In a world where live streaming is increasingly popular on social media, where video chats are becoming part of online dating, and where virtual meetings are a necessity for work, webcams are easy-to-use devices that can help you make your very best digital impression.
Using an external webcam allows you to select both camera quality and features that meet your live streaming needs. Plus, they’re easy to upgrade or repair, unlike the low-quality built-in cameras that come with most laptops or desktop computers.
What to Look for in a Webcam
First, consider the webcam’s resolution. Lower resolution means a grainy picture, so look for a resolution of at least 720p (1280×720). A 1080p (1920×1080) webcam is preferable. Another aspect to consider is the frame rate. A slower frame rate, measured as frames per second (fps), may mean that you get a glitchy streaming experience. A minimum of 30 fps is recommended.
Next, check for built-in microphones. Not all webcams come with microphones built-in, but webcams with two or more will give you much better sound quality. Some cameras offer automatic low-light correction as well, while others do not. Ultimately, you’ll pick which features are most important for your needs, but don’t forget to check the operating system requirements for the webcam to ensure it will work for your computer.
Top Pick: Aoboco Webcam
This Aoboco webcam gives you both a high-quality camera and studio-like adjustable ring light that’s simple to set up—just plug it into your USB port, and you’re ready to go!
The video quality is smooth, sharp, and fast (1080p and H.264 compression), and its touch control lighting is powerful and flattering, making this webcam ideal for streamers who want their viewers to see them clearly, even in very low-light conditions. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, Ubuntu, and Chrome OS, and it works well to live stream on all social media platforms.
Webcam Streaming 1080P Full HD with Dual Microphone and Ring Light, Aoboco USB Pro Web Camera Stream for Windows Laptop Twitch Xbox One Skype YouTube OBS Xspli (Model-968)
This high-quality webcam has studio-like light built-in.
Best for Beginners: Angetube 920 PC Webcam
If you’re testing the waters of live streaming, this webcam is a moderate investment that gives you great results.
The Angetube 920 PC Webcam is small and lightweight, with two internal microphones that offer excellent speech quality and clear audio. The video streams at 30 fps for 1080p/720p/480p/240p, and the H.264 video compression allows you to record and compress at the same time for smooth uploads and streaming. It’s optimized for a good video experience on popular platforms like YouTube and Twitch. It’s Windows, Mac, and Linux compatible.
PC 1080P Webcam with Mic. USB Camera for Video Calling & Recording Video Conference/Online Teaching/Business Meeting Compatible with Computer Desktop Laptop MacBook for Windows Android iOS Linux
This webcam is optimized for a good video experience on popular streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
Best for Work: Hrayzan Webcam
This Hrayzan webcam has a nice wide-angle lens that covers up to 110 degrees, so you can include a team in an online meeting without having to crowd around a camera. The 1080p HD video streams at 30 fps, and the built-in noise reduction microphone will help make your voice come across clearer on conference calls. Automatic low-light correction, a privacy cover for when you’re not using it, and compatibility with Windows, Mac, Skype, and most social media are also benefits to this webcam.
Hrayzan Webcam 1080P?HD Webcam with Microphone, PC Laptop Desktop USB Webcams with 110 Degree Wide Angle? Computer Web Camera with Rotatable Clip
This webcam has a wide-angle lens so you don't have to crowd around a camera.
Best for Budget: mimoday Web Camera
If you’re looking for a webcam with an extremely simple setup that’s functional for a wide variety of uses, including video conferencing on Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts, Mimoday’s 1080p Full HD webcam will meet your needs at a very affordable price. It has a built-in dual microphone and is Windows and Mac compatible.
Full HD 1080P USB Web Camera (30fps), Plug & Play Webcam with Built-in Dual Microphone, Multi-Compatible, for Video Conferencing, Recording, and Streaming
This webcam will get the job done without breaking the bank.
NexiGoThis webcam from NexiGo is the perfect choice for anyone who likes to use a webcam during any sort of gaming. It can be used for Twitch, Youtube, OBS, Facetime, and more and is compatible with both Windows and Macs. It’s also high resolution, can be used to record videos, and has an autofocus feature, so you’ll never need to worry about blurry images. Autofocus mode can be switched off if need be. The built-in microphone is noise-canceling, so you don’t have to worry about ambient noise. And the included privacy cover both prevents access to your webcam when it’s not in use and helps protect the lens from dirt, dust, and other debris.
NexiGo AutoFocus 1080p Webcam with Stereo Microphone, Software Control and Privacy Cover, N930AF FHD USB Web Camera, Compatible with Zoom/Skype/Teams/Webex, PC Mac Desktop
A highly compatible webcam with autofocus features and a microphone that prevents ambient noise.
Also Great: ToLuLu HD 1080p Web Camera
This 1080p, 110-degree widescreen webcam from ToLuLu has a full HD glass lens that provides 30 frames per second for extremely clear video. It also possesses automatic light correction and HDR technology, which automatically adjusts your video’s color and brightness to best suit the lighting of the room. This ensures you’ll always look great onscreen, no matter how dim or poorly your environment. The built-in digital stereo microphone not only automatically reduces outside noise but picks up your voice up to 10 feet away. The webcam is compatible with Windows, PCs, Mac, Android, and most streaming services, and a privacy cover and small tripod stand come included with your purchase.
Webcam HD 1080p Web Camera, USB PC Computer Webcam with Microphone, Laptop Desktop Full HD Camera Video Webcam 110 Degree Widescreen, Pro Streaming Webcam for Recording, Calling, Conferencing, Gaming
A widescreen webcam that's equipped with auto light correction technology to ensure you always look great onscreen.