The age of remote learning and working is here, and we’re right smack in the middle of it. Whether you are a teacher, student, or employee, a proper webcam has risen towards the top of the list as must-haves in your home. We hate to use the word, but webcams are essential if you want to get anything done remotely, especially if you need to connect with your fellow students, teachers or workers.
Why Choose a Webcam When My Laptop Already Has One?
You might be asking yourself the question, “What’s the point of buying something my laptop already has?” Now that school could possibly be exclusively online in some areas, and as working from home becomes extended for many companies, many of us have noticed that we need more from our webcams. For instance, a new MacBook Pro only has a 720P camera, and you can’t adjust the camera without moving the screen. That in itself can create problems with getting the right video angle. And if you’re trying to give a presentation, or demonstration for your online class, that isn’t going to cut it.
Webcams have better resolution and larger field of view than built-in ones. They also have the ability to clip to your screen or a tripod, rotate and tilt to get the video angle that you are looking for.
How We Chose The Best Webcams
We looked for cameras that feature 1080p resolution and at least 30fps (although gamers and YouTubers will appreciate the cameras with 60fps found below). Cameras that feature auto-focus and light correction will help you stay in focus for your co-workers and students. And with the economy being shaky at best, we also looked for cameras that feature all the above, but also won’t cost you and arm and a leg (the exception being the Mevo Start). That being said, you can snag a pretty amazing webcam for around $100.
We’ve rounded up the best webcams to help you finish the second half of the year strong whether you are working from home or getting ready to go back to school online.
1. Logitech C920
The wide 78-degree field of view makes this a great option for business calls, and provides teachers plenty of room to demonstrate lessons for students. And the viewer will be able to see everything clearly thanks to 1080p resolution provided by the Logitech C920 webcam. For reference, that’s better resolution than what’s in the new MacBook Pro. The webcam easily clips to the top of your laptop, desktop, or TV and even comes with software for those customizable backgrounds that everybody loves.
2. Logitech StreamCam
GREAT FOR LIVE STREAMING
With facial tracking and 60fps frame rate, this camera is ideal for live streaming, whether that’s chatting with friends or live game streams. Auto-focus helps keep your content crystal clear without manual adjustment and the smart exposure adjusts for weird lighting situations. If you record your streams, the USB Type-C connector makes for speedy video transfers.
3. Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000
GREAT FOR CONFERENCE CALLS
What makes the Lifecam HD-3000 a good choice for conference calls isn’t just the 1080p recording and 720p live video, but also the built-in wide-band microphone. This provides great audio for your viewers and helps prevent audio from cutting out or being too quiet. It can rotate a full 360-degrees and even connect to a tri-pod if necessary. When you want to be seen and heard loud and clear, it’s a great choice.
4. Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam
BEST FOR YOUTUBERS
Similar to our best overall pick, but with a few more streaming features for gamers and YouTubers, such as low-light correction (because gamers tend to prefer dark lighting). It also has background removal, which is an ideal feature for YouTubers and Twitch streamers. But even if you just want to use it for remote learning or your home office, it has great 1080p resolution for crisp video calls. Finally, Logitech webcams are extremely reliable, which makes this an all-around dependable webcam.
5. Mevo Start Live Event Webcam
This is a fantastic webcam, albeit, a pricey one. But with the high price comes great live video and streaming capabilities. For starters, in tandem with the app, you can pan, tilt and zoom the camera, so you can continue teaching or demonstrating without having to touch the camera. It’s battery operated, so you can set it up anywhere and start your live stream. And with low-light correction and 1080p streaming, you video will look sharp as ever. If it wasn’t so dang expensive, we’d consider this camera the best webcam of 2020.
6. Wansview Webcam
AMAZON BEST SELLER
Wansview might not be one of the heavy hitters in the webcam world — not like Logitech or Microsoft anyway — but there’s good reason it is the best-selling webcam on Amazon. It shoots in 1080p for clear video calls and can easily clip to your TV, laptop or desktop. It plugs in via USB 2.0, so you’ll need an adapter for a laptop like the MacBook Pro or Air. But it only runs you about $38 for a quality webcam, and there’s nothing wrong with saving cash.
7. Logitech C270 Desktop or Laptop Webcam
For when you need a bare-bones webcam that’s easy to use, offers reliable video quality and doesn’t demolish your bank account, Logitech’s C270 model has you covered. At under $20, this versatile webcam can be used for both laptops and desktops and comes with 720p video quality. It also features its own built-in mic (great for Skype calls) and comes with the ability to easily take 3MP snapshots with the click of a button. While it may not pack as much power as these other cams, it’s a great budget option, and one that may actually surprise people by how seamlessly it works.
8. Logitech BRIO
BEST VIDEO QUALITY
Logitech’s latest BRIO model is designed to be the cream of the crop, and with a price tag of $160, it definitely lives up to the hype. The BRIO’s stunning glass lens supports a 4K image sensor and a super-smart autofocus that helps make blurry vids a thing of the past. It also has the capability to automatically adjust the focus and light settings based on a specific room. What’s more, it offers stunning 4K streaming and recording that works great for video conferences, meetings and everything in between. As an added bonus, it also features a 5k zoom to help you hone in on any focal point.
9. Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam
BEST FOR GAMERS
Looking for a webcam that’ll turn a few heads? The Razer Kiyo webcam looks like something out of a science fiction movie, but under the hood it packs some serious horsepower. 100 percent designed for streaming use, this webcam records video at an impressive 60 frames per second and even features a multi-step ring lighting system that lets you dim or brighten the camera’s light on command. A smart option for gamers and everyday streamers, it also features a smart, foldable design that makes it a great on-the-go option for people looking to stream outside the house.
10. Spedal Wide Angle Webcam
BEST WIDE-ANGLE LENS
For when you want to capture a little more space, this Spedal model features a super-wide 120-degree viewing angle to help you record more. The 1080P lens is able to record video at roughly 30fps, and the built-in noise-canceling microphones make it a great option for bigger groups and rowdier environments. It also features automatic low-light correction and image enhancement technology, both of which help make it a solid choice for video conferences and large video chats.
Image courtesy of Amazon