- Is Webcam Right Choice For You?
- Top 5 Best Webcams for YouTube in 2018
- 7 Features that Make a Webcam Good for YouTube
- Limitations of Webcams
While some of the most famous YouTubers out there may have production budgets in the thousands of dollars, the vast majority of them started off from humble beginnings.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Webcams for YouTube
- Logitech C922x WINNER
- Logitech C920 BEST SELLER
- Logitech C930e WIDE FOV
- Logitech C270 UNDER $20
- Logitech C310 BUDGET
Whether you’re looking to get started on YouTube for the first time or you simply need a new camera, you don’t need to buy the most expensive gear.
In fact, 4 out of 5 cameras we reviewed are UNDER $100!
For those who want to be sure that they’re getting the best possible webcam for YouTube, a good deal of research will be necessary.
Good thing is that we’ve done all the work for you and all you have to do is choose a webcam that suits your needs.
Is Webcam Right Choice For You?
Every camera has a purpose, and the same is the case for webcams.
You’ll find that webcams are less versatile than other YouTube cameras, but they have some pretty significant advantages when used in the right applications.
Most of the time, webcams are used by content creators who typically film videos directly from their desk without much movement.
Webcams are also the cheapest YouTube cameras, so if you are just getting started, it allows you to more spend money improving your overall setup (check out best microphones for gaming that you can combine with a webcam)
Keep in mind that webcams aren’t exclusively made for gaming streamers, as they will work well for any YouTuber that primarily records while seated.
Top 5 Best Webcams for YouTube in 2018
Field of View: 78 degrees
Field of View: 78 degrees
Field of View: 90 degrees
Field of View: 60 degrees
Field of View: 60 degrees
There are quite a few options on the market when it comes to choosing the right webcam for recording YouTube videos, but there aren’t many manufacturers that can compare to Logitech’s expertise in the field.
In fact, out of all of the webcams we reviewed, the top five slots ended up getting taken by a series of Logitech products.
Let’s jump right into what makes this camera great with the 1080p resolution, which is rare in a webcam at this price point.
You get exceptional value for money out of the C922x, and even more so if you’re a gamer, as some features are ideal for Twitch streaming and YouTube Gamers and overall a great camera for live streaming.
For example, the background replacement software that comes included with this cam is surprisingly effective and can block off messy rooms.
While this camera records at 30 fps at 1080p, you can lower the resolution to 720p if you need as much smoothness as possible, as that will allow it to register film at a full 60 fps.
This webcam for YouTube gaming is also compatible with a wide range of devices, ranging from Windows to Chrome OS, and it can even work on the Xbox One.
As you would expect from a quality webcam, this device also has a relatively wide field of view, capable of recording a 78-degree slice of whatever is in front of it.
This device only has a few weaknesses, and they’re mainly centered around the stereo microphones that it comes included with, so we’d recommend an externally mounted one.
- 1080p video recording at 30 fps or 720p at 60 fps
- Compatible with Windows 7-10, Chrome, Android, Xbox One, and more
- Features background replacement tech
- Built-in stereo microphones
- All-glass lens
- Automated light correction
- Field of view of 78 degrees
- Needs a better microphone
While the C920 may be the older variant of the C922x, many will argue that it features superior quality for a few different reasons.
First off, the C920 features excellent light correction, which will be sure to improve the quality of your recordings in low-light conditions.
Another difference between this model and the previous one is that this webcam is equipped with a standard lens while the C922x has one that’s made of glass.
While one would assume that the glass lens would be superior, it seems as if the C922x has inferior clarity when compared to this one.
Since this model is older, you’ll also be able to benefit from a lower price point, as this webcam is available for about half as much as its newer counterpart.
One of the few features that are missing from this model is the option to record in 720p at 60 fps, though we would argue that videos are smooth enough at 1080p and 30 fps.
You still get to benefit from the wide 78-degree field of view which will make up for the inability to rotate this webcam with ease.
This webcam is also surprisingly easy to set up, as you can just pop the USB input into your computer and it will download all of the necessary plugins.
- Records in 1080p at 30 fps
- Dual microphones with noise reduction technology
- Low-light correction
- Compatible with tripods and stands
- Works with Windows 7 and above, Mac OS 10.6 and above, Chrome, and Android
- Compatible with Skype for video calls
- 78-degree FOV
- Short cord
- No background replacement
Up next, we’ll be looking at a webcam which is less optimized for streaming and instead made for business group calls.
Of course, this model can still be used to record your videos with ease, but you’ll see that this purpose is reflected in the features and the design philosophy of this webcam.
For example, the camera features a vast, 90-degree field of view, which will allow your viewers to see even further to the sides of you.
If you plan on streaming with groups of friends and you don’t want to feel packed in like sardines, this extended FOV will come in handy, though it may take some getting used to.
Recording at 1080p and 30 fps, this webcam features sufficient quality for most streamers, and the frame rate is consistent enough not to show any signs of choppiness.
This webcam also uses a more modern form of encoding that reduces the strain on your system while it operates, which is an ideal feature for gamers.
Of course, this webcam also suffers from the typical Achilles’ Heel of a microphone with insufficient clarity for streaming.
- Massive field of view of 90 degrees
- 1080p recordings at 30 fps
- H.264/SVC UVC 1.5 encoding reduces the power draw on your computer
- Automatic light correction
- Can pan, zoom, and tilt digitally
- A little more expensive
- Needs a better microphone
The C270 is one of the older webcam models that’s still being sold by Logitech, but that doesn’t count it out of the running as one of the best.
Seeing as this webcam is older than competing models, it is available for a lower price, and it may be ideal if you don’t need crystal-clear quality.
Recording at 720p, the resolution of this webcam may not be exceptional, but it’s sufficient for livestreams and other videos where you want to keep the file size low.
While this webcam may be relatively cheap, you’ll find that it comes equipped with automatic light adjustment to improve low-light performance.
Logitech’s Fluid Crystal technology is also implemented in this webcam, which helps keep the feed as smooth as possible, even though the camera records at 30 fps.
This feature also helps improve the clarity of your webcam’s image as well as the quality of the sound that it registers.
While the microphone’s recording quality leaves something to be desired, your voice can still be heard clearly in a loud room thanks to the background noise cancelation.
- Records video at 720p at 30 fps
- Features automatic light balancing technology
- Microphone helps eliminate echoes and background noise
- Uses Logitech Fluid Crystal Technology
- Cable is five feet long
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty on hardware
- Compatible with Windows XP or higher
- 720p quality
- Can’t adjust focus
- Some software issues
Last but not least, we’re also going to cover the Logitech C310, which is another older model that you’ll find available for cheap.
This webcam features slightly expanded capabilities when compared to the previous product we reviewed, though they share some broad similarities.
For example, this webcam also records at 720p and 30 fps with the assistance of Fluid Crystal Technology.
This image processing system helps ensure that your video comes out looking clear and almost deceptively smooth for a camera that records at a relatively low frame rate.
Unlike other affordable webcams, you’ll also be able to benefit from automatic lighting correction, which will improve this model’s performance in poorly-lit areas.
The adjustable universal clip will attach to virtually any device and also allows you to adjust the angle of the camera slightly.
This webcam is also relatively easy to set up. If you want a webcam that’s more affordable than competing products but still want to retain basic HD recording and a few extra features, this is the right choice.
- Records 720p video at 30 fps
- Uses Fluid Crystal Technology to enhance quality
- Microphone features noise reduction
- Plastic lens
- Automatic light correction
- Also capable of face tracking
- Focused at 40 cm and further
- Older model
- 720p quality
7 Features that Make a Webcam Good for YouTube
There are a few key features that you need to search for when buying your new webcam for YouTube, and they will ensure that your product is up to the task.
In this part of our guide, we’re going to take a look at these features and explain how they can be helpful for YouTubers.
One of the first things you’re going to have to consider when you’re buying any camera is the recording resolution, as that will determine how clearly your viewers can see you. There are typically three common options when it comes to the quality of webcams: 720p, 1080p, and UHD.
When it comes to 720p cameras, you’ll find that they’re affordable, but they simply don’t have the quality that you’re going to want, as most viewers will come to expect 1080p as an option at least. While you’ll pay a bit more for a 1080p camera, the price difference won’t be that drastic as the resolution grows more and more common.
1080p videos will take a little bit longer to upload than 720p files, but the difference in quality makes them worth the time. When it comes to 4K, you’ll want to be sure that you have a quick enough upload speed to take advantage of the format, as it features exceptional quality with equally large file sizes.
Once you’ve got your quality sorted out, you’re going to want to be sure that your camera can focus on your face in the first place. Since you won’t have a cameraman when you’re using a webcam, manual focus is going to be out of the question, so you have to rely on autofocus.
As long as autofocus works well, you won’t have a problem with your camera, but far too many webcams will suddenly phase you out of the frame momentarily. The best webcams are the ones that will be able to consistently keep track of your face during the whole time you’re recording your videos.
So what differentiates different autofocus systems? You’ll find that the speed with which a camera can refocus and how easily it can keep track of a subject are the two most important aspect of any AF setup. Some cameras combine autofocus with automatic color balance adjustment dependent on lighting.
3. Low-light Performance
Low-light performance in any YouTube camera is integral because it will reduce the amount of money that you need to spend on lighting. If you decide to purchase a webcam that doesn’t work well in poor lighting conditions, you’ll need to invest in a full lighting rig to film your videos.
On the other hand, if your camera features a decent level of performance in poor lighting, you can get by with a single smaller light until you have a larger budget for accessories. Cameras that function well in low light will also have an easier time maintaining consistent colors while you’re recording.
The main component that affects your camera’s performance in low light is the sensor, as larger sensors will be able to capture more of the available light. This will reduce the occurrence of noise and other artifacts that can ruin the quality of your footage, even if your camera can record in high resolution.
4. Build Quality
Up next, you’ll want to take a look at the quality of a camera’s construction to ensure that it won’t end up failing on you prematurely. Well-made cameras will continue working for years to come, even if you pay more up front, you’ll end up spending less money buying new webcams in the long run.
There are plenty of ways to tell whether or not a camera is well-made, but the best one is to hold it in your hands and see for yourself. You’ll typically feel loose buttons and a lack of tolerance in your webcam’s construction if care hasn’t been put into its assembly, and this won’t exactly inspire confidence.
Even though durability isn’t a critical characteristic in a webcam that’s going to sit on your desk every day, reliability is one of them. A poor quality camera may not necessarily stop working altogether, but you may notice some reduced functionality in some features like autofocus and light adjustment.
5. Extra Features
Because webcams operate in tandem with computers, they’ll typically have access to a wider range of additional features that can be used while recording. Most of these bells and whistles will be optimized for streaming and other applications which tend to be more common for webcams.
For example, some webcams come equipped with technology that can change the background while you’re recording. You’ll be able to change your room to a blank color or something a little more adventurous so that your viewers won’t have to deal with a boring backdrop while watching your streams.
Many webcams will also come equipped with rudimentary stabilization. You may be wondering why a stationary computer camera would need to be stabilized, and it has to do with the vibrations transmitted through your desk. If you use your keyboard or mouse, those vibrations will end up affecting the camera, and stabilization can counteract them.
As we’ve already mentioned, webcams don’t have an onboard interface because it’s unnecessary when you have it connected to a computer. Instead, you’ll simply have to download a plugin or a device manager application that you can use to control your webcam, and this tends to be an unfortunate weakness of many designs.
While some manufacturers put a lot of effort into the cameras themselves, they often cut corners when it comes to the software that runs them. As you can imagine, this results in a frustrating situation where you have a camera that you know is capable but you’re hampered by poor software.
You may want to download the application that used to manage the camera you’re looking at buying in advance so that you’ll know what to expect from the interface. When you make your purchase, you won’t want to be surprised by a user interface that’s barely usable, so make sure to take the initiative.
Finally, you’ll also want to consider the kinds of devices that your webcam is compatible with before you buy it. Since you can’t use a webcam standalone, it would be an unpleasant surprise to learn that it doesn’t work with your particular operating system, though this will usually be clearly outlined.
Even if a webcam is compatible with your general OS, it may not function with the version that you’re currently running. For example, some webcams may work with Windows 10, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be able to function on a device that is running Windows 7.
A wider range of compatible devices means that your computer camera will be more versatile in the near future as well as in the long run. If you can see yourself using your new webcam for a long time, you may end up switching devices before buying a new camera, and you’ll want to be sure that it keeps working.
Limitations of Webcams
There are also a few areas in which webcams tend to be inferior to the competition, though they typically won’t make a difference if you have the right accessories to make up for them.
Poor Microphone Quality
One of the more common issues with webcams is that they’re frequently lacking when it comes to sound quality.
This isn’t as major of a problem as you would expect since the stationary nature of recording with a webcam is ideal for the use of an external mic, so you’ll want to invest in one as soon as possible.
Lack of Versatility
As you would expect, the single biggest downside to webcams is that they aren’t as versatile as other kinds of cameras.
Since your camera will always have to be hooked up to your computer, you won’t be able to take it with you on the go, meaning that you may have to buy an alternate camera as well.
If you need a camera that’s cheap and good on the go, check out top 5 cameras under $100.
As you can see, many different webcams can cater to your needs, and your preference will typically be dictated by your budget.
From high-end options to budget webcams, we hope that we’ve covered a wide enough selection of products for you to find the best YouTube webcam for your needs.