Best webcam 2021: the top 7 webcams you can buy right now – The Verge

If you don’t already have a laptop with a built-in webcam — or the one on your laptop isn’t very good — you might need a standalone webcam. Maybe it’s to be able to show your face during work or school. Maybe it’s for chatting with friends, or for side projects, like live streaming or recording yourself.

If you don’t want to actually purchase a webcam, there are several routes to take. You can get crafty with your phone (and spend hardly anything or nothing at all) by using an app that’ll fool your computer into thinking it’s a webcam. Or you can go in the total opposite direction and connect a pricey DSLR or mirrorless camera to your computer to use as a webcam — a very good one, at that.

But assuming you simply want to purchase a webcam, our goal is to make it easier for you to find the one that matches your needs and your budget. Here, I aim to decipher which USB webcams are worth your money.

We tested popular models from brands like Logitech, Microsoft, Dell, Razer, Elgato, and more. Once the dust settled, we landed on a semi-affordable webcam that we think is the best option for most people. That’s the Logitech C920S Pro HD, which usually costs about $60. It supports 1080p resolution capture at 30 frames per second, and the visual quality is satisfactory in most lighting conditions.

If you have some extra cash along with a desire for better video quality and more features, check out Logitech’s StreamCam. It also supports 1080p resolution, but with a faster 60 frames per second capture. This model is loaded with clever features, like an optional mode that can automatically follow your face around the frame. It also ships with versatile mounts, one for your monitor, and another for a tripod.

Each camera’s video quality was judged by using it with Zoom (where footage is prone to compression, as it is with other web-based video calling apps), as well as with OBS Studio or VLC to see how it compares with a locally-stored recording.

Logitech C920S Pro HD

The best webcam for most people

Works with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook

Usually priced around $60, Logitech’s C920S Pro HD provides better video and mic quality than others that I tested in this price range. This model can record in 1080p resolution at up to 30 frames per second, and while you won’t have an issue finding other similarly-priced webcams with those specs, the C920S Pro’s out-of-box color balance, exposure, and relatively fast auto-focus made it stand out from others I tested.

The picture quality has sufficient detail, and even in my relatively dark apartment, the C920S Pro had no trouble making my facial features look sharp. But it wasn’t a flawless presentation overall, as is to be expected for the price. In less-than-ideal lighting scenarios, the C920S Pro made my skin look over-saturated, with red spots where the webcam couldn’t compensate for the …….


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