
I perform a side-by-side comparison of the AWC195-B and the AWC201-B in the review below.
Amcrest AWC195-B 1080P HD Webcam Tech Specs
- 1/2.7" CMOS image sensor
- 1080P Full HD (1920x1080) at 30fps
- 4.3mm lens
- 90 degree field of view
- Stereo mic
- USB 2.0 Plug and Play
- Privacy cover
- ~6ft USB cord length
As with the previous AWC201-B the specifications look pretty solid. The webcam video output smoothly records 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second. For comparison, cinematic movies are 24fps, soap operas 30fps, action cameras are 60fps.
The CMOS sensor is slightly larger in the AWC195-B and should pickup enough detail for Zoom meetings, Skype, Google Hangouts, and so on especially if the space is lit well.
Although the field of view is listed at 90 degrees it doesn't have the same fish eye effect from the previous webcam. The field of view isn't as wide so there wasn't obvious distortion around the edges.
Lastly, Amcrest still includes a physical privacy cover to protect users against accidentally recording themselves and ending up in a viral video, but did not include a tripod in the box this time. You can still mount it on your monitor or a self-provided threaded tripod.
Installation and Setup
The camera is literally plug and play over USB 2.0 so just plug the camera into a free USB port on your computer. It will appear as USB Camera in Sound Video and Game Controllers. All adjustments to video or audio settings would be done through your streaming or conferencing software.
The Amcrest webcam will appear as a video source you can select in Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Hangouts, etc., and it will start streaming video automatically once selected. If you download apps like OBS Studio you can adjust the color settings, brightness, and contrast.
Video and Audio Quality and Performance
The most obvious differences you can see in the Amcrest AWC195-B webcam review embedded at the top of the article are the sound quality of the microphone, color palette, and field of view.
The 1080p video is slightly improved over the previous model. The AWC195-B colors were less washed out compared to the AWC201-B, but nowhere near the DSLR color depth. The field of view was similar to my DSLR with a 24mm lens on.
I did find the colors get weird on the edges of the frame. If I moved my body to the edges of the shot my skin turned green.
The audio quality was an improvement from before, but a bit too treble heavy. The audio is a bit tinny as a result. If you want to more accurately reproduce your voice you can add an external microphone, but this should work OK for most meetings.
Amcrest improved over AWC201-B, but the AWC195-B webcam still has its flaws. The microphone is no longer a deal breaker, but could still use improvement and the colors are still a bit off, especially nearing on the edges of the frame.
Those complaints aside, for $50-60 dollars it does give you a pretty decent 1080p HD image. The Logitech Brio has better reviewed microphone, but is also several times more expensive.
If you do go the external microphone route I've been happy with the Samson USB Meteor mic.