For 2022, the best webcams from 1080p to 4K

For 2022, the best webcams from 1080p to 4K ...

Once upon a time, a good webcam used to matter only for business travel, long-distance relationships, and other geographically challenged communication. Currently, so many of us are socializing from afar and that this once afterthought product has been thrust into the spotlight. But older laptops and cheap laptops and Chromebooks may still be cutting corners on the webcam to keep the price down. Hence, the booming market for them

Logitech, a market leader, makes the most popular name-brand models on the market, notably the $80 and the basic, educated $30. You may not go wrong simply picking one that falls within your budget.

With good lighting or better angles, you can improve the video quality of your webcam more than upgrading the camera itself. Keep in mind, however, that the best camera will not necessarily deliver great video and audio quality on the other end; that may depend on the consistency and quality of your network connection.

As we test webcams, we'll update this list regularly with more information and recommendations, so stay tuned. And for more advice, scroll down below our recommendations

I had my doubts about this at first: There are so many small, unfamiliar brands on Amazon that it takes a lot more than a 4-plus star review to pique my interest. But I was quite surprised at how good this basic webcam is for just $40, much of which has to do with the software. It also supports Macs, something the camera it replaces doesn't. (It's the, which remains a fine choice for Windows at an attractive $35 to $40.)

There's only so much you can do with the image quality on a basic 1080p 30fps webcam, but the Nexigo still offers better video quality than many 720p laptop webcams, although it can see noise and softness even in extreme lighting conditions.

Nexigo's software isn't quite intuitive, but some of it is a lot more functional than many of the tools I've used. For example, the manual white balance works nicely along a continuum rather than giving you a choice between too pink or too green. Also, it allows you to save presets for all the adjustable settings. MacOS Monterey isn't currently working, so I couldn't test it, but it promises an update to support the latest OS within the next couple of months

It's built-in, although the audio quality is disappointing. The mic is quiet, but it doesn't turn off or adjust it, and there's a bit of popping and tininess on the end.

The build is about what you'd expect for a cheap webcam, preferably plasticky but not fragile, and the mount is supported by tilt and swivel. Nexigo has other uses, including a captive USB-A cable and a nonremovable mount.

Razer's X has risen to a lower $80 base price, compared to the ones used in the store. Both the ring light and the mic have been changed, but the price is still quite high due to the fact that your lighting isn't too expensive. Razer's may be worth waiting for if you're not worried.

The 1080p Obsbot Tiny is a refined version of the that began life as a Kickstarter a couple of years ago and is still great despite the fact that it's smaller than it looks. It also features a magnetic attachment to the mount and a large LED that indicates if it's currently focused on anything.

All the features of this device have been covered, including a sound quality mic, although it lacks features you might be familiar with from the mic in your laptop or headset, such as noise cancellation, etc.

There are some things I'm not interested in so much: In software you can zoom continuously between 1x and 2x, but the gesture mode isn't too much, and the Anker does not handle low light as well as the Tiny (that is, it is limited to 30fps) but the Obsbot does not support the meh settings dialog. You can also change aperture, but the setting doesn't seem to do anything on any webcam I've tested thus far

Because it's so tall, you may not like mounting it on top of a big monitor, though I've got it perched on top of a 32-inch without issue. And it's actually a benefit if you're using it atop your laptop, since the way most people use their laptop cameras, it sits well below their eyeline.

This small webcam is ideal for video streaming (in the event the name didn't give it away), but it has some features that make it appealing for general use. It can be mounted horizontally or vertically, giving you better viewing video than 30 frames per second. Plus it is smaller so it can fit in more cramped spaces.

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The compact webcam supports 1080p at 60fps, but because it does not compress the stream it can produce some nice-looking footage. It also has a sensor and autoexposure capabilities optimized to compensate for dim and harsh lighting, plus automatic white balance which preserves more natural-looking skin tones. And it is also a very convenient lens shutter, but better for keeping dust off the front of the camera.

It's on sale for $100 at the moment (I don't know until when), down from $199, making it a great deal.

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The Dell UltraSharp Webcam, which has a 4K resolution, is a good choice for viewing or streaming video directly to your computer.

Alternatively, you'll be able to get a Dell laptop. You can also get a Express Sign-In to detect and place the system to sleep when you leave, and then to wake and sign you in when you sit back.

There's no microphone, but the mic array on a decent recent laptop should be better than any mic you'll get on a webcam. And the software, which provides customization requirements and gives a lot of advantages, does not work on the Mac.

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The Brio 4K webcam is a popular choice for photographers who want to zoom in to their face or a physical object without losing the details as much as a typical 1080p model. 4K is also useful if you want to film films in 1080p 60fps and then use it handheld to show viewers physical objects rather than share their screen.

Logitech makes a special model of the Brio specifically for the Apple Pro Display XDR, the, so it can perch prettily on your pricey monitor.

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Which webcam specs are important?

But you don't need to worry about getting overcome by specifications. Frame rate (30 or 60 frames per second), resolution (720p, 1080p, or 4K) and microphone (mono or stereo) are some of the most important things about webcams.

If you have nothing now, then anything's a step up. Most -- even -- tend to still offer 720p webcams, while most standalone webcam models on the market are 1080p (aka FHD). The latter usually has HD video quality that is much better than the other, because the higher number of pixels makes your image sharper for your video calls, video conferencing, and live streaming.

There are no controls on the operating system when buying a webcam for a Mac. If you want to adjust exposure, zoom, and white balance, then the support needs to be included in the specific application or into a utility that comes with the camera. Unfortunately, few manufacturers offer MacOS-compatible utilities; the Elgato FaceCam is a notable exception.

If you want to zoom in to better frame yourself without looking dull, crunchy, or blocking or to demonstrate physical objects, consider jumping to 4K. You may also use a makeshift webcam with an app or utility from the camera manufacturer. The software that allows you to use a digital camera as a webcam often caps the resolution at 1,920x1,080, but you may get better zoom results than a webcam.

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