Best Webcams iMore 2019

Webcams built into your laptop don't have the best quality video. Plus, they are susceptible to malware that can tap into the camera, turn it on, and use it to record you and your surroundings without your knowledge. However, plug-n-play devices can be unplugged when not in use, or secured with a built-in lens shutter to give you more privacy and protection from potential hackers. Plus they are designed to record sharp video and capture clear audio for use in live streaming, webinars and face timing.

Best Overall: Logitech BRIO

The Logitech BRIO webcam has the best video quality for both live streaming and recording, making it the best webcam currently available. It's versatile and compatible to use with popular personal and business face time apps, like Google Hangouts and Skype for Business. It also works with webinars and live-stream programs like Zoom Meeting. It is really simple to use, too, with a plug and play design that doesn't require a lot of setting adjustments before you start using it.

This Logitech webcam is compatible with Window's facial recognition security program, Hello. Also, it comes with an external privacy shutter that covers the lens to ensure your privacy further when not in use. The webcam also includes a universal clip that lets you mount it to any monitor, laptop, LCD or tripod. However, it doesn't have a lot of tilt, so setting it on a tall monitor may not be the best since its angle may distort the way you or your presentation look. Also, this is the only Logitech webcam that doesn't compress videos.

Pros:

  • 4K video recording and streaming
  • Plug and play
  • Compatible with Windows Hello
  • Privacy lens shutter

Cons:

  • Limited tilt
  • Doesn't support H.264 compressed format

Best Overall

Logitech BRIO

The go-to pick

This plug and play webcam streams and records in 4K, making it good for face timing, live streaming events, holding webinars, and creating videos for YouTube and Twitch.

Best Value: Logitech C270

The Logitech C270 is a definite step up from your built-in laptop camera and is a good product for your basic webcam needs. It records in widescreen so you can see more of you during video conferences, and in a higher resolution so you look more crisp and clear on the other end. Its face tracking and autofocus features help you remain in focus even when moving. Plus, it records in 720p HD resolution and has an automatic light correction to help you look brighter even in darker rooms.

You can mount this webcam to any laptop or computer monitor, and it does have a little tilt so you can angle it a bit. However, the Logitech C270 doesn't mount to a tripod, nor does it have 360-degree rotation. It also doesn't have any privacy features, like a lens shutter. It does come with come a two-year warranty. Plus, its low price point makes the Logitech C270 the best value webcam.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Face tracking
  • Widescreen recording
  • Compatible with both Mac and Windows

Cons:

  • Only records in 720p resolution
  • Doesn't mount to tripods
  • No privacy shutter

Best Value

Logitech C270

Quality for less

This webcam records clear video with face tracking and autofocus. It records in widescreen with a 720p HD resolution. The Logitech C270 works with both Windows and Macs.

Live Stream Webcam: Logitech C922x Pro Stream

The Logitech C922x Pro Stream webcam records in 1080p and 30 FPS. It's the best resolution for live streaming gaming tutorial, webinars, corporate events, or face timing. It features automatic light correction, so even in darkened areas, you can still stand out to your audience. There are two microphones built into this camera with filters to block out background noise and reduce popping while you talk.

This live stream webcam has background replacement technology, so you look like your streaming from exciting places or in the middle of the action instead of your bedroom. Plus, it works without using a green screen. However, the background technology is only compatible with Windows operating systems and requires you to purchase and download a third-party app. Despite this drawback, the features and performance of the Logitech C922x Pro Stream make it one of the best webcams for live streaming

Pros:

  • Microphone filters
  • Automatic light correction
  • Video streaming for YouTube and Twitch

Cons:

  • Background technology only works with Windows
  • Some feature work only with third-party apps installed

Live Stream Webcam

Logitech C922x Pro Stream

Catch it all live

This webcam is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems and gaming consoles. Designed for live streaming, it records in 1080 HD resolution with 30 FPS.

Gaming Webcam: Razer Kiyo

For recording gaming tutorials or other YouTube videos, the Razer Kiyo has the important features you need to create colorful and clear images. It records in 720p at 60 FPS and 1080p at 30 FPS. Both ensure optimal resolution of intense and detailed game graphics are clear and keeps your video from stuttering or freezing during recorded and streaming play. The Razor has a USB port and cable that you can connect to your PlayStation or other gaming consoles, so you're not limited to PC games. Plus it's compact and foldable, so it's easy to bring along to record content at different locations. It has an adjustable spotlight, so you are always seen by your audience even when you're in a dark room. And it works very well with a green screen.

The biggest drawback of the Razer Kiyo webcam is it isn't easy to set up. No matter which device or operating system you are using, you will need to follow some pretty detailed instructions just to get it turned on. There are additional steps for adjusting settings and manually focusing. If you can be patient through the setup process, this webcam is a useful tool for gaming videos and live streams.

Pros:

  • Adjustable spotlighting
  • Compatible with gaming consoles
  • Auto and manual focus
  • 60 FPS

Cons:

  • Difficult to set up
  • No 4K resolution

Gaming Webcam

Razer Kiyo

Gaming Webcam

This webcam has an adjustable spotlight, and both auto and manual focus. It supports video recording at 720p at 60 FPS and 1080p at 30 FPS, for keeping up with intense gaming sequences.

Business Webcam: Logitech C925e Business Webcam

The Logitech C925e Business Webcam connects to most computer monitors, TVs, or sits steadily on a tabletop during video conferences. Its lens captures 78-degrees widescreen shots without having to tilt, pan, or move the camera. The 1080 HD resolution video comes in clear with autofocus and light correction capabilities. Its omnidirectional microphones pick up everyone in the meeting. This Logitech business webcam is certified to work with both Skype and Microsoft's older program, Lync. It also works well with Jabber, WebEx, and several other webinars and video conferencing programs. Logitech is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.

Unlike most other Logitech webcams, the C925e doesn't come with any software. Most users report not needing it because this webcam is so easy to plugin and use. However, for those that do need a program to use this camera fully, Logitech has compatible software available to download from its website.

Pros:

  • Lync and Skype certified
  • Omnidirectional microphone
  • Widescreen video
  • Universal clip

Cons:

  • Software not included

Business Webcam

Logitech C925e Business Webcam

For all your meetings

This webcam is specifically designed for business use. It has a 78-degree angle lens and built-in omnidirectional microphones. It's compatible with Windows and Mac computers.

Mobile Webcam: Mevo Plus

The Mevo Plus is a powerful tool for live streaming events, interviews, or seminars. It records in 4K, the highest resolution available, and live streams in 1080p, which is the resolution needed for professional-quality video. It requires you to download the mobile app, but from your cellphone, you can zoom in and out, pan and cut your video in real-time. And you can live stream to multiple platforms at once. You can edit recorded files from your smartphone and share them soon after you're done recording, eliminating the need to first return to the office or studio.

This Mevo webcam is pretty pricey, over four times the cost of most other webcams. It also doesn't work as a traditional webcam that connects to your computer or laptop for basic video conferencing or face time meetings. This is because it requires a mobile app to work correctly. But for out-in-the-field, on-the-spot projects, this is a handy, high-quality camera to have. This webcam does need a single Lithium Polymer battery to work. One comes with the webcam, but it would be smart to purchase additional batteries to have on hand.

Pros:

  • Compatible with both Android and iOS phones
  • Live stream in 1080p and record in 4K
  • Live editing
  • Live stream to multiple platforms

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn't connect to computers or laptops
  • Requires batteries
  • Doesn't connect to external audio devices

Mobile Webcam

Mevo Plus

On-the-go cam

The Mevo Plus connects to your smartphone and records clear and detailed 4K videos. From the mobile app, you control live editing and allow streaming to multiple platforms at once.

Bottom line

Logitech is king when it comes to webcams. The BRIO is the best available because of its ability to both live stream and record in 4K - the highest picture resolution available - compatibility with Windows Hello and easy to plug in and use. It mounts easily to any LCD, monitor or laptop and can be attached to a tripod. The Logitech BRIO also doesn't cost too much considering all its features and it comes with a three-year warranty. All of these features make BRIO the best option for live streaming, webinars, and recording video for platforms like YouTube and Twitch while also doubling as a handy tool for basic face timing.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Nicole Johnston is a staff writer for iMore. She has a keen eye for pinpointing good solutions that comes from over 12 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sector, including six years testing and reviewing consumer products.

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