Papalook PA552 Webcam With Light Ring and Mic

I know from working in Microsoft Teams during the pandemic that there are three things that really help your presence in an online meeting – a good microphone, a good camera and good lighting. This is not a new discovery but the increase in video calls has made more obvious than usual.

Many people rely on the equipment built-into their laptop and it’s very much a mixed bag. Some laptops having good built-in cameras and microphones and others are really bad. But where it so often goes wrong is with the lighting: I’m sure we’ve all seen calls with ghostly people sitting in gloom or haloed angels blinded by the light behind.

Simply adjusting seating position can often yield immediate results – don’t sit with a window behind you – but if a bit of extra help is needed all round, then take a look at the Papalook PA552. It’s a fixed focus HD (1080p) webcam with a built-in light ring and dual noise-cancelling microphones. This will improve matters no end for those long on-line meetings.

The Papalook PA552’s light ring has adjustable brightness levels to give good facial lighting even in the gloomiest of offices. The built-in DSP chip works with the ambient light to cleverly ensure the best picture exposure for the 30 fps 1080p webcam. It’s a 90 cm fixed focus, which is ideal for “at desk” video calls and the 75° viewing angle means you can get two people in the picture, though that would clearly breach current social distancing guidance. The glass lens ensures a high-quality image without blur and distortion.

For the audio, the dual omni-directional automatic noise-cancelling mics are designed to filter out external and background noise, focussing on the speaker and making voices sound natural and clear.

As you’d expect, it’s a USB connection from the camera to the computer. The Papalook PA552 webcam is available now from for GB£89.99 or for US$89.99.

If the PA552 and its ring light doesn’t appeal, take a look at the Papalook PA452 and AF925. The PA452 has a modern metallic look and the camera itself has a larger aperture meaning that it will work better in low light conditions. There’s a PA452 Pro version with adjustable focus if additional flexibility is needed. The AF925 is an all-black affair but has the benefit of auto-focus which is useful in circumstances where the subject moves around.

The PA452, PA452 Pro and AF925 are all available from Amazon with prices starting at GB£69.99 and US$79.99