Ensuring that you have the best webcam for your setup can be especially important in a professional setting for making sure you are seen and understood clearly while communicating with your gaming audience. For personal use, it can be very frustrating if your webcam is extremely low quality because you will often appear pixelated or stutter while you are chatting. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what makes a good webcam, or what the difference is between a good one and a great one. Thankfully, I have done the research to find out and you can find the results of that research below.
What to Look for in a Webcam
The primary things to look for in the best webcam are the resolution and framerate that it can operate at. These determine how clear the picture is and how smoothly it will display movement. If you have a low framerate then you may find yourself stuttering when there is movement on the screen. If you have a low resolution then your image will become more pixelated the lower the resolution gets until eventually, you won't be able to make out the details of the image at all.
For framerate, you want a webcam that can do at least 30 frames per second (fps) at its maximum resolution, but 60 fps would be ideal. You might notice a few skips or stutters at 30 fps whereas that is less likely to happen at 60 fps because most standard monitors operate at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
For resolution you can settle for 720p if you are on a budget, that should broadcast with enough clarity to make out different expressions and get your point across, but 1080p is what you really want. This will allow you to broadcast your image in such a way that you could theoretically scale up to be displayed on an entire monitor screen without losing clarity at all. This means you can get the highest picture quality at the biggest size.
Best Webcam Reviews
Editor's Rating: 4.7/5
This webcam has autofocus and light correction so you don’t have to be as strict about your positioning and environment lighting while using it.
It uses 2 quality microphones so you can use it to broadcast your voice as well as your face in high quality.
It has a privacy shutter on it so you don’t have to worry about unplugging it after every use, you can simply put down the shutter to block it from recording video.
It is compatible with almost all video calling software and operates at a high quality.
It comes with an attached clamp so you can attach it to your monitor or another place for optimal viewing.
The C920S from Logitech is a well-known and often used hd webcam in the streaming community. It records with a resolution of 1080p at a framerate of 30 fps so when you use this webcam you are recording and broadcasting at a very high quality for a webcam, though the framerate may result in a slightly choppy representation of movement in some situations.
Some of the Logitech c920s’s extremely convenient features include built-in speakers with decent quality and a privacy shutter so that you don't have to worry about your webcam recording when you don't want it to.
If you don't want your webcam to be recording, just flip the privacy shutter down and all the camera will be able to see is a black wall.
This is especially useful if, like me, you are concerned about your webcam recording even when you haven’t told it to. Unfortunately, we live in a world where technology is easily exploited and this means that it can be dangerous to always have a webcam plugged in because anyone could connect to it and have it record and broadcast video as long as they have the technical know-how.
With a privacy shutter included you won’t have to pack up your webcam every time you are done using it and therefore can save yourself a little time with setup whenever you want to make a video call to someone.
Editor's Rating: 4.4/5
It comes with a microphone attached for transmitting your voice as well as your face.
It comes with a base that is well-suited to attaching the webcam to monitors or another stand.
It records in a 16:9 aspect ratio so you will appear in the same aspect ratio as most monitors.
It uses True Color software to automatically adjust your visual settings for the most clarity and focus.
It is compatible with most Windows operating systems and all of the most recent ones.
The LifeCam from Microsoft is a lower-quality option. It broadcasts at a maximum resolution of 720p and its framerate caps at 30 fps. This makes it a much lower quality webcam but it also comes at a cheaper price. If you aren't interested in spending a lot of money on a webcam, because you don't plan on using it that often or it just isn't that important to you, you can go with this option to save yourself a little cash.
It does come with bonus features that still make it convenient to use as long as you aren't concerned about the lower quality. It does have a microphone built-in so you don't have to be concerned with finding another option for your audio communication needs, if you are lacking for other options then this webcam can support that function.
The microsoft lifecam also can automatically adjust your settings for improved picture quality and brightness. This can especially come in handy if you are video calling from an environment where you don't have control over the lighting. The brightness adjustment can give increased clarity to your video broadcast in a dark room, or lower the glare if you have lights right behind you.
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5
It comes with microphones built into the sides for transmitting audio as well as video.
It uses a special clamp for increased stability while attaching to an object of your choice.
It uses autofocusing and light correction so that it will work in almost any environment.
It has a 5-foot long cable so that it can be used anywhere around your computer setup.
It records at a high quality so you can transmit your video with crystal clarity.
The C922x from Logitech is another great streaming camera. The resolution it records at is 1080p with a framerate of 30 fps, but if you need a higher framerate you can lower the resolution to 720p and bump the framerate to 60 fps. This webcam also comes with a host of very convenient features that make it a good choice for many different setups and environments.
In most cases, webcam users will attach their webcam to the top of their monitor because it is an extremely convenient place to put it and I am no different. That said, not everyone operates that way and sometimes you want to put your webcam somewhere else. This webcam provides that as an option with its long cable which allows you to attach your webcam just about anywhere on your computer setup so you can get the best viewing angle possible.
It also comes with a microphone built-in and the usual automatic visual adjustment settings that a lot of Logitech webcams come with so you know you are getting the best picture quality that your webcam can provide even if you aren't an expert in optimizing video recording settings for picture clarity.
Editor's Rating: 4.4/5
It has a microphone built into it for recording audio as well as video.
It is compatible with both Windows and macOS so you can use this webcam with both PCs and Macs.
It is compatible with most video calling software and other video communication platforms.
Uses Fluid Crystal Technology to make the video quality much richer and clearer.
It comes with a 2-year warranty so you don’t have to be concerned if it gets damaged after you purchase it.
Another webcam from Logitech, the C270 looks very different from all of the previous Logitech webcams on this list. This is because this webcam is ultimately of a lower quality than those previous ones. It records at 720p and only has a framerate of 30 fps which means it is on the bottom end of picture quality.
That said, it is cheaper than a lot of other webcam options and it doesn't distract from its primary purpose with all kinds of extravagant unnecessary features. It has a simple and functional design without being distracting. It also comes with a microphone built-in right next to the camera so you can use that for audio as a last resort.
Something unique about this webcam is that it implements Logitech’s proprietary Fluid Crystal Technology which is supposed to provide an overall higher quality to your video broadcasts. It is supposed to do things like increase the clarity and color accuracy of images it records and also provide a smoother picture when displaying moving parts.
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5
It can pan and tilt so you can adjust the viewing angle to suit your setup perfectly.
Has varied compatibility for most video communication software and video calling applications.
Easy to set up, just plug it in and connect it to your application of choice.
It has a very safe and stable clamp to fit the webcam to your monitor very securely with no risk of it falling or tilting unintentionally.
It has microphones built into the sides so you can record and broadcast your voice as well as your surroundings.
The C930e is also from Logitech and it is specifically designed for use with Skype, though it also works on other video communication software. It records at 1080p with a framerate of 30 fps which is pretty good. It also has a lot of the usual logitech webcam software features you find in the better Logitech webcams like including a microphone and having image quality adjustment automatically implemented.
Something that I found to stand out with this webcam in comparison to the others is that while it uses a similar design for its clamp as the other Logitech webcams, it has an extra bit at the end of the clamp that you can flip to provide a new clamping method which can ultimately make this usb webcam much more secure when attaching to certain objects.
I really appreciate that they include this little detail because not everybody uses the same monitor with the same designs and this is a simple solution that actually provides a lot of versatility to the pc camera in how it can be used.
Most Important Webcam Features
What the most important computer camera features are is entirely subjective. For instance, I don’t consider having a microphone on my webcam very important because I usually use a headset with a microphone attached when I’m speaking to people, but if you don’t have a recording option then you will want a webcam with a microphone. Another example is privacy shutters. I consider a privacy shutter to be an important feature because I want to ensure that my webcam cannot see anything I don’t want it to, but not everyone considers that to be important.
What you consider to be an important feature will likely be entirely different from my own opinion. The best webcams will have features that you need and can only be determined by you. No matter how you feel about them though, remember that picture quality and smoothness are more important than any additional features, so look at the tech specs of every prospective webcam you are looking to purchase before you look at their features.
Using a Webcam for Gaming/Streaming
Many people use webcams when they stream so that they can have another way to interact with their viewers and provide a sense of togetherness that is hard to achieve when you are only using your voice. In this case, it becomes even more important that you keep the picture quality high and you don't sacrifice framerate or resolution for any additional perks. You really need to make sure you can be seen and heard clearly or you may lose viewers instead of gaining them.
As long as you keep this in mind you shouldn’t have any problems with using a webcam while you stream. Something else worth noting is that you might want to get a webcam that comes with its own mini-processor so you don’t have to worry about your stream quality dropping because your computer has the added burden of managing a webcam as well as whatever game you are playing and broadcasting all of it to the web.
Using a Webcam for Work
I believe that the framerate is more important in a work environment because it is even more important that you be seen and understood clearly. If you are using a lot of gestures as part of your communication then you may be causing your video broadcast to stutter a lot if you don't have a webcam that can support it.
The last thing you want is to have to repeat yourself over and over again to get your point across because then you are wasting everyone else’s time as well as your own. You should do yourself the favor of acquiring a decent webcam if you are going to be using it to interact with your colleagues regularly.
Using a Webcam for Communication
Webcams add an element to online communication that is missing when you only communicate over the phone or via audio-only. A lot of communication is more than just the words you use, body language is important and webcams allow you to use that aspect of communication where you otherwise wouldn't be able to.
This makes using a webcam an important part of video calling or using online communication software. Finding the right webcam is a good way to bring your online communication to the next level and provide an increase in your efficiency and productivity while collaborating with others.