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The Best Webcams to Upgrade Your Video Chat

You're still taking a lot of video calls and your computer's built-in camera stinks. It's time to buy an external webcam.

best webcam
Tucker Bowe

It was virtually impossible to buy a webcam in 2020, as the avalanche of video calls made so many of us realize just how bad computers' built-in webcams can be.

Fortunately the price spikes and shortages are now (mostly) over, and right now you can quite easily get a great external webcam for a reasonable price. And you're going to want to do so because video conferences and remote work don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

When shopping for an external webcam, you need to make sure it works with your computer, first and foremost. Then you need to decide how good (or expensive) of a webcam you actually need; most capture a 1080p video (which is likely a big improvement over what you current have), but there are a few higher-priced ones that can capture 4K.

Finally, each webcam is a little different. They have different design features, such as privacy shutters, built-in mics or lighting. Others come with built-in software that allows you to customize settings, like autofocus, exposure and field of view. You want make sure it fits your needs.

Logitech C920S Pro HD

Logitech
Logitech C920S HD Pro
Amazon
$69.99
$57.50 (18% off)

Connection: USB-A
Compatibility:
Mac and Windows

Best All-Around

The Logitech C920S Pro HD is a plug-and-play webcam that works with either Mac and PC. It has the same L-shaped design as its predecessor, the C920, so it's really easy to attach to a monitor and, but also comes with an attachable privacy cover. It's capable of capturing 1080p video and its built-in dual microphone array is great at picking up audio.

Logitech Brio Ultra HD

Courtesy
Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro
Amazon
$199.99
$152.38 (24% off)

Connection: USB-A
Compatibility:
Mac and Windows

Best 4K Upgrade

You can think of this as upgraded version of the Logitech C920S Pro HD, as it has a similar horizontal design, L-shaped mounting clip and an attachable privacy cover. The big difference is that it's one of the few webcams that is capable of capturing 4K video. It supports premium features like autofocus, auto light adjustment and motion tracking with high dynamic range. And you can choose between three different-field of-views (65-, 78- and 90-degrees) via the companion app. The downside, of course, is price.

Razer Kiyo Pro

Razer
Razer Kiyo Pro
Amazon
$199.99
$146.89 (27% off)

Connection: USB-A
Compatibility:
Windows

Best Webcam for Streamers

The Kiyo Pro is a better version of the entry-level Kiyo — but it comes at almost double the price. It still only captures a 1080p picture, but its superior sensor allows it to capture a higher frame rate (1080p at 60fps vs the Kyo's 1080p at 30fps) and it supports HDR (the Kiyo does not). It has a more durable lens, a better and more flexible mounting system, and you can choose between three field-of-views (80-, 90- and 103-degrees). Unfortunately, it also isn't compatible with Macs.

Anker PowerConf C300

Anker
Anker PowerConf C300
Anker amazon.com
$129.99

Connection: USB-C
Compatibility:
Mac and Windows

The Anker PowerConf C300 is an excellent all-around webcam that captures 1080p video with autofocus and has a built-in mic. It connects to your computer via USB-C, which is a rarity, so it's a great plug-and-play option for people with newer laptops (it also comes with a USB-C to USB-A adapter). The PowerConf C300 is unique because it allows you customize a bunch of settings (including brightness, contrast, sharpness) and switch between three different fields-of-view via its companion app.

Razer Kiyo

Razer
Razer Kiyo
Razer amazon.com
$99.99
$68.00 (32% off)

Connection: USB-C
Compatibility:
Windows

Razer's entry-level webcam, the Kiyo, was created with streamers in mind. It has a built-in ring light — which is highly adjustable — that allows you to make sure your face is well lit at all times. It also comes with companion software that allows you to customize various exposure and autofocus settings. The only real downside is that it doesn't with your Macs at all. Also, the built-in mic isn't the best. But if you have PC and an external mic, the Kiyo is a solid webcam that captures a sharp 1080p video.

Dell UltraSharp

Courtesy
Dell UltraSharp Webcam
Dell
$199.99

Connection: USB-C
Compatibility:
Mac and Windows

Released in mid-2021, the UltraSharp Webcam is a true 4K webcam (a rarity) that connects to your computer via USB-C (another rarity). You can adjust the resolution and the frame rates of the captured video — it can capture 4K at 30fps or 24 fps, and 1080p video at up to 60fps — and it also has some neat AI tricks to keep you in frame and in focus. The only real downside is that, considering its steep price, it still lacks a built-in mic.


Logitech StreamCam

Courtesy
Logitech StreamCam
Logitech amazon.com
$169.99

Connection: USB-C
Compatibility:
Mac and Windows

The Logitech StreamCam is a webcam that shoots 1080p video (at up to 60fps) and connects to your computer via USB-C. It was designed with streamers in mind as it works with companion software that gives you a lot of customization options; you can adjust the usual features like picture resolution, frame rate, exposure and autofocus, but you can also easily add effects like filers or text overlays. It even comes with two mounts — one that works for your computer or monitor and another that works as a standalone tripod — so you can use it in several different ways.


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