Top 5 Best Webcams For Streaming 2020:
- Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam
- Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
- Logitech BRIO – Ultra HD 4K Webcam
- Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 720p
- Logitech ConferenceCam Connect All-in-One Full HD 1080p
Most of the all-in-one desktop computers and laptops nowadays have a decent internal webcam. The purpose of those cameras is mainly for video calls. But, if you are into live streaming, you know these types of cameras won’t serve you well. That’s why you should consider purchasing an external webcam that will be able to provide high-quality videos.
Now, I know most of you are skeptical about them, but believe me, webcams have undergone a significant transformation in the past few years. Many of the models that are available on the market today feature high frame rates, digital zoom, autofocus, and the ability to output 1080p resolution. That sounds promising, right?
Also, do you remember how easy it was to set them up? All you need to do is to plug it in a free USB port and use your favorite video-streaming platform or download streaming software if you still don’t have one.
The problem arises when you need to choose the one that will meet all your needs. That is where my help will come in handy. Today I am going to teach you how to select the best webcam for streaming.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing
No matter if the purpose of requiring a webcam are professional reasons or you just want to be able to chat with your friends and family, there are a lot of terms you need to get familiar with before you start considering which model will fit you the best. Depending on the prior categorization, some features will be more important than others. I’m going to list the features of a webcam that are important for streaming:
- Resolution is the most important feature to look for when buying a webcam. Resolution lets you know how many pixels compose a digital image. Higher pixel density results in better video quality. The common resolutions in use are 480p, 720p, 1080p, and (rarely) 4K. If you aim to make and stream high-quality videos, you need to buy a webcam with a resolution range of 1080p or at least 720p but never go below that.
2. Frame Rate
- Frame rates are measured in frames per second; this feature represents a speed at which the images that fabricate a video are displayed on the screen. Most webcams come with a frame around 30fps, which will be enough for most streaming apps but never go below 24fps, or your videos will be choppy. If, on the other hand, you prefer smoother videos, I recommend you to look for cameras that will offer you around 60fps.
3. Field Of View
- The FOV is a webcam’s field of view that its lens will capture. Usually, FOV for most streaming cameras is in the range between 50 and 120 degrees. If you need a webcam for a conference room, for example, you will need to find one with a wide-angle lens.
4. Lens Quality
- The quality of pictures depends on lens quality. Lenses can be made from glass or plastic. The webcams with glass lenses are higher in price, but it will also give you a better imagery.
5. Low-light Performance
- Cameras work by capturing light, so naturally, many of them have problems working in low-light conditions. Even an HD camera will produce a poor-quality video if the lighting conditions are bad. But some cameras are equipped with better sensors so they will provide you a high-quality video even in dim light rooms. Usually, these bigger sensors bring in a price tag raise, so be aware. Either have a lightning setup for your streaming sessions or invest in a HQ sensor.
6. Audio Quality
- Every webcam comes with a built-in microphone that will record the audio and stream it at the same time. This demanding function can often be neglected by the manufacturers, and result in products with subpar audio. If you’re serious about streaming, you’ll have a standalone mic for sure – but if you’re on a budget, the webcam’s mic will do for a while. Always make sure to check the microphone’s frequency and recording capabilities before deciding.
7. Extra Features
- Lately, most of the manufacturers are adding extra features to their products to establish a better position on the market. Background replacement, autofocus, digital zoom, compatibility with the particular operating system – all those are useful features that contribute to the attractiveness of the product.
- When considering a particular model, have in mind what you’ll use the webcam for, and gauge the extra feature’s worth based on that. Sometimes, you can get a cheaper one without added gizmos and have a perfect camera for your needs.
5 Best Webcams For Streaming In 2020: Detailed Reviews
1. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 720p – Great Basic Webcam With Amazing Value
Don’t let the price of this webcam fool you. It might seem cheap, but it will offer you excellent value for the price. I can guarantee you that you won’t find a better camera in this price range.
This is a plug-and-play type of webcam, and like almost all other Microsoft webcams, it is only compatible with Microsoft operating systems. Fun fact – sometimes you may have some troubleshooting problems if you use Windows 10 – it’s 96% chance that is hardware-related, and you need to look up your device manager for drivers.
It is equipped with a flexible universal base, so you will be able to place it on your laptop, desktop monitor, and even on your notebook. The built-in noise cancellation mic will provide you clear audio without the risk of being overwhelmed by background noise.
This model is more of an entry-level webcam, and it runs on 720p resolution with imaging rate up to 30fps. So make sure this resolution will be enough for you because you won’t be able to scale it up. The HD-3000 will allow you to adjust the focus, zoom digitally up to 4x, tilt it vertically and digitally, and a swivel it as well.
TrueColor Technology delivers superb color and brightness in almost all lighting conditions. But unfortunately, this particular model struggles to maintain consistent lighting and color in natural lightning because it can change too frequently. So my recommendation is to use it with artificial lightning for the best performance.
- Plug-and-play webcam
- 720p resolution with 30fps
- Great video and audio quality
- TrueColor Technology
- Flexible universal attach base
- Not compatible with OSX
- Windows 10 user might have troubleshooting problems
- Struggle to maintain consistent lighting and color in natural lightning
2. Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 – Good-Looking, Versatile, & Great For Beginners
If you are new in the world of video streaming and you need a great HD camera, but you are on a budget, this might be the solution for all your problems. This model is great for Skype and recording. It may lack some of the premium features, but if you are an amateur streamer, it will allow you to learn basics with ease.
The great news is that this model is suitable for both Microsoft and Mac users. It is compatible with OS 10.10 and above, Chrome OS, Android v 5.0, as well as Windows 7, 8, and 10. You will be able to use a full 1080p resolution when recording and using Skype, but you won’t be able to stream at this resolution. Streaming is available only in 720p resolution. The imaging frame rate is 30fps.
Thanks to H.264 video compression, you will be able to upload your videos faster and to save up on some storage space. This model has built-in dual stereo mics with automatic noise reduction, so your audio will be surprisingly clear if you consider that this is just an external Webcam mic.
It comes with universal clips that can be easily attached to any laptop or LCD monitor. Also, in case of need, you can place it on the tripod that is available for purchase too. The automatic low light correction is a feature that will be of great help for streamers that are inexperienced with using external lighting equipment,
- Compatible with OSX and Windows
- Great price
- Imaging range 30fps
- Full HD 1080p when using Skype and recording
- 720p streaming resolution
- H.264 video compression
- Automatic low lightning correction
- Streaming is not possible in 1080p resolution
3. Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam – Rugged & Durable, Decent Specs
We all know how easy it is to knock-off the external webcam from your laptop or monitor. Most of them are unfortunately built from plastic and won’t be able to withstand more than a few knocks before they finally break. On the contrary, this model comes with an aluminum frame that will protect it from breaking.
You will be surprised to hear that this Microsoft webcam works with both Windows and OSX. It also integrates with Skype very well, unlike some other models on the market. The resolution of this camera is 1080p, with 30fps frame rate. You will be disappointed to hear that 720p resolution is the limit for streaming.
The photo definition is 8.0 MP, and with the advanced precision optic glass lens, you will be able to make sharp 2K images and 16:9 aspect ratio videos. As I already mentioned, Microsoft cameras use TrueColor Technology, so your images will be well colorized in all types of lightning. Also, this camera comes with ClearFrame Technology that will provide you a smooth, detailed video.
Thanks to the high-fidelity noise reduction mic sound of your audio will be more natural and detailed. This webcam will offer you a wide range of imaging features like automatic face tracking, digital zoom (3x), automatic image adjustment, digital pan and tilt, autofocus, and 75° diagonal field of view. You can mount this webcam on the tripod if needed.
- Sturdy aluminum frame
- 1080p HD camera with 8.0 MP photo definition
- Premium glass lenses
- TrueColor and ClearFrame Technology
- Imaging range 30fps
- 16:9 aspect ratio video
- High-fidelity noise reduction mic
- 720p resolution is not available with this model
4. Logitech ConferenceCam Connect All-in-One Full HD 1080p – A Premium, Portable Solution
If you are a professional streamer, look no further. This webcam is a beast! It is portable and comes with a rechargeable battery (up to 3 hrs of streaming), so you will be able to do mobile streaming! Featuring H.264 video compression, now you will be able to upload your videos faster and use less storage space.
This is a plug-and-play camera that is compatible with Windows, OSX, Android, and most of UC and conferencing applications. USB and Bluetooth connections are available too. But as I said, this is a professional camera, so if you are not so well experienced, you will have a hard time to install it on your own. And it will cost you a lot more than a regular webcam, but it will be worth it.
The camera resolution is 1080p with the 30fps frame rate. This products actually comes with two cameras so you can use multiple angles if you are streaming LAN style events. But the camera head on these is not able to rotate, which can be considered as a flaw.
From additional imaging features, this model is equipped with autofocus, tilting, panning, and digital zoom. It is great for using in smaller workgroups because it features remote control and 360-degree microphones that will pick up and record sound in high-quality no matter how far away the person of focus is from the camera. You can use this camera to project images on a widescreen display.
- Portable and can be operated on the rechargeable battery pack
- H.264 video compression
- 1080p HD camera resolution with imaging range up to 30fps
- Comes with two cameras
- 360-degree microphones and remote control
- Excellent video and audio quality
- Complicated to set up
- High price
- Camera head can’t be rotated
5. Logitech BRIO – Ultra HD 4K Webcam – When You Want The Best Resolution
Streaming in 4K resolution is still not so common today, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering purchasing this amazing 4K webcam. Ofcourse, you can record and stream with this camera in all three resolutions: 4K, 1080p, and 720p.
You can use this camera with Windows and OSX operating systems. It is also compatible with Skype, Cisco, WebEx, BlueJeans, and many more video meeting apps. If you use Windows 10, you can use Windows Hello that will offer you advanced security and quick login by using facial recognition.
Video quality is amazing. The premium glass lenses and 4K image sensor will make your streams more colorful and realistic. Forget about pixelated and blurry small details; with this camera, your shots will be more clear and sharp than ever. But all this comes with a higher price – 4k streaming is not so easy, and you will need a lot of storage space and very stable internet provider with high internet speed.
The RightLight3 HDR (high dynamic range)technology will automatically adjust exposure and contrast to correct backlighting, so your room will be bright enough without using any additional lighting equipment. Also, you can use autofocus, 5x digital zoom, and three different angle positions 65, 78, and 90 degrees depending on how much surrounding you want to reveal with your viewers.
Lately, every professional streamer wants to replace the background of their environment with some footage that they desire. By now, they were not able to do that without a green screen. But luckily for them, BRIO does not require a green screen.
- Premium glass lens
- Incredible video quality
- 4K resolution
- RightLight HDR technology
- Windows Hello
- 5x zoom and three different angle position
- Background replacement feature without using green screen
- 4K streaming requires storage space, high internet speed and cost a lot
If you are a Youtuber, vlogger, or freelancer, a new and improved webcam should be your priority. This article summarizes all the basic information you should take into consideration. Here in this list, I highlighted all the pros and cons of each model to help you make your final decision.
Best Overall Value: Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam
- This webcam might not be so impressive as some of the Logitech’s models on this list, but you can be sure it will offer you high-quality streaming anytime you need it. This model features excellent modern design and will offer you a wide variety of features that will help you improve your performance.
- If you are looking for an HD camera that will offer you a natural-looking color, clear details, and a budget-friendly price, then this model is your perfect pick.
Premium Pick: Logitech BRIO – Ultra HD 4K Webcam
- BIRO is quite expensive compared to other models on this list, but in my honest opinion, it’s worth every penny. Video and sound quality are outstanding. So if you have the budget and you want to experience all the benefits of 4k resolution, don’t think too much and purchase this amazing webcam.