So, you’ve checked out our great guide on how to look better on conference calls. You’ve done what you can but realize you need a new webcam. Here’s our top picks for webcams of all types.
Sure, every laptop out there has a webcam and you might well be already using that built-in thing, but it’s not very good, is it? It works like the most basic webcam out there because that’s exactly what it is. If you regularly take calls for business purposes, or you’re an avid streamer, you need something a little more effective.
We’ve narrowed things down to six of the best, encompassing various different needs, so there’s sure to be something perfect for you. Here’s the six best webcams for every purpose.
Best for General Use: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 ($49)
For all round general needs, you can’t go wrong with the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. The webcam provides full HD 1080p video calls on Skype with 720p available for other video calling services. H.264 hardware encoding ensures a faster and smoother experience, whatever you’re doing.
Additionally, Carl Zeiss optics with a 20-step autofocus mode means you always look at your best when using it thanks to quality optics and a sharp focus. The microphone quality solid but hardly studio quality, but everything else about the webcam makes up for it. It’s a significant upgrade over that awkward built-in webcam your laptop came with.
Best for Streaming: Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam ($80)
Specifically designed with streaming and gaming in mind, the Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam might be pricy but it’s ideal for regular game streamers. The webcam offers 1080p video at 30FPS with 60FPS available via 720p. Why does 60FPS matter? Professional streamers look for a camera with the same frame rate as their games to ensure the footage of them playing the game is smooth and seemlessly in sync with the actual game stream. A full HD glass lens and premium autofocus means you don’t have to put much effort into looking at your best with two built-in mics capturing your voice as you game.
Automatic light corrections further enhance the quality, with dim or poorly backlit settings still looking pretty good. It’s also possible to integrate your live image with any background scene, thanks to some useful software bundled in with the package. If you’re keen to be the next YouTube sensation, this is the webcam for you.
Best for Conference Calls: Logitech Pro 9000 PC Internet Camera Webcam ($90)
If you take a lot of conference calls via Skype and other internet services, you want a webcam that shows you mean business (or, at least, makes you look professional). The Logitech Pro 9000 PC Internet Camera Webcam is the perfect webcam for that. It offers ultra smooth auto focus thanks to its Carl Zeiss lens system, backed up by RightLight 2 technology that automatically adjusts brightness for the perfect image, even if your office has awful lighting.
As well as that, its HD video recording offers 2 megapixel sensor capturing with 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution with 8 megapixel still images. Face tracking technology helps ensure the focus stay on you. Plus, there’s noise cancelling technology within the microphone so audio will sound crisp and confident. It’s ideal for when you want your webcam to appear as professional as you.
Best for Travellers: Logitech C615 HD Webcam ($38)
There’s seemingly a Logitech based webcam for every eventuality and business travel is no exception. If you travel regularly, the Logitech C615 HD Webcam is the webcam for you. That’s due to its Fold and Go design which is a fancy way of saying it detaches from your monitor quickly, and is easy to slip into your bag. Compact size is a big part of what any traveler is after, and this webcam is just the right shape to toss into your bag without any concerns.
As well as that, it’s a competent webcam in its own right. Full HD 1080p video can be recorded with video chat running at 720p. Autofocus means you’ll look good doing so, and there’s a built in microphone that has noise-cancelling technology. Automatic light correction is also enabled here. Just don’t expect to move too far with it—the cable is only 3 foot long.
Best Budget Pick: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 ($23)
If you’re on a tight budget, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is the perfect cheap webcam to buy. Despite the low price, it still offers 720p HD video chat and recording, along with a noise reducing microphone.
Best of all, it utilizes TrueColor technology for bright and colorful videos, no matter what the background circumstances are. Even in low light, the picture will still look pretty good which is perfect if your workspace is a little dark at times (possibly because you blew your lamp budget on a webcam).
Expect only up to 4 megapixels for any photos you snap, but that’s a small price to pay for a budget webcam that’s still rich with features.
Best for 1080p on a budget: Yilador YL450 Webcam ($25)
Want 1080p HD recording but strapped for cash? Buy the Yilador YL450 Webcam. It streams and records 1080p video at 30fps which is an impressive feature for something that only costs $25.
Elsewhere, there’s a basic noise cancelling microphone to help you out, and its 5 foot cable is perfect for if you move about a lot. Despite being a little more awkward to rotate than others here, it’s quite impressive for its low price point. Even more so when you realise it’s only $2 more than the Microsoft LifeCam. Consider it the perfect starting point for your streaming career.