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Best cheap webcams 2021

Best cheap webcams save you money.
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PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Webcam deals

(Image credit: logitech)

Click on the links below to access the current live stocks of webcams at these popular retailers. 

US | Walmart | Amazon US | Logitech | Microsoft | B&H Photo | Newegg

UK | Argos | Amazon | Currys | CPC | Staples

It may have been hard getting your hands on the best cheap webcams over the last year and a half, but that’s thankfully changed as things have somewhat settled down. While most people searching for one have focused on companies like Logitech and Microsoft, there are a number of other well-known manufacturers rolling out quality budget-friendly options.

Investing in a webcam for Zoom is much more crucial than in the past, and this is probably the best time to upgrade from the one built into your laptop. People are working from home in increasing numbers and video conferencing has become an essential tool. Even students have relied more on video calls during these uncertain times. And, though most are heading back to school, remote learning will probably stick around in one form or another for the foreseeable future.

To help you, we’ve collected a variety of excellent yet budget-friendly webcams here. They might not be as feature-rich as their more expensive siblings. But, if you can live without 4K resolution, multi-mic arrays, and auto-pan and tilt, you will still end up with something with excellent image quality. Getting a proper video conferencing solution doesn’t have to break the bank, after all. We’ll help you get a cheap webcam for video calls, streaming video games and back to school season.

The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is our top pick.

1. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

Cheap, cheerful and ideal for Skype

Specifications
Resolution: 720p
Features: Colour correction, noise cancelling
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Cheerful
Reasons to avoid
-720p only

The Microsoft LifeCam Studio is our top pick for the best cheap webcam. Aimed at pro users with large displays, it features a familiar configuration of 1080p recording and 720p live video calling. It rotates 360 degrees, and can be mounted on a tripod with autofocus. The wideband mic delivers crystal clear audio, and Microsoft’s TrueColor system will shift the exposure dynamically to keep you well lit, making it a great choice for business conferencing and presentations.

The Microsoft LifeCam Studio is made for business conferencing and presentations.

2. Microsoft LifeCam Studio

A pro camera for pro people

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p
Features: Colour correction, hi-fi microphone, Skype
Reasons to buy
+Wide field of view+Wideband mic for better sound
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Really designed for corporate types

It isn’t the most attractive webcam, but the LifeCam Studio isn’t really designed to be attractive. Instead, it’s made for business conferencing and presentations, with its 1080p recording, 720p live video calling and wideband mic to deliver crystal clear sound. Not too shabby for a budget-friendly webcam. This is a serious peripheral – one that requires a powerful PC for max settings – but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking bells and whistles. For instance, it comes with 360-degree rotating capabilities and Microsoft’s TrueColor system, which will shift the exposure dynamically to keep you well lit.

Read the full review: Microsoft LifeCam Studio

The Logitech HD Webcam C310 is a cheap but brilliant option.

(Image credit: Logitech)

3. Logitech HD Webcam C310

A brilliant budget webcam from Logitech

Specifications
Resolution: 720p
Features: Adjustablestand
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Basic

Logitech makes brilliant webcams, and the Logitech HD Webcam C310 is a fantastic budget offering, that offers very good image quality for the price. Resolution is just 720p, but for most people that won't be an issue. In fact, if you have an internet connection that struggles with high definition videos, then this is actually a bonus.

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream boasts excellent 1080p video quality.

(Image credit: Logitech)

4. Logitech C922 Pro Stream

It's game on for Logitech's newest webcam

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p
Features: Background removal, Low-light correction, 720p/60fps video while streaming, Stereo audio, autofocus, auto light correction
Reasons to buy
+Great low-light capabilities+Background removal feature+Supports 720p/60fps streaming
Reasons to avoid
-Same design as the C920-No RealSense capabilities

The Logitech G922 Pro Stream features the same classy design as its predecessor, the C920, but it’s an especially interesting cheap webcam for gamers this time around. The C922 still boasts excellent 1080p video quality, great for hosting video calls, and its automatic low-light correction makes it a fantastic cam for streaming with the lights off. It also supports background removal, making it ideal for budding YouTubers.

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.