[ad_1]

Pho­to: tomsguide.com

If you think that web­cams are only for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of one fash­ion­able pro­fes­sion, you are seri­ous­ly mis­tak­en. Game streams, video con­fer­ences, live broad­casts on social net­works — for all this, it is often most con­ve­nient to use a web­cam, rather than a smart­phone or a mir­ror­less cam­era. In our rank­ing of the best web­cams, we will con­sid­er the most inter­est­ing offers for dif­fer­ent tasks.

Let’s ana­lyze which char­ac­ter­is­tics of web­cams are the most impor­tant.

Per­mis­sion
Frame fre­quen­cy
Lens
Micro­phone
Mount­ing meth­ods
Con­nec­tion meth­ods
Addi­tion­al func­tions
Sys­tem require­ments
Top web­cams
Best Bud­get Web­cams
Best mid-range web­cams
Top high end web­cams
Results

Permission

Gone are the days of Skype calls, when instead of a per­son you saw an incom­pre­hen­si­ble mess of pix­els. This does not mean that megapix­els com­plete­ly deter­mine the qual­i­ty of the pic­ture, but in the case of web­cams, there is a clear rela­tion­ship — the high­er the res­o­lu­tion, the bet­ter the video.

If you need a web­cam to call your rel­a­tives, then you don’t have to think about per­mis­sion. How­ev­er, in this case it is not nec­es­sary to buy a sep­a­rate web­cam at all, it is eas­i­er to use a smart­phone.

If your call reper­toire includes com­mu­ni­cat­ing with col­leagues and solv­ing work issues, then you should con­sid­er mod­els with a res­o­lu­tion of 720p or more. Today, such a cam­era can be found even in the bud­get seg­ment.

For more pro­fes­sion­al tasks — upload­ing videos to YouTube, stream­ing to Twitch or Only­Fans — you should look for a device with Full HD 1080p res­o­lu­tion. Such mod­els are quite com­mon, in our rank­ing of the best web­cams for a com­put­er they are the major­i­ty.

And if you want the best qual­i­ty for high-end busi­ness pre­sen­ta­tions and cre­ative broad­casts, look no fur­ther than a 4K cam­era. 4K res­o­lu­tion has already become the default video pro­duc­tion stan­dard, so this cam­era will be a great invest­ment for the very near future.

Frame frequency

For any online stream, the absolute min­i­mum will be 15 frames per sec­ond (if you’ve ever watched an old ani­me, this is it). But even for the most com­mon tasks like Zoom com­mu­ni­ca­tion, we rec­om­mend tak­ing a mod­el with a fre­quen­cy of at least 30 fps.

The best option for broad­casts would be 60 fps: such cam­eras can show a very smooth pic­ture and are suit­able for fast action scenes. This indi­ca­tor is espe­cial­ly impor­tant for game stream­ing.

Lens

There are two main mate­ri­als from which lens­es are made: plas­tic and glass. If image qual­i­ty is a pri­or­i­ty, take a more expen­sive option — glass.

The sec­ond impor­tant para­me­ter is the cam­er­a’s field of view (FOV), that is, the width of the space that it can cap­ture. For one per­son in front of the mon­i­tor, 60 degrees is enough, for two — 78 degrees, and for pre­sen­ta­tions and a table in a con­fer­ence room, it is bet­ter to take a wide-angle cam­era with a field of view of 90 degrees.

Microphone

A built-in micro­phone is a stan­dard fea­ture of almost any mod­ern web­cam. Mid-bud­get and high-end mod­els use two or more micro­phones, as well as omni­di­rec­tion­al micro­phones that record all the sounds around. This option is con­ve­nient for con­fer­ences when the voic­es of par­tic­i­pants are heard from dif­fer­ent direc­tions.

Often the cam­eras are either below face lev­el or too high above the mon­i­tor. Then the micro­phone picks up the sound worse, and this is reflect­ed in the qual­i­ty of the audio track. If you care about the best sound qual­i­ty, you should con­sid­er buy­ing a sep­a­rate micro­phone.

A tra­di­tion­al mon­i­tor mount is not the best solu­tion if sound is a pri­or­i­ty for you. Pho­to: pcmag.com

Mounting methods

  • On the table. The best option if you have a lot of space on your desk­top. The cam­era is mount­ed on a stand.
  • Clamp. The cam­era is attached to the mon­i­tor.
  • Com­bined — the two pre­vi­ous options in one cham­ber.
  • Sus­pend­ed. This mount­ing method is used when the cam­era is used for video sur­veil­lance.

Connection methods

Most web­cams today con­nect via USB. This is a fast, con­ve­nient and reli­able way to con­nect. There are mod­els that work via Blue­tooth and Wi-Fi — they are quite rare, while they are more expen­sive and the con­nec­tion is not so sta­ble. There are also net­work cam­eras that con­nect via an Inter­net cable. Usu­al­ly they are used for out­door and indoor video sur­veil­lance, for exam­ple, to mon­i­tor chil­dren.

Additional functions

Motion sen­sor: such a sen­sor can turn an ordi­nary web­cam into a full-fledged video sur­veil­lance cam­era.

Aut­o­fo­cus: Today, almost all mod­els are equipped with aut­o­fo­cus, the only ques­tion is its speed and accu­ra­cy. Usu­al­ly every­thing is sim­ple — the more expen­sive the cam­era, the bet­ter the aut­o­fo­cus. If you are going to move in the frame, fast aut­o­fo­cus is very impor­tant.

Back­light: There are stream cam­eras that come with a built-in ring light, which can be handy as an addi­tion­al light source.

System requirements

Most web­cams work great with Win­dows. But if you have a Mac or Lin­ux, be sure to check com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with your sys­tem. Oth­er­wise, most devices have min­i­mum require­ments for proces­sor pow­er, mem­o­ry size, and oth­er para­me­ters.

But if you are going to work with 1080p or 4K stream, be pre­pared that your com­put­er and inter­net con­nec­tion must match. You will need at least 8 GB of RAM, a proces­sor of at least a Core i7 series and an upload speed of at least 40 Mbps.

Top webcams

Best Budget Webcams

Xiao­mi IMILAB Web Cam­era Full HD 1080p

Cheap web­cam with a set of “adult” fea­tures. Pho­to: root-nation.com

Bud­get web­cam from Xiao­mi is a sim­ple and con­ve­nient option for zoom con­fer­ences and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with rel­a­tives. It can be used for basic broad­casts and online lec­tures — the cam­era sup­ports a “tele­vi­sion” frame rate of 30 fps. Wide view­ing angle: 85 degrees.

A 2‑megapixel matrix pro­duces a pro­gram­mat­i­cal­ly enlarged pic­ture at 1920 × 1080, but it is not enough for more seri­ous tasks. The cam­era does not per­form well in low and chang­ing light­ing con­di­tions.

The cam­era is equipped with the sim­plest built-in mono micro­phone with­out the pos­si­bil­i­ty of con­nect­ing an exter­nal micro­phone to it. For bet­ter sound, you will have to look for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­nect a micro­phone direct­ly to a com­put­er or to stim­ming acces­sories — an exter­nal sound card or recorder.

As always with Xiao­mi, the con­nec­tion to the com­put­er is as sim­ple and con­ve­nient as pos­si­ble — the USB port. The device is com­pat­i­ble with Win­dows 7, 8.1 and 10 as well as Mac OS X 10.6 and above.

The mod­el can be con­ve­nient­ly mount­ed on a mon­i­tor or tri­pod, as well as placed on a table. The cam­era tilts up and down almost 360 degrees. It has good aut­o­fo­cus with face detec­tion and motion-acti­va­tion.

Includ­ed are native util­i­ties and com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with Face­book and YouTube with­out addi­tion­al set­tings.

Price: 1 390 rubles

Pros:

  • bud­getary;
  • con­ve­nient fas­ten­ing;
  • fea­tures from more advanced mod­els.

Minus­es:

  • 2MP matrix will not amaze with the beau­ty of the pic­ture;
  • poor image qual­i­ty in low light.

Log­itech C270 HD Web­cam

Basic bud­get web­cam from Log­itech. Pho­to: logitech.com

There are a lot of Log­itech cam­eras in this top, and this is one of them. Log­itech C270 is per­haps one of the best sim­ple web­cams on the mar­ket for study­ing and call­ing via Skype and zoom. Its max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion is 720p at 30 fps — you should not expect super detail, but the pic­ture is quite suit­able for its pur­pos­es.

Com­pared to Xiao­mi, its matrix is ​​​​bet­ter — 3‑megapixel, and the image qual­i­ty is slight­ly high­er. But some users find that the device pro­duces fad­ed col­ors.

Log­itech has aut­o­fo­cus, but it only works up to 40 cm away. If the dis­tance is greater, the focus is fixed at one point. At the same time, there is an auto­mat­ic light­ing cor­rec­tion, so that the pic­ture will look appro­pri­ate in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions. The view­ing angle for one per­son is 60 degrees.

Log­itech decid­ed to save on the mate­r­i­al of the lens — plas­tic — and the micro­phone — mono. For study, com­mu­ni­ca­tion with rel­a­tives and col­leagues, this is enough. Uni­ver­sal clip / stand allows you to place the web­cam on the table and on the mon­i­tor.

The Log­itech C270 was released in 2010 and works seam­less­ly with old­er oper­at­ing sys­tems includ­ing Win­dows XP and Mac OS X 10.4.9.

Price: 2390 rubles

Pros:

  • inex­pen­sive and reli­able;
  • auto­mat­ic light­ing cor­rec­tion.

Minus­es:

  • does not spin or turn;
  • Aut­o­fo­cus only works up to 40 cm.

Log­itech C310 HD

The C310 HD has a larg­er sen­sor, but aut­o­fo­cus remains lim­it­ed to 40 cen­time­ters. Pho­to: logitech.com

The slight­ly more advanced Log­itech HD Web­cam C310 has a decent 5‑megapixel sen­sor that deliv­ers decent 720p images.

The rest of the cam­era is almost iden­ti­cal to the C270. The same design, although the body is slight­ly larg­er due to the larg­er sen­sor, the same mounts, aut­o­fo­cus up to 40 cm, 60-degree field of view, auto light­ing cor­rec­tion and a sim­ple noise-can­celling micro­phone.

In gen­er­al, this is a “lux­u­ry” option for zoom con­fer­ences, study and calls with col­leagues and friends.

Price: 2790 rubles

Pros:

  • good matrix and pic­ture;
  • auto­mat­ic light­ing cor­rec­tion.

Minus­es:

  • sta­t­ic — does not spin or turn;
  • Aut­o­fo­cus only works up to 40 cm.

Best mid-range webcams

Logitech C920

The Log­itech C920 can be found in every office in the world. Pho­to: tomsguide.com

This is an absolute clas­sic, and, accord­ing to some experts, the best cam­era in terms of price and qual­i­ty. The mod­el has been pro­duced since 2012, and since its incep­tion, it has con­sis­tent­ly been includ­ed in the rat­ings of the best web­cams with excel­lent reviews.

The cam­era has earned the love of stream­ers, con­tent mak­ers and office work­ers around the world. Every­one loves sharp 1080p at 30 fps with good col­or repro­duc­tion, auto expo­sure (light cor­rec­tion) and auto white bal­ance that makes sure your face looks nat­ur­al in any light.

A wide lens with a 78-degree field of view is suit­able for both indi­vid­ual and group calls. The mod­el uses optics from Carl Zeiss (qual­i­ty mark in the pho­to­graph­ic indus­try). The lens allows you to take good pho­tos with a res­o­lu­tion of 15 megapix­els. There is aut­o­fo­cus with face detec­tion and a good stereo micro­phone.

The cam­era is equipped with a uni­ver­sal clip mount that allows you to install the gad­get on a mon­i­tor or tri­pod, or sim­ply put it on a table.

If 30 frames per sec­ond is not enough for you, Log­itech has released an updat­ed mod­el — Log­itech C920S HD Pro, which can stream video in 720p at 60fps.

Price: 8 460 rubles

Pros:

  • excel­lent pic­ture in low light;
  • all the nec­es­sary “auto-”: aut­o­fo­cus, auto­ex­po­sure, auto white bal­ance;
  • a clas­sic that has stood the test of time.

Minus­es:

  • does not sup­port 60 fps;
  • sta­t­ic, does not rotate.

Logitech C930e

The C930e is very good for busi­ness con­fer­ences. Pho­to: logitech.com

Tra­di­tion­al web­cams leave all pro­cess­ing to the com­put­er and thus slow down old­er sys­tems when broad­cast­ing HD video. In con­trast, the Log­itech C930e does its own pro­cess­ing and encod­ing — it sup­ports effi­cient H.264 codecs with Scal­able Video Cod­ing (SVC) and UVC 1.5 tech­nol­o­gy. This not only eas­es the load on the sys­tem, but also pro­vides improved image qual­i­ty dur­ing broad­cast.

The cam­era shoots and broad­casts 1080p at 30 fps. Wide-angle 90-degree field of view is suit­able for video con­fer­enc­ing, pre­sen­ta­tions and cre­ative broad­casts. The mod­el works with many office con­fer­enc­ing appli­ca­tions with­out requir­ing addi­tion­al set­tings, such as Google Meet, GoToMeet­ing and Zoom. The C930e sup­ports all the auto modes we list­ed in the pre­vi­ous mod­el.

The micro­phone has good sen­si­tiv­i­ty with­out loss of qual­i­ty at a dis­tance of up to a meter and omni­di­rec­tion­al­i­ty — use­ful para­me­ters for con­fer­ence calls.

The cam­era works seam­less­ly on PC and Mac.

This mod­el dif­fers from the cheap­er pre­de­ces­sor C920 with an improved micro­phone and a wide view­ing angle, more suit­able for group calls.

Price: 10 870 rubles

Pros:

  • built-in video encod­ing / pro­cess­ing — improved pic­ture;
  • wide view­ing angle.

Minus­es:

  • sim­i­lar to the C920 in many ways, but more expen­sive.

Logitech StreamCam

The Log­itech Stream­Cam mounts con­ve­nient­ly on a tri­pod. Pho­to: davejansen.com

This lit­tle cam­era is made specif­i­cal­ly for stream­ing. But do not rush to record it in high­ly pro­fes­sion­al cam­eras — it has some fea­tures that make the mod­el uni­ver­sal and suit­able for any task.

The cam­era can be attached not only hor­i­zon­tal­ly, but also ver­ti­cal­ly (with a res­o­lu­tion of 9:16 sides) — for live broad­casts on Tik­Tok and Insta­gram. The Stream­Cam shoots in 1080p at 60fps, which is good for game streams and action scenes. Throw in fast aut­o­fo­cus, auto­ex­po­sure, AI-based smart detec­tion and face track­ing, and you have a flex­i­ble tool for con­tent cre­ators.

Log­itech Stream­Cam has a built-in elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem, so you can attach the cam­era to a self­ie stick and move around while stream­ing.

There is also a dis­ad­van­tage. In poor light­ing, a small matrix shows a noisy pic­ture.

Sound is record­ed from a dual omni­di­rec­tion­al micro­phone with a noise-can­cel­ing fil­ter, so you can do with­out addi­tion­al audio devices in most sit­u­a­tions.

For con­ve­nience and fast data trans­fer, the mod­el is equipped with a USB Type‑C cable, which for some rea­son is tight­ly built into the case.

Price: 11 550 rubles

Pros:

  • chips for con­tent cre­ators;
  • qual­i­ty video and sound.

Minus­es:

  • USB‑C wire built into the case;
  • Lots of noise in low light.

Top high end webcams

Razer Kiyo Pro

Web­cam specif­i­cal­ly for gam­ing streams. Pho­to: razer.com

Kiyo Pro is a high-end web­cam for game stream­ing from a well-known man­u­fac­tur­er of gam­ing lap­tops. It not only can stream in 1080p, but also allows you to do it in HDR mode (high dynam­ic range). An indis­pens­able fea­ture when your face is illu­mi­nat­ed by the screen, and every­thing else around is in the dark.

The sen­sor and auto expo­sure sys­tem are opti­mized for low light per­for­mance. Auto white bal­ance will pre­serve the nat­ur­al col­or of the skin.

The device has three view­ing angle set­tings, so you can choose what your view­ers will see — just you or what is hap­pen­ing around you too. The cam­era works in con­junc­tion with Synapse’s pro­pri­etary stream­ing soft­ware, which makes it con­ve­nient to make video set­tings.

Some users com­plain about sin­gle fail­ures in aut­o­fo­cus, which is treat­ed by switch­ing to man­u­al focus. For Full HD broad­casts on Twitch and Dis­cord, you also need a pow­er­ful com­put­er — old machines can hard­ly pull such a video stream.

If you’re look­ing for a web­cam with a built-in ring light, check out the Raz­er Kiyo (no Pro).

Price: 20,000 rubles

Pros:

  • cool smooth 1080p video at 60 fps;
  • HDR for­mat;
  • great job in low light.

Minus­es:

  • requires a pow­er­ful com­put­er;
  • for such an amount, it would be pos­si­ble to screw a ball head for flex­i­ble adjust­ment of the shoot­ing angle.

Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro

The top cam­era from Log­itech is posi­tioned as a high-end solu­tion for busi­ness. Pho­to: davejansen.com

The top web­cam from Log­itech can be called one of the best mod­els in terms of pic­ture qual­i­ty. 4K footage (2160p at 30fps) is crys­tal clear and crisp. Add to this a full set of chips: face track­ing, HDR, auto­mat­ic light­ing cor­rec­tion.

If you have enough net­work band­width and com­put­er pow­er, you can show view­ers a 4K pic­ture in real time — whether it’s high-end busi­ness pre­sen­ta­tions, online real estate demon­stra­tions or cre­ative stream­ing. If 4K broad­cast sounds heavy, the cam­era has a 1080p mode at 60fps.

In addi­tion, the mod­el was equipped with a five-fold HD-zoom. The cam­era allows you to choose from three view­ing angles (65, 78 and 90 degrees), as well as add text and visu­al effects using the Log­itech Cap­ture pro­gram. The omni­di­rec­tion­al micro­phones are great at pick­ing up sound and can­cel­ing out noise.

The web­cam is con­nect­ed via USB Type‑C. The Brio Ultra HD Pro has a rather strange mount with­out a screw clamp, some buy­ers com­plain about its unre­li­a­bil­i­ty. But in the mount there is a sep­a­rate hole for a tri­pod.

For the pre­mi­um Apple Pro Dis­play XDR dis­play, Log­itech has devel­oped a spe­cial ver­sion of its web­cam with a mag­net­ic mount — 4K Pro Mag­net­ic web­cam.

Price: 17 500 rubles

Pros:

  • 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at 60 fps;
  • view­ing angle set­ting;
  • HDR mode;
  • 5x zoom

Minus­es:

  • weak plas­tic mount;
  • does not spin.

Dell UltraSharp Webcam

A long lens allows you to get a top-end pic­ture with­out dis­tor­tion. Pho­to: lifewire.com

Dell Ultra­Sharp Web­cam can com­pete with the flag­ship from Log­itech as a pic­ture. The mod­el shoots in 4K and is great for both stream­ing (there is an option to broad­cast in 1080p at 30 and 60 fps) and for record­ing quick videos.

As with the Log­itech Brio, the cam­er­a’s res­o­lu­tion allows you to enlarge the pic­ture with­out much loss in qual­i­ty. At the same time, the cylin­dri­cal all-met­al body with mag­net­ic mounts and lens cap looks more styl­ish than com­peti­tors at any price point. This design allows you to use mul­ti­ple lens­es in the lens to cor­rect dis­tor­tion.

With the lat­est Dell lap­tops, the cam­era sup­ports auto­mat­ic express login when the sen­sor sees your face and sleep mode when you leave.

But this mod­el has a cou­ple of draw­backs. First, it does­n’t have a micro­phone, which Dell is hint­ing at that its lap­tops already have cool built-in micro­phones. Sec­ond, the native video set­up pro­gram does­n’t work on the Mac, which again sends users back to buy­ing a Dell lap­top.

Price: 20,000 rubles

Pros:

  • excel­lent pic­ture qual­i­ty;
  • lack of dis­tor­tion thanks to an advanced lens;
  • qual­i­ty met­al case.

Minus­es:

  • the cam­era posi­tion is sta­t­ic hor­i­zon­tal­ly, only the ver­ti­cal is adjust­ed;
  • video set­up soft­ware is not designed for Mac;
  • no micro­phone.

Results

For zoom con­fer­ences, the sim­plest bud­get mod­el is suit­able. Pho­to: sandberg.world

To choose a web­cam, you need to decide for what pur­pos­es you need it. Any bud­get mod­el is suit­able for com­mu­ni­cat­ing with friends and col­leagues. For group video con­fer­enc­ing, the view­ing angle is key — it should be at least 78 degrees, and prefer­ably 90. For stream­ing, you need to take a device with a res­o­lu­tion of 1080p and a frame rate of 60 fps. Shoot­ing and broad­cast­ing cre­ative con­tent will require a res­o­lu­tion of 1080p, and ide­al­ly 4K.

And here’s our quick tip for those who don’t like wast­ing time and love spoil­ers:

— for calls to friends and col­leagues — Xiao­mi IMILAB Web Cam­era Full HD;
— for video con­fer­enc­ing — Log­itech C930e;
— for reg­u­lar live broad­casts — Log­itech Stream­Cam;
— for game stream­ing — Raz­er Kiyo Pro;
— for cre­ative broad­casts with the best pic­ture qual­i­ty — Dell Ultra­Sharp Web­cam;
— for high-end busi­ness broad­casts — Log­itech Brio Ultra HD Pro;
— the most ver­sa­tile web­cam in terms of price and qual­i­ty — Log­itech C920 (S).

[ad_2]