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Logitech C920 Webcam review

The original Jack-Of-All-Trades

Logitech c920 wide shot
Best in Class
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Logitech C920 is still the best bestcam you can buy today despite being much older than most of its competition. With a perfect balance of performance and affordability, the C920 offers exactly what the everyday person needs in a webcam,

Pros

  • +

    Great quality on a budget

  • +

    Sturdy, reliable build

  • +

    Autofocus is fantastic

Cons

  • -

    Framerate capped at 30fps

  • -

    Lacks variable FOV

  • -

    White balance is a bit 'meh'

Two-minute review

If you've been hunting online for a webcam in recent years then chances are you've stumbled across the Logitech C920 webcam in some buying guides and lists for the best webcams on the market. This could be seen as slightly deceiving because it certainly isn't the most powerful webcam you can buy today, but its legendary status is well deserved. Not only is the Logitech C920 still one of the best Logitech webcams, it remains the top choice across all brands despite being released almost 10 years ago.

A major reason for this is that the C920 manages to balance performance and affordability in a way that other brands seem to consistently miss. When it was released back in 2012 the C920 cost $99 (around £70, AU$130), but prices have varied across the years, at one point dipping as low as $50 before the Covid-19 pandemic closed offices and drove demand for webcams through the roof.

Now that things have calmed down somewhat the recommended price has dropped to $79.99 / £89.99 / AU$145, but given the age of the product you can get your hands on one for much less than that.

Logitech C920

(Image credit: Future)

This is still an expensive investment for many, but when you stack the C920 against other, newer webcams in the market, it paints a perspective on 'getting your monies worth'. If you need a noticeable step up in video quality then something like the Logitech Brio will provide 4K footage, but for twice the price at $199 / £209 / AU$350, which for many will be a wasted investment given most conferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams actually restricts video output down to 1080p/30fps regardless. 

There are also dedicated streaming webcams that offer visual optimizations and 60 frames-per-second for smoother video such as the Razer Kiyo Pro and Logitech StreamCam, but for anyone not looking to get started on platforms like Twitch or YouTube, this benefit is costly and unnecessary for everyday webcam use. 

Equally, while cheaper products promising 1080p quality might be more appealing to your wallet, the quality of brandless webcams found on sites like Amazon makes for a risky purchase and the internal sensors don't hold a light to what Logitech is offering in the C920. 

If you're looking for a great all-rounder that won't cost a fortune then this is still the product to beat. It's easy to use, gives you a variety of mounting options and works reliably as the years go by – our review unit is four years old and still works as new.

Design

Webcam Specifications

Here are the specifications for the Logitech C920:
Connection type: USB-A
Image resolution: up to 15 Megapixels
Video Resolution: 1080p at 30 fps / 720p at 30 fps
Microphone: Stereo
Still Image Resolution: 1920x1080
Image Quality Settings Customization: Yes
Diagonal Field of View (FOV): 78°
Focus Type: Auto
Mounting Options: L-shape joint
Cable Length: 1.5 meters built-in cable

The design certainly isn't going to knock anyone's socks off but its bar design is highly recognizable, to the point where it's likely that other brands have taken inspiration and applied a similar look to their own products over the years. The camera lens is located centrally on the 'bar', with LED lights that turn blue when the camera is in use and microphones on either side.

The C920 doesn't have a built-in lens cover like the C920s model, but you can easily source one online (unofficially as they're not sold by Logitech) if that's something you want on a webcam.

The claw-style grip will easily fit onto most laptop screens and PC monitors, but if you prefer keeping your display clear then you can also fix the mounting clip onto traditional tripods. You won't get a tripod included with the box, but if you already have one laying around then it's a great way to get creative with your camera angles if you're broadcasting in a messy room.

There's no detachable USB-C style cable as seen in products like the Logitech Brio, so the 1.5m USB-A cable is built into the back of the device which might make transporting it around a tad cumbersome, but this is fairly standard practice for non-streaming optimized webcams. 

Performance

Logitech c920 rear shot

(Image credit: Future)

There's very little fuss involved with setting up the C920; just plug it into your computer or laptop and it's good to go. There are no drivers that need to be installed or updated, and it'll work on Windows (7 or later), MacOS 10.0 onwards and Chrome OS, giving you some flexibility regarding your devices and operating systems.

The actual out-of-box camera quality is great. The colors look a little on the cool side but you can download the free Logi Capture software if you wanted to make any tweaks to brightness, saturation, sharpness and contrast, and the cooler hue can actually make rooms look a little brighter if you decided to leave it be. This can also be rectified by switching off the automatic white balance, which seems to be the culprit responsible.

We compared the performance to that of the Logitech C310, a budget 720p webcam aimed at people looking for a bargain and the ultra-powerful Logitech Brio at both 1080p and 4K. This is where the C920 shows how it's earned the top spot as one of the world's most in-demand webcams. All of the test images were taken on the device's factory settings.

Image 1 of 4

Image taken on a Logitech c920

Image taken on the Logitech C920 (Image credit: Future)

Image taken on the Logitech C920

Image 2 of 4

Image taken at 1080p on a logitech Brio

Image taken on the Logitech Brio at 1080p (Image credit: Future)

Image taken on the Logitech Brio at 1080p

Image 3 of 4

4K image taken on a Logitech Brio

Image taken on the Logitech Brio at 4K (Image credit: Future)

Image taken on the Logitech Brio at 4K

Image 4 of 4

Image taken on a logitech C310

Image taken on the Logitech C310 at 720p (Image credit: Future)

Image taken on the Logitech C310 at 720p

The C310 is clearly no real competitor here, with a narrower 60° FOV that requires the device to be pretty far away from its subject. The filming quality is also dramatically inferior to that of the C920, with a maximum output of 720p at 30fps. 

Similarly, while the Brio provides much nicer footage at 4K, you can't broadcast 4K video on most conference calling software so buying one for everyday works calls would be an expensive investment. If you pop the image quality of the Brio down to 1080p / 60fps then despite being noticeably smoother, the actual video quality isn't as good as the C920. 

The light detection is fantastic, helping to keep the recording subject in focus with minimal noise in low light environments, and while the built-in microphones leave something to be desired, your speech is still understandable and no webcam really has amazing audio capabilities and we always suggest using either a headset mic or dedicated XLR or USB microphone

The autofocus follows our 'Goldilocks' trend of being 'just right' – where other webcams can be a little too sensitive with trying to keep the subject in focus, resulting in footage of constantly re-focusing video if you dare to even breathe a little too enthusiastically, the C920 likes to pick a focal point and stick to it unless you really swing yourself out of the shot. This makes it a great choice for streamers just getting started on Twitch or YouTube given how messy autofocus can make a stream if you're unable to switch the feature off. 

In essence, the Logitech C920 is the perfect webcam because it's perfected giving you exactly what you need at a reasonable price, and with very little fuss. Sure, you could throw $200+ on something really fancy, but the C920 provides exactly what most folk need in terms of performance, affordability and ease of use. Truly the peoples' champion of webcams.

Buy if...

You want great quality video on a budget
While it's missing a few features we would have liked to see, there's no denying that the Logitech StreamCam has fantastic video quality. This would be a great choice of streaming camera for your channel.

You're looking to give streaming a try
The C920 is significantly more affordable than dedicated streaming webcams while still being a high-quality device, which makes it a perfect entry-level streaming camera.

You want to have mounting options
The C920 comes with a non-detachable claw type mount, but with a traditional thread that can be used with standard tripods which gives you some flexibility over where you place the webcam in your setup.

Logitech c920 underside

(Image credit: Future)

Don't buy if...

You need a wide field of view
The Logitech C920 is set to a 78-degree FOV, so you can't get any wide room shots if you like to have more of your background in your broadcasts.

You don't want to use a separate microphone
While it does has a built-in stereo microphone that will work in a pinch, it isn't particularly good and any headset or USB mic will provide better quality audio recording.

You want insanely high-quality video
The Logitech C920 is the best choice for most people when you consider performance vs affordability, but there are certainly more powerful products on the market if you're willing to empty your wallet.

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer (@Zombie_Wretch on Twitter), where she covers all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. She also likes to dabble in digital art and 3D printing, and can often be found playing games of both the Video and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.