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The best PC webcams for your needs

As we move to more work from home setups (and hopefully, in some cases, stay that way), getting one of the best webcams is more important than ever before. Everything knew it in 2020, as webcams shortages were a huge problem when everyone went into lockdown. But, now most popular webcams are back in stock, and you’re not stuck with the bottom-of-the-barrel options, we can round up the best webcams for your needs, without compromise!

As you’ll come to find out when looking at this list, only a few companies really dominate the high-quality webcam market. However, what webcam of theirs you’ll actually want to pick up will differ a lot on what, exactly, you’ll want to use the webcam for. Also, if you’re a Mac user, you’ll want to check out our best Mac webcams list instead. There is some overlap, but that list ensures your new webcam will work with your Mac device.

Best overall webcam: Logitech C920

If you want a webcam that does it all with minimal fuss, the Logitech C920 is your best choice by far. Straddling the line between price and functionality, you can think of the C920 as a jack-of-all-trades webcam. It’s easy to set up and use with Zoom, streaming, and recording with next to no tweaking. The G Hub and Logitech Capture software leave something to be desired, and if you want a perfect picture for content creation you’ll want to go with something more robust, but overall the C920 will get everything you want done.

Best webcam for Zoom calls: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

A lot of people don’t really need a webcam that does anything other than… well, showing your face in a Zoom call. You can technically use a smartphone camera for that purpose, but it can be finicky. Instead, pick up the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000, a webcam that’s just a little over $25.

This is an extremely basic webcam, with 720p image quality and a built-in microphone, but for only the occasional conference call or just something to plug into the laptop that’s better than the built-in camera, the LifeCam will be perfect without putting a dent in your wallet.

Best webcam for streaming: Razer Kiyo Pro

If you’re getting ready to hop on Twitch, you’re going to want a bit better of a webcam than most use for meeting and Zoom calls. In that case, you’ll want to turn to Razer and get the Razer Kiyo Pro. This is one of few webcams that does 1080p and 60fps while streaming–most of the competition can only achieve one or the other of these settings. You can also adjust your field of view or use the wide-angle lenses, making what you show on camera exactly what you want. The price is up there, but if you want ultimate customizability with your stream, the Kiyo Pro is your webcam.

Best webcam with lighting: Razer Kiyo

Since I use a separate lighting solution for my setup, I needed to do a fair amount of research into webcams with built-in lighting and which were the best. Everywhere I looked, though, there was only one answer–the Razer Kiyo. No other webcam even came close.

The Razer Kiyo is a 1080p/30fps or 720p/60fps webcam with a ring light built-in, which is super helpful if you’re in a room without good lighting. The light settings themselves can be a little finicky to work with, so it’s not as easy as say, buying a separate lamp and setting up in your room, but for an all-in-one solution, the Kiyo is your best bet. 

Best 4K webcam: Logitech Brio

Do you want the best video quality around? You’ll want to get a 4K webcam, and the best of the 4K bunch is the Logitech Brio. Don’t expect to get this product for cheap, though–the high quality picture comes at a high-quality price!

I’d argue that there’s no real need for a 4K webcam quite yet, with most computer users and streaming services not on the 4K train yet. But, if you want to be ahead of the curve, the Brio offers that beautiful 4K video, up to 5x zoom, and dual noise-canceling mics to make sure you’re heard. The Brio truly has all the bells and whistles you’d want in a webcam/

Now that you have your webcam situation straightened out, it’s time to upgrade the rest of your office space! Check out our picks for best computer chairs to alleviate that back pain you’ve been dealing with the past few months.

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