Making a Picture Taken With a Webcam Less Grainy

by Dan Stone

Getting rid of image noise including a grainy image from a webcam involves making sure the device is configured correctly and creating an environment that is conducive to better picture quality. While webcams can run a variety of different configuration programs to alter settings, the environmental aspects of the room or the area are a constant across all devices. Some webcams are better at adapting to adverse image quality conditions than others.

1

Moisten a lint free-cloth with a low-strength cleaner and gently wipe off the webcam's lens to remove debris and smudges. Cleaners like rubbing alcohol, screen cleaner and glasses cleaner can all be used.

2

Move the computer and webcam to an indoor location to eliminate natural changes in lighting.

3

Turn on the lights in the room and angle the lights and webcam so the webcam isn't focusing directly on a light source. If the image still appears grainy, turn on more lights.

4

Either focus the webcam away from outdoor light sources or close the blinds or curtains on windows if the webcam is facing a window to eliminate outdoor light sources.

Tips

  • check While external, environmental conditions can create a grainy image, the webcam's configuration may allow you to adjust certain features to get rid of grain in the image. Windows does not include a stock configuration program for webcams; instead, the product vendor handles the configuration software, which makes the process and available options different for each device. You may be able to find the configuration software by opening the Charms menu, clicking "Search" and typing "webcam." The webcam setup software will likely show up in the search results.
  • check After you've launched the webcam setup program, look through the settings menus for options that let you change the "Resolution," "ISO," "White Balance" and "Contrast." Settings that make the camera over-sensitive to light can produce a grainy-looking image. If the program lets you control the ISO setting, lower the ISO to the 100, 200 or 400 rating to eliminate grain. If the program lets you configure the resolution, you can reduce grain by increasing the resolution. If you can adjust the contrast setting, lower it if the room is evenly lit or increase the setting if the room has a variety of lighting levels. If the program offers an automatic white balance setting, enable it and try holding a pure-white-colored object in the camera's view.
  • check However, if the image still looks grainy even after the camera has been properly adjusted and cleaned, it may not be capable of displaying a clear image. Upgrading the camera if possible may lead to an image with less grain.

Warning

  • close Using a strong cleaner or a rough material to clean the webcam can scratch the lens.

Items you will need

About the Author

Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images