Sat. May 18th, 2024


Streaming on Twitch and video conferencing on Zoom are more popular than ever, which means you’ve probably realized your computer’s webcam isn’t great. Thankfully, one of these excellent cameras will make you look good during that next meeting.


UPDATE: 03/08/2024

We’ve updated our recommendations for the best budget webcam and the best 4K webcam.

What to Look for in a Webcam in 2024

Picking the right webcam can be trickier than you might expect. Like any camera, specifications can be deceiving when it comes to the actual picture quality. Focus on specs and you’ll be sifting through a list of numbers that may not tell you as much about a camera as you’d think.


Take image resolution, for example. Many built-in webcams found in laptops still use a resolution of 720p. That sounds like a bad thing considering the image quality of TVs and monitors, but most people don’t have the sort of internet connection speed to stream high-quality video. On the other hand, if you want to use a webcam to make a local recording, a higher resolution can make a significant difference to the crispness of the picture.

Ultimately, a resolution is only a small part of how good the picture will look. Larger sensors with better lenses do more for image quality than resolution. So, generally, bigger webcams tend to give better results. Likewise, the ability to deal with low-light conditions and properly expose an image is important for clear video capturing.

Frame rate, meanwhile, is a low priority for most. Although some cameras offer 60 frames per second, there aren’t many webcam use cases that justify it. A talking head at 30 frames per second is no problem for the average viewer, and aiming for better image quality makes more sense than higher FPS.


Finally, an oft-overlooked aspect of webcams is mounting versatility. Can the webcam be hung on a flat panel? Can it stand freely? Does it have a tripod mount thread? What about adjustable angles? A webcam that lets you get the perfect framing and angle is worth its weight in gold.

How Did We Research

Models Evaluated

Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

15

6

20

How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product.
Read More »

insta 360 webcam on green and blue background
insta360

Pros

Cons

✓ Up to 4K recording and streaming

✗ Nearly the same price as a GoPro Hero 10

✓ AI tracking allows for dynamic videos

✗ 4K video requires a good Internet connection

✓ Clever gesture control

✓ Smooth, 3-axis gimbal

✓ Multiple positioning options


The Insta360 Link is a very capable webcam, designed to meet the needs of anyone from business professionals to content creators and bursting with tools and features that make recording and streaming video a breeze.

The webcam is capable of streaming and recording in up to 4K and in HDR. Such high resolution in a webcam can be problematic, but if you have the computer and bandwidth able to handle the large stream of data, the reward is a crisp and clear image from the high-quality 1/2-inch sensor. If not, you can always drop the resolution back to 1080 or 720p.

One of the most unique features of the Insta360 is AI Tracking. When this is enabled, the camera locks onto your face and automatically follows you around the room on its multi-direction gimbal. That makes it great for streaming a workout, a dynamic presentation, or just keeping you on screen and in focus during a video chat with your mom.


This dynamic tracking is made easier by the inclusion of gesture controls. The camera can recognize several hand gestures to control different features, including zooming in and out. For more static activities you have Overhead mode and Deskview mode, which both help you share what you are doing from a top-down perspective.

The webcam is compatible with Windows and macOS, and works perfectly with all the most popular video conferencing software. The clip mount lets you easily attach the cam to the top of your monitor, and folds flat if you want to stand it on a flat surface. There is also a standard mounting point on the bottom if you want to use a tripod.

The only real downside of the Insta360 webcam is the price. At nearly $300 it’s getting close to the price of a new GoPro, and could be overkill if you only need it for the occasional team meeting while you work from home. But if you want a high-quality, modern webcam, that imposes few restrictions on how it is used, this one is hard to beat.

insta360 link

Insta360 Link Webcam

Best Webcam Overall

$250 $300 Save $50

An impressive range of unique features, high-quality 1/2in sensor, and 4K resolution mark this out as a webcam capable of dealing with almost any video recording or streaming situation.


UGREEN 1080p webcam

Pros

Cons

✓ Full HD 1080p @ 30FPS

✗ No auto-focus or zoom

✓ Can be mounted on screen, tripod, or stood on its own

✓ Deals adequately with poor lighting

✓ Works with Windows, Mac and Linux

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on something you might only use occasionally, it’s still important to choose a webcam that does what it needs in terms of producing a decent image and sound.

The UGREEN 1080p Webcam is just such a device. Coming in at under $40, it won’t break the bank yet, it offers full HD 1080p@30FPS as opposed to 720p found on many budget webcams. Sure, it’s not 4K, most users won’t need a 4K webcam, and the 1080p will ensure anyone you’re speaking to will .


Image quality is helped further by built-in automatic light correction, while audio is captured through dual noise-canceling mics. These do a great job of letting your voice be heard, and as long as you are less than 3m from the webcam, the audio should be crisp and clear no matter where you sit within the impressive 85-degree field of view.

The mounting clamp is well-designed and can grip most desktop monitors and laptop screens. The clamp can also be folded into a stand, allowing it to sit on any flat surface above or below your screen. There’s even a threaded socket on the bottom so you can attach it to a tripod.

There are certainly cheaper webcams available, but if you want a reliable full HD camera for your weekly Zoom meeting or occasional family video call, this one is hard to beat for the price.

UGREEN 1080p webcam

UGREEN 1080p Webcam

Best Budget Webcam

If you need a simple-to-use full HD webcam for occasional video calls or zoom meetings, this is a fine choice and will cost you less that $40. 

Person using Anker PowerConf on video call
Anker


Pros

Cons

✓ Good-quality and reliable sensor

✗ Only has dual microphones, not quad

✓ Mounting clip makes it easy to adjust the angle

✓ Noise canceling and voice enhancement

✓ Multiple FOV options

If you are working remotely or from home, making a professional and competent impression during video calls can be important. Using a good-quality webcam like the Anker PowerConf C300 is a good step towards showing your boss or clients you mean business. At around $130, it isn’t cheap, but it definitely isn’t overly expensive considering the features it provides.

You can record or stream at up to 1080p at 60fps at a variety of lens angles. Come in tight for the talking-head shot in a team meeting, or pull out to as wide as 115 degrees if you need to fit more people in the frame. And if the standard color setting isn’t vibrant enough for your needs, you can easily switch to HDR mode.


You also don’t need to worry about not being heard during that busy department meeting. Dual microphones are backed up by noise canceling and voice enhancement software, so you’ll have no problem joining the discussion. Everything, from the frame rate to the audio enhancements, is easily controlled from within the Anker WebCam software.

The webcam is certified to work with Zoom, but nothing is stopping you from using it in Skype, Microsoft Teams, or most other popular video conferencing tools. The mounting clip, which allows for multiple angles, is adaptable to almost any monitor depth, and there’s a snap-on privacy cover if you want to block the lens.

If you only really need a webcam for regular video meetings, the Anker PowerConf C300 is perfect for getting yourself seen.

anker powerconf

Anker PowerConf C300

Best Webcam for Zoom

A great mid-range webcam with exactly the sort of features you need to make a good impression in your regular Zoom meeting.

streamer playing fortnite with logitech c922x
Logitech


Pros

Cons

✓ Designed as a one-stop solution for professional streamers

✗ Slightly pricey for casual buyers

✓ 1080p 30 fps or 720p 60 fps modes

✗ 5-foot cable will need extension in some streaming setups

✓ Compatible with Xbox

✗ Not everyone is impressed with the 720p 60 fps image quality

✓ Stereo microphone array

✗ If you already own the C920, not worth the upgrade

✓ Automatic light compensation

✓ Includes 6-month XSplit License

The Logitech C922x Pro Stream is a newer, more advanced version of the legendary Logitech C920. The latter camera is still widely considered the gold standard for Twitch streamers and other content creators, and it’s still for sale at an excellent price.

However, the C920 is not that much cheaper than the more refined and focused C922x, so if you don’t already have the 920, it’s worth grabbing the C922x. Logitech has essentially looked at what made the older webcam a success within the streamer community and took some lessons on board for the Pro Stream model.


What you get with the upgraded C922x is a camera with exceptional low-light performance, class-leading stereo audio capture, and autofocus optimized for people who move around energetically on stream. The webcam also comes with a 6-month XSplit license, which very nearly makes the camera as cheap as a LifeCam HD-3000 if you were going to get a subscription anyway.

The C922x Pro Stream webcam works on Windows, macOS, and Xbox One consoles. Webcams that work with Xbox One should work with Xbox Series X|S consoles, but we weren’t able to find explicit evidence that the C922x works on the newer systems. It might be best to wait for Logitech to confirm that it is supported if you’re looking to stream video from your Xbox Series console.

logitech c922x

Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam

Best Webcam for Streaming

$80 $100 Save $20

The Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam features automatic light correction, 2 mics for clear audio, and it capture footage at up to 1080 p.

NexiGo zoom 4k webcam
NexiGo


Pros

Cons

✓ 4K@30FPS or 1080p@60FPS streaming and recording

✗ 4K streaming is currently overkill for most general webcam users.

✓ Excellent automating image correction

✓ AI-controlled auto-framing

✓ Multiple fields of view (at 1080p)

✓ Dual noise-canceling omnidirectional mics

While it is perhaps unnecessary for video calls or Zoom meetings, if you want to delve into video content creation and streaming, a 4K webcam is the way to go. If you want a camera that can handle all of those things and more, one of the best options is the NexiGo Zoom N970P.

With this webcam clipped to the top of your monitor, you can record and stream at 4K and 30FPS or 1080p and 60FPS, depending on your needs. The much-loved and highly-rated 1/2.8″ Sony STARVIS sensor can produce vivid colors and high-definition images, no matter which resolution you choose.


The option to choose fixed and variable focus, along with AI-powered auto-framing, helps to keep your face in the frame and looking sharp. You can also manually adjust the FOV between 25 and 90 degrees to ensure the video subject is never out of shot.

The powerful 10X zoom, a bonus for a webcam, can be fully controlled using the supplied remote. That means you can switch between near and distant subjects in a single take, without the need to edit later. You also don’t need to worry about a separate mic when standing away from the camera, because the dual built-in noise-canceling and omnidirectional mics work well at up to 6 meters.

The NexiGo Zoom N970P, while not extravagantly expensive, isn’t exactly cheap, especially considering it’s from a brand that might not be as well-known as some of the most popular. However, the impressive feature list, high-quality sensor, plug-n-play setup, and solid construction all combine to make an excellent webcam.

nexigo-zoom4k-n970p

NexiGo Zoom N970P

Best 4K Webcam

The NexiGo Zoom Ai N970P is a well-constructed and capable webcam that will be perfect for recording or streaming content, as well as making video calls or taking part in online meetings. With 4K@30FPS, AI-controlled auto-framing, fixed and variable focus, and a wide angle FOV, this cam has everything you need to capture high-quality video. 


Logitech StreamCam on top of monitor
Logitech

Pros

Cons

✓ Good for content creators

✗ A little pricey

✓ Native USB-C

✗ Not a great style match for Mac setups

✓ Stereo mic

✓ Monitor and Tripod Mount included

✓ Full HD at 60 fps

All of the webcams we’ve looked at so far work with macOS. But will a webcam work with what most Mac users will be using a webcam for? That might be a different story.


Mac users are more likely to be content creators on platforms such as Instagram and social media sites that the audience access via smartphones. Also, in particular, MacBook users appreciate native USB-C devices when traveling since it means reducing the amount of USB-C dock or dongle usage. Virtually all Mac users need an alternative to the generally lackluster integrated cameras in their computers. Apple doesn’t escape the trap of subpar built-in cameras, after all.

That’s where the Logitech StreamCam comes in. It allows you to create vertical or horizontal footage for social media platforms, a rarity for webcams. It’s also a native USB-C device, so no dongles are required. The StreamCam even has a monitor mount and tripod thread.

Notably, it’s one of the few webcams to offer 1080p 60 fps streaming, assuming that your computer meets the minimum specifications for it. Most webcams opt for 720p 60 fps or 1080p 30 fps, so this is a pretty nice perk.

The only not-so-Mac aspect of this camera is the styling. Whether you go for the White or Graphite model, neither quite blend well with Apple’s design sensibilities. If you can get over that (and the high price), we think the Logitech StreamCam is the perfect choice for Mac users.


logitech streamcam

Logitech StreamCam

Best Webcam for Mac

$133 $170 Save $37

The Logitech StreamCam is too expensive at the original $170 price point, but now it’s on sale for much less money.

FAQ

<p style=”margin: 0cm;” data-mce-style=”margin: 0cm;”><span style=”color: #0e101a;” data-mce-style=”color: #0e101a;”>How do I test a webcam?</span></p>

You can use the bundled webcam software or the camera app in either Windows or macOS to test your webcam. If none of those options are available, the WebcamTests website lets you test any available cameras and provides details about the image quality, frame rate, and more.

<p style=”margin: 0cm;” data-mce-style=”margin: 0cm;”><span style=”color: #0e101a;” data-mce-style=”color: #0e101a;”>How do you enable webcam access?</span></p>

Webcam access controls are commonly found in privacy settings. In Windows, for example, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Camera. If an app that doesn’t have access wants to use the camera, a message will pop up asking if you want to allow it.

<p style=”margin: 0cm;” data-mce-style=”margin: 0cm;”><span style=”color: #0e101a;” data-mce-style=”color: #0e101a;”>Can someone access your webcam?</span></p>

A webcam can be accessed remotely by someone else if your computer is infected with a type of virus called a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). If you are concerned about the potential for remote access, install some good antivirus software and use or buy a modesty shield for your camera.

<p style=”margin: 0cm;” data-mce-style=”margin: 0cm;”><span style=”color: #0e101a;” data-mce-style=”color: #0e101a;”>How do I look better on a webcam?</span></p>

The easiest way to look good on a webcam is to place a soft light behind the camera and at eye level. This helps ensure that your face is illuminated evenly. Sit back in a relaxed position with your body centered on the screen. And take advantage of any quality settings your webcam software offers.


<p style=”margin: 0cm;” data-mce-style=”margin: 0cm;”><span style=”color: #0e101a;” data-mce-style=”color: #0e101a;”>Where do I plug a webcam in?</span></p>

Almost all webcams use a standard USB connector. Plug this into a corresponding USB port on your laptop or desktop computer. If the webcam supports USB 3.0, connecting it to an appropriate port will help ensure the best available image quality and frame rate.

<p style=”margin: 0cm;” data-mce-style=”margin: 0cm;”><span style=”color: #0e101a;” data-mce-style=”color: #0e101a;”>Can I use my phone as a webcam?</span></p>

Using an iPhone or Android phone as a webcam is not only possible, it’s relatively easy. All you need is a way of connecting your phone to your computer and a webcam app. Some phones even have a webcam option built into the camera.



Source link

By John P.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *