You would likely need an external webcam if you don't already have a laptop with a built-in webcam — or if the one on your laptop isn't very good. It could be that you want to be able to display your face at work or school. Perhaps it's for chatting with pals or for side ventures such as live streaming or self-recording.
There are various options available if you don't want to buy a webcam. You can get creative with your phone (for little or no money) by utilizing an app that tricks your computer into believing it's a webcam. Alternatively, you may connect a high-end DSLR or mirrorless camera to your computer and use it as a webcam — a pretty nice one, at that.
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However, if you merely want to buy a webcam, our goal is to make it easy for you to select one that meets your requirements and fits within your budget. I'm trying to figure out which USB webcams are worth your money.
We put popular models from Logitech, Microsoft, Dell, Razer, Elgato, and others to the test. After all, was said and done, we agreed on a semi-affordable webcam that we believe is the greatest option for the majority of people. The Logitech C920S Pro HD is the device in question, and it costs around $60. It can take 1080p video at 30 frames per second, and the visual quality is good in most lighting settings.
The video quality of each camera on this list was assessed by comparing it to a locally stored recording using Zoom (where footage is prone to compression, as it is with other web-based video chatting programs), as well as OBS Studio or VLC.
1. LOGITECH C920S PRO HD
The Logitech C920S Pro HD, which retails for roughly $60, has superior video and microphone quality than the others I tested in this price range. While you won't have trouble finding other similar-priced webcams with those specs, the C920S Pro's out-of-the-box color balance, exposure, and rather rapid auto-focus set it apart from the others I tried.
The picture quality is adequate, and the C920S Pro had no issue rendering my face features sharp even in my dimly light flat.
Aside from picture quality, the C920S Pro boasts several appealing features, including a wide 78-degree field of vision, status lights that illuminate when the webcam is in use by an application, and a privacy shutter that ensures you're not broadcasting unless you wish to be. The robust articulating stand, which can rest atop your monitor or easily screw into a tripod, is another wonderful feature at this price. It's simply a fantastic deal for the money.
2. LOGITECH STREAM CAM
If you're willing to spend between $150 and $200, your webcam options will expand to include devices with better picture quality and other capabilities that may be worth the extra money. The Logitech Streamcam isn't the newest camera on the market, but it sticks out as a good deal.
It's small, for starters, and its picture quality can reach 1080p at 60 frames per second. The Streamcam had only a minor advantage over the C920S Pro in terms of clarity, exposure, and color reproduction in my opinion.
However, with its much more smooth capture at 60 frames per second, it easily wins. A dual omnidirectional mic and a rapid auto-focus feature are also included in the Streamcam. Logitech's Capture software allows you to turn off the auto-focus, as well as a variety of other picture-tweaking options, for those who want a fixed-focus webcam that isn't always hunting for moving things.
3. RAZER KIYO PRO
When compared to other higher-end webcams, the lens-shaped $199 Kiyo Pro stands out for its super-wide 103-degree field of view. It gives you a better view of your workspace or play area, as well as more of yourself. If you want to change the look, you can set it to 80 degrees or 90 degrees.
Otherwise, if you've read this far, you'll recognize its specifications. It can take 1080p video at 60 frames per second, and there's an HDR setting that reduces the framerate to 30 frames per second in exchange for a better-balanced image. During my testing early in 2021, I thought it performed better than the webcam incorporated into my 2019 that I had used the most during the pandemic.
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