woman in conference call
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Update, 01/29/2023: We’ve reviewed our recommendations, and we have updated our choices for the best webcam overall, and the best webcam for Zoom.

What to Look for in a Webcam in 2023

Picking the right webcam can be trickier than you might expect. Like any camera, specifications can be deceiving when it comes to the actual picture quality. Focus on specs and you’ll be sifting through a list of numbers that may not tell you as much about a camera as you’d think.

Take image resolution, for example. Many built-in webcams found in laptops still use a resolution of 720p. That sounds like a bad thing considering the image quality of TVs and monitors, but most people don’t have the sort of internet connection speed to stream high-quality video. On the other hand, if you want to use a webcam to make a local recording, a higher resolution can make a significant difference to the crispness of the picture.

Ultimately, a resolution is only a small part of how good the picture will look. Larger sensors with better lenses do more for image quality than resolution. So, generally, bigger webcams tend to give better results. Likewise, the ability to deal with low-light conditions and properly expose an image is important for clear video capturing.

Frame rate, meanwhile, is a low priority for most. Although some cameras offer 60 frames per second, there aren’t many webcam use cases that justify it. A talking head at 30 frames per second is no problem for the average viewer, and aiming for better image quality makes more sense than higher FPS.

Finally, an oft-overlooked aspect of webcams is mounting versatility. Can the webcam be hung on a flat panel? Can it stand freely? Does it have a tripod mount thread? What about adjustable angles? A webcam that lets you get the perfect framing and angle is worth its weight in gold.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I test a webcam?
You can use the bundled webcam software or the camera app in either Windows or macOS to test your webcam. If none of those options are available, the WebcamTests website lets you test any available cameras and provides details about the image quality, frame rate, and more.
How do you enable webcam access?
Webcam access controls are commonly found in privacy settings. In Windows, for example, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Camera. If an app that doesn’t have access wants to use the camera, a message will pop up asking if you want to allow it.
Can someone access your webcam?
A webcam can be accessed remotely by someone else if your computer is infected with a type of virus called a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). If you are concerned about the potential for remote access, install some good antivirus software and use or buy a modesty shield for your camera.
How do I look better on a webcam?
The easiest way to look good on a webcam is to place a soft light behind the camera and at eye level. This helps ensure that your face is illuminated evenly. Sit back in a relaxed position with your body centered on the screen. And take advantage of any quality settings your webcam software offers.
Where do I plug a webcam in?
Almost all webcams use a standard USB connector. Plug this into a corresponding USB port on your laptop or desktop computer. If the webcam supports USB 3.0, connecting it to an appropriate port will help ensure the best available image quality and frame rate.
Can I use my phone as a webcam?
Using an iPhone or Android phone as a webcam is not only possible, it’s relatively easy. All you need is a way of connecting your phone to your computer and a webcam app. Some phones even have a webcam option built into the camera.

Best Webcam Overall: Insta360 Link Webcam

insta 360 webcam on green and blue background


  • Up to 4K recording and streaming
  • AI tracking allows for dynamic videos
  • Clever gesture control
  • Smooth, 3-axis gimbal
  • Multiple positioning options


  • Nearly the same price as a GoPro Hero 10
  • 4K video requires a good Internet connection

The Insta360 Link is a very capable webcam, designed to meet the needs of anyone from business professionals to content creators and bursting with tools and features that make recording and streaming video a breeze.

The webcam is capable of streaming and recording in up to 4K and in HDR. Such high resolution in a webcam can be problematic, but if you have the computer and bandwidth able to handle the large stream of data, the reward is a crisp and clear image from the high-quality 1/2-inch sensor. If not, you can always drop the resolution back to 1080 or 720p.

One of the most unique features of the Insta360 is AI Tracking. When this is enabled, the camera locks onto your face and automatically follows you around the room on its multi-direction gimbal. That makes it great for streaming a workout, a dynamic presentation, or just keeping you on screen and in focus during a video chat with your mom.

This dynamic tracking is made easier by the inclusion of gesture controls. The camera can recognize several hand gestures to control different features, including zooming in and out. For more static activities you have Overhead mode and Deskview mode, which both help you share what you are doing from a top-down perspective.

The webcam is compatible with Windows and macOS, and works perfectly with all the most popular video conferencing software. The clip mount lets you easily attach the cam to the top of your monitor, and folds flat if you want to stand it on a flat surface. There is also a standard mounting point on the bottom if you want to use a tripod.

The only real downside of the Insta360 webcam is the price. At nearly $300 it’s getting close to the price of a new GoPro, and could be overkill if you only need it for the occasional team meeting while you work from home. But if you want a high-quality, modern webcam, that imposes few restrictions on how it is used, this one is hard to beat.

Best Webcam Overall

Insta360 Link Webcam

An impressive range of unique features, high-quality 1/2in sensor, and 4K resolution mark this out as a webcam capable of dealing with almost any video recording or streaming situation.

Best Budget Webcam: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

microsoft lifecam on pink background


  • Delivers better image quality than most integrated 720p webcams
  • Can be screen mounted or stood on its own
  • Deals adequately with poor lighting
  • Versatile integrated stand
  • Plug and play experience in Windows


  • Customers say some new model units have a defect which causes hum or buzz
  • No tripod mount thread
  • Mediocre image quality compared to other more expensive free-standing webcams

Unless you’re willing to delve into the world of white label and unbranded webcams, you don’t get more budget than the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. The 3000 has been around for 10 years now, and that’s probably why it’s so cheap.

Don’t let the age fool you though, as this is a great little gadget. We’ve used the LifeCam HD-3000 with the latest Windows 10 build without any issue. While we’ve seen some customer reviews note that recent versions of the LifeCam have a buzz or hum over its microphone, it’s generally worth exchanging for another as this isn’t a widespread problem.

While this model of the LifeCam doesn’t have autofocus, it handles relatively low light conditions well, thanks to Microsoft’s “TrueColor” feature. It also sports a clever stand that allows the camera to be mounted on a screen or stand freely. Sadly, there’s no tripod thread, but otherwise, it’s surprisingly versatile for the money.

If you’re working from home, the LifeCam HD-3000 is a cheap webcam that’s worth the upgrade from the low-end built-in laptop camera for video chatting.

Best Budget Webcam

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

If you just need an upgrade from a laptop camera for the office, the LifeCam HD-3000 is budget-friendly and effective.

Best Webcam for Zoom: Anker PowerConf C300

Person using Anker PowerConf on video call


  • Good-quality and reliable sensor
  • Mounting clip makes it easy to adjust the angle
  • Noise canceling and voice enhancement
  • Multiple FOV options


  • Only has dual microphones, not quad

If you are working remotely or from home, making a professional and competent impression during video calls can be important. Using a good-quality webcam like the Anker PowerConf C300 is a good step towards showing your boss or clients you mean business. At around $130, it isn’t cheap, but it definitely isn’t overly expensive considering the features it provides.

You can record or stream at up to 1080p at 60fps at a variety of lens angles. Come in tight for the talking-head shot in a team meeting, or pull out to as wide as 115 degrees if you need to fit more people in the frame. And if the standard color setting isn’t vibrant enough for your needs, you can easily switch to HDR mode.

You also don’t need to worry about not being heard during that busy department meeting. Dual microphones are backed up by noise canceling and voice enhancement software, so you’ll have no problem joining the discussion. Everything, from the frame rate to the audio enhancements, is easily controlled from within the Anker WebCam software.

The webcam is certified to work with Zoom, but nothing is stopping you from using it in Skype, Microsoft Teams, or most other popular video conferencing tools. The mounting clip, which allows for multiple angles, is adaptable to almost any monitor depth, and there’s a snap-on privacy cover if you want to block the lens.

If you only really need a webcam for regular video meetings, the Anker PowerConf C300 is perfect for getting yourself seen.

Best Webcam for Zoom

Anker PowerConf C300

A great mid-range webcam with exactly the sort of features you need to make a good impression in your regular Zoom meeting.

Best Webcam for Streaming: Logitech C922x Pro Stream

Logitech C922x Pro Stream


  • Designed as a one-stop solution for professional streamers
  • 1080p 30 fps or 720p 60 fps modes
  • Compatible with Xbox
  • Stereo microphone array
  • Automatic light compensation
  • Includes 6-month XSplit License


  • Slightly pricey for casual buyers
  • 5-foot cable will need extension in some streaming setups
  • If you already own the C920, not worth the upgrade

The Logitech C922x Pro Stream is a newer, more advanced version of the legendary Logitech C920. The latter camera is still widely considered the gold standard for Twitch streamers and other content creators, and it’s still for sale at an excellent price.

However, the C920 is not that much cheaper than the more refined and focused C922x, so if you don’t already have the 920, it’s worth grabbing the C922x. Logitech has essentially looked at what made the older webcam a success within the streamer community and took some lessons on board for the Pro Stream model.

What you get with the upgraded C922x is a camera with exceptional low-light performance, class-leading stereo audio capture, and autofocus optimized for people who move around energetically on stream. The webcam also comes with a 6-month XSplit license, which very nearly makes the camera as cheap as a LifeCam HD-3000 if you were going to get a subscription anyway.

The C922x Pro Stream webcam works on Windows, macOS, and Xbox One consoles. Webcams that work with Xbox One should work with Xbox Series X|S consoles, but we weren’t able to find explicit evidence that the C922x works on the newer systems. It might be best to wait for Logitech to confirm that it is supported if you’re looking to stream video from your Xbox Series console.

Best Webcam for Streaming

Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam

An upgrade to the popular C920, the C922x has some nice tweaks to make the increased price worth it. With better low-light performance and autofocus made for moving around on camera, these are features made with streaming in mind.

Best 4K Webcam: Logitech Brio

Logitech C922x Pro


  • Offers some of the best quality webcam footage possible
  • Excellent automating image correction
  • Has all the sensors needed for Windows Hello
  • Offers three fields of view (at 1080p)
  • Dual noise-cancelling omni-directional mics


  • Expensive
  • Requires USB 3.0 for 4K video
  • 4K streaming is currently overkill for most users and there are better non-webcams for recording purposes

Televisions with a 4K resolution are quickly becoming the new standard, and virtually every new games console or streaming device has a 4K logo prominently displayed on its packaging. So, you would be forgiven if you thought that it’s time to throw that 1080p HD webcam in the trash and buy a 4K model instead. The truth is that the market for 4K cameras is quite small, and there aren’t that many options to choose from.

The Logitech Brio is, in our opinion, the best 4K webcam for those who have a legitimate need for one. Who are these users? 4K isn’t necessary for video calls or for game streaming since many don’t have the internet broadband to stream 4K content.

For content creation, the Brio is an excellent choice. The Brio offers an affordable and convenient way to have both a webcam and 4K recording quality in one package, so it’s easy to make video essays or unboxing videos with stunning quality. You’re also future-proofing yourself with a Brio purchase since 4K video conferencing will eventually become more common.

Other positives for the Brio include its multiple fields of view. You can choose between three different framing options, as long as you’re happy to drop to 1080p. The Brio also has the required sensors for proper Windows Hello authentication, and it’s equipped with dual omnidirectional noise-canceling mics. No need for a separate microphone!

You do pay a premium to have 4K recording at your disposal, but if you want it, the Logitech Brio is a solid choice that should stay relevant for many years.

Best 4K Webcam

Logitech Brio

If you're looking to be on the bleeding edge of webcam technology, the Logitech Brio is one of the few 4K webcams on the market. It's a purchase that helps future-proof your setup for years to come.

Best Webcam for Mac: Logitech StreamCam

Logitech Streamcam


  • Good for content creators
  • Allows for vertical and horizontal video, good for social media on phones
  • Native USB-C
  • AI-powered facial tracking for focus and exposure
  • Monitor and Tripod Mount included
  • Full HD at 60 fps
  • Stereo mic


  • A little pricey
  • Not a great style match for Mac setups

All of the webcams we’ve looked at so far work with macOS. But will a webcam work with what most Mac users will be using a webcam for? That might be a different story.

Mac users are more likely to be content creators on platforms such as Instagram and social media sites that the audience access via smartphones. Also, in particular, MacBook users appreciate native USB-C devices when traveling since it means reducing the amount of USB-C dock or dongle usage. Virtually all Mac users need an alternative to the generally lackluster integrated cameras in their computers. Apple doesn’t escape the trap of subpar built-in cameras, after all.

That’s where the Logitech StreamCam comes in. It allows you to create vertical or horizontal footage for social media platforms, a rarity for webcams. It’s also a native USB-C device, so no dongles are required. The StreamCam even has a monitor mount and tripod thread.

Notably, it’s one of the few webcams to offer 1080p 60 fps streaming, assuming that your computer meets the minimum specifications for it. Most webcams opt for 720p 60 fps or 1080p 30 fps, so this is a pretty nice perk.

The only not-so-Mac aspect of this camera is the styling. Whether you go for the White or Graphite model, neither quite blend well with Apple’s design sensibilities. If you can get over that (and the high price), we think the Logitech StreamCam is the perfect choice for Mac users.

Best Webcam for Mac

Logitech StreamCam

The Logitech StreamCam is great for content creators, with the ability to record vertical video formats that work well on mobile devices.

The Best Gaming Microphones of 2023

Blue Yeti X
Best Gaming Microphone Overall
Blue Yeti X
Razer Seiren X
Best Budget Gaming Microphone Under $100
Razer Seiren X
FIFINE Metal Condenser Microphone
Best Cheap Gaming microphone Under $30
FIFINE Metal Condenser Microphone
Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone
Best Gaming Microphone For Streaming
Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone
HyperX Cloud Alpha S
Best Gaming Headset
HyperX Cloud Alpha S
Profile Photo for Sydney Butler Sydney Butler
Sydney Butler has over 20 years of experience as a freelance PC technician and system builder. He's worked for more than a decade in user education and spends his time explaining technology to professional, educational, and mainstream audiences. His interests include VR, PC, Mac, gaming, 3D printing, consumer electronics, the web, and privacy. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Research Psychology with a focus on Cyberpsychology in particular.
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