While many of the best laptops and all-in-one PCs have HD webcams built in, desktop PC users are generally left behind. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a way around it though – you can pick up one of the best webcams yourself for a similar – or even better – experience than their laptop brethren can offer.
So, what should you look for in the best webcams? Well, like most things, it’ll boil down to how you use it. Are you looking to become the next Twitch celebrity? Or, do you just want to have some friendly video calls every now and then?
No matter what you’re looking for, we’ll help you find the best webcam for your needs. From webcams with quirky and beautiful aesthetics to traditional cameras that are all about that sweet fidelity, we found the best webcams you can buy today. So, sit back, relax and get ready to find the best webcam for your needs.
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
The Razer Kiyo isn’t just a weird-looking webcam, it’s one of the best webcams for streaming – something that’s all the rage these days. However, with the Razer Kiyo, Razer has stripped away a lot of the fancy bells and whistles that higher-end webcams offer and focused on what matters most to game streamers – good image quality and lighting with the special Light Ring. This ensures that you don’t need to spend a ton of time configuring your stream – just plug in the Razer Kiyo and get to work.
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
If you’re trying to do some live streaming, or you’re trying to capture the magic of the real world, Mevo might be right up your alley. If you’re an aspiring journalist, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the Mevo or the Mevo Plus, as either of these webcams will let you capture footage live, no matter where you are in the world – as long as you can connect to a mobile network. As an bonus, Mevo is 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 large displays, the LifeCam Studio features a familiar combination 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 sound and Microsoft’s TrueColor system will shift the exposure dynamically to keep you well lit. It’s a great 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 looked at webcam in disgust because it doesn’t push the same amount of pixels as your smartphone? Well, you’ll love the Logitech Brio Webcam. With a 4K UHD resolution and HDR, the Logitech Brio has brought high fidelity to the world of the best webcams. And, if that wasn’t enough, it also features Windows Hello functionality and an easy to use stand which will let you position it wherever you need.
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 may not be the first company you think of when you’re looking for the best webcams, but after the Creative Labs Senz3D, that will change. This space-age 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 isn’t cheap, but you’re getting all the bells and whistles with this Creative webcam
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
Samsung smart TV’s aren’t compatible with most of the best webcams. Luckily, though, Samsung has 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 supported, but if you want to use Samsung’s own gesture control features and its virtual mirror for fitness apps, then it’s your only real 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 1080p 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