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Your Position: Home - Consumer Electronics - The Best Webcams for 2024

The Best Webcams for 2024

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. Read our editorial mission

Here are our top picks for webcams, followed by what you should know when shopping for them.

If you have a laptop , you most likely already have a webcam. It probably isn't very good, though. Small lenses, skewed colors, awkward exposure, and grainy indoor video are just some of the problems you might experience with cheap, built-in webcams. A dedicated webcam can solve these problems and give you the flexibility to aim it wherever you want. It's a worthwhile investment if you're planning to spend a lot of time on calls, recording vlogs, or doing anything else with video.

Video chat is big these days. More people than ever before are working from home and many of them are hopping on video conference calls. You want to look your best in a video meeting, and that goes beyond showering and actually getting dressed. What you really need is a decent webcam.

Dell Pro Webcam

Best Overall

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The Dell Pro Webcam offers strong performance for its reasonable price. Its 2K resolution makes it sharper than most others on this list and it's not nearly as expensive as 4K models. The microphone works well, too, which is a distinct advantage over the mic-free Dell Ultrasharp Webcam.

Who It's For

This is our default recommendation for anyone who wants sharper-than-1080p picture quality for under $100. The Dell Pro Webcam can't stand up to 4K webcams in terms of detail capture, but it's the best pick for most people.

PROS

  • Sharp 2K video
  • Clear audio

CONS

  • Noisier than it should be for the resolution
  • Sluggish auto framing

SPECS

Name Value Resolution 2K QHD Field of View 78 degrees Microphone Windows Hello All Specs

GET IT NOW

$99.99 Dell

Learn More

Dell Pro Webcam Review

Logitech StreamCam

Best for Vertical Video

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The Logitech Streamcam is a few years old, but it's still competitive with more recent models. This 1080p, 60fps camera records in both horizontal and vertical orientations, so it's just as useful for TikTok as for video calls. Otherwise, dual microphones capture reasonably clear audio and the Logitech Capture app provides useful software support.

Who It's For

This is an ideal option if you are just starting out with recording or streaming content because it includes stereo microphones (and thus saves you some money). It's a little pricey for a 1080p webcam, but the companion software and vertical recording features add significant value.

PROS

  • Crisp, smooth video.
  • Lots of recording options.
  • Includes screen and tripod mounts.

CONS

  • Expensive.
  • Logitech Capture software doesn't stream.

GET IT NOW

$139.99 Logitech

$136.96 Amazon

Learn More

Logitech StreamCam Review

Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra

Best Picture Quality

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra simply offers the best picture quality we've seen in a webcam, with superb 4K detail. Its 1/1.2-inch sensor enables excellent low-light performance too, preventing you from looking noisy in darker environments. Finally, its f/1.7 aperture means you get actual bokeh (something that most webcams don't even try) for a naturally defocused background.

Who It's For

If you're a content creator who doesn't want to deal with connecting a phone or a separate digital camera to your computer, consider this premium webcam a wise investment. Just keep in mind that the shallow focal plane isn't ideal if you frequently want your background to be in focus at the same time that you are.

PROS

  • Fantastic video quality
  • Produces genuine bokeh
  • Strong low-light performance
  • 4K30, 1440p30, and 1080p60 modes

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Narrow focus plane
  • Mediocre microphone
  • Synapse 3.0 software only works on Windows

SPECS

Name Value Resolution 4K Field of View 82 degrees Microphone Windows Hello All Specs

GET IT NOW

$299.99 Razer

Learn More

Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra Review

Anker PowerConf C300

Best for Groups

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The Anker PowerConf C300 has the widest lens out of all the cameras on this list at 115 degrees. That makes it ideal for getting everyone in a small conference room in the frame at once. Its 1080p 60fps video could be a little sharper, but it handles awkward lighting well and picks up voices fairly clearly.

Who It's For

The Anker PowerConf C300 works well for groups of people who all need to be on camera simultaneously, as well as for small businesses that don't want to break the bank on a fancier videoconferencing solution.

PROS

  • Very wide angle is good for groups
  • Strong low-light performance
  • Solid microphone

CONS

  • Angle can be too wide for a single person

SPECS

Name Value Resolution 1080p Field of View 115 degrees Microphone Windows Hello All Specs

GET IT NOW

$99.99 Amazon

Learn More

Anker PowerConf C300 Review

Creative Live! Cam Sync 1080p V2

Best Ultra-Affordable Webcam

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The 1080p Live! Cam Sync V2 won't impress anyone with its specs or performance, but it's still an excellent choice that offers better quality than your laptop's built-in webcam. Creative also sells a 4K Live! Cam Sync V3 for about $10 more, but we haven't tested that model yet.

Who It's For

If you want to save money on your webcam upgrade, this is your best bet. It's not quite suitable for streaming or recording, but it works just fine for video calls.

PROS

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Bright picture
  • Loud, clear sound
  • Built-in privacy filter

CONS

  • Noisy video
  • Audio isn't particularly clean or crisp

SPECS

Name Value Resolution 1080p Field of View 77 degrees Microphone Windows Hello All Specs

GET IT NOW

$29.99 Amazon

$59.99 Creative Labs

Learn More

Creative Live! Cam Sync 1080p V2 Review

Creative Live Cam Sync 4K

Best Entry-Level 4K Webcam

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K offers a native resolution of 4K for just $60, making it an inexpensive way to upgrade how you look on video calls. It doesn't compete with more expensive cameras in terms of image quality, but its mic array is a definite upgrade over the one built into your laptop.

Who It's For

This is the step-up webcam to get if the Dell Pro isn't within your budget and you want more cropping flexibility than a 1080p camera allows.

PROS

  • 4K capture from an adjustable, wide-angle lens
  • Good audio quality
  • Inexpensive

CONS

  • Video quality doesn't look very crisp
  • Noisy low-light performance
  • Underwhelming app

SPECS

Name Value Resolution 4K Field of View 95 degrees Microphone Windows Hello All Specs

GET IT NOW

$56.99 Amazon

Learn More

Creative Live Cam Sync 4K Review

HyperX Vision S

Best Video-Only 4K Webcam

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The HyperX Vision S is the second sharpest webcam we've tested, behind only the much more expensive Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra. It has a much deeper focus plane than the Kiyo Pro to keep both you and your surroundings crisp at the same time, though it means you don't get the cinematic bokeh effect. But depending on what you want a webcam for, that might not be a big disadvantage.

Who It's For

If you want a very sharp picture and don't want to get too fancy with framing and focus, the HyperX Vision S is a strong choice that costs less than the Kiyo Pro Ultra. Just be aware that it doesn't have a microphone, so you'll have to use your computer's microphone, a headset, or a USB mic.

PROS

  • Very sharp picture
  • Strong low-light performance

CONS

  • No microphone
  • Software is a bit buggy

SPECS

Name Value Resolution 4K Field of View 90 degrees Microphone Windows Hello All Specs

GET IT NOW

$199.99 Amazon

Learn More

HyperX Vision S Review

Poly Studio P5

Best Webcam Under $100

4.0 Excellent

Why We Picked It

The midrange Poly Studio P5 comes in above the price of the Creative Live! Cam Sync V2, but below that of the Dell Pro Webcam. Clean mic quality and a relatively sharp picture are highlights.

Who It's For

The Poly Studio P5 is a strong value and a good choice for people who want a better-than-budget experience. Like the aforementioned Creative model, it's better for standard video calls than content creation, but that might be all you need it for.

PROS

  • Crisp, clear audio
  • Strong low-light performance
  • Physical privacy cover
  • USB port for headset dongles

CONS

  • Picture is a bit soft
  • Monitor clip has limited adjustments

SPECS

Name Value Resolution 1080p Field of View 80 degrees Microphone Windows Hello All Specs

GET IT NOW

$45.35 Amazon

Learn More

Poly Studio P5 Review

What Webcam Frame Rate and Resolution Do You Need?

A webcam can only get as sharp as its sensor can resolve pixels. Full HD (1080p) resolution is a good starting point for a decent webcam, but if you want to up your picture quality (or be able to crop your frame and keep it sharp), a 4K webcam is what we recommend. Quad HD 2K (2,560 by 1,440) is a rare but flexible middle ground between those two. Stay away from 720p models if you can; they offer the softest image quality and are likely no better than your laptop's built-in webcam.

The frame rate affects how smooth your video looks. A 60fps webcam presents you in a much more realistic and natural way than a 30fps webcam, so be sure to pay close attention to that spec before buying.

What Kind of Lens Does Your Webcam Need?

The lens on a webcam is just as important as the sensor, and generally bigger is better. It determines how much light reaches the camera sensor, which affects how you look in less-than-ideal lighting scenarios. This is known as the aperture size, and most cameras express this value as f/(number). The lower the number, the wider the aperture and the more light that comes through. Webcams don't often advertise their aperture sizes, but they generally range from f/2.0 to f/2.8.

Should You Choose a Webcam With a Wide or Narrow Field of View?

The lens also determines the camera's field of view, which is important for framing. If you want to capture only your face and cut out your messy bedroom, get something with a narrow field of view (or a high enough resolution that you can crop the frame). If you want to record an entire conference room, make sure the webcam has a wide field of view. Typically, these ranges fall between 65 and 90 degrees, with 78 degrees serving as a common middle ground. In this case, the smaller the number, the smaller the field of view.

Does Your Webcam Need Autofocus?

Most inexpensive webcams are fixed-focus. That means the lenses don't adjust to keep you in focus, or are simply set to capture you within a wide enough range that you show up clearly. This behavior is fine if you sit directly in front of the camera a few feet away, but it's easy to wander out of the focal plane (particularly if you want to show something up close).

More expensive webcams often include an autofocus system, which means their lenses adjust to make sure you're clear at any distance from the camera. This is preferable because you don't have to worry about sitting in the same spot to remain in focus.

Some higher-resolution cameras have what's called AI autofocus, which combines autofocus with digital zoom to center the frame around your face as you move around within the camera's field of view. This is a handy feature, but it can't replace properly framing the shot ahead of your conference.

The Best Webcam Lighting

Even the best webcams struggle in a dark room. If you want a clear, sharp picture, you need good lighting. Overhead lights and sunlight are helpful but rarely consistent. Some webcams, like the Razer Kiyo, have a built-in ring light, but otherwise, an adjustable fill light, like the Logitech Litra Glow, works reliably.

Logitech Litra Glow (Credit: Logitech)

Are Webcam Microphones Good Enough?

You aren't going to get amazing sound from your webcam's mic array. Sometimes you can find a webcam with a mic that sounds pretty good, but the acoustics of your room and the simple distance between you and the webcam means there's a limit to how clear your voice sounds.

With that in mind, some high-end webcams like the Dell UltraSharp Webcam forego microphones entirely. These webcams focus on video quality and assume that you have a dedicated USB mic or gaming headset with a boom mic—either of which will provide better sound than any webcam mic. We recommend using a USB mic or headset if you're serious about recording, streaming, or any video calls that might be recorded for future use. Obviously, these would come at an extra expense.

Can You Use Your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera as a Webcam?

Fujifilm X-S20 (Credit: Jim Fisher)

Do you have a mirrorless or SLR camera? Good news! You can use it to (potentially) get far better picture quality than any consumer webcam. Our guide to setting up your digital camera as a webcam walks you through all the requisite steps for recording and streaming from your favorite camera.

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into a Webcam

Droidcam (Credit: Droidcam)

Alternatively, if your phone has a good camera, you can try using it as a webcam. Check out our guide on turning your phone into a webcam with free software.

It doesn't matter if you're video conferencing with coworkers, chatting with family members, or connecting with a streaming audience — you want to look good! Or, at least, like you're not using a laptop from 2004.

It looks like the external webcam market will probably stick around: the pandemic spawned a slew of new webcams (and webcam makers), spurring innovation and somehow launching every one into uncomfortably high-resolution. Webcams today range from standard HD (1080p) to 4K resolution, have increasingly larger lenses and sensors, and are packed with AI-powered tech that can do everything from improving low-light performance to tracking face and body movement. 

It's impossible to recommend a universally perfect webcam, because there are so many different ways to use webcams these days. It's not as easy as going for ultra high-res 4K and calling it a day — most of the common video conferencing platforms (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams) don't support higher than 720p or 1080p resolution, anyway.

We've tested dozens of webcams: inspecting build quality, capturing photos in a variety of common lighting conditions, and playing with settings and software to determine the best webcam for you — whether you're trying to appear professional while working from home in sweatpants or creating content for millions of viewers. 

The Quick List

Best Webcams 2024

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best Webcam for Most People

Best Webcam for Most People: Logitech Brio 500 Webcam

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

1. Logitech Brio 500

Best Webcam for Most People

Our expert review:

Average Amazon review:

Specifications

FOV:

90 degrees

Video Resolution:

1080p 30 fps

Megapixels:

-

Focus:

Autoframing

View at WalmartView at AmazonView at Dell

Reasons to buy

+

1080p resolution is fine for video conferencing

+

Affordable

+

Good image quality

+

Good built-in mic

Reasons to avoid

-

Colors may look washed out

-

More likely to sell out

-

Almost 10 years old 

It’s been over a decade since Logitech released a new webcam (for non-creators, anyway) — and while the Logitech Brio 500’s 1080p/30fps resolution may sound underwhelming, its performance is not. Armed with a flexible 90-degree field of view and Logitech’s RightLight 4 image adjustment technology, the Brio 500 produces an impressive, exposure-balanced image right out of the box.

Logitech Brio 500, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Brio 500, overexposed/backlit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Brio 500, low-light setting

(Image credit: Future)

We were especially impressed with the Brio 500’s auto-white balance, which is something almost all webcams struggle with — it wasn’t perfect, but it was almost as impressive as the auto-white balance seen on much pricier webcams, such as the Insta360 Link. Logitech’s RightLight 4 technology, which is designed to compensate in less-than-ideal lighting situations, did an excellent job of producing flattering, evenly-lit images in both low and overexposed lighting.

The Logitech Brio 500 shows that resolution isn’t everything — it may have the same surface-level specs as older Logitech webcams, such as the C920s and C930e, but it produces much better images. For the average person looking to upgrade their webcam from whatever’s built into their laptop’s bezel, the Logitech Brio 500 offers the best out-of-the-box performance at a reasonable price ($130). 

Most web conferencing apps limit your streaming resolution to 1080p or 720p, but that doesn’t mean a webcam with a higher resolution is wasted. If you plan on zooming in to crop out your background, you may prefer the 2K WB5023 Dell Pro Webcam, which is similarly priced to the Brio 500 and also offers impressive out-of-the-box performance.

Read: Logitech Brio 500 Review

Best Webcam for Content Creators

Best Webcam for Content Creators: Insta360 Link

(Image credit: Future)

Best Webcam for Content Creators

Our expert review:

Specifications

FOV:

79.5 degrees

Video Resolution:

4K/30fps, 1080p/60fps, 720p/60fps

Focus:

Autofocus

View at Amazon

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent auto-lighting and white balance

+

4K resolution with extremely good auto-focus

+

Variety of AI-powered modes

Reasons to avoid

-

Expensive

-

Overkill for most users

The Insta360 Link is an AI-powered 4K webcam perched on a 3-axis gimbal, packed with a variety of capture modes and features that will appeal to content creators such as AI movement tracking, and offers incredibly impressive color reproduction and auto-exposure. This doesn’t come cheap, however — the Link is one of the pricier webcams on this list with a retail price of $300.

Insta360 Link, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Insta360 Link, overexposed/backlit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Insta360 Link, low-light setting

(Image credit: Future)

The Link offers unparalleled image quality, thanks to its 1/2-inch sensor and 4K resolution. But — more importantly — the Link has some of the best auto-exposure, color reproduction, and auto-focus we’ve ever seen in a webcam. Most webcams have difficulty adjusting between different lighting scenarios (especially quickly), and while the Link isn’t perfect, it’s very good at adjusting on the fly. This, combined with the webcam’s 3-axis gimbal and AI-powered movement tracking, makes the Link a very powerful contender for content creators who move a lot, or for professional or educational presentations. 

The Link is a very impressive webcam — maybe a little too impressive. Realistically, the Link is probably overkill for all but a very small user demographic. 4K resolution isn’t even possible in most web conferencing apps, and capture modes such as “portrait mode,” “top-down mode,” and “desktop mode” are fun to play with but aren’t terribly beneficial unless you already know how you’re going to use them. 

Read: Insta360 Link Review 

Best Budget Webcam

Best Budget Webcam: Microsoft Modern Webcam

(Image credit: Future)

3. Microsoft Modern Webcam

Best Budget Webcam

Our expert review:

Specifications

FOV:

78 degrees

Video Resolution:

1080p, 60fps

Focus:

Autofocus

View at NeweggView at NeweggCheck Amazon

Reasons to buy

+

Even Color

+

HDR

+

60 fps option

Reasons to avoid

-

Monitor stand can feel insecure

The Microsoft Modern Webcam is cheaper and more available than the Logitech C920; it also has more features and better, more accurate color reproduction than its older competitor.

The Microsoft Modern Webcam's monitor mount can be shaky on some  monitors, especially those that aren't flat along the back (but you can get it stable with some artful balancing). The sliding physical camera shutter gives this webcam a premium feel.

Microsoft Modern Webcam, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft Modern Webcam, overexposed/backlit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft Modern Webcam, low-light setting

(Image credit: Future)

The Microsoft Modern Webcam comes with an intuitive — but not particularly powerful — app that’s designed to look like a Windows menu. The app is where you’ll adjust most of this camera’s special features, including HDR and flicker reduction powered by its ability to capture footage at 60 fps. This webcam’s 1080p @ 60 fps capture is a big get for streamers, especially since many gaming-focused webcams cost upwards of $100.

It’s unfortunate that you can’t swivel or rotate this camera for better shooting angles. While the C920 shares that limitation, there are lower budget options with this flexibility. But if you want a camera in the C920’s space that doesn’t wash out colors as much and has more options, the Microsoft Modern Webcam is an easy choice — so long as your monitor isn't too curvy on the back.

Read:  Microsoft Modern Webcam Review

Best 4K Webcam

Best 4K Webcam: Elgato Facecam Pro Webcam

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4. Elgato Facecam Pro

Best 4K Webcam

Our expert review:

Specifications

FOV:

90 degrees

Video Resolution:

4K/60fps, 4K/30fps, 1080p/60fps, 1080p/30fps, 720p/60fps, 720p/30fps

Megapixels:

-

Focus:

Autofocus

View at AmazonView at Best Buy

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent image quality

+

4k/60fps video capture

+

Good software

Reasons to avoid

-

No privacy cover

-

Expensive

-

Images need tweaking to look good

Like most (all) ultra-high-res 4K webcams, the Elgato Facecam Pro isn’t for everyone — remember, web conferencing apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, limit your outgoing stream to 720p or 1080p at most. The Facecam Pro is not only capable of producing a high-res 4K image, it’s able to output a 4K stream at 60fps. For context, other 4K webcams max out at 4K/30fps; the Facecam Pro is the first and only webcam capable of 4K/60fps streaming.

The Facecam Pro’s design isn’t particularly impressive — it’s bulky, boxy, and large — but the webcam is relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver, whether you place it on the included monitor mount or attach it to a tripod. It does lack a physical privacy cover, which seems like a pretty big oversight given how incredibly detailed and high-def the webcam’s picture is (plus, the Elgato Facecam came with a privacy cover).

Elgato Facecam Pro, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Elgato Facecam Pro, overexposed/backlit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Elgato Facecam Pro, low-light setting

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

It has a 90-degree field of view and an autofocus lens, and it comes bundled with Elgato’s Camera Hub software, which offers a surprisingly detailed amount of control over exposure, white balance, and framing. The Facecam Pro retails for $299 and is a good option for professional streamers and content creators who need 4K/60fps video and who are already part of Elgato’s streaming ecosystem. 

Read: Elgato Facecam Pro Review 

Best Business-Oriented Webcam

Best Business-Oriented 4K: Logitech Brio

(Image credit: Future)

5. Logitech Brio

Best Business-Oriented 4K

Specifications

FOV:

90/78/65 degrees

Video Resolution:

4Kand below, 60 fps and below

Megapixels:

13

Foxus:

Autofocus

View at AmazonView at DellView at Newegg

Reasons to buy

+

4K resolution

+

HDR Recording

+

Windows Hello Support

Reasons to avoid

-

Expensive

-

 Build quality could be better

-

 Privacy cover feels cheap

The Logitech Brio combines 4K resolution with Logitech’s webcam expertise — it’s no surprise this webcam has been popular since it first debuted in 2017. The Brio features 4K/30fps resolution (1080p/60fps), a 90-degree field of view, 5x digital zoom, and great image quality, color reproduction, and low-light performance. 

Logitech Brio 4K, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Brio 4K, low-light setting

(Image credit: Future)

The Brio performs well, but it’s no longer the only 4K webcam on the market — and more recent contenders, such as the Insta360 Link and the Lumina 4K, are able to offer better auto-exposure, color reproduction, and auto-focused thanks to AI-powered software tweaks. But while newer 4K webcams are looking toward streamers and content creators, the Brio is more business-focused: It includes Windows Hello support and is optimized for use with business apps such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Skype for Business. 

Of course, most business users don’t need — and can’t even use — a 4K webcam, because most web conferencing apps limit output resolution to 720p (or lower). (But even at lower resolutions, the Brio offers better image quality and color reproduction than its non-4K siblings, the C930e and C920s Pro.) The Brio is a good 4K webcam, but it could probably use an update, especially now that there are multiple 4K webcams on the market.

Best Wide-Angle Webcam

Best for Wide Angles: Logitech C930e

(Image credit: Future)

6. Logitech C930e

Best for Wide Angles

Average Amazon review:

Specifications

FOV:

90 degrees

Video Resolution:

1080p 30 fps

Megapixels:

3

Focus:

Autofocus

View at WalmartView at AmazonView at Dell

Reasons to buy

+

Good image quality

+

Wide field of view

+

Good built-in mics

Reasons to avoid

-

More expensive than very similar C920s Pro

-

Almost 10 years old

The Logitech C930e looks a lot like the C920s Pro — it sports almost the exact same build, except its faceplate is silver instead of black. The C930e is the “business” version of the C920s Pro — it has the same general specs with a couple of hardware improvements and it’s also “certified for use with business applications” such as Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, etc (though this probably meant more when the C930e debuted in 2013).

Logitech C930e, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech C930e, overexposed/backlit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech C930e, low-light setting

(Image credit: Future)

The C930e has the same sensor as the C920s Pro, but it has an upgraded lens with a wider field of view — 90 degrees versus the C920s Pro’s 78 degrees. This wider field of view is useful not only because it allows you to display an unnecessary amount of your home office, but also because it adds 4x digital zoom (the C920s Pro also offers digital zoom through Logitech’s Logi Capture software). Digital zoom is useful on a webcam because zooming in gives you some control over camera positioning (tilt/pan), which is handy if your webcam isn’t ideally positioned. 

The C930e’s improved lens also improves image quality and color reproduction, as well as low-light performance, though the difference isn’t enormous (and may not even be that noticeable in many situations). The C930e has built-in dual mics that are omnidirectional, unlike the C920s Pro’s mics which are unidirectional. The C930e’s mics are a little better at picking up sound, but, again, this isn’t a dealbreaker (or dealmaker), since most people won’t be using their webcam’s mic anyway.

Best Image Quality

(Image credit: Future)

7. Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra

Best Image Quality

Our expert review:

Specifications

FOV:

82 - 72 degrees

Video Resolution:

4K (30fps), 1440p (30fps), 1080p (60/30/24fps), 720p (60/30fps)

Megapixels:

not disclosed

Focus:

Autofocus=

View at RazerCheck Amazon

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent image quality

+

Integrated privacy shutter

+

Great auto-exposure and white balance

Reasons to avoid

-

Razer Synapse app is the worst

-

Expensive

-

Big

Razer’s first 4K webcam, the Kiyo Pro Ultra, has the largest sensor ever put in a webcam — a 1/1.2-inch Sony Starvis 2, with a wide f1.7 aperture — as well as 4x digital zoom, an adjustable field of view (72 - 82 degrees), and a nicely-integrated physical privacy shutter. It’s a large but relatively lightweight webcam, and it has the same detached-DSLR lens aesthetic as its predecessors. 

There’s no question this is one of the best webcams we’ve ever tested when it comes to image quality — it has excellent auto-exposure and color balancing and a shallow depth of field that gives you a nice blurred-background effect without using software. Its impressive image quality was most apparent in our well-lit test setting, but it also did pretty well in our low-light and overexposed scenarios (once we tweaked some settings). The crispness and clarity of the picture is shockingly good, even compared to other 4K webcams — and while the average person probably doesn’t need (and can’t even use) such ultra-HD streaming, this does mean a better picture for lower-resolution streams, especially if you’re zooming and cropping.

Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra, Backlight

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra, full-light setting

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra, low-light setting

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Kiyo Pro Ultra works with Razer’s Synapse 3, which offers pretty detailed control over the webcam with manual adjustments for focus, exposure, and color balance, as well as photo and video resolution settings and processing effects. Unfortunately, to adjust any of the Kiyo Pro Ultra’s settings in Synapse 3, you must have the in-app preview turned on, and Windows only allows you to use the webcam with one app at a time — so if you’re trying to set up an image in a program other than Synapse 3 (and you probably are), this quickly becomes a very frustrating process. While this may not be too much of a problem for the casual user, professional streamers and content creators would probably be better off with the Insta360 Link or the Elgato Facecam Pro, which are both similarly-priced 4K webcams with very usable software. 

Read: Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra Review 

Best 2K Webcam

Best 2K Webcam: Dell Pro Webcam (WB5023)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

8. Dell Pro Webcam (WB5023)

Best 2K Webcam

Our expert review:

Average Amazon review:

Specifications

FOV:

78 degrees

Video Resolution:

2K QHD/30fps; Full HD/30fps; HD/60fps

Megapixels:

-

Focus:

Autofocus

View at NeweggCheck Amazon

Reasons to buy

+

HDR is decent in low lighting

+

Looks and feels high-quality

+

Performs well without software tweaks

+

Relatively accurate coloring

Reasons to avoid

-

Auto-white balance is a little sallow

-

Takes a second to adjust auto-exposure/white balance/etc

-

Software image adjustments are…not great

-

Weak built-in microphone

If you’re not quite ready to spring for a 4K webcam — and, let’s face it, you probably don’t need one — the Dell Pro Webcam (WB5023) is a nice compromise. This 2K QHD webcam records video at 1440p/30fps (1080p/60fps) and has a 78-degree field of view as well as HDR, 4x digital zoom, a built-in mic, and AI auto-framing. 

The Dell Pro Webcam looks similar to its pricier sibling (but... cheaper). It has a plastic chassis, a magnetic lens cap, a non-detachable USB-A cable, and a built-in monitor clamp — it’s definitely less “premium” than the Dell Ultrasharp, but it’s well built and still looks relatively sleek sitting on top of your monitor. 

Dell Pro Webcam, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Dell Pro Webcam, overexposed setting

(Image credit: Future)

Dell Pro Webcam, low-light setting

(Image credit: Future)

The Dell Pro Webcam is a good plug-and-play webcam — it performed well (but not perfect) in all of our lighting scenarios. It was especially impressive in our low-light test scenario, as it’s one of the only webcams we’ve reviewed that has managed to adequately light both the foreground and the background in a near-dark setting. It also features Digital Overlap HDR. 

Most video conferencing apps cap streaming video quality at 1080p, so a 2K webcam might not seem any more usable than a 4K webcam in that regard. However, a higher resolution webcam can still make a difference if you plan on zooming in (perhaps to crop out your background), so it’s not just content creators who can benefit. 

Read: Dell Pro Webcam (WB5023) Review 

Older but Still Decent

Older, Still Decent: Logitech C920s Pro

(Image credit: Future)

9. Logitech C920s Pro

Older, Still Decent

Specifications

FOV:

78 degrees

Video Resolution:

1080p 30 fps

Megapixels:

3

Focus:

Autofocus

View at WalmartView at AmazonView at Dell

Reasons to buy

+

1080p resolution is fine for video conferencing

+

Affordable

+

Good image quality

+

Good built-in mic

Reasons to avoid

-

Colors may look washed out

-

More likely to sell out

-

Almost 10 years old 

The Logitech C920s Pro is the latest iteration of the classic Logitech C920, which originally launched in 2013. (The only difference between the original C920 and the C920s Pro is that the latter comes with an optional flip-up privacy cover.) Despite being almost 10 years old, the Logitech C920s Pro is a solid, consistent webcam that captures video at 1080p/30fps and has a 78-degree field of view.  

Logitech C920s Pro, well-lit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech C920s Pro, overexposed/backlit setting

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech C920s Pro, low-light setting

(Image credit: Future)

The C920s Pro has a maximum resolution of 1080p, which might seem low if you’ve been looking at 4K webcams. But 1080p is plenty high for the average user — no video conferencing platforms allow streaming at anywhere near 4K in the first place (and many cap streaming resolution at 720p). The C920s Pro also offers decent color reproduction (its images look a little washed-out when compared with recent rivals’, however) and performs acceptably in both backlit and low-light settings. 

The C920s Pro has built-in dual microphones, which are about as good as you’re going to find on a webcam (not great, but they’ll work in a pinch). It has a built-in monitor stand with a tripod mounting point, and a non-detachable 5-foot (1.5m) USB-A cable. It comes with an optional removable privacy shutter, which is always a nice touch if you’re paranoid (like I am). The C920s Pro is a very good webcam, and is still a competitive option even if it’s been around forever.

Other Webcams We Tested

  • Razer Kiyo Pro: The Razer Kiyo Pro is a good 1080p option for those who don't quite need (or want) 4K resolution. It features HDR and an impressive light sensor that boosts the picture well in low-lighting conditions.

    Read: Razer Kiyo Pro Review
  • Ausdom AW635: The Ausdom AW635 was a more valuable camera towards the beginning of the pandemic when stock on basic mainstays like the Logitech C920 was more difficult to find. Now that stock has normalized, its borderline unacceptable image quality has less appeal.

    Read: Ausdom webcam roundup
  • Aukey 1080p: This one was a hard omission, but as its primary role on this list was as a Logitech C920 clone, it doesn’t serve as much purpose now that webcam stock has stabilized. Paradoxically, it can be a bit hard to find now, which also makes it harder to recommend, but it is roughly on par with Logitech’s budget cameras, if you can find one.
  • AnkerWork B600 Video Bar: This webcam has strong visual fidelity and a number of conference-call friendly features like a speaker and a built-in light bar with touch controls, but its price makes it a poor option for anyone who doesn't need those extras.

    Read: AnkerWork B600 Video Bar Webcam Review

How We Test Webcams

We test each of our webcams by inspecting its specs, design, and build quality, as well as how easily its lens can be covered for privacy. We also test the stability and flexibility of any built-in or included monitor stands. 

We then shoot test photos in three lighting conditions: (1) well-lit, with bright lighting both in front of and behind the subject; (2) backlit/overexposed, with bright light behind the subject and one 27-inch monitor in front of the subject; and (3) low-light, with no lighting aside from one 27-inch monitor in front of the subject. Our home office lighting is completely controlled. 

Our first round of shooting uses the camera's default, out-of-the-box settings. We then manually adjust the camera's settings using the camera's companion software, if applicable. If the camera doesn't come with software, we use a third-party application (YouCam 9) to adjust its settings. We take our photos using the Windows Camera app for consistency. 

Quick Shopping Tips

Here are a few details to consider while you're shopping for the perfect webcam.

  • Resolution: It's easy to be wooed by that 4K label, but make sure you actually want — and can use — an ultra high-res webcam. Common web conferencing apps such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams limit your outgoing video stream to 720p or 1080p, so it's unlikely your coworkers will benefit from that extra quality unless you plan on zooming (higher-res webcams will offer more detail in zoomed-in shots).

     
  • Field of View (FOV): Webcams with wider FOVs show more of the room. This is good if there will be multiple people in the shot, or if you're planning on presenting using a visual aid such as a white board. It's not so good, however, if you have a thrown-together work-from-home setup and you don't want viewers to see the mess around you.

  • Autofocus, auto white balance, and low-light correction: Most webcams look pretty good with a professional lighting setup, a thoughtfully-framed and curated set, and some manual software fine-tuning. But if you don't have the space, equipment, time, or patience to perfect your picture, look for a webcam that works well out of the box. We test webcams using both default and manually-configured settings, in a number of ideal and less-than-ideal lighting scenarios.

  • Privacy cover: Privacy is a real concern — and not just from malicious hackers or spying governments. Internet security is important, but here's a more likely situation: you, accidentally turning your webcam on (or leaving it on) without realizing it. Yeah — something as simple as a physical privacy cover can save you from potential embarrassment, and all webcams need one.

Finding Discounts on the Best Webcams

Whether you're shopping for one of the best webcams or one that didn't quite make our list, you may find savings by checking out the latest Logitech promo codes, Newegg promo codes, Amazon promo codes, Razer promo codes or Micro Center coupons.

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