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Best computer camera: For the clearest livestreams and Zoom meetings

Best computer camera: For the clearest livestreams and Zoom meetings

We are in the midst of the booming digital age and the era of remote work, so we need to make sure we have the right set up to keep up. High-speed internet and powerful small cameras allow us to stay connected and work productively virtually. To ensure your meetings are of the highest caliber, it’s important to select the best computer camera for your home office. While most newer computers and laptops come equipped with built-in cameras, these often don’t provide the best results. Imaging can be too dark, you are limited to how you can angle the camera, and simple computer audio can be hard to hear.

The best computer cameras will offer stunning HD video, live streaming capabilities, built-in lights, built-in microphones, and even software to autofocus and correct lighting. This all adds up to putting your best face forward at work, with friends, or while streaming online.

Features to consider when shopping for the best computer camera

When shopping for the best computer camera, decide first how you will be using it. There are great webcams that are designed for stationary videos, which work for most basic needs. If you require mobility, or larger scale imaging you can look for Bluetooth-enabled cameras or cameras that allow for tilting, zooming, and panning.

Need a computer camera that can handle large events?

Most small, stationary computer cameras are designed primarily to work best when you are sitting close to the camera. For video conferences and streaming, a smaller frame space is how you need the camera to work best. However, if you need a larger area to be captured with the ability to zoom wide or close up, you need to look for a webcam designed for handling motion and depth of field. The best computer camera for live events will offer excellent image resolution, enhanced panning and tilting, zooming both wide or up close. The best computer cameras for live events can be used for corporate training, fitness, and much more. The ability to show the whole room, while also zooming in for details make these cameras stand out. They will typically cost more than stationary webcams, but that’s because they will do a lot more for you.

Best computer camera for live events: Logitech PTZ Pro 2 Camera

Enhanced Pan and Tilt

High definition 1080p video, as well as a premium lens with a 90-degree field of view. Amazon

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This Logitech computer camera is a great choice for live events like company conference meetings. The HD video quality is 1080p, and the camera offers zoom and pan/tilt all with a remote control. The lens can capture a 90-degree field of view which makes this a great choice for medium to larger-sized rooms. Be aware there are system requirements, so double check your computer is compatible.

If you’ve had it with cables, there’s a wireless webcam for you

With the technology that we have now, there really is no reason that your webcam has to stay in one place and be wired to your computer. When your streaming could take you into different places, whether indoors or outdoors, consider a computer camera that uses wireless Bluetooth technology. All you need is a way to connect to a mobile or WiFi network.

The best Bluetooth webcam will enable mobility while not skimping on the resolution. They can shoot in high definition, or stream live in full HD. The versatility of wireless means the webcam is more than just a traditional computer camera. A wireless webcam can be used as a video camera as well, or even just for the convenience of being able to move it around the room without fussing about wires and connections.

Best Bluetooth webcam: Mevo Start

All-in-One

This wireless Bluetooth-enabled webcam also functions as a self-contained streaming device. Amazon

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Bluetooth technology allows this webcam to become not just a camera, but a fully functioning streaming device. The Bluetooth webcam connects via a smartphone to the Mevo App that allows for controlling and live streaming to all the major social media platforms. In addition to live streaming, you can shoot to a microSD card—and with the USB battery pack, get 6 hours of shooting. The device offers a lot of features that make this more than just a webcam, but t’s more expensive because of it.

Need a webcam that can help you look your best?

Ask any photographer the secret to great images and they’ll agree it’s about the lighting. In fact, nature photographers plan shoots around what they call “magic hour,” which is the last hour before sunset and the first hour after sunrise. In a much simpler way, webcams that offer added lights help to make the images they are shooting look better.

The best webcams for low light will offer additional lights built in to the webcam, without excess bulk or expense. These webcams work best to illuminate subjects that are close to the webcam, making these a great option if your work is mostly with streaming, or video conferencing. Extra light reduces shadows on the face and can show more details and colors.

Best webcam for low light: Razer Kiyo

Ring Light

Adjustable ring light brightens the subject, while a built-in microphone helps audio clarity. Amazon

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If you find yourself using your webcam in a low-light room, or just want the added visual benefit of a well-lit shoot, this webcam with an added ring light is a great choice. Along with the adjustable ring light, this camera offers 720p resolution and a frame rate of 60fps. An added autofocus function helps keep the subject in sharp focus.

Need a webcam designed with streaming in mind?

Streaming has taken off in popularity thanks to how simple it is to share on popular social media platforms. Not only for business purposes, streaming is a form of self-expression and a major source of entertainment. Streaming is also taking off largely because of how easy it is for average, non-technically trained people to jump into. With gamers making millions doing what they love, it’s become a dream job for many people.

The best streaming webcam will offer Full HD 1080p, with a frame rate of 60 fps. HD Webcams for streaming should also allow for attachment to tripods, and it’s useful if they also are equipped with built-in microphones to enhance the overall quality of the videos without needing even more extras. Autofocus and facial tracking features are also useful in streaming webcams.

Best streaming webcam: Logitech StreamCam

High Definition Streaming

Record your live stream with 1080p, 60fps for seamless video. Amazon

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This webcam is designed with streaming in mind. The camera is hardwired so it must be used in proximity to your computer, although it does have the flexibility to mount to a tripod. Autofocus and exposure AI-enabled facial tracking software help create a sharp look no matter where you are in the frame.

A webcam with a microphone will help your meetings run smoothly

There’s nothing more frustrating than attending an online meeting with garbled audio. If your meetings include complicated terminology or international team members, it becomes even more important to have crisp, clear audio. While many webcams offer at least one built-in microphone, if you want the best webcam with microphone, look for options that feature either multiple microphones or built-in stereo microphones. In addition to sound quality, your webcam should deliver high definition 1080p video with autofocus software. Multiple mounting options also give webcams more versatility within your workspace.

Best webcam with microphone: Logitech C925-e

Stereo Sound

Unique dual built-in stereo microphones along with HD video. Amazon

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This Logitech webcam is a smart choice when audio is an important feature in your video conferencing or streaming. Having powerful built-in microphones reduces the amount of equipment you might need for a powerful video set up. Autofocus and light correction software help keep images clear and bright. You have to check system requirements for compatibility with your computer or laptop, but it works across multiple platforms.

Best computer camera on a budget: What you can get for under $50

When it comes to finding the best computer camera on a budget, a good rule of thumb is to go with a lower-cost model from a reputable brand. You will be able to find affordable options, but they won’t offer the same clarity of image. However, for most basic uses you don’t actually need all the bells and whistles. You should find at least a 720p video calling (which—although not high definition—will be fine for Zoom and Skype calls). Some budget computer cameras even offer extra features like built-in microphones and automatic lighting corrections.

Best budget computer camera: Logitech HD Webcam C310

Solid Basics

This affordable webcam offers auto light correction as well as a built in noise-reducing microphone. Amazon

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When you are primarily using your webcam for video conferencing, this is a solid choice. It is very reasonable in price, and offers shooting in 720p, as well as Logitech’s RightLight2 automatic light correction technology. The added microphone ensures you can be clearly heard from up to 5 feet away from the camera.

FAQ: people also ask

How much does a quality computer camera cost?

A quality computer camera can vary in price depending on how high of a resolution you want and how many extra features you need. If you want to stand out and have higher resolution for recording 1080p, or 4K, as well as higher quality for live video calling or live streaming, you’re looking upwards of $180.

What is the highest quality webcam?

The highest quality webcam will have a sharp picture, so look for a 4K webcam for the best imaging. Also, the frame rate required for a natural video is 60fps—avoid cameras that have lower frame rates. Larger lenses will allow more light into the camera sensor and offer a brighter overall image. Look for an autofocus feature, which will help images look clear no matter where you are in relation to the computer camera.

How do I pick a good computer camera?

In order to pick a good computer camera, you need to determine what you will predominantly use it for. For most basic streaming and video conferencing needs a 1080p resolution, 720p streaming, and 60fps frame rate will be a good computer camera.

A final word on shopping for the best computer camera

The best computer camera will provide high definition 1080p video and a frame rate of 60 fps. Additional standard features to look for in the best of the best are built-in mics, speakers, and autofocus software. From basic to advanced there are plenty of great webcams on the market for your consideration.