The best webcam
Whether you have a computer without a built-in camera or you're looking for a better way to capture video than your built-in camera, a webcam is a useful and versatile device. Webcams can be used for video calls, home security, or creating videos. Webcams vary in their video quality, compatibility, and offers of additional features like built-in microphones. You should also consider what programs you will use with your webcam and what your primary use of your webcam will be.
Our favorite model by Logitech offers excellent video quality at an excellent value. To learn more about the types of webcams available, continue reading our buying guide.
Considerations when choosing webcams
Before you begin your search for a webcam, you should have a clear idea of what you will use your webcam for. These cameras may be used for video calls, home security, filming, or just having fun.
Most people are familiar with integrated webcams, which are built into the top part of the screen of a laptop.
A standalone webcam connects to your computer or device, often via USB cable, and it works in conjunction with software to create video or be used in video chats.
A security webcam connects to an ethernet cable to record footage of your home or office. This footage may be stored on a hard drive or may be shared to your network.
The latest webcams often have impressive video quality. While your Internet speed may still reduce video quality when sending video, a higher-quality lens is your best bet for producing smooth and crisp footage. High-resolution cameras are slightly more expensive and may tax your computer or device more, but they are the best option for producing crisp video. In addition, the higher the frame rate, the smoother the video will appear.
There are a few parts to consider when comparing webcams, but component quality is still crucial.
The lens of a webcam may be made of glass or plastic. In general, glass lenses are more durable and produce higher-quality video.
A built-in microphone, which may or may not be present in all models, may be functional enough for video calls or may be capable of producing high-quality audio. The most expensive models often have noise-cancellation capabilities as well.
The cable of a webcam, often a USB cable, can vary in length and speed. Before you buy, check to see that your laptop, computer, or device has a port compatible with your webcam cable.
A motion sensor activates your camera when movement is detected. If you plan to purchase a security webcam, this may be a must-have feature for you if you don't want to search through hours of footage.
For $15 to $30, webcams range from basic models without microphones to webcams capable of capturing impressive high-definition video at high frame rates. Webcams for $30 to $60 are often security cameras or high-quality webcams for video conferences.
Q. Can I connect a webcam to my smart TV?
A. This depends on the model of your TV and whether it has the correct port to connect your webcam. If so, then this is a great way for the whole family to be on the camera for Skype calls.
Q. Why can't I just use the integrated camera in my laptop?
A. You can -- these little cameras work well for basic tasks like video calls. However, for higher-quality calls or creating videos, you will likely find that a standalone webcam suits your needs better.
Webcams we recommend
Best of the best: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
Our take: Made by a reliable brand, this webcam is one of the best options available.
What we like: The 1,080p video quality and 30 frames per second make this a superior webcam for video calls. The stereo microphones feature noise reduction for clear audio.
What we dislike: A few customers have been disappointed with the audio quality.
Best bang for your buck: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 Webcam
Our take: This highly versatile webcam is also one of the most affordable models.
What we like: The 720p video quality and capability of taking widescreen video make this a popular choice. The simple base design is easy to mount on laptops or desktop monitors.
What we dislike: Some customers had issues with the included software.
Choice 3: D-Link DCS-930L WiFi Camera
Our take: This reliable security webcam is easy to set up and has a sleek design to blend in with your home décor.
What we like: The motion-sensing feature gives you push notifications through the D-Link app, and you can connect this webcam via WiFi or Ethernet cable.
What we dislike: Compared to similarly priced models, the video quality of this camera can be underwhelming, especially if it is placed near light sources.
Peter McPherson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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