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How to manage brightness and contrast for a webcam on Windows 10

Webcams on laptops are not feature-rich. At the most, they have a good or high resolution but beyond that, they do not compare to an external webcam or to the camera on a modern, mid-range phone.

With webcams, both internal and external, there is no simple control panel for managing its settings. Windows 10 has a hidden settings panel for an integrated webcam but that is the extent of it.

Brightness and contrast for a webcam

Changing the brightness or contrast, and other settings of a webcam, whether it’s internal or external, isn’t easy on Windows 10. Accessing the hidden settings panel is complicated enough that most users may refrain from using it.

An easier way to manage the brightness and contrast for a webcam is to use an app called Webcam Settings.

Webcam Settings app

Webcam Settings is a free app and it gives users access to more or less the same settings that the hidden settings panel does. The only difference is that it is far easier to use than the settings panel Windows 10 has.

Manage webcam brightness and contrast

To change the brighntess, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpness, and more of the webcam, follow these steps.

  1. Download and run Webcam Settings.
  2. Open the Available webcams dropdown and select a webcam.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. In the panel that opens, use the various sliders to change the brightness, contrast, hue, sharpness, etc. of the camera.
  5. Click Ok to save the changes.

Note: the webcam preview in the screenshot is with exaggerated settings to highlight how the app works. 

Using webcam with new settings

The new settings will be saved and apps that can use the webcam e.g. Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Chrome, etc will all use those same settings.

All you need to do is allow an app to connect to the webcam and it will pick up the new settings.

Resetting webcam

If you need to change the settings of the webcam back, Webcam Settings gives you a simple way to do so.

  1. Open the Webcam Settings app.
  2. Open the Available webcams dropdown and select your webcam.
  3. Click the Default button.
  4. Click Ok.
  5. The webcam will be reset to its default settings.

Conclusion

Users may not be able to change all the settings in Webcam Settings. This has to do with the physical limitations of the webcam they’re using. There is no guarantee that all the settings will be available on a high-quality or expensive webcam because the manufacturer may very well decide to lock access to it. 

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