Best Webcams 2020: Top Webcams for Streaming, Video Calling & More

With the lockdown underway in the UK, you’re probably stuck working from home. If your blurry laptop webcam just isn’t cutting it for video calls and meetings you might want to look into a separate camera altogether.

But webcams come in all shapes and sizes, so which is the best for your needs? Maybe you don’t need a webcam for video meetings, but are flirting with the idea of firing up a vlogging channel or livestreaming on Twitch instead. Or maybe you just want to Skype your family and friends with greater clarity.

Whatever it is you’re after, here we explain what to look out for when on the market for a new webcam, along with reviews of what we think are the best webcams around. 

Want to get into game streaming? Check out our tutorial on how to stream on Twitch and our selection of the best game streaming software to get started. 

Webcam buying advice

Resolution

While resolution is usually a good measure of overall video quality, it isn’t the only aspect to consider. Your requirements will largely depend on how you’ll be using the webcam; if you’re using it for Skyping your friends or livestreaming gameplay on Twitch or YouTube, 720- or 1080p HD should suffice. That’s mainly because the vast majority of video apps, from Streamlabs OBS to Skype, support a maximum of 1080p, and we can’t imagine that changing any time soon. It’d take a pretty solid internet connection (minimum 25-45Mbps) to perfectly stream 4K, after all.

There’s no real need for a 4K webcam at the moment unless you’re looking to record video locally instead of stream or chat. In that case, a 4K webcam could offer the quality that you’re after. 

Plastic vs Glasses lenses

Some high-end webcams will boast glass lenses over plastic lenses used by cheaper webcams, but in general, the difference isn’t that noticeable – especially when used for video chat or livestreaming.

Microphone

A built-in microphone is very handy for video calling as it negates the need to use a headset, and provides a more natural experience. But while it’s a welcome feature for video calling, it’s not a feature used very often by streamers. Streamers tend to use dedicated microphones, or headsets with built-in mics, as they generally provide much clearer audio and some offer advanced features like noise cancellation to reduce the sound of clicking keys and other ambient noises.

Additional features

Not all webcams are created equal, and some may offer advanced features that help separate them from a sea of competitors. These can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from image correction capabilities to background removal and, in the case of the Razer Kiyo, a built-in ring light for even lighting.

It’s worth doing research about how well these features perform as, especially in the case of background removal, results can be very hit-and-miss depending on the amount of light and other environmental factors. But, if you can find one that does work well, it’ll give you a more professional-looking webcam feed without having to invest in a physical green screen for chroma keying.

Compatibility

Another feature to consider is compatibility. Generally speaking, all webcams should work with the likes of Skype, Google Hangouts, XSplit Gamecaster, OBS and more, but some offer specific support for certain apps. Though it’s dependant on the webcam and app that you use, buying a supported webcam could provide access to more advanced settings and features.

And, in the case of XSplit Gamecaster, supported webcams may provide a free trial to the premium livestreaming software. It’s certainly the case with the Logitech C922 Pro, featured below.

Best webcams 2020

1. Logitech C922 Pro

2. Logitech StreamCam

Logitech Streamcam

3. Razer Kiyo

Razer Kiyo

4. Microsoft LifeCam Studio

Microsoft LifeCam Studio

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