Finecam Review: webcam software for iPhone and Windows
Webcams have seen a massive increase in usage over the past 4 years, thanks to the increase in remote working during the pandemic. But many of us still do business and have meetings over the Internet. To be more environmentally friendly, you can use software to create a “webcam” instead of buying another device. In this review, we take a look at Finecam, software that usefully turns any old iPhone (or new one for that matter) into handy webcams for your Zoom, Skype, OBS, YouTube or other video calling or live streaming adventures.
This is a sponsored post and was made possible by Fineshare. The actual content and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when an article is sponsored.
Finecam: virtual camera assistant
fine cam is a software tool that, when paired with an iOS client on your iPhone, easily and quickly turns the iPhone into an additional or even primary webcam for any software that can access a camera. You can do this either with Wi-Fi or with a USB to Lightning cable.
Once installed, the software lets you choose a camera (and it can use other cameras besides your iPhone at the same time), then add backgrounds and apply filters and special effects to the stream before transferring it to another program. You can also do fancy things like use PNGs to add branding to your screen, like a company logo in the corner (or anywhere you like, as you can move it around with the mouse) .
The software also contains technology to improve the image you get from your camera, by adjusting color and white balance (to better match the background). You can also use green screen and AI image enhancement software to give your image a refreshed look.
Once you’re all set up, you can use the built-in virtual camera hook to feed output from Finecam to other software, like Zoom, OBS or YouTube, basically anything that can use external cameras.
Next Level Camera Tricks
At first I could find a reason for yet another software widget. But Finecam is much more than that. Think of it not as just webcam driver software, but as a wedge between your iPhone and the video conferencing software that adds features not present in the target or behind a paywall.
Finecam adds some of Zoom’s pro features, like advanced backgrounds and green screen, but also adds features that aren’t available on video conferencing software at any cost, like filters and special effects. You can perform Instagram-like filtration on your image, either for laughs or to match the background.
With special effects, you can make it look like an old movie or VHS video or glitchy sci-fi monitors.
You can add a PNG of your company logo in the corner or below, like they do on TV shows.
And with a basic library of backgrounds, you can add your own or choose from a huge library of cool backgrounds.
There are also AI-based enhancements to automatically improve the look of your image.
There are also more precise manual enhancements you can make to every aspect of exposure, brightness, and contrast, just like you would on a TV.
Unlike many auto-completion algorithms used by video conferencing software, I found the background manipulations to be really quite good. The clipping around you as opposed to your background (called a “key” in technical parlance) is pretty sharp, even without a green screen.
Finecam is surprisingly good considering my expectations were initially very low, and I like its simplicity and how well it does its job. The enhanced video streams it generates are creative, fun, and convenient.
I know in the age of Zoom calls replacing meetings some may be ashamed of their messy homes, but with these tools you can quite credibly let people assume you have a really nice place without arousing too much suspicion. Ok, if you look closely you can tell it’s a key, and like all auto key software it can get very frilly and soft in low light, but I’m still impressed.
One of the best uses I can see for this software is of course to use it to provide an additional camera besides your main camera while doing live streams. If you have another camera, you can cut your hands on a table or view out the window, for example. Basically, it makes your shows much more professional if you have multiple cameras.
Availability of Finecam
fine cam is great software and has benefits for any video conferencing software you use it with. You can grab it now and get started right away by downloading the free version. This gives you all the basic functionality.
To get the pro version, which will add the most advanced features, you can pay $6.90 per month for an ongoing subscription or pay a year upfront for $29.95. If the whole sub stuff leaves you cold, there’s also a buyback option for a not unreasonable price of $59.90.
All screenshots by Phil South.
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