Update 2022: The best webcam for streaming is.. da da da.. the Logitech Brio!
With all the hardware available on the market today it can be a tall order to determine which webcam should have the privilege of streaming your beautiful face when you get online. I’ve tried the main contenders. I’ll outline my top picks with pros and cons, and let you know where you can find the best price.
Buy A Webcam For Streaming
First things first, invariably there’s someone out there shaking their head at me, saying “But Ray! My laptop comes with a built in HD webcam so obviously I’m good.” I say this with love in my heart: Bitch, please. An external webcam is a must. Even the cheapest external webcam will produce much better live stream quality than most of the built-in ones could dream.
If price is your main concern, I’ll make it easy for you. Get this:
Best Budget Webcam
If you’re just starting out, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Logitech C525 – it was my first! I mentioned I’ve been at this since 2013, yea? Since then I’ve moved … counting … 10 times, at least.
And yet the Little Webcam That Could still works.
PROS: My favourite feature is the way it folds up for easy storage. It protects the lens on the inside, which I’m guessing is how I still have a working c525 today. Pretty smart design!
CONS: On the downside, it is only 720p HD. The video and audio quality are perfectly acceptable for starting out. In fact I’d argue it’s the best beginner webcam out there, especially if you don’t want to spend your money before you make it.
Be inspired. I made the cost of this webcam back on my very first stream back in May 2013. Everyone has a different experience, but hopefully that helps if you’re at all worried that this isn’t a worthy investment.
Check out a slew of positive reviews over on Amazon, where you’ll also find the best price on this unit.
Solid Middle-of-the-Road Option
I’ll be honest. I used the Logitech C525 until I saw the Logitech C920 on a massive sale a couple years back and finally decided to upgrade. I wish I’d done it sooner.
PROS: We move from 720p to full 1080p HD on this one, and the audio quality is much improved as well. Meanwhile it retains the convenience and portability of the previous model.
This webcam has been making the rounds for years. A lot of webcam models swear by it, and I’m one of them. I’ve even used it to take pictures and film short clips after a live stream. I know, I know, I should use the fancy camera I used to capture these cameras… But sometimes it’s just too convenient.
CONS: It doesn’t fold up like its predecessor, but if you take care of your things it should be fine. I’ve dropped it a few times and had no issues. Logitech knows their webcams.
I 100% recommend it if you’re looking for a solid middle of the road option. This is the one I use most regularly these days.
You can find tons of similar reviews and the best price at Amazon.
Splurge on That Zoom/Pan Action
Want more bells and whistles and feel like spending money? The Logitech BCC950 Conference is not my favourite, even though it’s the one I clearly spent the most on. Let’s start with the
PROS: Amazing video and audio quality. It comes with a remote so you can easily zoom and pan your camera to follow you around the room as your heart desires.
I have to say that remote is pretty handy for taking pictures. Plus it’s a pretty nice looking piece of equipment.
CONS: My problem with this one is the lack of portability. The thing is clunky, uses an extra wall outlet on top of the USB port for power. You can run it with your computer if you have an extra USB port and can handle the extra demand, but personally I had issues with my streaming platforms when I tried it that way. And so many cords! Also, good luck getting it back in the box for storage. I finally figured it out last time I moved, but now that I’ve taken it out to show you guys… well…
Anyway, Logitech’s BCC950 Conference Cam is entirely a matter of personal preference. It’s definitely a great quality webcam, but whether you’ll love it entirely depends on your work style. For instance, I like to give the impression of making eye contact as best I can, which is difficult when the webcam is so much further removed from the laptop screen. Plus I like the flexibility of a quick setup afforded by the 525 and 920. Meanwhile, a remote with zoom and pan functionality do make it quite a bit easier to move around while streaming.
Read up on it if you’re interested, and here’s the best price on Amazon.
Evidently Logitech has cornered the market on this one, and with good reason. So pick out a webcam and let’s get rolling.
Bonus content: Cameras for digital photography are on the next page.