The best webcams are there to enhance your computer's camera so you look clearer in online video. That can mean video conferencing using Zoom, vlogging on YouTube, or having a video chat using Meet, to name a few use cases. While most computers and laptops come with a webcam, a dedicated device is nearly always going to offer a better quality result.
A webcam means you can be seen, and heard, more clearly by the person you're video interacting with. Some even come with built-in LED ring lights to offer a better and more professional finish.
When considering the best option for you, it's worth keeping video quality at the front of your mind, as 1080p may service you just fine but in some cases, like group video conferencing, the 4K resolution can help to focus in on certain individuals. Equally, you may want to go for something that offers 60fps video, especially when vlogging, to get the smoothest quality video results and a more lifelike result.
Not all webcams come with a microphone built-in, as some offer better quality video and components without your money going on audio. These are often the more high-end picks that are aimed at professional use where the person recording will also likely have a dedicated microphone to capture audio.
With all of that said, we’ve tested a range of webcams from different brands to find the best webcams available right now. Read on to find the best choice for you.
Best webcams 2022
1. Logitech C922 Pro Stream: Best webcam overall
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When its products take up four out of the five slots in our guide, is it any surprise that a Logitech webcam topped our list of the best webcams? The Logitech C922 Pro Stream is the perfect jack of all trades webcam offering great image quality and features, while keeping the price reasonable. The build quality is fantastic too, as we’d expect from Logitech.
The Logitech C922 Pro Stream can be used in either 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second or 720p at 60 frames per second modes, giving you the choice between image quality and smoothness, depending on what you’re using it for. It also has some great features like digital zoom and auto-focus, which help you get the most out of your webcam with minimal effort.
It also comes with a dual microphone set-up, which offers superior audio quality over a single microphone. The most impressive feature though, is the price. At just $99, the Logitech C922 Pro Stream is affordable, without skimping on the quality. That’s why the Logitech C922 takes the top spot as our best webcam.
2. Logitech Brio Ultra HD Webcam: Best 4K webcam
It’s somewhat bizarre that most webcams are still sitting in the 1080p or lower camp these days, when we consider how prevalent 4K technology is today. Luckily, there are a few 4K webcams out there and the Logitech Brio Ultra HD Webcam is the best of the bunch for our money.
The Logitech Brio Ultra HD Webcam has a fully ultra HD lens which can record and stream video at 4K resolutions at 30 frames per second, or at 1080p at 60 frames per second. There are also a host of extra features including auto-focus, digital zoom, and RightLight - proprietary software that automatically adjusts lighting and contrast on the fly to make sure you look perfect in front of the camera.
As with all the Logitech webcams we tested, the Logitech Brio Ultra HD Webcam has premium build quality and an understated look that manages to be classy without looking boring. The price is steep, but the quality you’re getting here is undeniable, and this is one of the best webcams for anyone looking to futureproof themselves too.
3. Jabra PanaCast 20: Best for professional video conferencing
With the PanaCast 20, Jabra has created a premium and portable webcam that offers many of the powerful features of a business webcam, but designed for use at home. Well, it's actually for use anywhere, thanks to the quick plug and play setup, easy clip mounting system and compatible software.
For the relatively high price, you get 4K video quality and a triple microphone array. But it's the smart zoom and intelligent picture in picture we love. These let you crop in up to three times the zoom and still have 720p quality. That can mean when a person talks in a group, the webcam automatically zooms in on them for a clear view of their face. Or, for picture in picture, you could hold up a document you are talking about while your face is still shown in a corner window.
There are more affordable options out there, but then you likely won't get the portability of this camera. Also, for the money, you're getting a reassuringly solid metallic build, privacy lens cover and a two-year warranty.
- Read our full Jabra PanaCast 20 review.
4. Logitech Streamcam: Best webcam for streaming
One of the most stylish looking webcams we’ve reviewed, the Logitech Streamcam has an air of sophistication around it that none of the competition can match. Its styling is very reminiscent of the Amazon Echo. Fortunately, it isn’t all looks and no luster - the Logitech Streamcam is a fantastic bit of kit.
Like most of the best webcams we reviewed, the Logitech Streamcam is a 1080p HD camera, but unlike most others it’s capable of streaming at 1080p and 60 frames per second, making your video image look much smoother in motion. This is ideal for burgeoning streamers, but it’s also great for normal video calls too. The Streamcam is also super easy to set up, so it’s perfect for beginners.
The microphone isn’t anything to write home about though, and the price is a little steep, especially when you consider that you can get Logitech’s 4K Brio webcam for just $30 more.
5. Razer Kiyo: Best webcam for gamers
Razer has built its brand on the back of gaming peripherals, so it may seem strange to see it enter the webcam market, until you think about streaming. Streaming while playing games is an enormous market, so it makes sense for Razer to want a slice of that pie. Luckily this isn’t just a quick cash grab, as the Razer Kiyo is a surprisingly good webcam with a nifty party piece - the Ring Light. This is what earns it a place on our list of the best webcams.
The Raser Kiyo has a ring-shaped spotlight that surrounds the camera lens, ensuring that the subject is always perfectly illuminated in the center of the frame. The camera itself is great too, offering 1080p video streaming at 30FPS, or 720p at 60 FPS. The microphone lets the side down somewhat though. It’s fine for voice calls, but streamers should probably look into getting a separate mic.
6. Logitech HD C615: Best webcam on a budget
If the Logitech HD C615 gets any older, Indiana Jones is going to insist that it belongs in a museum. And yet, despite its senior age, the Logitech HD C615 remains an excellent choice if you’re looking for one of the best webcams on a budget.
While the Logitech HD C615 is only capable of streaming video at 720p, that’s fine for most people and in line with what built-in webcams on laptops typically manage. It can still record video in full HD though and the image quality is pretty good for a camera this cheap.
There are some sacrifices that you’ll have to make in the name of cost cutting though - the Logitech HD C615 can only stream video in 720p resolution (though it can still record video at full HD). You also give up on fancy extras like digital zoom.
7. Vitade Stream Webcam HD960: Best budget webcam with ring light
If you want to save when upgrading to a dedicated webcam but still want to get one with an LED ringlight built-in, then the Vitade Stream Webcam HD960 could be the pick of the bunch for you. It offers a decent 1080p resolution and couldn't be easier to get setup to start using. The light ring itself comes with three levels of power that you can change by simply tapping the touch sensitive button on the front of the device. Build quality feels solid, far beyond what you might expect for the price.
The downside is that image quality isn't the best and that LED light ring won't do much unless you're using it at night. So if you’re a gamer mostly streaming at night, this is a very good option.
- Read our full Vitade HD960 webcam review.
What to look for in a webcam
What to look for when buying one of the best webcams
Webcam build quality, frame rate, resolution, and microphone quality all factor into pricing. For an item of reasonable quality, you’re looking at spending anywhere from $30 up to $100 for one of the best webcams. We wouldn’t recommend going any cheaper than that, as webcams in this range will offer poor image and audio quality, leaving you looking like a pixelated mess. If you’re seriously into video recording, however, you’ll want a 4k webcam which’ll end up costing you around $200 for something decent.
You don’t want to end up with a webcam with the video quality of a potato, so it’s important to pay attention to video resolution and frame rate. Detail and clarity in videos are determined by video resolution, which is the number of pixels contained in each frame. The most common resolutions are 720p and 1080p (the p stands for pixels), but it can go up to 2K, 4K, and even 8K!
Cheaper webcams tend to shoot 720p video, which falls into the "it’ll do"” category if you’re not bothered by low details and slightly grainy video. The majority of the best webcams we’ve reviewed have a 1080p resolution as this offers clear video for a fair price. If you’re willing to part with more cash, you can get webcam models that have 4K video resolution, which looks beautiful but might be overkill for work meetings.
The other element that determines video quality is the frame rate. Video frame rate refers to the speed at which images are shown. The higher the frame rate, the higher quality the video will be. Most of the best webcams work at 30 frames per second (FPS), which is a decent frame rate for video calls. Those into streaming and vlogging might want to consider webcams that work at 60 FPS as they give a smoother, more fluid image quality. Pair that with the best video capture software and best video editing software and you’re ready to start your YouTube career.
When purchasing one of the best webcams your primary focus will naturally be on visuals, but it’s also important to consider its audio chops too. Honestly, even from the better webcams on the market, the audio quality won’t be fantastic, but it’ll be good enough for video chatting. At minimum, what you want to look for is a webcam that offers noise reduction (this helps reduce ambient noise) and at least one microphone. If you’re after higher quality sound, and contingent on your needs, you’re better off investing in a headset with an integrated mic or even a standalone microphone.
Depending how hands-on you want to be with your webcam, you can choose between three different types of focusing systems: fixed, manual, and autofocus. A fixed focal point means the lenses can’t be adjusted and the webcam only focuses on one single spot. Wher
Autofocus is great for everywhere (and especially beginners) because, as the name suggests, it automatically focuses the camera for you, even if you’re moving about – ideal for enthusiastic streamers. This type of webcam tends to cost a little bit more, but we think they’re worth every penny.
Those with a bit more camera technical know-how might prefer a manual focus webcam so they can get the perfect shot. These webcams tend to fall in both the budget-friendly and pricier price bracket.
Finally, you’ve got fixed focus webcams. This feature tends to be found in lower-priced devices as they require less technical parts to make. A great option for users on a budget who know that they’ll be remaining stationary in front of the camera.
Glass or plastic? The material your webcam’s lens is made out of matters as it has an effect on overall image quality. While plastic lenses are cheaper, they are easily scratched and image quality is just okay. Whereas a lens made from glass, a material of higher quality, offers crystal-clear photo and video, but you do need to pay a little more for the upgrade in quality.
Generally, the option for mounting your webcam is to either clip it to your laptop or monitor, or place it directly on your desk. Both have their ups and downs. While clipping your webcam in one place keeps it secure and out of the way, there is a lack of mobility, limited to minor tilt and pan adjustments. However, this might be all you need if you know that you’re just going to be staying in one spot. Other webcams that have universal mounts offer more flexibility and can be used with a tripod, perfect for those with more demanding filming needs.
Should you even buy a webcam?
As most laptops come with a webcam built in as standard, you might wonder if it’s worth buying an external webcam. Although these built-in webcams won’t be as powerful or feature rich as standalone webcams, if you’re not too fussy about having top quality video then these will be just fine for the occasional Zoom call. Even a smartphone can work if you’re desperate and don’t want to shell out any extra bucks.
With that being said, if you want to have control over the kind of focus system you have and the video capture speed, then it’s worth investing in one of the best webcams. They can really make a difference to your video and audio quality, especially if you’re into live streaming, vlogging, or frequently on conference calls. The best webcams will certainly help you find your best angle.