Webcam features and performance can vary by program, computer operating system, and also by the computer's processor capabilities.
Improved video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems.New features such as automatic lighting controls, real-time enhancements (retouching, wrinkle smoothing and vertical stretch), automatic face tracking and autofocus, assist users by providing substantial ease-of-use, further increasing the popularity of webcams.Webcams can be used to take video clips and still pictures.Various software tools in wide use can be employed for this, such as Pic Master (for use with Windows operating systems), Photo Booth (Mac), or Cheese (with Unix systems).The lenses of the cameras are removed and then these are attached to telescopes to record images, video, still, or both.
In newer techniques, videos of very faint objects are taken for a couple of seconds and then all the frames of the video are "stacked" together to obtain a still image of respectable contrast.
This can be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.
Free Track is a free webcam motion-tracking application for Microsoft Windows that can track a special head-mounted model in up to six degrees of freedom and output data to mouse, keyboard, joystick and Free Track-supported games.
They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated by spyware.
The most popular use of webcams is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations.
When sent to a remote location, the video stream may be saved, viewed or on sent there.