Our new telecommuting culture means that popular webcam mainstays, like the Logitech c920 series, have been selling out everywhere from Best Buy to Amazon for the past few months. As we enter the end of the year, there’s now more listings for these popular choices, but they’re still not always available at your favorite stores. Also, their absence from the market has given rise to plenty of enticing alternatives, some with unique features of their own.
So if you’re willing to expand your horizons, there are plenty of other choices, from entry-level streaming cameras to webcams from lesser-known brands. That’s why we’ve collected this list of the best webcams…and the best back-up webcams for if you can’t find them at the stores you like or with the features you need.
Quick Shopping Tips
Here’s a few details to keep in mind when shopping for the best webcam for your conference calls.
- Streaming vs work cam: The webcam market is mostly split into two categories: work, and livestreaming. Livestreaming webcams can run on the expensive side, sometimes up to $500, in exchange for additional features such as 4K, professional-level microphones, and wide-angle lenses.
But since video compression and lag are still problems for most conference call apps, you probably won’t need these features for a home office, with 1080p and often even 720p support being appropriate for most situations.
- The best webcams on the market always include some sort of built-in microphone, but that doesn’t mean the audio quality is always top-notch –or even good. With webcams usually situated above and away from your face, it’s not uncommon for built-in mics to be quiet and include plenty of background noise or echo. Consider supplementing your purchase with a headset or desk mic.
- Lighting is a bonus: While built-in lighting isn’t a standard feature on most consumer-level webcams quite yet, manufacturers like Razer are doing their best to change that. It doesn’t matter how capable your camera is if your office’s lighting is too dark to take advantage of it.