This article was last updated by Digital Trends Computing Editor Luke Larsen on June 24th, 2020.
Laptop webcams suck. If you can no longer make zoom calls or web conferences from home, you need a decent external webcam.
The is the best choice. It is affordable and offers crisp image quality. If you need higher resolution or a streaming-specific option, check out the full list below.
The best webcams at a glance:
The best webcam overall: Logitech C920S
Why should you buy that?: It's a solid 1080p webcam at a reasonable price.
Who is it for?: It is perfect for employees who work from home.
Why we chose the Logitech C920S:
Logitech's C920S is a solid camera at a reasonable price. It supports a resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 (at 30 frames per second) for Skype or Zoom calls. In the meantime, Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger and more can achieve a resolution of 1,280 × 720. If you only record videos, you can use the higher Full HD resolution. However, pictures are taken with a "natural" 3-megapixel resolution or with a "software improvement" of up to 15 megapixels.
These capabilities are supported by an excellent glass lens with 20-stage autofocus, automatic correction in low light conditions, two integrated microphones with automatic noise reduction and a 78-degree field of view. If you are concerned about the privacy of the camera, there is a physical shutter that you can flip down when the camera is not in use.
Logitech for Windows downloadable software includes face tracking, motion detection, pan, tilt, and zoom controls, and video and photo capture controls. Your background is not filtered out, but there are many other settings that need to be adjusted.
The best 4K webcam: Logitech Brio
Why should you buy that?: It offers razor-sharp, high-quality web conferences.
Who is it for?: Anyone who makes professional recordings or high-end web conferences.
Why we chose the Logitech Brio:
If you're looking for a 4K solution, the Logitech Brio is the camera for you. It supports three resolutions for video calls: 2,160p (30 fps), 1,080p (30 / 60fps) and 720p (30/60 / 90fps). It also offers a standard field of view of 90 degrees. However, you can use the Logitech software to set the camera to 65 and 78 degrees.
As with other functions, the camera offers a 5x digital zoom, image resolution of up to 9 MP when using Full HD resolution, auto focus, an external "data protection" shutter and integrated omnidirectional microphones with noise reduction. You can mount the camera on a desktop monitor or laptop screen, or use the universal clip to mount the device on a tripod.
Outside of the camera's Ultra HD resolution, it includes a feature called RightLight 3, which uses High Dynamic Range technology to deliver the best picture, whether you're in a low-light office, in a high-contrast area or sit in direct sunlight. The camera also supports Windows Hello face recognition.
The best business webcam: Logitech C930e
Why should you buy that?: It fits well with professional conference ecosystems.
Who is it for?: Business people.
Why we chose the Logitech C930e:
The Logitech C930E is a "certified" product that has been optimized for Skype for Business and Cisco Jabber. According to Logitech, the camera also offers "improved integrations" with other business-class communication software such as Zoom, BlueJeans, Lifesize and several other solutions.
At the hardware level, the camera supports video calls with a resolution of 1080p and 720p, a field of view with 90 degrees and a 4x digital zoom in 1080p mode. It is based on the H.264 video compression codec and RightLight 2 technology to get the best pictures in low light, high contrast and direct sunlight. It is supported by two integrated omnidirectional microphones.
Other notable features include an external data protection lock, a universal clip for mounting the camera, and compatibility with software that supports UVC 1.5 video encoding for businesses that don't have third-party drivers installed on their PCs.
The best gaming webcam: Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam
Why should you buy that?: It is a webcam with the specific game functions that streamers need.
Who is it for?: Player for livestreams.
Why we chose the Logitech C922 Pro Stream webcam:
Let's face it, you can't use every webcam for your broadcasts. Not only does it need high resolution and great microphones, it also has to support background replacement so your viewers can only see the gameplay and mug shot. The C922 Pro Stream Webcam does just that for a reasonable price.
For gamers, it is optimized for the XSplit and Open Broadcaster software solutions. It offers resolutions of 1,080 x 720 (at 30 fps) and 1,280 x 720 (at 60 fps). These are supported by a 20-stage auto focus, a field of view of 78 degrees, two integrated omnidirectional microphones and an automatic correction in low light conditions. It even includes a table tripod if you don't want to mount the camera on your screen.
Most stream management functions are performed through the Logitech Gaming Software desktop client, e.g. For example, adjusting the zoom, white balance, gain, exposure, etc. The camera integrates Chromacam technology for the options to replace the background, or you can simply run it independently. This camera does not have a privacy screen.
The best webcam to stream: Razer Kiyo
Why should you buy that?: It is a webcam with integrated lighting.
Who is it for?: Anyone who does streaming and needs better lighting.
Why we chose the Razer Kiyo:
As a pure webcam, the Razer Kiyo impresses. It offers up to 1080p resolution at 30 fps and an auto focus component that comes in handy when you get closer to the camera or adjust its position. The Kiyo is also compatible with Streamlabs tools, OBS, XSplit and other popular platforms that allow you to customize your streaming setup to your liking.
The real benefit, however, is the light ring that circles the webcam to provide additional lighting. The 5600K light can be easily adjusted via the bezel – just turn it like a camera lens – to control the brightness levels. It is designed to work well in low light when needed.
Razers Kiyo is an ideal choice for streaming cosmetics because you need high quality lighting around your face to stream high quality content. It also works well for any detailed streaming where you want to display product details near the webcam for unboxing, technical instructions, etc.