The ideal webcam flawlessly and correctly catches you. It should be able to consistently manage you in well-lit or poorly-lit workplace conditions. A decent camera can adjust to whatever situation you need it to show, and ideally, it will also have an excellent microphone connected. Several solutions available promote different automated functions and declare they would benefit you. We’ve combed through the choices and identified our top webcams for most scenarios.
The ideal camera for remote working may differ from the ideal broadcasting webcam. The Logitech C922 HD Pro(opens in new tab) is a good 1080p option if you’re just searching for the highest image quality at a fair price. If you’re seeking more, the Elgato Facecam (opens in a new tab), although showy, is also highly adaptable and has excellent photo quality, earning it the top spot.
The price of these cameras increases since many feature HD and 4K at 60 frames per second. You need that additional resolution and greater frame rate capabilities if you’re improving your streaming setup(opens in a new tab). The most demanding use of a camera when streaming is to display your stunning cosmetics in high quality or any quick movements you make (within the constraints of the limited bitrate and resolution of a typical Twitch or YouTube stream, of course). Many of the cameras listed below record at least 1080p and eliminate blur.
To find the ideal configuration, you should also read our recommendations for the best capture cards (opens in new tab) and the best microphone for streaming (opens in new tab). The finest webcams will provide a quality image for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re just filming yourself, broadcasting on Twitch, or holding a Zoom conference with friends or coworkers. So, these are your top choices.
Elgato’s latest webcam is a premium cam for streamers who want the finest possible image but aren’t ready to invest in more costly solutions like a DSLR camera.
The Facecam’s image quality is excellent right out of the box, although initially, we thought it was overexposed. But it does seem like Elgato made this decision on purpose. You might argue that most streamers prefer a brighter, lighter picture for their primary shot since it makes the image seem more realistic than a standard webcam.
Fortunately, the Facecam package’s Camera Hub software is one of its better features. If you don’t like the ultra-bright view, you may alter your camera settings using this straightforward control interface.
Uncompressed footage at 1080p/60fps is a fairly significant deal and maybe the main factor influencing streamers to get the Facecam. Without going into more detail regarding encoding and compression, the simple answer is that utilizing the Facecam will result in fewer artefacts in the final video output than most other cameras. And you can accomplish all of this with apps like OBS without decreasing your resolution or frame rate.
The actual camera is equipped with a Sony STARVIS sensor, a piece of silicon often seen in security cameras designed for low-light conditions. I put the Facecam to the test in a low-light environment to compare it against the Razer Kiyo Pro, a camera that excels at improving the appearance of locations with poor lighting.
While directly contrasting the two, the Facecam has a minor advantage when filming in my poorly lit living room/office. Additionally, the Kiyo Pro loses against the Elgato Facecam due to the unusual fisheye effect at wider FOVs. If you’re still undecided between the two, let me state that the Facecam easily outperforms Razer’s solution.
The Elgato FaceCam is a decent entry-level camera and welcome addition to the company’s line of streaming equipment. If they are prepared to pay a premium for it, it is specifically aimed toward streamers that provide clear, low latency video footage for their broadcasts. It does, however, deliver.
The StreamCam was made specifically for streamers and other content producers—you probably guessed it—to the point where you can rotate it on its three-axis clip for portrait mode if you want your material to be more mobile-friendly. Or keep it horizontal. Whatever option you choose, the mount can readily orient facial expression up to 90 degrees if you want others to see your mouse and keyboard motions or play an instrument with your fingers. There is no need for additional equipment. However, the StremCam does have a second mount that can be screwed into a tripod for more intricate setups.
Additionally, it captures video in full 1080p at 60 frames per second. That’s superior to the three-year-old Logitech C922 webcam’s 1080p/30fps, which has become a mainstay in many streamers’ toolkits owing to its affordable $80 pricing. Additionally, it supports popular streaming programs like OBS and XSplit.
Exposure, white balance, and face-tracking are just a few of the settings that Logitech’s Capture 2.0 software automates. There is even a chroma key function if you operate with a green screen. If you need to capture movies steadily, Logitech Capture 2.0 is a fast and dirty alternative, even if it won’t replace anything as comprehensive as OBS or XSplit. Although it uses a variety of sources, including your screen, we found that utilizing the transitions between the various scenes was a little difficult. If you move around a lot while being filmed, the face-tracking capability is excellent and can be turned on or off using the same software.
The StreamCam performs very well in dimly lit areas. The StreamCam continually focuses on your face, which is difficult even for top-tier cameras, whether you’re using desk lamps or prosumer-grade key lights.
Although its built-in microphone is functional and supports both stereo and mono, if you want to use it for anything other than a video call, I’d advise using one of these.
I have a few complaints about the camera itself. Although the USB-C cable is a wise option, it is somewhat short at less than five feet. This is constricting if you intend to film any material anywhere other than a desk location. Because the cable is also a part of the camera, breaking or bending it will cost you $169 in addition to the inconvenience. However, this is still far less expensive and easier to set up than the popular streamers’ use of DSLR cameras as webcams.
Here, most readers may stop. The Logitech C922 HD Pro is the best value camera unless you seek a certain function in a webcam. It is an excellent option for video conferencing because of its clear 1080p pictures, broad field of vision, and excellent focus. The low-light performance is excellent; the noise level didn’t soar to new heights when I switched off a few lights. Although the default saturation may make the image seem washed out in strong lighting settings, white balance was also generally appropriate.
Through Logitech’s Camera App, the majority of the settings may be changed. Streamers will also value C922’s superb compatibility with the ChromaCam backdrop replacement program. The Logitech C920 excels at its primary functions and is reasonably priced.
Since you can get the C922 for less than $100 at most places, it’s the ideal camera for streamers to start with. For those of us titans of industry, there is also the C930e, although we prefer the less expensive choice.
Razer’s new Kiyo Pro cameras enhance their predecessors by taking a slightly distinct approach to managing illumination in dimly lit areas. To combat the darkness, it does away with the ring light in favour of an advanced light sensor.
Since the ring light on the original Kiyo always appeared like a novelty feature, getting away with it was a smart decision by Razer. Even in dimly lit areas, the ring light never seemed bright enough to truly assist your image, and I often found the ring light itself more annoying than helpful. Because of this, it never quite hit the top of our list of the best webcams(opens in a new tab).
Other enhancements by the Kiyo Pro include HDR (by default off), 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, a wide-angle lens, and an omnidirectional microphone. It’s a webcam for streamers with plenty of features.
Compared to the well-known Logitech Stream Cam(opens in new tab), which is its closest rival in terms of specifications, the light sensor makes a major difference. While the Kiyo Pro can quickly adapt, the Stream Cam can nearly entirely blow out half of my daylight images due to the excess light from windows. Although I will admit, the contrast is a tad strong.
The Kiyo Pro shines (pun intended) when it’s dark outside or indoors. You can see how the Kiyo Pro adapts to low-light conditions, and it may be the greatest low-light webcam I’ve used in a while. It manages to cast enough light on myself and my surroundings for the camera to be operable in even dim lighting.
The wide-angle lens makes it possible for more of your backdrop to be seen, but several of these images have an almost fisheye lens quality, which I don’t like. Fortunately, you can go to a reduced FOV, which looks much better.
Additionally, the Kiyo Pro has an omnidirectional microphone. The audio from my microphone test script was also rather clear and crisp, but it also picked up a lot of background noise from my desktop computer. If you’re serious about streaming, you should invest in a good microphone to ensure you sound your best. Razer currently provides one of the most affordable mics.
The Kiyo Pro is one of the priciest non-4K cameras, costing $200. This camera can be optimized with enough fiddling, but it’s not always good at its job, and the focusing problem is a big hassle. Perhaps the greatest option for everyone who wants to watch live but does not have the space or luxury of setting up studio lighting for the finest picture, it is not yet the best webcam solution.
The Logitech BRIO must be seriously outclassed for the Dell UltraSharp WB7022 4K camera to succeed. One of the greatest 4K cameras you can purchase is Dell’s latest model.
For under $200, the Dell UltraSharp 4K camera comes with many high-end capabilities. Additionally to supporting HDR and auto framing driven by AI, you also get 4K at 30 frames per second. Because UltraSharp supports 4K recording, its films and photos are more detailed than those taken with a conventional 1080p camera. The whole room and any pets dozing down in the corner of your frame may be readily captured by its 90-degree field of vision.
When space is overexposed or poorly illuminated, the UltraSharp performs effectively. You should be aware that if you solely use this for business conversations, certain applications like Meet or even Zoom may reduce the webcam’s image quality since you will be subjected to their video compression.
The UltraSharp webcam has outstanding capture resolution and HDR capture capability. Viewers who own an HDR-compatible television will thus be able to appreciate deeper, more vibrant colours.
But the UltraSharp isn’t flawless. Because you can only move the webcam up and down on the out-of-the-box display stand, there are uncomfortable camera angles. Additionally, there isn’t a built-in microphone, which could be a deal-breaker for certain video producers. However, given how poor most webcam microphones are, I doubt you’d even notice. After utilizing the camera for more than 20 minutes, we also observed that it became warm to the touch. However, its superior picture quality and user-friendly software make it a viable competitor.
Due to the company’s preference for office conference rooms, you may not be familiar with ClearOne. In addition to powerful (and pricey) teleconferencing equipment, ClearOne also produces a respectable 1080p webcam with streaming or video chatting for less than $100.
With the Unite 20 Pro’s wide 120 ° field of view, you can see much more than conventional webcams. Excellent if you want to squeeze your full band into a Twitch performance or are attempting to broadcast a big group for a D&D game. Not so ideal if you’re attempting to cover up your dirty bedroom during your boss’s morning video chat.
Best Webcams FAQ
The video conferencing function in Discord has become quite popular. So, along with Skype, we’ve included it in our testing software collection. We evaluate the video quality in both applications at their highest supported resolution. While we continue to use OBS for streaming & video recording, photos are taken using the built-in Windows Camera program.
We tested each camera in full screen and at a “facial cam” size, using OBS to broadcast and capture movies from each one. With each webcam, we also utilized the manufacturer’s software to snap photos at the maximum quality possible while manually adjusting parameters like white balance, brightness, auto-focus, or as needed. Multiple lighting configurations, ranging from overhead fluorescent lamps to nothing more than the monitor’s brightness in front of me, were evaluated for each of these scenarios.
The method of picking a decent webcam is similar to picking a good camera. Most of the parameters we use to rate the quality of cameras also hold for webcams. The important considerations are the picture quality, colour accuracy, focus speed, and customizability. The inbuilt microphone may be useful in addition to the specialized microphones that many of us have.
The level of noise a picture contains is one of the most important determinants of image quality. Most webcams provide high picture quality with ease in favourable lighting. Low light conditions more properly represent the higher quality of the finest webcams; nevertheless, the camera must digitally compensate for the slight deficit. More costly cameras have better sensors and often have less bothersome colour blots than inexpensive ones.
The hue of the photographs is another important factor. We should focus on the white balance before considering the colour quality. White balance measures the illumination temperature in your immediate area and adjusts the white point as necessary. A blue or yellow tint may disguise the picture if the white point is set improperly. The webcam’s CPU automatically adjusts the white balance unless a tweaking tool is provided.
The next three factors—exposure, saturation, and contrast—are equally crucial. The picture’s brightness is referred to as exposure, the depth of the colours as saturation, and the distinction between black and white as contrast. Brightness makes sure you can be seen clearly, while contrast and saturation bring out the best in your photographs. Again, unless the software is installed, the webcam’s CPU often modifies these settings automatically. Webcams that cost more are better at recreating the most precise scene.
We check the built-in microphones of certain webcams by making a little movie in our studio or home office.
Webcam software is equally as important as other peripherals, if not more so. The manufacturer’s driver software enables you to make global adjustments even though many streaming and conferencing programs include built-in adjustment options.
I looked at their usability in addition to the video quality. I tried them on various monitor types and sizes since each manufacturer has a unique manner of mounting a camera to the display. I wondered whether the camera wire was long enough to extend from a case beneath a desk to the top of a display. I examined how simple it was to modify their angles and whether they would fall off or realign themselves if I banged the desk. I checked to see whether they were plug-and-play, and I noted whether the cameras downloaded software or drivers automatically. Last but not least, I captured audio using their built-in microphones, albeit this did not have a significant impact since a webcam should be purchased with video in mind first.
A 4K camera can be a good option to record at full-screen resolution. You may not notice the higher resolution if you just use your camera for a tiny section of your screen or intend to broadcast. In such a scenario, it would be preferable to spend money on better lighting for a good glow-up.