Even if the best laptops and all-in-one computers sport built-in HD webcams in 2018, most traditional desktop PCs don’t have the same luxury. Luckily, you can pick up the best webcams for a similar, or in many cases better, experience than their laptop brethren can offer.
So, what’s the best webcam for you? Well, everything comes down to what you’re trying to do: are you looking to become a Twitch or YouTube celebrity? Or do you just want to chill and have a video conference with your mates?
From those with traditional designs, that focus on AV fidelity to webcams with quirky and colorful designs – we’ve found the best webcam for you, no matter what you’re looking for.
So, if you’re looking to buy the best webcam for video calling using Skype or Google Hangouts, look no further – the 10 best webcams will be found on this list. Read on to find out which has the best set of features in terms of image quality or sound – or even a perfect combo of the two.
1. Logitech C922 Pro Stream
It's game on for Logitech's newest webcam
Resolution: 1080p | Features: Background removal, Low-light correction, 720p/60fps video while streaming, Stereo audio, autofocus, auto light correction
Logitech's newest webcam, the Logitech G922 Pro Stream features the same classy design as the C920 before it, but it’s especially interesting for gamers this time around. The C922 still boasts excellent 1080p video quality when it comes to hosting video calls, and its automatic low-light correction makes it a great cam for streaming with the lights off. It also supports background removal, making it ideal for budding YouTubers.
2. Razer Kiyo
A spotlight on streaming
Resolution: 1080p | Features: Ring light, Compatibility with OBS and Xsplit
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a webcam coming from Razer is almost entirely focused on streaming – it’s all the rage amongst gamers these days. However, with the Razer Kiyo, Razer has stripped away many of the fancy bells and whistles that higher-end webcams boast and focused on what matters to streamers – good image quality and lighting with their special Light Ring. This Light Ring ensures that you won’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time before your stream messing with lights to get that perfect effect – just plug in the Razer Kiyo and you’re good to go.
3. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
Cheap, cheerful and ideal for Skype
Resolution: 720p | Features: Colour correction, noise cancelling
If you need something cheap and cheerful for Skype, Messenger, Facebook or AOL, Microsoft's LifeCam range offers decent performance for a low price. You don't get 1080p video at this price point, but you do get automatic color correction, a noise-cancelling unidirectional microphone and a stand to fit laptops and desktops alike. It's a cheap way to solve the problem of a PC without a camera or even with a camera that isn't up to snuff.
Livestreaming on the go
Resolution: 2160p | Features: 4K recording, Mobile device compatibility, Live video and audio editing, Bluetooth 4.1
Let’s say you want to livestream, or capture video, but your muse out in the real world, rather than in the digital one – Mevo is going to be the best webcam for you. If you’re an aspiring journalist, or even if you want to capture your daily adventures around the city, you should check out the Mevo or the Mevo Plus, as either of these devices will allow you to livestream from anywhere you can imagine through your mobile network. Plus, it’s small and inconspicuous enough to not distract your subject in the middle of an interview.
5. Microsoft LifeCam Studio
A pro camera for pro people
Resolution: 1080p | Features: Colour correction, hi-fi microphone, Skype
Aimed at pro users with big monitors, the LifeCam studio offers the familiar combination of 1080p recording and 720p live video calling. It rotates 360 degrees, can be mounted on a tripod and even autofocus with a range from four inches to infinity. The wideband mic delivers crystal clear sound and Microsoft's TrueColor system automatically adjusts the exposure to keep you from the darkness. It's a good choice for business conferencing and presentations.
Read the full review: Microsoft LifeCam Studio
6. Logitech Brio Webcam
Bringing 4K to a webcam near you
Resolution: 2160p | Features: 4K recording, 5X HD Zoom, Windows Hello, HDR
Have you ever used a webcam and turned up your nose because it can’t push the same amount of pixels as your phone? Well, you’re in luck. Featuring a stunning 2160p resolution and HDR compatibility, the Logitech Brio Webcam has finally brought 4K HDR performance to the webcam world. And if that isn’t enough, it’s also loaded with Windows Hello compatibility and an easy to use stand which will let you position it wherever you need to.
7. Creative Labs Senz3D
The Webcam of the future
Resolution: 1080p | Features: Background removal, Low-light correction, Windows Cortana and Hello compatibility, Facial tracking
Creative might not be the first manufacturer that comes to mind when you think of webcams, but after the Creative Labs Senz3D, that might change. This futuristic webcam has more features than you can shake a stick at, and the high-tech 3D scanner and facial tracking tech promises to lead to some intriguing things in both AR functionality and even gaming. It’s expensive, but you really are getting all the bells and whistles with the Creative Labs Senz 3D.
8. Logitech C930e
It costs a lot, but it does a lot too
Resolution: 1080p | Features: On-board processing, Zeiss lens, wide angle lens
The C930e claims to be Logitech's most advanced HD webcam and it's also one of the most expensive ones on the market. But, unlike traditional webcams, which rely on the PC to do the heavy lifting, this unit does the video encoding itself, which should in turn result in better video quality. The wide, 90-degree field of view means it’s well-suited to business videoconferencing and presentations, and of course it’s Skype-certified for PC and Mac.
9. Samsung VG-STC5000
Need a camera for your Samsung TV?
Resolution: 1080p | Features: Works on Samsung TVs
Normal webcams don't work with Samsung smart TVs, and by an interesting coincidence Samsung just happens to have its own proprietary camera for its H, HU, JS and JU models. We wouldn't recommend buying one for Skype as the smart TV version of Skype is no longer being supported, but if you want to use Samsung's own gesture control features and its virtual mirror for fitness apps then it's really your only option.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech C930e
10. AUSDOM 1080P HD Webcam Camera with Built-in Microphone
1080p Full HD for less than £21/$27? Oh yeah
Resolution: 1080p | Features: Built-in microphone with noise reduction, low-light enhancement tech, flexible stand
If you’re looking for a full HD webcam without the full HD webcam price, this little webcam is currently pretty cheap. Bolstering resolutions up to 20180p HD while supporting 12MP stills, a noise-cancelling microphone and low-light compensation, this camera is feature-packed yet frugal. There’s no autofocus and you don’t get a big bundle of software, but the low, low price more than makes up for any shortcomings.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Microsoft LifeCam Studio
- You can't stream without the best wireless router
Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article