Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware 72 72 people found this article helpful 7 Important Webcam Features Look for these features to get the best webcam possible by Lisa Johnston Writer Lisa Johnston is a former Lifewire writer and an editor who covers computer peripherals and other consumer electronics since 2004. our editorial process LinkedIn Lisa Johnston Updated on October 15, 2020 The Quick Guide to Webcams The Quick Guide to Webcams Introduction Webcam Considerations What to Know Before You Buy a Webcam Seven Important Webcam Features Understanding IP Webcams Using Your Webcam How to Install and Connect Your Webcam How to Test Your Webcam How to Use Your Iphone as a Webcam How to Record Webcam Videos that Look and Sound Great How to Secure Your Webcam Fixing Your Webcam How To Fix Your Webcam When It's Not Working How to Fix Your Windows 10 Webcam What to Do When Your Mac Camera Is Not Working Our Recommendations: Best Webcams The Best At-Home Webcams to Watch The 6 Best Webcams Tweet Share Email If you're in the market for a new webcam, getting the best deal depends on identifying the features you need at a price that fits your budget. Here are seven details to pay attention to when shopping for a webcam. 01 of 07 Frame Rate A decent webcam will have a frame rate of at least 30 frames per second (fps). Anything less than this is out of date, and images may appear to shake or vibrate. For the smoothest video possible, look for a webcam that supports 60 fps recording. These are becoming more common, and the increase will look better on modern displays. 02 of 07 Resolution Many webcams have 720p and 1080p high-definition capabilities. On the high end, you'll find 4K webcams, but these come with a premium price tag. You'll need an HD-capable monitor to see true high definition. That shouldn't be a challenge for 1080p and below. 4K monitors are also increasingly common. 03 of 07 Autofocus Mark Casey Autofocus works by automatically focusing the subject while it moves around. Although this can be an invaluable feature, it can also slow things up while the camera takes time to focus. Some webcams allow this feature to be turned off. 04 of 07 Microphone Check if the webcam has a built-in microphone. How strong of a mic you require depends on the type of video. Most video chatting (such as Skype) can be done adequately with a webcam's built-in mic. Check for features such as dual microphones and omnidirectional mics that record audio from every direction. High-quality recording for webisodes or other higher-tech films requires an upgrade. For those situations, invest in an external microphone. 05 of 07 Video Effects Lifewire / Brad Stephenson Do you like to use avatars or special backgrounds while recording? Some models come with software that allows you to get silly with your filmmaking. Twitch streamers are especially fond of using effects and overlays. 06 of 07 Lens geralt / Pixabay A high-end webcam has a glass lens, while a moderately priced model has a plastic lens. As with microphones, whether this difference matters to you depends on the type of recording you do. Most plastic lenses are adequate for Skype and other video chat software. For professional video production, invest in a glass lens. 07 of 07 Design and Construction Tetra Images / Getty Images Do you use a laptop or a desktop computer? Do you have a lot of space on your desk, or will you need something that clips to a monitor? Will you need a rotating head, or will you remain stationary while filming? When choosing a webcam, decide how much maneuverability you require from the body and lens. Another factor to consider is the durability of the webcam. A plastic webcam may be fine if you don't plan to tote it around, but an all-metal construction will hold up longer if you travel with your webcam.