Don’t let a grainy or dull video spoil your Zoom chat with your boss or co-workers. Why not treat yourself to a better picture with some of the best Webcams for Zoom Calls?
In this era, you can rarely get a laptop or smartphone that lacks a front-facing camera. Nonetheless, one of the most important components of a work-from-home, the desktop, lacks one. The fact that you will need to attend Zoom meetings and chat over Skype with colleagues or family warrants that you have a quality webcam in handy. Yes, most laptops have integrated front-facing cameras, but they tend to deliver sub-standard quality (mostly 720p resolutions) and struggle to maintain a decent picture in a fairly lit indoor environment. Other laptop webcams tend to produce either dull or oversaturated colors, and the screen’s orientation mostly dictates the video angle. On the contrary, a webcam offers you quality pictures and the freedom to adjust the camera angle to your liking.
Let’s look into how external and integrated webcams compare.
- Upgrade and maintenance – There’s little you can do on your inbuilt laptop webcam, as far as upgrade and maintenance are concerned. On the other hand, an external webcam lets you choose the one that suits your needs, and of course, checks on your desired features and price range. In the same way, it is a lot easier to replace or upgrade your external webcam than the inbuilt one. If something happens to your internal webcam, you have to crank up your laptop’s display and look for the possible cause of the problem; a process that’s much easier on an external webcam.
- Scope and portability – External webcams are more flexible; you can adjust the view angle if you want to concentrate on a target subject. Integrated webcams edge the external ones in portability. The former doesn’t give you the stress of packing and unpacking or even connecting wires every time you’re about to hold zoom meetings. You’re almost good to go, as long as you have your laptop with you.
- Premium video quality – On most occasions, picture and audio are of paramount importance in a video call. External webcams offer better quality in both audio and video, owing to their larger size, which allows for extra lenses and integrated mics. More advanced external webcams come with wide-angle lenses, stereo microphones, advanced autofocus capabilities, and other premium features not found on integrated webcams.
- Cost – Integrated webcams are more cost-effective than external ones since their price is included in the laptop’s total cost. You have to dig deeper into your pockets to acquire an external webcam, which mostly ends up a fruitful venture.
You now get the benefits of choosing external webcams over integrated ones. If you prefer the external webcams to their counterparts, here are four points to guide you when making your purchase.
- Recording quality – You’ll most probably be looking for a webcam that will better your Zoom or Skype video call quality. Therefore, you must go for a minimum of 1080p (HD) resolution. Even when your network quality might not be enough to allow you to stream in High Definition, it is always advisable to give it your best. For a quality internet connection, check out some of the best Wi-Fi routers that will guarantee you fast and unwavering HD streaming.
- Microphone quality – Good audio goes a long way with a quality video. Ensure that your webcam’s built-in mics deliver nothing but quality audio to the other person in the call. If at all you work in a noisy environment, then your mic should have a noise-reduction feature.
- Zoom quality – Zooming has a huge effect on video footage quality. Your preferred webcam should have a quality, lossless zoom to ensure that everything stays clear enough even after zooming in.
- Field of view – Even when you might not require to cover too much ground on zoom calls, you might use the webcam for other purposes, like video conferencing, where it will be of help. Therefore, your webcam should have a wide field of view to cover as much of the needed detail as possible.
Best Webcam for Zoom Calls
The Logitech BRIO is undoubtedly one of the best webcams you can get in the market in recent times. Any webcam from Logitech seems to meet the cut in terms of quality of service. The Brio offers 4K HD video, the latest in the media industry, that every single video-maker aims to achieve. This is the ultimate webcam for your Zoom calls.
Apart from 4K, the Logitech BRIO allows for 1080p and 720p video recording and streaming, rendering it a versatile option if your network can’t allow for 4K streaming. The 4K streaming comes at 30 frames per second (fps) and the 1080p at either 30fps or the ultra-smooth 60fps. The Logitech BRIO has an advanced RightLight 3 and HDR High-Dynamic Range technology that automatically balances the light and exposure for pro-quality video calls so that you look great under any lighting condition.
The Logitech BRIO offers several field-of-view options. You can choose between three-degree FOV presets (65, 78, and 90) to have a perfectly framed video. You can also alter the flicker on the settings and choose between a standard and wide-screen image view. The webcam also has a pan and tilt option, 5* digital zoom, autofocus, and an advanced 4K image sensor. To complete the perfect Zoom video experience, the BRIO comes with an in-built dual omnidirectional mic setup with noise cancellation capabilities. The camera mounts securely and easily on any laptop or desktop and works with any video-conferencing app or service.
The Logitech BRIO is powered by infrared and optical sensors and delivers secure and fast facial recognition for windows hello. You don’t need to type a password in Windows 10. You only need to look into the BRIO’s lens to log in.
|Key Specs||4K recording|
5× HD zoom
|Pros||4K Ultra HD|
|Cons||The camera head supports little adjustments|
The Razer Kiyo webcam spots a different design from the rest of webcams, and is the best webcam for streaming. Razer has stripped off all the minor manipulations other companies add to their webcams and concentrated on the most important feature during video calls; the lighting. The webcam’s rather unique design paves the way for a ring light around the lens, enhancing your image and video quality even in dark environments. You can adjust the light’s brightness to get a balanced and professional-looking image. The webcam also comes with an autofocus feature that keeps you focused, even when you change your position. Furthermore, this is one of the easiest-to-set-up webcams, as you only need to plug it into your PC, and you’re ready to go.
The Razer Kiyo is designed for gaming streaming, with the camera stretching up to 1080p, 60fps, for an uninterrupted gaming fidelity. Moreover, the webcam is compatible with popular streaming platforms like Zoom, Skype, and others, so you don’t have to worry much about compatibility. Even when too much light is focused on you, the webcam finds a way to regulate the lighting and eliminate harsh shadows. A standard hinge attaches the webcam to any monitor or tripod and makes it foldable and unobtrusive during storage.
|Key specs||High quality resolution – 720p 60fps, 1080p 30fps|
Superior low-light performance
Adjustable ring-light brightness
Compact foldable design
|Pros||Ring light helps to better low-lit conditions|
Easy to customize
Great picture quality
|Cons||The microphone quality is not the best|
The ring light sets the exposure too high
The Logitech c930e is arguably the most advanced Logitech’s webcam in the market. Nonetheless, it is a bit expensive than most other Logitech devices but a rather worthwhile venture. The webcam has a 1080p resolution, which keeps your video call as bright and clear as possible. Unlike other webcams that rely on your PC to do all the video-processing work, the c930e features onboard processing and encodes the video itself. That results in better video quality.
The Logitech c930e has a wide 90-degree field of view that makes sure you cover the largest possible ground on your stream. That makes it suitable for business conferences, especially where multiple persons may be required to appear on a single frame. Of course, that does not limit the c930 from being used in personal Skype and Zoom video calls. The webcam is certified for Mac and PC.
The Logitech c930e comes with RightLight 2 technology that gives a sharp video even when in low-light conditions. In addition to that, the c930e has an autofocus feature that gets the main object, even if it moves around. Moreover, you get to enjoy a light-correction feature that provides brightly colored and well-saturated pictures. The Logitech c930e also comes with a built-in omnidirectional mic with noise cancellation and captures clear audio from multiple angles.
|Key Features||1080p recording|
90-degree field of view
H264 Video Compression
Omnidirectional built-in mics
RightLight 2 Technology
|Pros||Onboard video processing|
90-degree field of view
|Cons||Quality is similar to the cheaper-priced Logitech c920|
The webcam mic is not great for team calls
The Logitech c920 made a landmark achievement in 2012 as it was the only webcam that could deliver 720p resolution on Google Hangouts and Facetime and 1080p on Skype and Zoom. It is, however, surprising that even after almost a decade, the c920 is among the top webcams for video conferencing. This webcam has consistently beaten out rivals in terms of overall physical design and performance over the years, making it a favorite among streamers.
The selling point of the Logitech c920is the streaming resolution. Furthermore, it gives attention to color and keeps the white balance in check throughout your zoom conference. Low light performance is crisp, and the webcam also offers a background removal option. When it comes to audio, the c920 offers you stereo sound, which is above par in audio performance. The physical design is pretty solid, and you don’t have to be overly careful when handling it. The webcam is also easy to handle and operate, as you only need to clip it onto your monitor and plug it in.
Overall, the Logitech c920 is one of the best webcams out there, as it delivers quality results at an affordable price. The mic could use some improvements, as some ambient sounds get a way to get through. Nonetheless, you can obtain a separate mic and get the problem solved.
|Key specs||Supported Resolution – 720p at 30fps/ 1080p at 30fps|
Focus Type – Autofocus
Diagonal FOV – 78-degree
Lens Type – Glass
Cable Length – 5ft, USB-A
Built-in mic – Stereo
Good image quality
Value for money
The microphone could be made better
30fps is not the best frame rate these days
Microsoft LifeCam Studio
The Microsoft LifeCam Studio, at first sight, looks like a security CCTV camera. That’s almost the most unique appearance you can get from a webcam. Nonetheless, looks are not that important, as long as it gets the job done. Under the unique look is a decent camera with a 1080p resolution that brings you the quality video you need for your Zoom business video streams. Microsoft has instilled TrueColor technology that retouches the image colors and improves the overall quality of your footage. You can also tweak various settings to bring the stream to your liking.
You can also add some augmented reality objects and fun video effects to a live video stream. However, all these effects come at a price. Your CPU will be responsible for handling everything, and it could be overworked if you stream in full HD resolution. If your machine is not strong enough, your stream might end up being super slow and, obviously, embarrassing.
The audio of the Microsoft LifeCam is adequate, and you’ll get along with your conversation perfectly, provided that you’re not in an overly noisy environment. You also get to tweak settings on pan and tilt, zoom, and many more, during your video call.
|Key Specs||Unique CCTV camera design|
3× digital zoom
The base is easy to attach to different monitors
The picture is good under natural light
Offers 1080p video streaming
|Cons||Needs a powerful PC to run max settings|
Sometimes the webcam has slow responses to focus, zoom, pan, and tilt adjustments.
Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is among the most budget-friendly webcams in the market. It offers 720p live-streaming resolution, 1080p recording resolution, color correction, and noise canceling. The webcam rotates at 360-degrees. You’ll not need to rotate the whole computer, just in case you need to show something that’s to the back of your monitor.
The webcam can be mounted to a tripod too. The onboard wideband mic delivers quality audio, and Microsoft’s TrueColor technology automatically corrects your image’s appearance and exposure, making the webcam suitable for Zoom business calls. The HD-3000 is quite a catch for a webcam.
|Key Specs||720p video-stream resolution|
4× digital zoom
Universal attachment base
|Cons||Plug-and-play is not enabled|
The Microphone quality is not the best
Huddly GO Video Conferencing Webcam
As the name suggests, this is a video-conferencing webcam. It can be used for business purposes, and personal Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts calls. One of the most exciting features of the Huddly Go webcam is its Field of View. It offers an amazing ultra-wide 105-degree field of view, perfect for web video conferencing. It also offers an HD zoom of up to 4×, making it pretty easy to fit anything on a single window.
The Huddly Go supports video at 720p, 30fps and has a 3D noise reduction feature and an automatic white balance feature. The audio quality is standard, and the webcam supports several streaming apps and services. It works on both Mac and Windows. Moreover, the webcam supports both USB 2 and 3 after you install the latest camera software.
|Key Specs||Supports USB2 and 3|
Offers 720p video resolution
3D noise-reduction feature
4× digital zoom
Quality build design
|Pros||Supports plug and play|
The webcam becomes better with time by enabling software updates
Supports all major web streaming apps and services
|Cons||The camera might get glitchy on image quality|
These are some of the best webcams we have in the market right now. They vary in every single detail, ranging from their operation to price. However, they are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are hundreds of other models flocking the market each day.
However, what everyone seeks is to find a webcam that gets the job done and gets it done with profound quality. If you feel there’s a quality webcam left out, feel free to get in touch.
Also, a common problem with getting adequate quality for your zoom calls might not be your webcam – but rather your Internet connection. For your webcam to work perfectly during a call, a good internet connection is key. Get yourself a good Wi-Fi router and stop worrying about losing your Wi-Fi connection in the middle of a call.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.