I have a 43" screen. I bought a very small but generic UVC camera on AliExpress. With this I can lower the camera down on the screen without be too obtrusive while dangling on the wire. This gives a really great result even if the change is just on my end. People seems much more "present".
I can only imagine how "real" it would feel if done on both ends.
Before this I was using an Elagato CamLink with a Canon EOS RP. While it gave a great quality image the offset position was not worth it. Furthermore it seems that most common video chat programs downsamples as noone saw a difference between this and a crappy 720 webcam even though it looked glorious on my end.
So have a go with a cheap small FHD UVC camera. It made wonders for me.
Could you share you camera number/link and your setup(pc or living room, distance) ?
"The most important element of body language is eye contact. “Gaze is vital in the flow of natural communication, monitoring of feedback, regulating turn taking, and punctuating emotion. The lack of eye contact shows timidity, embarrassment, shyness, uncertainty and social awkwardness. (Edelmann and Hampson ).” Having a camera on top of a monitor, as the vast majority of video endpoints and laptops have, creates the appearance that participants are looking down. If you do look up into the camera, you aren’t looking at the other participant’s faces. Seeing someone look down makes them seem disinterested or even dishonest. Our minds are programmed to interpret looking down as gaze avoidance. Of all the problems with using videoconferencing for mediation, eye contact is the real show stopper. Again, corporate room-based systems mitigate this with multiple
special cameras and other technological tricks. There are some solutions in the pipeline but they will take a long time to “trickle down to the masses.”
The solution I have settled on is to have a webcam on top of an external monitor set up far enough away that you can't really tell that I am not looking directly at the lens. It would be so much better if Zoom allowed me to rearrange the video panels. My perfect video conferencing app for mediation would allow rearrangement of each video stream and have a simpler breakout room functionality.
TL;DW - use some cardboard a two way mirror and an external webcam to make a box you place over your laptop so that it lines up the camera + your eyes.