It is not difficult to find only toilet paper.
For tech savvy consumers, webcams, those little plug-in cameras to allow transmission to the Internet, are also absent in action.
Logitech, the company that dominates webcam sales, is sold on all manufactured products. Amazon and Best Buy are out of stock. And eBay buyers are selling used models for $ 420, or more than double the most expensive model from Logitech, the $ 199 Brio.
"Global demand for webcams is necessary for all remote workers, students and healthcare workers," notes analyst Jeremiah Owyang, who managed to capture a unit in early March, before they ran out.
Sure, there are webcams built into most laptops that do the trick, but they have a substantially lower resolution. For example, in the newly released Apple MacBook model, the internal webcam has a 1.2 megapixel sensor and a resolution of 1280×720 at 720p.
Most of the webcams sold by Logitech shoot in 1920×1080 resolution, while the top-of-the-line 13 megapixel Brio reaches up to 4K, 4096×2160.
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Since many of us are attending or leading online seminars on Zoom, Hangouts, Skype or other programs, attending classes in this way or just connecting with friends, Owyang wanted the vanity dedicated webcam.
Call it the best image quality.
"It softens the skin, instead of the highly pixelated internal cameras on laptops," he says. "And the higher resolution and the larger lens capture a better image in low light."
He conducts three public live broadcasts or business webinars per week, more than before. "It is essential to present yourself in the best possible way, during these strange moments".
Logitech, meanwhile, says it is doing its best to retrieve the webcams in stock.
"With a shift in remote work, distance learning and telemedicine in the past few weeks, many Logitech products are in high demand around the world. We are working to meet this need as quickly as possible, with greater production and distribution of our products. ".
Although the company does not offer specific details on when to expect webcams to return to stock, retailer B&H Photo notes on its website that it will be available again in June.
Craig Nosse, a marine technician at the University of Hawaii, took a new webcam in early March. He was surprised that Best Buy still had stock, he says and "ran" to buy one.
Your daughter's MacBook internal webcam doesn't always sync with Zoom conferences. "Sometimes, I zoomed in without video and, despite several efforts to solve problems, it was not consistent." Then he switched to a PC, which didn't have a built-in camera, and installed the Logitech C615 external webcam. Now, "no problem with the zoom and the video / audio quality was incredible".
Kim Doty, book editor based in Tampa, Florida, was not so lucky. She ordered two webcams in early March, but they have not yet arrived.
Her son is in fifth grade and will need him for zoom lessons. As the webcam has not yet been delivered, "I will have to configure it on the phone".
Use the phone
Since the phone's resolution is much better than the laptop's webcam, a better solution for looking better at conferences and not having audio / video problems is to look for the phone as a better alternative.
Consider for a moment that the MacBook 720p webcam has 1280×720 resolution specifications versus the selfie camera on the latest iPhone, which can record in 4K resolution of 4096×2160.
What do these numbers mean? You will be better in low light. The screen will not be as dark. You will have a better color on your face.
You can easily attend zoom lessons, Hangout sessions, Skype calls and life with your phone.
But if you appear on the camera, we recommend two vital accessories:
Lift the phone high
Remember that you probably cannot hold the phone in your hand for more than a few seconds during a video conference, and the resulting chatter will be uncomfortable for other participants. You need to keep the device stable. If you are like most people, you will be looking at the webcam, instead of up, because that is where the webcam is and that accentuates your double chin. The eye level is better, or reaching a little higher even better. So, if you use your phone as a video device, take a phone holder and place it there. B&H have a position for $ 29.99 from Kanto with a 15-inch movable arm. Another possibility, a table tripod, with an accessory to fit the iPhone. The Magnus FT-P10 Tripod it sells for only $ 15 and, if it doesn't interest you, a simple solution – put it on top of several books until you get it. (You can also do this with a laptop, if necessary.)
If you plan to spend a lot of time on video calls, your phone will be draining the battery. Make sure you have a power cord nearby to connect the phone. You can always connect by connecting it directly to your computer or finding some space on the wall nearby.
Follow Jefferson Graham of USA TODAY (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter