Whether you are starting your streaming career or simply wanting to update your gear, choosing the right webcam is crucial when it comes to viewer experience and, ultimately, your number of followers and subscribers.
During your career as a streamer, you’ll likely need to update your gear more than a couple of times. Whether you’re changing the type of content you create, your old gear broke, or you simply want to stay in line with new trends, you will have to get new hardware periodically.
If you’re eyeing 2021 as the year you invest in a new webcam, we have prepared a full list of the best webcams for streaming.
1. Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam
As a leading webcam manufacturer, Logitech continues to be a staple on “best webcam” lists year after year. When you look at their C922 Pro Stream model, you can easily understand why. This webcam was a viable choice for streamers a year ago, just as it is now. It is especially attractive for gaming streamers as well.
What’s so great about the C922? You can stream in 1080p at 30 frames per second or in 720p at 60 frames per second. The camera is equipped with two microphones for stereo recording, has good low-light performance, and comes with the versatile Logitech stand.
The C922 isn’t a flawless webcam, however. It doesn’t have a privacy shutter to physically block the lens. The background-removal feature requires third-party software to use (so you’re better off using a green screen). But it’s still one of the best overall choices you can make if you want to use a webcam for live streaming. If you don’t need 60fps and are just starting out as a streamer, the more budget-friendly Logitech C920 is a good option too.
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2. Razer Kiyo
The most prominent selling point of the Razer Kiyo is, of course, the light ring. As all good streamers know, decent lighting can make any webcam look like a DSLR. Razer went ahead and built the lighting into the camera for you.
The Kiyo is a streaming camera through and through, on par with the Logitech C922 in many ways. It also offers 1080p streaming at 30 frames per second and 720p streaming at 60 frames per second. But the fact that it includes an adjustable light that can be bright enough to make a noticeable difference when streaming is a great bonus for the Kiyo.
It makes so much of a difference, in fact, that you will need to adjust it if you want to avoid your recordings looking too bright. It’s also on the more expensive end of the spectrum for what it is, and there have been some reports of issues when used with OBS Studio.
Read next: Top streaming equipment based on your budget 📍
3. Mevo Plus
Live streaming on the go can be challenging, as you often have to rely on your phone’s built-in camera for the footage. The Mevo Plus solves this problem. It’s portable, produces high-quality video, and has a nice power supply. Although it’s a 4K portable webcam, the Mevo Plus will allow you to stream at 1080p. You can connect it to your mobile phone and stream with it for about an hour before you drain the battery. The Mevo Plus is compatible with lots of devices, and it has the connectivity options you’d expect to see on a laptop, let alone a webcam.
The only downside to this little webcam is its price. For what it offers, however, it’s hard to say the Mevo Plus isn’t worth it.
4. Logitech Brio Webcam
There aren’t that many platforms where you can live stream 4K footage — at least not yet. But if you’re a YouTube live streamer who is interested in 4K, upgrading to a camera that’s capable of filming and streaming in 4K seems like the natural step. If you’re a fan of Logitech webcams, even better.
The Logitech Brio is a 4K HDR webcam that supports streaming, recording, and video calling in full quality. For 4K streaming, you get a maximum of 30 frames per second. But if you’re willing to downgrade to 1080p, you can stream at 60 frames per second, which is no mean feat. Add the stereo mics and a 90°-wide field of view and you’ve got a super high-quality webcam for your super high-quality streams.
The Brio is so good that it has no real downsides. It is more expensive than your regular 1080p webcam, but that’s expected given that it’s a streaming beast.
Read next: Top 5 microphones for live streaming in 2021 📍
5. AUSDOM AW620 Pro Stream Camera
Webcams don’t tend to offer a wide array of operating system compatibility. You can expect most to run on Windows machines, and a few will run on macOS, too. But a webcam that’s compatible with Chrome OS and Android is an uncommon sight.
The Ausdom AW620 will work on most operating systems — more than most streaming software support — and let you stream 1080p footage. It comes with a built-in stereo microphone with noise reduction, and it has support for manual focus.
The problem with the AW620 is that you might have trouble using it in low-light situations. You might also see some lighting issues whenever streaming under artificial light, so pretty much all the time. But you’re sacrificing a bit of quality so you can stream from your Chromebook or Android device, so it’s a fair trade-off.
6. Microsoft LifeCam Studio
Your webcam can be useful for more than just live streaming. Yes, you can record footage with it that you’ll broadcast live later. But you can also use it for video calling, which puts different demands on your webcam.
The LifeCam Studio is Microsoft’s solution for professionals who need a high-definition web camera for daily use. It has a 1080p sensor, but it doesn’t let you stream video at that resolution; it will only go up to 720p when streaming. Still, it has TrueColor technology, which should give your footage an even look, and a built-in high-fidelity microphone that is as good as built-in microphones get. All of it is packed in a durable aluminum body, as well.
The obvious drawback of this webcam is the lower resolution when streaming. It’ll also work only on Windows.
7. Logitech StreamCam
The third entry from Logitech, the StreamCam, solidifies the company’s place as the manufacturer of the best HD webcams for live streaming. Other webcams can be used for live video too, but Logitech’s StreamCam was developed specifically to give streamers what they want.
For starters, it has good video resolution with 1080p streaming. Then there’s the awesome frame rate of 60 frames per second at full HD resolution. There’s also the face-tracking feature that works well, and the awesome low-light performance with smart exposure. Everything about this webcam is smart, including the ability to switch between portrait and landscape modes by simply turning the webcam.
The downsides? There are none. It’s not the cheapest webcam out there, but its focus on live streamers makes it a bargain. The StreamCam is simply one of the best webcams for Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and other streaming platforms.
8. Lumina Webcam
Lumina is looking to turn the webcam industry on its head. This AI-powered webcam makes automatic lighting, depth, and background blur adjustments as you use it, so you look your best no matter where you are. It’s also the first 4K, DSLR-quality webcam — without the hassle of a DSLR setup.
With all those features, the Lumina webcam seems like it’d be one of the most expensive on this list by a long shot. But it’s actually comparable to our other entries, considering its AI-powered functions.
Tip: You can sign up to their email list to get 40% off of your Lumina webcam and receive 20% from any referral with their affiliate program.
More interesting options
The webcam market is full of amazing, reasonably priced devices, so anyone can find one suited to their needs. If you aren’t fully satisfied with the options above, consider the following best budget webcams:
- AUSDOM 1080P HD Webcam
- Logitech HD Webcam C310
- Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
Each of these webcams costs less than $50, yet they provide good video and average audio quality.
⚡️ Pro hint: When you think about video quality, you have to add lighting to the equation. You can still have outstanding quality with a mediocre webcam if your lighting is properly set. Remember, purchasing an expensive webcam doesn’t guarantee you an amazing picture — lighting does.
There you have it — the mostly undisputed champions in the field of webcams. Although any one of them would work well for streaming, you should still invest some time into determining the best webcam for your situation.
Some webcams will have price-driving features you simply don’t need, while others will have features you find necessary. If you stream your content to multiple websites, you’ll have to consider the requirements and limitations of all the platforms you use. Take your time, shop around, and make sure you’re always streaming the best quality content you can, looks included.