Editor’s Note: July 2023
With the new year comes a slew of new webcams to test, review and add to our webcams guide.
This month, we’ve got the Obsbot Meet 4K as a new addition. A 4K camera with plenty of features, this is the perfect hi-res webcam for remote workers and digital nomads who need a portable solution.
Michelle Rae Uy, Buying Guides Editor
You need the best webcam to keep you connected with colleagues and loved ones. If you’ve been relying on your phone camera or your laptop’s low-resolution webcam for video calls, it might be high time that you upgrade to a stand-alone webcam that offer better video quality and perhaps a higher resolution. That’s especially if you’re using it for work and business meetings.
Webcams have become such an integral part of our daily lives, what with a lot of people now working remotely, conducting business online, and relying more on doing video calls with friends and family. And, they offer such a reliable yet very affordable option, even with 4K webcams increasingly becoming affordable. So, even if you have one of the best all-in-one computers or the best laptops, which come with their own cameras, it still makes sense to upgrade to one of the best webcams as it won’t cost you all that much.
There are a lot more options than ever too. Brands like Logitech, Razer, and Corsair have recently rolled out newer options while smaller, unknown brands have come out of the woodwork with their own offerings. So, while webcams are more affordable than ever – meaning that it’s much easier than ever to find the best cheap webcam for your needs, there are also now so many options to choose from.
Just like with anything else, the key is to figure out what you need from it and what features will come handy. You can then narrow your choices from there. We’ve also tested tons of options and compiled a handy list – including some of the best Logitech webcam, choosing a variety for different situations and budget. And with Amazon Prime Day 2023 just around the corner, you’ll see quite a few of them drop in price as well.
Whether you’re streaming the best PC games on Twitch for your fans or looking to upgrade your Zoom or Meet call game with a higher quality webcam for work, you’ve never had more options than you do now. Dump your low-quality webcam, and invest in one that will elevate your video call experience to new heights.
The best webcams 2023
The Logitech C920 has been one of the best webcams on the market since its release in January 2012, consistently beating out rival products that promise more affordability or better performance – and for good reason. This is a beloved favorite across the entire spectrum of streamers, content creators, and office professionals alike.
We found its picture quality to be great out of the box. And, when cost, quality, and performance are all calculated, the C920 is still one of the best everyday webcams you can buy, despite being almost a decade old.
With crisp 1080p HD resolution and fantastic lighting and color detection at an affordable price, this fan-favorite webcam hits a spot in the market that struggles to see any substantial competition and is still one of the best performing webcams on the market today, though we feel the Razer Kiyo Pro is the new top dog when it comes to webcams right now.
Read our full Logitech C920 review
The Logitech HD Webcam C310 is a solid option for those who just can’t splurge on a webcam. It’s perfect for anyone just needing to get onto that Zoom or Skype call and be seen clearly.
It does only shoot in 720p, which these days is a tad outdated for professional video calls, but it’s a great budget webcam for personal video calls with friends and family. Plus, the C310 does come with Logitech’s RightLight 2 auto-light correction technology so you’ll always be shown in the proper light – even if it’s not in the sharpest resolution. And, its noise-reducing mic should not only ensure that you’ll be heard clearly from up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters away, but also minimize environmental noise.
This may not be a streamer’s top choice. Nor is it great for business calls. However, it’s a quality pick for anyone on a budget.
Razer throws its hat in the 4K webcam ring with the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra, a heck of a camera that currently sports the largest sensor on any webcam, which means you’re getting a wider dynamic range, better low-light performance, and deliciously creamier background, to name a few advantages. It also helps that its aperture is a massive f/1.7, which should yield gorgeous bokeh, and that it’s got HDR and 3D noise reduction (via the Razer Synapse app) to boot.
Not that Razer’s webcams need any with noise handling anyway, as they’ve always done so well on that front, and the Kiyo Pro Ultra does it even better. That’s not all. On test, its autofocus proved not just snappy but butter-smooth as well, and the fact that the Razer Synapse gives you manual control over focusing (as well as exposures, digital zooming and panning, and more) gives you a level of customizations you’ll be hard-pressed to get with most other webcams.
Oh, and you’re also getting a built-in privacy shutter and omnidirectional mic – both of which you’ll miss out on if you get its direct rival, the equally-formidable Elgato Facecam Pro. The only thing is that it limits you to 4K at 30fps shooting.
Read our full Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra review
We would put the Elgato Facecam Pro at the top if it wasn’t for its steep price tag. As expensive as it is, this is the best webcam you can buy, especially if you’re a streamer, a TikTok creator, or a vlogger. At its center is that 4K at 60fps video resolution – it’s the first webcam in the world to do so – thanks to that 1/1.8-inch Sony Starvis sensor that’s also responsible for its exceptional dynamic range.
During testing, we found this webcam to not only handle dark shadows and bright highlights impressively well, preserving detail in those areas better than all the other pro-level webcams we’ve tested, but also deliver impressive noise reduction without unnatural smoothing. What’s more, its autofocusing is snappy in well-lit situations and its autoexposure is always spot on – although you can take the helm and make creative exposures yourself, thanks to the improved Camera Hub software that gives you plenty of autonomy over the webcam’s settings.
Read our full Elgato Facecam Pro review
The Logitech StreamCam won’t just have your back when you’re video conferencing, video chatting with families and friends, and live streaming your games. On test, we found the StreamCam’s raw footage to be exceptionally good, with great color balance and autofocus right out of the box. It is a little darker than the Razer Kiyo Pro, and less sharp. But, the picture quality is pretty great and its low-light handling to be impressive.
This feature-rich 1080p webcam has many tools to offer for your content creation needs as well, including auto-focusing, smart exposure, facial tracking, up to 60fps frame rate, and a flippable design so you can take photos and videos in 9:16 format. You can even mount it on a tripod, and it uses USB Type-C for fast and more efficient video transfer speeds.
Read our full Logitech StreamCam review
The Obsbot Meet 4K is a small wonder, quite literally with its smaller-than-a-GoPro size and list of excellent features, many of which you won’t find on other webcams. Its design and features are the highlights here.
The magnetic mounting, for example, not only makes it easier to handle – it just snaps onto the included mount – but also allows you to switch between landscape and portrait modes, the latter of which should be ideal for social media content creation. There’s also Auto Framing, which we found to be incredibly intuitive and responsive, ensuring that you’re very much in the middle of the frame no matter how much you’re moving.
Its performance isn’t too shabby either. Beyond its crisp 4K resolution captures, we appreciate just how great its noise handling and exposure compensation are, even in low-light situations. Its dynamic range, auto focus, and image processing, which struggle in low light and uneven lighting, aren’t anything to write home about, but they’re not terrible either. The only real issue here is that it tends to get hot very quickly, but we haven’t seen that affect its performance.
Read our full Obsbot Meet 4K review
The Razer Kiyo Pro, the latest addition to Razer’s webcam family, is an excellent pick for a well-rounded high-end webcam option. This beast doesn’t come cheap but it delivers a performance worth every penny, especially given its flexible features that make it well suited just everything from remote calling into a conference meeting to streaming live on platforms like Twitch.
We found its picture quality to be incredibly high for a webcam. Its light detection is especially good while its dynamic range wide and noise handling to be excellent, which makes this particularly great if you are streaming in low light. You can choose between three different fields of view for different scenes in your Livestream as well, and select either a smooth 1080p 60FPS option for gameplay or a high-res ‘HDR’ mode for improved video quality during Zoom sessions.
Read our full Razer Kiyo Pro review
The Elgato Facecam might be in second place overall, but thanks to some divisive design choices that make this a niche buy that sways itself towards content creators, this is actually our top pick if you need a webcam purely for streaming or creating YouTube videos.
The choice to not include a microphone or autofocus capabilities will make it seem like a half-baked product for anyone just looking for a webcam. However, the inclusion of those features often proves to be more trouble than they’re worth for folk broadcasting on sites like Twitch or YouTube. As a result, the Facecam is beautifully optimized for the streaming community, with some of the best software we’ve ever seen on a webcam to boot.
Read our full Elgato Facecam review
While the Logitech Mevo Start isn’t technically a webcam, and more of a streaming ecosystem with a great camera module, it’s a brilliant choice for streamers, and it can be used as a webcam if needs be. Unlike many of the other webcams on this list, the Logitech Mevo Start is wireless, which gives you a good degree of flexibility when it comes to setting it up, and several Logitech Mevo Start cameras can be used for multiple angles, and you can switch between them using the feature-rich app.
Its quality proved to be decent during testing, above average for a webcam. But, it’s the mic customizations that really impressed us, allowing you to alter the recording volume, or switch between different optimization modes such as ‘Wind’ and ‘Music’, as well as a manual Audio Gain Control. For some people, the Logitech Mevo Start will be overkill, offering features that just aren’t needed. But for people live streaming events, for example, the Logitech Mevo Start is a brilliant investment.
Read our full Logitech Mevo Start review
Though we’re still putting the JLab Epic USB Webcam through its paces, we can tell you this. It has a lot to offer, especially for the price. While most of the webcams we come across still max out at 1080p, which is better than what comes with most laptops, the JLab Epic provides up to a sharper 2K resolution at 30 Hz.
It’s also a fairly feature-filled camera as it comes with auto-focus, and adjustable exposure with 15 incremental settings, and an adjustable zoom. There’s a 90 degree field of view, so you can get yourself and the whole family in on a video call. And, with its two omni-directional mics, your whole family can be heard as well, even if they’re out of view.
JLab has always offered a lot for a pretty small price and we expect the JLab Epic to compete with some much more expensive models. Of course, there might be issues here and there – we’re concerned about its audio quality and how fast its auto-focus tracks – but we’ll keep you updated once we’ve fully reviewed this webcam.
For your video conferencing needs at work, the Logitech BRIO 4K Pro may just be the ultra HD resolution webcam. It’s a finely built one too, gloriously engineered for professionals and businesses that need robust tools. We found the image quality to be superior as expected – especially to anything else you’ll find on a typical laptop, including business ones. Although, it seems to us that corners may have been cut when it came to the support clip and privacy shield, which look like prime candidates to break.
There is also a fantastic range of resolutions available from it in both still image and video capture. Plus, other features worthy of mentioning as well, including its three fields of view presents and omnidirectional mics with noise-canceling technology.
Read our full Logitech BRIO 4K Pro review
The Insta360 Link is our top pick for best webcam on the market thanks to its high-end specs and unique AI-controlled modes. Instead of having buttons on the webcam itself, you use gestures to switch between various modes. There’s also an automatic privacy mode that activates after a ten-second period of inactivity, which is handy for avoiding any mishaps on the work conference call.
On test, we found the AI controls to be truly impressive, with the lens head in particular moving with an impressive level of precision. Even its mode switching using hand gestures feature works pretty well. Combined with 4k and 1080p resolutions, 60FPS and 30FPS options, and the clearest sound quality you’ll find on any webcam, and you have a near-perfect webcam for any situation and need. The price might just be worth it for some people.
Read our full Insta360 Link review
How to choose the best webcam for you
How to choose the best webcam for you
As the world returns to something resembling normalcy, the best webcams for laptops and PCs are finally back in stock. Whether they’re from Microsoft, Razer, Logitech, or one of the cheaper brands whose products punch above their weight, there’s a plethora of choices to pick from to help you upgrade your streaming or video conferencing.
Since more communication is happening online these days, it’s crucial to have your zoom calls with friends and video conferencing meetings that are crystal clear. And, that means you need to invest in one of the best webcams for your computer setup. It’s true that most laptops or all-in-one computers already come with a webcam installed but having a dedicated one will offer more features and higher resolutions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to keep in touch with your extended network, putting together the perfect work-from-home setup or getting ready for back to school season, invest in one of these made for computer cameras to make sure your family and colleagues can see your bright, shiny face. From the webcams ideal for game streaming to excellent webcams for Zoom, we’ve collected our top picks here as well as included our price comparison tool to help you find the best deal.
How we test webcams
Why you can trust TechRadar
We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
TechRadar doesn’t use any computer programs to benchmark a webcam as their quality is visually noticeable. Instead, models will be stacked up against products with similar specifications and MSRP to see how they compare, and ran through a few scenarios.
We keep lighting levels consistent and test for well-lit and low-light conditions to put the webcam sensor through its paces. Webcams with unsatisfactory sensors struggle if a subject isn’t well lit, resulting in a fuzzy ‘static’ like interference known as background noise. We make note of how accurate the colors are in any recorded footage and the overall clarity of video and photographs taken on the webcam.
We also compare features like field-of-view (often abbreviated to FOV), frame rate and resolution, as well as any software that ships with the product. Operating systems like Windows 10 have a camera application capable of making minimal adjustments to contrast and hue, but there are branded applications like Razer Synapse and Logitech Capture that can better adjust your footage.
The hardware itself will also be checked for mounting options and available movement, such as a swivel ball joint or fixed positioning. Finally, any onboard microphone will be checked for clarity and its ability to filter out background noise, though it’s worth mentioning that most webcams on the market have poor-quality microphones when compared to a dedicated headset or USB mics.
What should you look for when buying a webcam?
In this bizarre new world of home working, you may feel a little overwhelmed when looking at webcams to buy – after all, all these cheap models on Amazon look the same right? Webcams are usually marketed with resolution (720p, 1080p, 4K etc) and framerates because this is the most important factor for most people when buying a product, but there are many other considerations that make a webcam ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
The first thing to consider is what you need your webcam for. For working professionals or office staff, most conference calling software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams will restrict your broadcast quality to 1080p resolution and 30fps to preserve bandwidth. Google meets goes a step further and restricts your quality to 720p as this is the standard resolution on most built-in laptop cameras.
If you’re planning on using a webcam purely for these work-related calls then there isn’t any point in buying a powerful 4k model as you simply won’t see the benefit. The light and color detection will vary for each model though, so you’ll still see a variance in recording quality depending on what webcam you buy.
For content creators such as YouTubers or Streamers, there is a range of powerful webcams available, with some reaching 4K resolution and 60fps for buttery smooth video. These webcams are overkill for occasional use, but with features like a variable field of view (or FOV) and adjustable resolution or and zoom, the extra cash could be a worthy investment to your hobby.
What about those cheap webcams on Amazon or eBay?
Our list is heavy on big brand names such as Logitech for good reason. Reputable brands have been tested across many different devices to make sure that the products are compatible with different graphics software. This is why you may see different quality if you use the same camera on a desktop and a laptop – the webcam hardware communicates differently with different devices.
Logitech, Razer and other well-known webcam manufacturers can provide a product that is more likely to work well across a wide range of different machines, so whether you’re looking to run your camera on a new gaming desktop or an old Chromebook, you should see similar results.
A cheap 1080p/30fps webcam from Amazon or eBay may disappoint you if the drivers and sensors are not up to the same standards as trusted products on our list, so don’t take the resolution and framerate as gospel that you’ll be getting great video quality. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you’re buying a Logitech webcam, though, you can check out the latest Logitech promo codes for ways to get money off your purchase.
How to make your webcam look better
Even the most expensive webcam can look terrible if you don’t take your environment into consideration. Lighting can make a cheap 720p webcam look almost HD, and this doesn’t have to make a dent in your wallet. Natural lighting is prized by photographers for being better than most expensive studio lights, so where possible try and record in front of a window. This will not only illuminate your features and make you pop against your background, but it’ll illuminate background ‘noise’ – the fuzzy static effect seen when webcams are trying to film in low lighting conditions. You can also replicate this using studio lights if you work in darker environments away from a window. You can also use cheap desk lamps in a pinch by directing them against a wall to reduce the harshing lighting and create a diffused appearance. Always make sure your background looks nice. This doesn’t mean you need to do anything fancy (unless you’re a streamer and have the budget for some fancy LED lights and gamer swag), but you need to make sure you’re the focus of the broadcast. Tidy up any mess, don’t sit behind an open door and make sure you don’t sit behind any other light sources. This will usually throw off the light sensors in your webcam and reduce your film quality.