Last reply by 03-01-2023 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

XPS 15 9520 grainy/blurry camera image

XPS 15 9520

This computer is three days old, and the claim that there is a 720p HD camera cannot be true based on the image quality I am getting. The camera quality is like a cell phone from 2002, and I have a Dell G3 computer I bought in 2017 that has better quality.

Please advise--I have gone through Dell Technical Services procedures:

- ran diagnostics, no issues detected

- SupportAssist - no updates required

- Dell update: system up-to-date

Response from technician "[this] would be a feature of the notebook webcam". $3000 laptop and the camera can't even show me clearly in a Zoom meeting? this is ridiculousWIN_20221005_11_54_33_Pro.jpg

Replies (9)
3 Zinc

Integrated webcams are not usually known for being good. If you have an external USB webcam, you could try that on your laptop and see if you note an improvement. Also from the picture you attached it looks like your light source is behind you. To get the best picture, you want the light source to be in front of you (shining onto you).


The image quality is not just a function of being lower-quality, it's very clearly not working properly. I look like a minecraft character on zoom meetings. I appreciate the response, but I am looking for one that does not involve buying an external webcam 


Around 5:30 of this review covers the webcam (https://youtu.be/1OIzFwC3pd8) does his video look better or worse than yours? If they look about the same and you are not satisfied with what the laptop can provide in terms of its webcam, I'd recommend you either return the laptop (while it is in its return period) or buy an external webcam.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

thanks, this is helpful. Definitely not a high-quality camera (seems like a poor design choice), but I would say mine is still not functioning how it's supposed to--it looks like there is a blurring filter of some kind over the lens (unsure if this screenshot shows it) that does not show up in his video. 

Screenshot 2022-10-12 093714.png

5 Tungsten

1. As d5123101 also advised, the backlighting makes it more difficult for your webcam to do its job. Try another location where the main light source is in front of you.

2. This may seem obvious, but sometimes users don't think to try obvious steps. With a microfiber cloth and some eyeglass cleaner, gently clean the lens surface.

3. Use a magnifying glass to examine the lens surface. It's likely plastic and it's possible that it is scratched. Even shallow scratches can cause light to diffuse and refract, thus blurring images.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I have been experiencing the exact same issue you describe since day one of opening my laptop. After hours of diagnostics, chats and calls to customer service and YouTube searches, I still don't have an answer - regardless of where the light source is in relation to my setup. I'm not willing to accept that I need to purchase an additional external camera when for years my laptop cameras have been sufficient for video chatting. I'm responding mostly to let you know you are not crazy, there is definitely an issue with your camera and to see if you have been able to find a solution.


thanks @Lucid Edge. I have not found a solution yet. After one of the more recent BIOS updates, I did notice what appears to be some improvement, but have confirmed from colleagues that in meetings my camera does appear distorted. 

I suspect this is similar to the issue I experienced with my last Dell (Dell G3 15 3590) where they had installed a crappy hardware card to save money (in this case, the wireless card) and my computer just unlearned it had Bluetooth functionality one day. Lo and behold, they replace the chip (thankfully still under warranty) and not only does the wireless work better, the computer performs better overall. 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Hi! Just wanted to say I have the exact same issue here.

Got a brand new Dell XPS 9520 and, in the same lightning conditions, my 2014 Macbook Pro camera performs WAY BETTER.

Definition is probably 720p as the output on the Dell, but I suspect the camera sensor to be too small to give a decent 2023 webcam quality.

At this point, I'm ashamed to turn my camera on in meeting, it looks really awful.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Just did a quick comparison to show you. About the same angle, same location, same lightning, and 9 years of age difference.


Dell: you've got to do something for this. Please.

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