Eye-Level Webcam Tips for Natural-Looking Conversations

Video conferencing has become part of everyday life with remote work becoming more of the norm. Though convenient, traditional webcam placement still results in subpar eye contact.

In this article, we’re going to talk about ways to combat this traditional webcam placement.

benq ideal cam image
Image of the BenQ IdeaCam (see review here)

We’ll touch on ways you can adjust your setup to improve eye contact. We’ll also show you some neat dedicated webcams that are actually designed to be at the center of your screen.

After implementing these tips and products, you’ll find your video calls will be much more natural looking.

The Problem With Normal Webcam Placement

Whether you’re on your laptop or a desktop, typical webcam placement is not great.

Webcam Placement Issues For Laptops

Laptops are typically at your desk height which makes your laptop camera look up at you.

This presents you looking down at your audience and is overall pretty unflattering. For laptops, you can generally solve this by using a laptop stand or laptop arm.

This raises the height of your laptop to solve the ugly-angle issues. But it still doesn’t solve the eye-contact issue.

Issues With Webcams Placed on Monitors

When using a webcam placed on top of a monitor, the issue is the opposite of that of a laptop. Your webcam is looking down at you instead of up at you.

You also get worse eye contact with monitor-mounted webcams in my experience. Monitors are much larger than your laptop screen, and the bezels can also be much thicker.

The result is a webcam that is further from the contents on your screen compared to a laptop. This is especially true for my setup because I place my webcam on top of my BenQ light bar like this:

screenbar halo light bar webcam accessory with ideacam

To solve this issue, we need to minimize the distance between our webcam and the person we are speaking with in the video call on our screen. Our eyes typically want to meet the eyes of the other person on the video call.

How To Place Any Webcam at Eye Level

The first solutions we will cover will use your existing webcam for simplicity. Also, the last tip in this section is completely free!

Center Mount Your Current Webcam

Did you know any webcam can be mounted at the center of your monitor using a specific accessory? This accessory is called the PlexiCam Pro.

This is a webcam mount that attaches to your webcam’s tripod threads and is made of clear plastic so you can still see most of the contents on your screen.

PlexiCam Pro - Center Screen Webcam Mount

PlexiCam is a versatile webcam mount that allows you to place your camera anywhere on your screen. It uses clear mounting hardware so you can still see the contents of your screen.

  • Better eye contact in video calls
  • Very flexible mounting position
  • Expensive for such a simple device
  • Larger webcams will be large screen obstructions
Check Price On Amazon

The downside with a center-mounted webcam on your screen is that the webcam will obviously cover up sections of your screen. If you have a small monitor and a large webcam, this could be an issue and not allow you to see everything you need to see.

If you use a mount like this, move your presentation or video call window into a clear section of the screen. This way you will have an unobstructed view of what you need to see.

Use Dedicated Webcam Stand

Because the price of the PlexiCam is a little outrageous, a cheaper alternative is to use a dedicated webcam stand.

Most webcams are designed with a notch to simply sit on top of a monitor. Using a separate mounting accessory will allow you to be more flexible with webcam placement.

Here are some great options for eye-level webcam placement.

InnoGear Flexible Desktop Webcam Stand

This InnoGear webcam stand has a compact, weighted all-metal base and adjustable angle and height for better live streaming. It's compatible with standard 1/4” screw-hole webcams and other devices with 1/4” screw mounting points.

  • Can be placed anywhere on desk
  • Large Height Range
Check Price on Amazon
25 Inch Flexible Webcam Stand

This lightweight webcam stand with gooseneck extends up to 64cm and fits most 1/4" screw webcams. The desk mount clamp fits desks up to 6cm thick, and the mini tripod head rotates 360 degrees.

  • Doesn't take up desk space
  • Quick and easy clamping & neck adjustment
Check Price On Amazon

Either of these solutions can place a webcam right at the center of your screen for better eye contact with your audience. Once again, fair warning, if you have a large webcam you can block a large part of your screen.

Place Video Conference Right Below Your Webcam

This method is my favorite because it works very well without needing to purchase any accessories. And you don’t obstruct any part of your screen.

This simply involves resizing your video call window to be smaller, and then moving that window as close as possible to the webcam’s location.

The smaller the distance between where you are looking (the eyes) and where your webcam is, the closer you get to eye contact.

The downside of this is that the smaller your window gets, the closer you get to eye level. That means you have a tradeoff between window size and level of eye contact. Choose a balance that fits your setup best.

Webcams That Mount At The Center of Your Screen

If you don’t have a webcam yet and are interested in one that is designed to be at the center of your screen, check out the webcams below.

These webcams are unique in that they solve the biggest issue with center-screen webcams. They are very small to minimize the obstruction of your screen.

Center Cam: Full HD Middle-Screen Webcam

The Center Cam is a versatile and highly adjustable camera that provides a 1080p resolution and a 30fps industry standard frame rate. The 65-degree aspect ratio puts the focus on you, and it is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, and Linux OS. The adjustable clip mount opens to 2" and fits most all laptop screens and monitors.

  • Small camera minimizes screen obstructions
  • Adjustability can provide great eye-contact
  • Lacking video quality
  • Gooseneck is slightly too thick
Buy On Amazon
Eye to Cam 3 4K Webcam with Suction Cup

The E2E is a small and easy-to-install webcam with a 4K/15fps resolution, an autofocusing lens, and a built-in noise-canceling microphone. It offers plug and play setup, and a universal clip that fits to laptops, desktops, Mac, PC, and LCD monitors.

  • High resolution in small form factor
  • Minimum screen obstructions with small size
  • Suction cup mounting requires adding pressure to your screen.
Buy On Amazon

Pros & Cons of Centered Webcams

While center-mounted webcams might sound like a great idea for better eye contact, consider the complete list of pros and cons.

Advantages of Monitor Center Webcams

A clear advantage of center-mounted webcams is the natural-looking conversation, at least on your end. You place your webcam close to the eyes of the person you’re talking with.

This way you can naturally look at their eyes while on the video call, and they will see that you are making eye contact the whole time. Just like a normal in-person conversation!

Drawbacks of Centered Monitor Webcams

The main drawback of placing a webcam at the center of your screen is the obstruction of your screen. Placing anything in front of your monitor will cover up some part of what’s on your screen.

To minimize the effect this has, you can re-arrange the important windows on your computer to avoid hiding your screen. The other option is to opt for a much smaller webcam that was designed for this purpose like we linked above.

For webcams to get smaller, sacrifices must be made in the hardware. Usually, this results in poorer video quality due to the ultra-compact size.

Photo of author


I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

Leave a Comment