Brands and content producers can’t do live streaming successfully without the proper tools. And if you want to stand out on the big screen, you’ll need a camera. We have compiled a list of the best webcams for live streaming in 2022, suitable for those with a moderate to large budget.
Let’s get the basics of webcams and live streaming down before we go any further.
What is a Webcam?
To put it simply, a webcam is a computer-connected digital camera. It takes photos or videos and sends them over the internet from one place to another. Many webcams now feature USB connectivity, making them ready to use right out of the box. On the other hand, the wireless capabilities of some make them even more user-friendly.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Webcam?
In the business world, webcams are frequently used for video conferencing. Their use enables telecommuting. It’s easy for remote workers to feel cut off from the rest of the team, but thanks to webcams, they can still have daily meetings. Webcams are also useful for business travelers whose itineraries prevent them from attending in-person meetings. Experts from different parts of the world can collaborate in real time on a project through video conferencing.
Having a webcam to keep in touch with loved ones while seeing their faces and expressions is a wonderful perk. It’s a great alternative to long-distance phone calls because of the more intimate nature of the interaction. Webcams are popular for online dating, but they are also used by military personnel and frequent travelers to keep in touch with loved ones back home.
Education & Training
Webcams have democratized and expanded access to distance education. If a student is having trouble with a particular topic in the lesson plan, they can ask to have a webcam conversation with the instructor. The instructor can use a webcam to show diagrams and sketches to illustrate points in his or her lecture. Using webcams, multiple students can participate in a live online training session or study group. Webcams are commonly used in online instructional videos.
A webcam can be used for a wide variety of other purposes. With the right software, you can turn it into a powerful piece of surveillance gear. You can limit its view to just your room, or install several as a building-wide security network. An alternative use for a webcam is as a nanny cam. People can watch live feeds from webcams installed at many weather stations and natural history museums. A webcam’s versatility also makes it useful for home recording tasks, such as capturing an event for posterity or submitting a video entry to a contest.
Why choose a webcam for live streaming?
Although high-quality professional live streaming cameras are recommended, you don’t always need to break the bank to go live.
Actually, if you are just getting started with live streaming, the camera already included in your laptop or computer may be all you need. Many newcomers also use their smartphones’ cameras as standalone webcams because of their high resolution and low latency.
Because of the high-quality video and additional options they provide, webcams are definitely worth the cost.
If you want to improve the video quality of your live streams without breaking the bank on a professional camera, a webcam is a great option. A webcam is not only convenient and easy to use, but it also does not break the bank. A high-quality camera can be purchased for under $100.
Moreover, setting up a webcam doesn’t require a high level of technical expertise. Because of the hardwired connection, it doesn’t require electricity to function. Furthermore, most modern webcams do not require an additional video capture device. You can get more out of your live streams with a webcam that has pan and zoom capabilities.
Picking the Best Webcam for Live Streaming – Things to Consider
You need a high-quality webcam to ensure that you come across well on screen. If you’re looking to buy a webcam for live streaming, here are some things to keep in mind.
Resolution & Frame Rate
The video quality must be high enough for a live stream to be successful. And a high-quality webcam with a high frame rate can help you get there. Your viewers will see more detail in your live broadcasts if the resolution is high enough. The smoother the animations on screen, the higher the frame rate should be. Aim for a frame rate of at least 60 frames per second and a resolution of at least 1080p to have one of the best webcams for live streaming.
Field of View
Think about your live streaming setup before you go out and buy a webcam. Choose between a close-up of just your face or a wider vista that includes the whole room. Many prefer a wider field of view of 78 degrees than the standard 65 degrees found in most webcams.
Even the highest-resolution webcams might struggle to transmit a satisfactory image. Reason? Weakness in low-light conditions. Look for a webcam that has automatic light adjustment. It will guarantee high-quality streaming in low-light conditions.
No matter how many features you demand from a webcam, your purchasing decision will be limited by your available funds. You can find a wide variety of options starting at around $40, with the high end costing as much as 10 times as much.
Expert advice: Before purchasing a webcam, always check the official manufacturer’s website, as prices from unauthorized sellers on popular e-commerce sites like Amazon tend to fluctuate frequently.
The last thing you want when broadcasting live is a poor quality video feed. And an autofocus webcam prevents that from happening. Most products on the market have autofocus capabilities, but for the most fluid movement during broadcasts, you’ll want to choose one that has fast and precise autofocus.
You’d be wrong to assume that a webcam’s only function is to boost video quality. The audio in your live broadcasts can be improved with the help of a high-quality webcam. A webcam with dual microphones provides superior stereo sound compared to a standard webcam’s mono sound. A third-party USB or XLR mic is also an option to consider. In this way,
13 Best Webcams For Live Streaming
Depending on your streaming goals and the conditions, different webcams will produce better results. Some of the best options to consider are as follows.
1. Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam
Features: 1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 30 fps; 78-degree diagonal field of view; autofocus; stereo microphone; retail price of $79.99
The Logitech Capture app’s unique capabilities to build, record, edit, and personalize a stream are a major selling point.
Who this webcam is ideal for is live streamers on a budget who need a camera that performs well in low light.
The C920’s full HD glass lens can record video in 1080p at 30 frames per second. This feature-rich webcam has everything you need for smoother, brighter, and more realistic live broadcasts, including HD auto light correction and dual mics that deliver clear stereo sound.
In addition, the included autofocus will fine-tune your footage so that it is consistently crisp and clear, which will help you win over your audience. If you’re looking to create high-quality live streams, you may find that all you need is its razor-sharp images and vivid colors.
2. Logitech C922 Pro HD Stream Webcam
Features: Autofocus; 78-degree diagonal field of view; 1080p at 30 or 720p at 60 frames per second; stereo microphones; retail price of $99.99
One of its main selling points is the Logitech Capture app, which allows for simple editing of captured video.
Best for: Those looking for a top-notch webcam that won’t break the bank
Envision streaming in full 1080p at 30fps or in hyperfast HD 720p at 60fps. The C922 from Logitech makes it possible to do just that. Live broadcasts are smooth and undistorted thanks to the autofocus glass lens and full HD streaming. You can stream in almost any lighting condition thanks to the two omnidirectional microphones and the light correction features.
3. Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro Business Webcam
Focus type: Autofocus Field of view: 90/78/65 degrees – Diagonal Resolution: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 or 60 fps, and 720p at 30, 60, or 90 fps Price: $199.99
HDR and Windows Hello compatibility are selling points.
Who It’s For: Anyone desiring a top-tier 4K webcam
Logitech Brio is an excellent live streaming solution for businesses. Well-known for its cutting-edge RightLightTM 3 and high dynamic range (HDR) technology, this webcam is at the forefront of ultra 4K HD video collaboration. This one will allow you to look your best in front of the camera no matter the lighting conditions.
This is a top-tier webcam, approved for professional use in live broadcasts. The built-in optical and infrared sensors make it compatible with Windows Hello as well. Dual omnidirectional microphones with noise cancellation are built into Brio, guaranteeing crystal-clear audio with minimal ambient noise. The 5x HD zoom in 4K resolution allows viewers to feel like they’re right there in the middle of the action.
4. Logitech StreamCam
Built-in mic: Dual omnidirectional with noise reduction filter, Stereo or dual mono channel, $169.99 1080p at 60 fps in MJPEG 78 degree diagonal field of view Autofocus (10 cm to infinity) face-based autofocus with Logitech Capture
Special Feature: Works with OBS, XSplit, and Streamlabs
Those who broadcast live and enjoy making Instagram and Facebook stories will benefit the most.
You can tell what it is from the name. The Logitech StreamCam was created with streaming in mind. There’s USB Type-C support built in, so fast video transfers are guaranteed.
Auto-exposure and AI-enabled facial tracking produce sharp, well-lit photos regardless of ambient light. Additionally, electronic image stabilization is integrated into the camera to lessen the effects of hand tremors. You can mount it however you like.
You can use the StreamCam to take amazing photos and videos for Instagram and Facebook Stories. Changing your webcam into portrait mode is as simple as turning it on its side. There you have it, high definition in the 9:16 aspect ratio, ideal for social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook Stories.
5. Mevo Start
Features: 3 MEMS mic with spatial processing; fixed focus; 1080p resolution; 76 degree horizontal field of view
Unique Selling Proposition: Wi-Fi and wired support
People who want a multi-camera setup with just one webcam will benefit the most from this.
Mevo Start is a great choice if you want to avoid all the headaches associated with live streaming. When used in tandem with the Mevo Camera App, you can produce live streams suitable for broadcast on nearly any major platform. In addition, the device has an internal battery that can last for up to six hours.
High Dynamic Range (HDR), white balance presets, and both custom and auto exposure are just some of the premium features of this camera. You can make longer streams without any interruptions thanks to the USB-C port.
6. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
720p at 30 fps; 68.5-degree diagonal field of view; autofocus; omnidirectional built-in mic; $39.95
Selling Point: Three-Year Limited Warranty
Beneficial for: Low-cost HD live streamers
If you’re looking for a low-cost, easy-to-operate webcam, look no further than the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. This webcam’s revolutionary TrueColor technology and high-definition 720p recording ensure vivid, true-to-life colors in almost any lighting environment. And if you want to broadcast flawlessly, you can take advantage of the omnidirectional microphone with active noise cancellation that comes standard.
7. Logitech C930e Business Webcam
Focus type: Autofocus Field of view: 90 degrees – Diagonal Resolution: 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 30fps with supported clients H.264 video compression Price: $129.99
Unique Selling Point: H.264 encoded with SVC and UVC 1.5
Businesses that need a high-quality webcam with H.264 support will benefit the most from this product.
Logitech is widely considered the best webcam manufacturer because of their wide selection. The C930e is evidence of this. If you’re a live streamer and you need a camera that works well in a variety of lighting conditions, look no further than this high-definition 1080p webcam.
RightLightTM technology ensures brilliant video quality. The C930e stands out from the crowd thanks to its support for H.264, SVC, and UVC 1.5 encoding. This means you can deliver smooth live streams regardless of the available bandwidth without worrying about your computer or network.
This webcam’s dual omnidirectional mics ensure crystal-clear transmissions regardless of ambient noise.
8. Razer Kiyo
Field of view: 81.6 degrees – Diagonal | Focus type: Autofocus | Built-in mic: Omnidirectional | Price: $99.99 Resolution: 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps, 480p at 30fps, 360p at 30fps
unique selling proposition ring light
Those new to streaming but not willing to settle for low-quality streams are the target audience.
The Razer Kiyo is, without question, the most aesthetically pleasing webcam available. Live streamers who frequently record in dimly lit rooms won’t need to buy a separate ring light thanks to this microphone’s built-in illumination system. It’s a great option for those in search of the best webcams for live streaming thanks to specs like 720p resolution at 60 fps and 1080p resolution at 30 fps for Full HD.
You can’t ignore this technological miracle, whether you’re interested in the studio-like lighting or the complete camera controls. Enjoy impressive video quality in any lighting situation with automatic white balance adjustment and automatic low-light correction.
9. ClearOne UNITE 20 Pro
Focus type: Autofocus | Field of view: 120 degrees – Horizontal | Price: $96.02 (Walmart) | Resolution: 1080 p at 30 fps
Selling point: an ultra-wide field of view of 120 degrees
Who This Webcam Is Ideal For: Streamers Who Want More Than Just a Basic Camera
The ClearOne UNITE 20 Pro Webcam is a dream come true for live streamers due to its ultra-wide 120° field of view. Think of everything you could show off, from your live stream guests to the room you’re broadcasting from. In addition, it allows for Full HD resolutions of up to 1080p at 30 frames per second.
You shouldn’t count on impressive sound quality despite its super-high SNR and sophisticated 2D and 3D noise reduction. We suggest using a ClearOne CHAT 50 or CHAT 150 speakerphone with this webcam for optimal sound quality.
10. AUSDOM AW620 1080P Webcam for OBS
Price: $129.99 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | 1280 x 720 (default), 640 x 480, 320 x 240 | Field of View: 65 degrees | Focus Type: Manual | In-Built Microphone: Omnidirectional | Field of View: 65 degrees
Unique Selling Proposition: It works with a wide variety of operating systems.
Favored by those looking for a plug-and-play webcam with manual focus for use in live streaming
Do you want a webcam that has a microphone with noise reduction already installed? If so, the AUSDOM AW620 may be the best option. It has a great performance for live streaming, with a resolution of 1920×1080 at 30 frames per second. Because of its tripod-compatible construction, it can be mounted in a variety of ways. Because of its plug-and-play nature, no additional drivers or software are required for use. Quick to install and simple to operate.
11. Center Cam
Camera specs: $95 | 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps | 55-degree viewing angle
Special Feature: Middle-of-the-Screen Rotation
Ideal for streamers who want a webcam in the middle of the screen
The unique middle-screen focal angle of this high-definition webcam gives the impression to viewers that you’re focusing on them rather than the camera itself. This innovative webcam has a spring clip for horizontal adjustments and a flex tube that is 1 foot long for vertical adjustments. Furthermore, its diminutive size ensures that it will not obstruct your view of the display.
The auto white balance, CMOS sensor, and 6mm lens all work together to produce professional-grade footage.
It was built with the option of using different lenses in mind, making it future-proof. As your live streaming infrastructure evolves, it can keep up with the changes thanks to its adaptability.
12. Elgato Facecam
1080p at 60 fps; 82-degree diagonal field of view; fixed-focus design; $199.99 price tag.
Distinctive Selling Point: Internal Storage
Ideal for those who want the very best
If you’re looking for a camera with top-tier specs, look no further than the Elgato Facecam. Produce brighter, clearer videos with this webcam’s true FHD 1080p resolution at 60fps and Sony STARVIS Sensor. In addition, the device’s internal memory stores the user’s preferred image settings and can retrieve them on any computer.
This webcam is equipped with a studio-quality f/2.4 24 mm* all-glass Elgato Prime Lens, so your live streams will look as good as they sound. You also get the lowest-latency image-transfer USB 3.0 interface available.
13. Anker PowerConf C300
Price: $129.99 | Resolution: 1080p at 60 fps | Field of View: Fully Adjustable | Focus Type: Auto | In-Camera Microphone: Dual Noise-Cancelling Mics |
Unique Selling Point: Viewing Angle Control
Those who want to stream live and look professional will benefit the most.
Do you require a webcam that is as adept at eliminating unwanted sounds as it is at including everyone in the shot? One excellent option is the Anker PowerConf C300. It’s a high-quality webcam for both business use and content creation thanks to its full HD 1080p resolution and automatic low-light correction.
When you’re in the thick of things, its built-in AI will quickly adjust the field of view and give you a splash of colors to make you look your best. And the dual noise-cancelling microphones mean no more background noise during your broadcasts.
5 Ways to Improve your Webcam Quality
1. Studio Lighting
Webcams perform better in terms of color reproduction, clarity, and lack of graininess when exposed to a combination of bright and soft lighting. The quality of an image’s lighting is the most obvious but often overlooked aspect of the process.
When I say “soft light,” I’m referring to light with a high diffusion coefficient, which eliminates shadows and hotspots. This site features reviews of a variety of lighting kits, including the Elgato Ring Light (which I currently use) as well as others. A lamp, if all you have, will improve the look of your video significantly. Get creative with what you’ve got. And you can implement the remaining suggestions without spending a dime.
Use the sun to your advantage and take a shot. Sunlight is far superior to artificial lighting because it is uniform and bright. On top of that, it’s totally costless! You don’t need a fancy lighting rig and a $1,000 camera to take high-quality video and photos; all you need is your phone.
Webcams are best used during the day, even if you have expensive lighting, because bright, focused studio lights can cause them to overexpose your subject and make the background extremely dark.
The sun will light up the rest of the room, making for a more balanced photo. Keep in mind that if the sun is your only light source, attempting to edit together multiple shoots at different times of day will result in inconsistent lighting. Thankfully, my last piece of advice can help you avoid that.
3. Lighting placement
You should always keep the source of your brightest light directly in front of you, rather than behind or to the side. Have you ever seen or experienced a video or photo where the subject is incredibly dark, as if in a shadow, even though the background is brightly lit? This is because the shadow is being cast by the subject itself.
There are only two things a camera can do when held up to a light:
- either make yourself darker to compensate for the bright light behind you OR
- expose for you, but make the background so bright that it fills the entire frame.
The light should be directed toward the front of the subject. To make the most of the natural light coming in, turn your back on the wall. This is the single most common lighting faux pas made by amateurs on Twitch and YouTube.
Use an additional light source to illuminate your background if you work at night. Webcams benefit from this because it ensures that the entire image is exposed correctly and your face doesn’t end up looking overly bright. The background light shouldn’t be overly bright or expensive; it should just be sufficient to level out the shot.
4. Manual recording settings
You should use the manual controls to tweak the exposure, white balance, and ISO/gain. I’ll show you how to adjust these parameters in OBS. Here is my tutorial on how to use your webcam in Zoom or any other streaming software with these enhanced settings.
Even if the lighting is perfect, your webcam’s default settings probably won’t give you the best shot. Simple adjustments can resolve this issue quickly. Get rid of any and all automatic settings, whether on your handheld camera or in streaming software like OBS. Only the autofocus mode may require some practice to disable successfully.
To get you started, I have a brief OBS settings guide available on this site, but here’s the gist of it. Exposure, ISO/gain, and white balance are the first three controls to investigate.
A photograph’s exposure refers to the length of time that light is allowed into the camera. If you bump it up, your image will instantly become more vibrant. Turn this up as high as you can without experiencing a decrease in frame rate or a muddying of the visuals.
Try to use low ISO and gain settings. These make the picture look fuzzy and grainy. Since the “brightness” setting on most Logitech webcams is essentially just a crude levels adjustment, I rarely ever change it.
Depending on your white balance settings, your image’s whites will either be too blue or too orange. Different parts of your video will be drastically different colors even if you’re sitting in the same spot, making editing a nightmare with auto settings. Put it in manual mode and fiddle with the slider until it matches your eyes’ perception. If your lights can be adjusted to a specific color temperature, you should do so before adjusting the white balance.
5. Look up Tables (LUTs)
Make use of LUTs (Look Up Tables) to automatically adjust the colors in your video. The term “color grading” refers to the process of making global adjustments to an image’s color scheme. Here’s a quick tutorial on using look-up tables in Open Broadcast Software.
Free look-up tables (LUTs) can be found all over the internet, and their implementation in various video editing programs varies slightly. Finding the right ones already included in your video editor or downloading ones you like can make a huge difference in the quality of your final product.
You can still adjust the image’s color temperature or brightness in your preferred video editor, even if it doesn’t have LUT presets. This is helpful if your recording session will extend into multiple daylight hours and, thus, multiple color temperatures.
The colors can be changed to match, or the image can be brightened. In case you forgot, OBS VirtualCam (my tutorial) is required to use this video in Zoom.
Two stills from the same video frame. The first one is unedited, and it’s darker than I’d have liked due to the lighting conditions. To make the second picture stand out more, I used a bright Cyberlink Powerdirector preset and enhanced it with an HDR and sharpness effect to bring out the details in the video’s edges and shadows.
Choosing the most effective webcams for real-time broadcasting requires careful deliberation. With so many alternatives, it’s simpler than ever to zero in on the one that’s ideal for your live broadcasts.
Consider purchasing a Logitech webcam if you enjoy tinkering with your shots after they’ve been taken. The Razer Kiyo is an excellent option if you don’t already own a ring light because it includes one. The StreamCam, with its landscape and portrait shooting modes, may be the best option for the avid mobile videographer.
That wraps up our discussion of webcams. StreamYard is a browser-based live streaming studio that may be all you need if you are a streamer who enjoys streaming to multiple platforms. See for yourself!