The best webcams you can buy for video conferencing or streaming

The best webcams you can buy for video conferencing or streaming
  • If you need to join a videoconference or conduct a live-stream to Facebook or Twitch, you need a good computer webcam.
  • Logitech's C920 has been a top pick in webcams since 2012.
  • It has great image quality, a flexible stand, and comes in at a reasonable price.

Webcams aren't just for catching up with friends or dialing into a meeting anymore. Live streaming and personal video production have given the humble webcam new life. Webcams with 1080p resolution have been readily available since 2012, opening up the door for recordings that look a lot better than the built-in webcam on your laptop.

In this buying guide, we've rounded up the best webcams you can buy based on our testing, including the Logitech C920, Logitech C922x, Logitech 4K Brio, and Razer Kiyo. We also consulted a number of buying guides and first-hand reviews from experts and buyers alike to choose our picks.

A great webcam should work right out of the box, and any included software should provide added functionality. The camera should offer a sharp, clean image with accurate autofocus that doesn't jump around too much. It also helps to include a stand with flexible options. Image resolution used to be a bigger issue, but even the most budget-friendly webcams on our list support 720p at 30 frames per second, and the Brio pumps out a full 60 fps at 1080p.


Instead of reaching for higher resolutions, most modern webcams have added value with extra features. The Logitech Brio's depth-sensing technology lets you ditch clumsy backdrops and green screens to insert any digital background of your choosing, and facial recognition can unlock your computer the moment you sit down. The Kiyo's built-in lighting takes some of the labor out of streaming. If you do just need something simple for dialing into a meeting, the Logitech C615 and Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 will save you some cash without cutting corners.

Here are the best webcams you can buy in 2019:

Read on to check out our top picks.

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The best webcam overall

The best webcam overall
The Logitech C920 webcam looks great, there's no setup involved, and its appealing price makes it ideal for anyone who wants to upgrade their laptop's built-in webcam.

Since 2012, the Logitech C920 has been king of the webcams, and for good reason. It captures sharp video at 1080p, requires no setup, and has an excellent stand for laptops, monitors, and tripods. From occasional Skype chatters to professional Twitch streamers, the C920 fills any role happily.

Like most modern webcams, it should work right out of the box with your favorite video conferencing or capture software. Logitech offers an expanded application with enhanced controls and filters if you're looking to tweak the image or use it in situations other than sitting on top of your monitor.

Logitech's webcam is so good, it's hard to find someone who doesn't think it's the best webcam around. It's the best-seller on Amazon and tops lists from experts at many sites, including The Wirecutter and Laptop Magazine.

We only have minor complaints about Logitech's webcam. In our tests, it captured a decent image with low lighting, but the frame rate can stutter a bit as a result. That's only in very dark situations, though. Adding room lighting or a lamp is enough to ensure smooth video. Its microphone doesn't sound great, but most webcams don't offer high-quality audio capture.

Logitech's slightly-newer C922 webcam is identical to the C920 webcam we're recommending, except for a few features. The newer C922 supports 1080p and 720p at 60 frames per second (the C920 does 720p at 3p fps), performs better in low light, and has a software-based green screen that doesn't work particularly well. It's typically $20-$30 more than the C920, which makes it hard to recommend instead unless you really need the higher frame rate and resolution.

If you really need those features, our next pick, the Logitech Brio, is a better choice. If you don't need the extras, Logitech's C920 won't let you down.

Pros: Great image quality, 1080p, no software required, low price

Cons: Stutters in low light

The best for 4K

The best for 4K
Even without much competition, Logitech's Brio 4K webcam shines with great image quality and unheard of resolution.

Most people don't need a 4K webcam. Videos at that resolution generate massive files, they're hard to edit and work with, and most video conferencing software doesn't even support anything over 1080p. However, 4K webcams are a great option for people who are looking to record 1080p video at 60 frames per second, because that's something less expensive webcams can't do.

If you're deadset on a 4K webcam, the Logitech Brio 4K is basically the only option, and it's an excellent one. It captures a great image, with clear motion and a nice sharp focus. It takes quite a bit of computer horsepower to capture 4K video, and the webcam benefits greatly from plenty of bright, natural light. In most cases, the 1080p image will look a lot nicer, especially without proper lighting and distance from the subject.

The Brio is also the only camera in our guide that sports Windows Hello facial recognition. This nifty feature lets you log in to your computer simply by sitting down and looking at the camera. As long as you're running Windows 10, you won't need any extra software.

The webcam also supports background removal through the Logitech software, so you can eliminate any embarrassing elements from the background during your conference call.

It boasts fairly positive Amazon reviews, although there aren't as many as we saw on the other webcams. That's largely due to the Brio's near-$200 price point, which is well above most mainstream webcams. Still, if you need the resolution and feature set, there are few webcams out there that can compete.

Pros: Massive 4K resolution, 1080p at 60 fps, facial recognition

Cons: Expensive, most software doesn't support 4K recording


The best for streaming

The best for streaming
There's a lot to keep track of while streaming, and the Razer Kiyo simplifies the process without any fuss.

Live streaming is more popular than ever, and image quality matters a whole lot more on Twitch than it does when you're catching up with a friend across the country. Lighting is also a lot more important with small webcams, so Razer attached a ring light to the front of its Kiyo webcam. It's certainly not the webcam everyone needs, but if you're already using external lighting to stream, it simplifies the setup process.

Around a fairly traditional-looking webcam, you'll find a ring light with 12 variable light levels in a hard, blue light. The levels range from off, to extremely bright. You'll still need some extra lighting for backdrops or green screens, but the Kiyo should give your face a nice, even hue that looks effortless. Like most of the other picks, it struggles in low light, but it excels in the bright conditions the built-in light provides.

Laptop Magazine praised the Kiyo's image quality, smart design, and in particular, its convenience while streaming. Its microphone is pretty quiet, but it actually sounds slightly above-average for a webcam. You'll still want dedicated audio for streaming, however, because no webcam sounds that good.

The Kiyo lacks any software or extra drivers, which is both a positive and a negative. It makes setup and configuration easier, as you can use OBS or your favorite streaming software without juggling a proprietary app. On the other hand, it also means you control the lighting by twisting a knob on the webcam itself, and if your software likes to change or forget settings, you may have to tweak them each time.

Pros: Convenient built-in light, sharp image, sturdy base and mount, 720p at 60 fps

Cons: No included configuration software, bulkier than most

The best budget webcam

The best budget webcam
The Logitech C615 webcam undercuts the competition without breaking the bank, and there's no reason to spend more.

If you don't want to spend much, the $30 Logitech C615 webcam is a solid pick. It still supports 1080p recording at 30 frames per second and has a swivel hinge for adjusting the angle or including more people in the shot. It mounts easily to the top of any monitor or laptop and has a threaded mount in the bottom for a tripod.

While it may sit in Logitech's mid-range webcam lineup, we think it performs a lot better than some of the less expensive options. It captures a decently sharp image for the price, and Logitech's autofocus works just as well here as it does on the higher-end cameras. Plus, like most Logitech webcams, it doesn't need any extra software and most updated systems should handle it perfectly right out of the box.

Amazon reviews are generally positive, with buyers noting easy setup and a sharp, if not slightly undersaturated image. The only major complaint is a fairly short 30-inch cable. It should be long enough to reach the back of a monitor, but if your desktop is much further away, you may want to look at the C920, as the cost of an extension cable would almost meet the nicer cam's price.

Pros: 1080p capture, 360-degree swivel

Cons: Short cable


The best for 720p

The best for 720p
This no-frills webcam from Microsoft works right out of the box and is great for older computers without the latest software or OS.

The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 costs about the least amount of money you should spend on a webcam. There are plenty of webcams for around $10, but their image quality and software support are often inconsistent. Instead, the Microsoft LifeCam comes with inherent support for older Windows systems and is available in bulk, which is great if you're outfitting a small office.

For about $25, the HD-3000 captures a warm, but decently sharp image at just 720p, which is actually enough for most use cases. That means it's capable of video chatting, taking a quick picture, or even grabbing a selfie, without making you notice the middling resolution.

It isn't without its issues, however. As the Amazon reviews note, the stand can be tricky on skinnier monitors and lacks a threaded insert on the bottom for tripods or other mounts. It also has software support for older Windows systems, but not for Windows 10 systems, where users can just use the built-in camera app, or their favorite video and photo capture software.

Pros: Cheap price point, sharp image

Cons: Awkward mount, varying OS support