The best cheap webcams 2022: budget webcams for budget-minded users

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
best cheap webcam Logitech C920s Pro against a blue TechRadar background
(Image credit: Future)
Editor's Note: December 2022

We've added a new entry to our cheap webcams guide this month. In anticipation of Black Friday, we've also added the very cheap JLab JBuds USB webcam, which we've been testing recently.

JLab has been knocking it out of the park with their affordable offerings, and the brand is a really great choice if you're hoping to get a quality device for much less.

Michelle Rae Uy, Buying Guides Editor

The best cheap webcams deliver that great quality video you need to connect with colleagues and loved ones without costing you a lot of money. Thanks to the popularity of working from home, taking online classes, and creating content for platforms such as Twitch and YouTube, webcams have made a resurgence. And, peripheral manufacturers large and small have responded with a glut of options for every budget and need. 

That means that those who do not have the budget for one of the best webcams can still get a solid option with good picture quality and a good feature set. It doesn’t matter if you want a webcam for Mac or are specifically in the market for a Logitech webcam. Not only are there plenty of cheap options available, but plenty of them provide surprisingly solid performance and quality. 

We’ve used and reviewed many webcams and have applied our experience and expertise to determine which webcams are worth your hard earned cash. Take a look at what we think are the best cheap webcams available right now. 

Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, early Black Friday deals already abound. Don’t forget that even with their low price tag, the best webcam deals might still net you some extra savings, and we'll share those deals right here are they go live.

The best cheap webcams 2022

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Logitech C920s Pro HD, one of the best cheap webcams, against a white background

(Image credit: Logitech)
Still the best cheap webcam overall

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Features: Privacy shutter, HD auto light correction

Reasons to buy

+
Sturdy, reliable build
+
Autofocus is fantastic

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks variable FOV

The Logitech C920s Pro may not be the cheapest option on this list, but it's still inexpensive, especially for a webcam that has the "pro" label on its name. Unlike other "cheap" webcams that are more stripped down, it comes loaded with useful features like a privacy shutter and Logitech’s RightLight 2 technology that allows you to adjust lighting conditions, brightness and contrast.

This is a 1080p camera, and while it is limited to 30fps, we found its visuals to be sharp and smooth, so you know you'll look good when you're on a business video call with clients and colleagues. You'll come out loud and clear as well, thanks to its dual-mic setup for stereo audio.

Overall, the Logitech C920s Pro is the best webcam that manages to balance great performance, nice features, and a fairly inexpensive price. If you're happy to spend a little more, you should get it.

Read our full Logitech C920s Pro review

best cheap webcam JLab JBuds USB webcam against a white background

(Image credit: JLab)

2. JLab JBuds USB webcam

Great budget webcam that's even cheaper than most

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Features: Adjustable clip, Auto-focus, interchangeable fabric faceplates

Reasons to buy

+
The price is right
+
Solid 1080p at 30Hz performance
+
Wider field of view than pricier models

Reasons to avoid

-
Autofocus could be faster
-
Audio is mediocre
-
No privacy shutter

The JLab JBuds USB webcam is a nice upgrade from just about any stock webcam that came with your laptop. It provides a solid 1080p image at 30 Hz – most laptops’ webcams max out at 720p still – and a nice wide 93 degree field of view, wider than some pricier models out there.

While we’re in the middle of testing it, we do notice a few corners that have been cut. There’s no privacy shutter. The audio quality is not very impressive. And, the autofocus is a bit on the slow side. That said, the autofocus works well if you’re not moving around too much.

Beyond those limitations, there’s plenty to like such as its universal, adjustable clip that’s threaded on the bottom for a tripod mount and the 360 degree turning radius of the camera. It also comes with two different colored faceplates for a small amount of personalization. We also appreciate the long, braided cable. And, it’s compatible with PC, Mac, and ChromeOS.

The Microsoft LifeCam Studio, the best cheap webcam for professionals, against a white background

The best cheap webcam for professionals

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

The LifeCam Studio is a budget webcam made for business conferencing and presentations. As such, it isn’t the most attractive option out there. In fact, we found it to be a little intimidating, looking like a CCTV camera from a dystopian nightmare. But, it’s not designed to be attractive; it’s designed for business and work calls.

It boasts 1080p recording, 720p live video calling, and a wideband mic to deliver crystal clear sound. That’s not too shabby for a cheap 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. The latter feature will shift the exposure and colour dynamically. This helps improve the overall quality of your footage and keeps you well-lit, whatever environment you’re in. Finally, video effects and augmented reality objects may be added to your live feed if you want to keep your meetings fun and lighthearted.

Read our full Microsoft LifeCam Studio review

The Logitech HD Webcam C310, the best cheap 1080p webcam, against a white background

(Image credit: Logitech)

4. Logitech HD Webcam C310

The best cheap 720p webcam

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. It may be stripped down and its resolution is limited to just 720p at 30fps, but most people need all the fancy frills anyway. In fact, most users just need a reliable, good quality webcam to see through their daily video calling needs. And, for those folks, this is the best cheap webcam.

It offers very good image quality for the price, which is the most important thing. In fact, if you have an internet connection that struggles with high definition videos, then this is actually an advantage. While it may be light on features, it comes with its share of them including the automatic light correction or RightLight 2, which we found to be effective at delivering cleaner, better-looking visuals. 

Those who prefer tighter frames will appreciate its 60° diagonal field of view. Meanwhile, those who live in loud, busy households will love that the mic comes with noise-reduction capabilities. 

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream, the best cheap 720p webcam, against a white background

(Image credit: Logitech)

5. Logitech C922

The best cheap 1080p 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. It also inherits the same excellent 1080p video quality, great for hosting video calls, and Logitech’s RightLight 2 automatic low-light correction that proves to be a major advantage whether you’re streaming on YouTube or doing business calls, especially in low light. Of course, that 1080p resolution should also keep things futureproof.

But wait, there’s more. This inexpensive webcam also supports background removal, making it ideal for budding YouTubers and game streamers. Its 720p at 60fps comes in handy as well, especially when streaming fast-paced games. And, it includes a free 3-month premium XSplit license.

In other words, we found this to be a versatile webcam that’s ideal for different users, from professionals doing daily business calls to gamers who love streaming their games. It’s the most expensive one on this list, but considering its capabilities and the fact that you can use it for different purposes, you’re getting a lot of value.

Depstech DW49, the best cheap 4K webcam, against a white background

(Image credit: Depstech)

6. Depstech DW49

The best cheap 4K webcam

Specifications

Resolution: 4K
Features: Privacy cover and tripod included, light correction

Reasons to buy

+
Costs just as much as other 1080p webcams
+
Easy to setup

Reasons to avoid

-
Low light performance could be better
-
Dynamic range isn't great

The Depstech DW49 might not come from a well-known peripheral brand, but it's certainly one of those alternatives that have surfaced during the pandemic that are completely worth your while. That's especially if you're looking for a 4K webcam but don't have the budget for a brand-name option and are not super picky about its dynamic range.

Being much cheaper than other 4K webcam options, there are compromises here. The visuals you're getting aren't going to be the cleanest or the most vibrant. In fact, its low light performance isn't anything to write home about, so it's best to use this in better lighting situations.

However, it remains to be a great option for most people, including business professionals hoping to impress clients new and old. The autofocus is snappy, as is its auto-exposure. It also comes with a few extras, including a privacy cover, a metal tripod, and a clip mount with 360-degree rotation.

How to choose the best cheap webcam for you

You have to consider more than just price when choosing a cheap webcam. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending more replacing that lemon of a webcam you got off Amazon.

In fact, it’s important to dig deeper as plenty of cheap webcams are promoted as having features that imply a quality resolution or frame rate. But, instead of being misled and end up with a webcam with bad software or low quality sensors, let us help you separate the good from the bad.

When shopping around for a cheap webcam, don't just pay attention to the price. Same rules apply as when choosing a non-budget webcam: you must pay attention to the true resolution, frame rate, field of view, and the built-in microphone. 

These days, 720p webcams are still good, but if you want to future-proof your rig, get a 1080p one with 30fps at the very least. Depending on what you'll be using it for, you should also decide whether you want a wide field of you or a narrower one, which is better if it's just you that's going to be in front of the camera.

You likely won't know this until you've tested it, but see what is being said about how well it handles different lighting conditions, especially dark ones. Being cheap, these webcams are probably not going to handle low light as well, but some are better at it than others.

Michelle Rae Uy
Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.