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Best Overall: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 at dell.com
"This webcam is every bit a camera, capable of providing HD stills and video for a variety of purposes."
Best for Business and Video Conferencing: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 at bhphotovideo.com
"It records and streams 720p HD video and allows recording in the 16:9 format."
Best for PC Gaming: Logitech HD Laptop C615 at Best Buy
"It’s simple to set up on Windows, OS X, and Chrome OS — just plug and play."
Runner-Up, Best for Business and Video Conferencing: Logitech C270 at Amazon
"You can snap really basic three-megapixel still images, and it features a built-in noise reduction mic."
Best for Twitch Streaming: Razer Kiyo at gamestop.com
"Razer built their Kiyo streaming webcam from the ground up to meet the demands and needs of Twitch streamers of all levels."
Best 4K: Logitech Brio at Best Buy
"The Logitech Brio UHD webcam records and streams video in 4K UHD as well as 1080p and 720p."
With the increasing number of people who work from home or rely on teleconferencing, it really pays dividends to invest in one of the best webcams. Whether you're streaming or just attending meetings from home, having a webcam is slowly becoming something of a necessity.
When looking for a premium webcam, you'll want to look at video resolution which ultimately means a higher quality picture. Beyond that, you'll want to make sure it has a halfway-decent microphone if you don't have a dedicated mic.
If you spend a fair bit of time out of the office, make sure to check out our 10 best tips for working from home.
True HD on a big screen
Quality audio recording
Sturdy, sleek design
Stable mounting system
Camera doesn’t rotate
A lot of webcams eschew hardware in favor of rudimentary functionality. While high-end specs may be unnecessary for most users, they can certainly come in handy, especially if the addition will only cost you an extra $15 or so. Enter: the Logitech C920. This webcam is every bit a camera, capable of providing HD stills and video for a variety of purposes, making it a versatile webcam for gaming, blogging, conferencing and even creative purposes.
Our testing showed that it shoots and streams in Full HD (1080p) at 30fps (frames per second), records stereo (2-channel) audio, and can capture still images at 15 megapixels. This is comparable to most high-end smartphone cameras. It also features a tripod-ready universal clip that fits to laptops and LCD monitors, a 360-degree swivel base and articulating support.
"Both live video and recordings are sharp with tons of detail." — James Huenink, Product Tester
No vertical adjustment option
Has difficulty staying put on a computer monitor
A lot of folks depend on standalone webcams to provide a more high-res video conferencing experience. They either don’t have a dedicated cam on their computers or do not appreciate the sub-par image quality it provides. If you find yourself in this camp — constantly using Skype or Zoom or Google Hangouts — consider investing in the Microsoft LifeCam.
It records and streams 720p HD video and allows recording in the 16:9 widescreen format. It features a passive noise-canceling microphone, TrueColor technology for bright and colorful video feeds and a universal attachment base for connection to any laptop or desktop computer.
Flexible, solid design
Full 1080p HD video
Short USB cable
Black finish catches smudges
When building your dream gaming PC, a webcam is probably an afterthought. Luckily, the Logitech C615 offers the best image quality available for under $50. You can record HD 1080p videos and video chat in 720p, making streaming and monitoring game feeds a breeze. It has a 360-degree full range of motion and lets you pan and tilt manually.
The solid frame rates will keep your fellow gamers happy, and if you’re gaming on the go, our testers appreciated its light .55-pound weight and fold-and-go portability that protected the lens when tossed it into your bag. It’s simple to set up on Windows, OS X, and Chrome OS — just plug and play; no additional software is necessary. Customers who bought this webcam also praise its quality microphone and flexible mounting options but complain about its short cord length. If that doesn’t bother you, the Logitech C615 will do the trick.
"The thoughtful design, image quality, and microphone clarity easily justify the price tag." — James Huenink, Product Tester
720p resolution video
Pan. zoom and tilt features
Only compatible with windows OS
If you’re a high-energy business type or active Skype user, but you’re trying to spend as little money as possible on a new webcam, you may want to check out the Logitech C270 instead of the Microsoft LifeCam. Logitech is one of the top brands in webcams, having a hold on most of the top-selling products. But there’s a reason for that: they make quality, dependable webcams. With 720p video calling and recording and a modest design, the C270 is a solid option for any Skype session, Google Hangout or Zoom meeting.
You can snap really basic three-megapixel still images, and it features a built-in noise reduction mic. It does not swivel left or right but it does tilt and articulate vertically.
Photo by GameStop
Full HD at 60 fps
Optimized for streaming
No RGB element for ring light for dynamic studio lighting
Razer built their Kiyo streaming webcam from the ground up to meet the demands and needs of Twitch streamers of all levels. This webcam features a built-in ring light with adjustable brightness so you get even, studio quality lighting without cluttering your streaming space with bulky box lights. The camera can record and stream in both 720p and 1080p HD at 30 and 60 fps, respectively, so your video feed always has smooth, clear motion and tons of detail.
The Kiyo is optimized for use with the Streamlabs suite of streaming software and is also compatible with OBS and XSplit. The hinge stand allows you to mount the webcam on either your computer monitor or on a tripod and allows you to customize your streaming setup. The built-in microphone captures your voice for crisp, clear audio during game and Discord chat. The camera features an autofocus function so you don't have to waste time fiddling with settings to get the perfect picture.
Photo by Best Buy
Windows Hello certified
The Logitech Brio UHD webcam records and streams video in 4K UHD as well as 1080p and 720p. With HDR support and an autofocus feature, your video clips and streams will have stunning detailing and contrast. With dual omnidirectional microphones, your voice will be recorded and streamed in full stereo no matter where you are at your desk. It's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS laptops and desktops as well as many video calling apps like Zoom, Skype, and Discord.
This webcam is certified to work with Windows Hello for facial recognition login capabilities. The built-in stand hinge allows you to mount this webcam on your computer monitor or a tripod for expanded placement options. The Brio utilizes Logitech's RightLight 3 software to automatically detect your room's lighting and adjust your picture quality accordingly so you get a consistently great-looking video recording or stream. It also comes with a removable privacy shade for peace of mind when not in use.
For crystal clear audio and video, networking experts at Logitech have the final word of accessible webcams with the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920.
James Huenink is fascinated by the ways tech helps people connect to others and improve their lives in a fast-paced world. An avid marathoner, home brewer, and uber nerd, he spends his free time cooking for friends and family and teasing his wife.
Resolution - Do you need 720p or 1080p webcam? That depends on how you’ll be using it. If you’re planning on recording and publishing video with your device, then maxing out the resolution is probably a good idea. But if you’re just doing some video conferencing with it, and you don’t want to spend extra money for better resolution, 720p should work just fine.
Price - You’d be surprised at how much you can shell out for a webcam, considering the technology hasn’t changed all that much over the last few years. If you are paying extra attention to the bottom line, then you should make sure you aren’t spending too much on a webcam. You can get the quality and features you need without breaking the bank.
Microphone - The built-in microphone on your computer isn’t always the highest quality. If you’re not going to be using an external mic when you are using your webcam (though we highly recommend it if you’re filming for YouTube or another service), then the quality of the microphone built into the webcam is very important.