A webcam is an indispensable part of a streamer’s arsenal. Often, streams that include a “face cam” tend to be more popular.

Why is this?

Essentially, it helps viewers perceive the content as something unique at first glance, rather than mere game footage. Moreover, it allows for a better connection between the streamer and their audience.

That said, we will be looking at some of the most noteworthy webcams that you can get at the moment, as well as see which of those is the best webcam for live streaming!

Zoom Out: The 5 Best Webcams For Streaming Today

So without any further ado, here are our top picks for the best streaming webcams today.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpzjXi8vRx4

Logitech HD Pro C920

best webcam

About the Webcam

Logitech was founded back in 1981, and they have grown into the renowned and prestigious company that we know and love for their top-quality products in a number of spheres of the hardware world. The first product of theirs we’ll be looking at wholly lives up to that reputation.

The Logitech HD Pro C920 is an excellent webcam capable of capturing clear and crisp videos, as well as photos. It is a compact and flexible camera that can fulfill any purpose admirably thanks to its many useful and convenient features.

Features

best webcams 2018

  • Video quality
    The C920 is one of the two cameras here that are capable of capturing high-resolution 1080p videos. But more goes into video quality than mere digital resolution and megapixels!
    More importantly, this webcam operates with premium quality Carl Zeiss-made glass lens that is further equipped with smart and adaptable autofocus. All of this ensures that the footage captured by the camera will be sharp, clear and in focus.
    And lastly, Full HD video resolution is made possible with the clever implementation of H.264 encoding which intelligently compresses videos on the fly. The end result is plenty of saved space and bandwidth with almost no noticeable loss in the quality of the video itself.
  • Audio quality
    Unlike most other webcams, the C920 incorporates a stereo rather than a mono microphone, complete with background noise reduction. This provides a convenient way to make video calls, but for streaming, a dedicated microphone is always a better choice.
  • Additional features
    Often, poor lighting leads to inferior video quality rather than the supposed low quality of a camera. We all know that grainy, analogue-looking kind of video that is the result of this.
    Fortunately, the C920 combats this effectively via its automatic light correction feature. The camera digitally corrects the lighting in the video or picture as it records, thus letting the user capture a video of with utmost clarity even in less-than-optimal lighting.
  • Compatibility
    This webcam is fully compatible with Windows 7 and all later versions. Moreover, it has limited compatibility with Mac OS 10.10, Chrome OS, Android 5.0 and any newer versions.

Downside

High price tag – Seeing as it is a top of the line webcam, the Logitech HD Pro C920 is naturally much costlier than other devices of its kind. Ordering it directly from Logitech would mean paying $80, but luckily, authorized sellers and resellers offer it for as little as 50$ now. While this may still be more than most would be comfortable paying for a webcam, it is a more than worthwhile investment if you seek to stream professionally.

What We Loved

  • Full HD video recording
  • Clean and crisp video quality
  • Quality stereo microphone

What We Didn’t Like

  • Is on the expensive side

Logitech C922x

best webcam 2019

About the Webcam

Next up, we have yet another webcam from Logitech, and this one is a limited improvement upon the C920, although it is an improvement that some might find to be definitely worthwhile.

The webcam in question is the Logitech C922x, a pricey top-notch solution for those who require the very best. Visually, it is quite similar to the C920, although it undeniably appears as a more premium product, all thanks to the fully black glass front.

Features

  • Video quality
    Like the C920, this is camera can record in a 1080p resolution, boasts a 15-megapixel sensor, complete with the high-quality lens and video compression. However, the C922x does fare better when it comes light correction, making lighting appear more natural.
  • Audio quality
    Like the C920, the C922x features dual microphones although they are noticeably better, recording much cleaner audio with virtually no background noise. It is definitely one of the best microphones that you’ll find in a webcam, although it still cannot really compare to a good external microphone.
  • Additional features
    Rather than introducing any particular new features, the C922x focuses on improving those found in its more modestly-priced sibling. As mentioned above, it handles exposure better, leading to more natural-looking lighting.
  • Compatibility
    Once again, like the C920, the C922x is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, all the while featuring limited support for Chrome OS, macOS 10.10, and Android 5, plus any newer versions of these operating systems.

Downsides

  • Expensive
    Considering that the primary flaw of the C920 was its price tag, it is no surprise that this applies for to the premium variant as well, and to an even greater degree. Starting at $99 and rarely available for less, the C922x is definitely a product that will appeal mainly to those with deeper pockets or simply those who need a good overall webcam.

What We Loved

  • Full HD video recording
  • Superb video quality and light correction
  • Excellent stereo microphone

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive

Logitech C270

best webcam for streaming

About the Webcam

For the third entry, we have yet another solution from Logitech, albeit a much more modest one than either the C920 or the C922x. The C270  is a simple-looking webcam, without any truly remarkable elements incorporated into its design.

The main body of the camera is oval-shaped, and the exterior sports a somewhat dull grey color scheme. The camera itself is placed on the left side of the main body of the device, accompanied by a microphone and a single green LED light.

Features

streaming webcams

  • Video Quality
    The C270 can record in 720p , which is a standard for most webcams today. Even though it uses a seemingly meager 3-megapixel camera, Logitech’s great software innovations play a big role in helping this webcam provide high-clarity videos.
    Namely, it utilizes two key technologies: Logitech Fluid Crystal technology and automatic light correction. So, what do these two actually do?
    Logitech’s aptly named Fluid Crystal technology is the key factor to improving video quality on all fronts: sharpness, color, contrast, and overall clarity will all be significantly improved thanks to this feat of software engineering. And secondly, automatic light correction is the feature already explained in the previous entry – it greatly improves video/picture quality in low-light conditions, although it doesn’t live up to what the more expensive webcams can do.
  • Audio Quality
    The C270 comes equipped with a mono microphone which is built-in next to the camera lens. While the word “mono” may seem discouraging at first glance, this is still quite a good microphone – for video calls at least. It also uses noise cancelling to ensure clean audio during video calls, but it is far from adequate for streaming.
  • Compatibility
    The Logitech C270 is fully compatible with Windows 7 and all later versions. It also works with macOS 10.10 or above, ChromeOS , as well as Android 5 and above.

Downsides

  • Flimsy mounting – The camera can easily be mounted on top of any monitor using the clips that come with it. However, even then, it remains quite unstable. Granted, this is not too much of an issue with desktop computers, but this can spell quite a bit of trouble for laptop users.

What We Loved

  • Solid video quality
  • Great value for the money
  • Surprisingly good microphone

What We Didn’t Like

  • Mounting mechanism could be better

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema

best webcam for streaming 2018

About the Webcam

Here, we have a product from one of the most widely known companies in the IT world. It is none other than Microsoft, and they are here to deliver one of the highest quality webcams on this list – and its name speaks for itself.

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema is quite different from most mainstream webcams in that it utilizes a cylindrical body more reminiscent of a real cinematic camera, hence the name. It uses a sleek black-and-silver color scheme, and with a microphone on top and is of an exceptionally sturdy build.

Features

  • microsoft webcamVideo Quality
    While it may record in “just” 720p, we all know that resolution is not everything. As a matter of fact, this webcam’s primary strength lies in its wide-angle glass lens. The lens should be noted in particular since this is what allows for much better and more immersive depth of field. Of course, like the majority of other webcams, it has autofocus as well.
    On the software front, the LifeCam Cinema utilizes TrueColor technology with face tracking. The benefits? Much more accurate focus and exposure adjustment in order to present you clearly and in the best possible light.
  • Audio Quality
    The webcam incorporates a top-mounted mono microphone into its design. It also possesses noise cancelling capabilities and is overall a very good microphone – as far as webcam microphones go.
  • Compatibility
    The LifeCam Cinema only has full functionality with Windows versions 8 and onward, while it only has limited functionality on Windows 7. Just the same, it has limited support for macOS 10.10, and does not support for Android devices.

Downsides

  • Iffy autofocus – The webcam’s autofocus function can become over-active from time to time, especially in low light environments. This is far from a deal-breaking flaw, but the recurring blurring can be an annoyance.

What We Loved

  • Wide-angle lens for wider recording angle and better depth of field
  • Solid build
  • Better than average webcam microphone
  • Excellent balance between price and quality

What We Didn’t Like

  • Somewhat unreliable autofocus, mainly in low light

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

best webcam 2018

About the Webcam

And finally, we have another webcam from Microsoft, albeit nothing as flashy as their LifeCam Cinema. This product is closer to a budget solution, although it is more of an “in the middle” product that lingers on the border between low-end and mid-range.

The webcam in question is another one from Microsoft’s LifeCam series, the HD-3000. It follows this product line’s overall approach to exterior design, with a mostly-black body and silver highlights. It is far from the best webcam for streaming, but it can get the job done. It goes for as little as $20 these days, making it a good entry-level solution if you’re short on cash.

Features

top rated webcams

  • Video Quality
    The HD-3000 records videos in 720p , but with a simple plastic lens. And while it still has autofocus and TrueColor capabilities on Windows 8 and up, it lacks most of the other powerful features present in the more expensive LifeCam products.
  • Audio Quality
    The HD-3000 uses a simple mono microphone with noise cancellation. While this may not be evident from what is presented on paper, it is quite a few notches below other LifeCam microphones. In the end, it is convenient for casual video calls but hardly fitting for professional streaming.
  • Compatibility
    The HD-3000 has exactly the same OS compatibility specifications as LifeCam Cinema: full support for Windows 8 and up, and partial support for Windows 7 and macOS 10.10

Downsides

  • No tilt adjustment – Most webcams incorporate this feature in order to enable users to find ideal viewing angles. It is a particularly important feature if your desk is low or your monitor too high, and since its lacking here, some might have trouble finding the ideal position for this webcam.

What We Loved

  • Decent video quality for the money
  • Affordable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Setting it up optimally can be a hassle

How to Pick the Best Streaming Webcam for You?

As always, requirements vary from user to user and so do the budgets. Because of that, we will present a short guide discussing just how important certain features are in a webcam, which ones to keep in mind, and ultimately – how to find the ideal webcam for your needs.

Without further ado, let’s dive right into it!

Resolution – Do You Really Need Full HD?

We have all felt, at one point or another, that compulsive need to own a piece of tech because of its amazing on-paper specifications. However, only the most budget-conscious among us ever ask themselves the question if they really need all those fancy high-tech features.

Take a moment to consider what you will be using the webcam for. If you just need it to add a “face cam” to your stream, then the choice between 720p and 1080p is hardly a critical factor. Why? Simply because the video it records will only take up a minor fraction of the screen. With that in mind, people would need to be viewing the footage recorded by your webcam across their entire screen in order to notice any difference between “HD Ready” and “Full HD” resolutions.

So, in the end, the maximum video resolution should not be the deciding factor in your eventual choice. If you can afford it, then it is definitely neat to have 1080p recording capabilities as it is more future-proof, but it is not worth coughing up any big bucks for by itself.

Plastic vs Glass Lenses – Is There a Difference?

A big difference between the cheaper and the more expensive webcams is the material the lens is made of. In truth, it does not affect image quality much. Rather, the choice between plastic and glass is much more relevant for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

The Microphone – Is it Relevant?

As we have previously mentioned in the article, webcam microphones are generally nothing to marvel at. They are included solely to make video calling more convenient, and that is a purpose they serve admirably.

On the other hand, if you want to stream, you will need a dedicated microphone. Why? Simply because they are better in every conceivable way, offering a plethora of useful features and vastly superior general sound quality.

Image Correction – Does it Work?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_ywletE-Bo

Technologies that improve image quality via lighting correction and color enhancement are more important than you think.

In truth, poor lighting is often the main culprit behind low-quality webcam video, and most people can hardly set up proper cinematic lighting at their desk. Luckily, some webcams can counteract this digitally by applying various effects that produce natural-looking, high clarity images even in low light environments.

Keep in mind though, just because a webcam possesses this feature doesn’t mean that it can achieve the desired effect as well as any other webcam.

Conclusion – The Best Webcam for Streaming

webcam tripod

All things considered, we have concluded that the best streaming webcam is the very first entry on this list, the Logitech HD Pro C920.

So, what exactly is it that puts this webcam a clear notch above the competition?

First and foremost, it truly offers the best value for your money. Despite the $80 MSRP, you can get it for pretty much half that price on Amazon and various other sellers. This brings the truly high-quality webcam down to an affordable mid-range price, and is also what ultimately makes it a better investment than the C922x in our book.

The C920 simply has it all. It can record in 1080p, and even though this is not a critical factor for streamers, it makes the camera more future-proof and makes it useful for vlogging or for making any other type of video that puts you in full view. The build quality is great, the autofocus reliable and responsive, and even its microphone is a convenient feature to have.

Now, while some of these features are not as important for streaming, keep in mind that you would be getting all of this at quite a low price, as mentioned above. At the end of the day, the Logitech C920 is a bargain and the best webcam for streaming that you can get right now, if you don’t mind paying more for the newer and improved C922x.

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