The Canon XA10 Camcorder is a great vlogging camera, but maybe you want a webcam. Are you looking for an upgrade to your current webcam – a new cam that will benefit your streaming and help you grow your audience (while also helping you to look better on stream)? There are plenty of affordable webcams around with far better capabilities than the cam your computer came with: We’re going to help you choose the right one!
The Logitech C922x was a clear choice for our top pick. This cam was specifically designed to help Twitch and YouTube streamers customize their streams and provide higher quality video for their viewers.
While it’s pricier than the average webcam, it has excellent recording features, a highly maneuverable stand, a plethora of optimization tools for improving a feed, and built-in background replacement technology. But that’s just the start – check out our full list of cams below!
- 1 Best Webcams for Streaming
- 1.1 #1 Logitech C922x – Best Logitech Webcam for Streaming
- 1.2 #2 Logitech HD C615 – Best Outdoor Webcam for Streaming
- 1.3 #3 Logitech Brio – Best HD Webcam for Live Streaming
- 1.4 #4 HP HD 4310 – Best HD Webcam for Live Streaming
- 1.5 #5 Microsoft LifeCam Studio – Best Quality Webcam for Streaming
- 1.6 #6 Ausdom AW620 – Best Webcam for Streaming on Twitch
- 1.7 #7 Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 – Best Budget Streaming Webcam
- 2 Best Webcam for Streaming Buying Guide
Best Webcams for Streaming
#1 Logitech C922x – Best Logitech Webcam for Streaming
- Lighting and focus features
- Reliable 1080p resolution recording
- Stereo audio mic
- More expensive than many cam upgrades
- Stereo mic isn’t much good if you already have a headset
- Background removal isn’t always recommended
This Logitech model is a state-of-the-art webcam designed for professional streaming from gamers and YouTube vloggers. From top to bottom, it’s filled with features we look for in our reviews. Moreover, it’s focused on making streaming easier, including background removal, a temporary licensing for Xsplit’s streaming software, autofocus and light adjustment, and a full HD glass lens that’s probably better than the onboard webcam you may have been using.
Not everything is perfect, but the issues this cam has are acceptable: The mic won’t do gamers much good if they use a headset, and background removal, while a fun feature, can look seriously weird on the wrong type of streaming (feel free to experiment with it, though).
#2 Logitech HD C615 – Best Outdoor Webcam for Streaming
- 360-degree rotation
- Autofocus and mic filters
- Ideal for video chatting, too
- 1080p compatibility comes with some odd caveats
- Made strictly for computer mounting
- Some video chat options overshadow streaming features
Do you travel a lot but still need to stream? Is a high-quality video streaming cam important for your professional life, even (especially) when you are on the go? This excellent little Logitech cam folds up for easy travel, and expands to provide – as we discovered in testing – immediately high-quality video when you need it. The optimization software is also very helpful with both mic and focus features ideal in on the go situations.
However, some oddities are present, too. The 1080p settings can to make other features like the autofocus struggle a little, and the mount is specifically designed for smaller computers, so trying to attach it to a desk or chair may pose problems.
#3 Logitech Brio – Best HD Webcam for Live Streaming
- High resolution image sensor and glass lens
- Zoom and pan options
- Logitech’s strong optimization features are better than ever
- One of the more expensive webcams
- 4k resolution may not be necessary and requires USB 3.0
- The mount is not great
If you want to zoom straight to the high-end of the webcam world, you’ll find the Brio waiting there with is top-line and very expensive features. The 4k resolution is ideal if you want to stream tutorials and detail is very important (and you have a USB 3.0 connection). Lighting and color optimization here are quite excellent, although they will lower your frame rate. Zooming and panning is ideal for conferences or more complex web shows, too.
#4 HP HD 4310 – Best HD Webcam for Live Streaming
- Nice sharing features
- Software for lighting and focus adjustment
- Many mounting options
- Design is a little outdated
- Some complaints about OS updates
- No zoom technology
The 4310 may look a little clunky but behind that design are a bunch of video-friendly features that add up to a surprisingly competitive webcam. There are tools for sharing your desktop in video chat, uploading video to Facebook, implementing autofocus, and even adding effects to your video. The 1080p lens may be large, but it also offers wide image capture (although no zoom is included).
When we reviewed the older model we found that it didn’t work with the newer operating systems. This appears to be currently resolved, but it is something to consider when it comes to future firmware maintenance.
#5 Microsoft LifeCam Studio – Best Quality Webcam for Streaming
- Highly durable lens and audio
- Microsoft’s autofocus and video smoothing technology
- 1080p widescreen sensor for big projects
- Autofocus isn’t always dependable
- Frame rate issues in low light
- An older cam that may require extra driver installation
While this cam is a bit older than the rest of our choices (look for recent models and prepare to download the right firmware), it still does a great job capturing clear video, including widescreen 16:9 video if you really want to go big. The autofocus and low light capabilities are another welcome feature, but they do tend to slow down the frame rate a lot when all that optimization software has to work together.
#6 Ausdom AW620 – Best Webcam for Streaming on Twitch
- Great ease of use
- Options for fps based on resolution
- Compatible with many platforms
- Fisheye lens approach not for all streaming
- Video optimization isn’t always ideal
- Stereo mic quality is just average
This Ausdom model gets plenty of respect for being so easy to use: it’s compatible whether you’re using a Mac, PC, Chromebook, or any other computer, and setting it up is particularly speedy thanks to the compact design. Fortunately, you still get a choice between 30fps 1080p and 60fps 720p video depending on how detailed you want your streaming to be.
A stereo microphone is indeed built in, but it’s just okay and you are probably better off buying a dedicated mic for serious streaming. But if you have concerns about compatibility or usability, this cam will help allay your fears while still provided high quality video capture.
#7 Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 – Best Budget Streaming Webcam
- Highly affordable
- Color enhancing technology
- Versatile base works with many different devices
- Only 720p max resolution
- Software has some occasional reported issues
- Omnidirectional mic can pick up background noise
If you are looking for a more affordable option, this cam is only around $25 (which easily ranks as one of the cheapest vlogging cameras) – with an ideal design for more casual streaming. Sure the resolution is a little low as we found in our tests, but there’s color optimization technology (that will also help a lot with light levels), and a great adjustable base that you can use to attach the cam to nearly any kind of computer.
Some people have noted that the software may have occasional trouble with the audio cutting out or the cam not working with certain types of software, which is why we didn’t rate this model higher. Fortunately, these problems seem fairly rare and frequently solved by making sure all your software is updated.
Best Webcam for Streaming Buying Guide
Feel free to shop around for webcams before you make up your mind about your vlogging needs. But in the process, don’t forget to focus on the most important features for you. We tested many of these in our review and feel as though these are the key factors. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
- Mobility and Mounting
- Mobility and mounting are all about positioning the webcam in just the right way. The typical “on top of the computer” pose is, unfortunately, one of the worst for showing your face at the best angle.
- This is why the best cams have extra mounting capabilities that allow you to put them pretty much anywhere and angle or tilt them as you please. This is very useful for conference call streaming, and a boon for more complex webcasts where your face deserves better attention.
- Autofocus is growing increasingly common in webcams, for which we are very grateful! Pick up a cam with autofocus capabilities if possible. This makes adjustment and startup so much easier, and goes a long way to improving your stream quality.
- Even the patient gamers and poised professionals tend to move around and fidget in front of their cams: Autofocus helps prevent resolution issues related to these common movements.
- Low Light Response
- Closely connected to autofocus, low light features automatically adjust the cam to make improve the picture quality when light levels a little low or too weird. This is great for late night streaming that is so common among gamers, and a strong features to watch for.
- However, if you have lots of great lighting around your PC and don’t do much streaming in the night hours, you don’t need to worry as much about this.
- Streaming Quality
- Notice how we are not saying “video resolution,” which would be a common spec for most cams. Yes, webcams have resolution ratings, and most good models tend to be 720p or 1080p: you shouldn’t go lower and don’t really need to go higher at the moment. However, those ratings don’t matter much for streaming.
- Unlike recording, streaming content has to pass through webcam software, then through your internet, then through all the necessary bandwidth to the end user, through the software they are using, and finally through their own device. There’s so little control over this process, it’s tough to guarantee a steady resolution.
- It’s far better to focus on streaming quality, specifically the streaming app you use and how well-reviewed a cam is when it comes to streaming.
- A Stereo Mic
- There are two sides to webcam mics. The first side is that they need to clearly carry your voice and diminish background noise, so a high-quality stereo mic is important, especially for more professional streaming.
- The other side, however, assumes that you will be using a headset with a good mic already positioned in front of your face – in this case, a cam mic isn’t necessary at all. Different streamers will fall on either side, depending on whether they use a headset or not.
- Most streaming services, computers, and webcams get along fine…but not always. If you have an older computer or a unique setup, then remember to research the requirements for any particular webcam and see if you’ll run into issues.
- Viewing Angle
- If all you’re streaming is a snapshot of your face while the real action is taking place in a bigger window, your viewing angle shouldn’t be very large. Around 60 degrees is ideal for this kind of streaming session. If you are doing a more physical tutorial in front of your computer, look for a wider viewing angle to capture more.
Perhaps you are starting out and aren’t sure which platform is worth investing time in: if this describes you, then research into the right platform is very important. It’s not enough to simply ask, “Well, which streaming option is cheapest?” Your question should always be, “Where is my target audience at?” This will point you in the right direction.
Facebook Live, for example, is a popular free streaming option for businesses with a lively Facebook presence, but it’s a horrible choice for a gaming stream. People just don’t go to Facebook to follow games or gamers.
YouTube has a robust streaming option with plenty of tools for optimization, but if you don’t already have a YouTube presence built-up, it’s not going to do you much good to start live streaming there: that said, everyone has to start somewhere, and YouTube is a great place to post general tutorial and lifestyle streams if you want.
Twitch, on the other hand, is an excellent streaming service for games. However, it’s also highly competitive and highly focused – if you aren’t streaming the latest games, you don’t really belong there.
There are many, many other free and pay streaming platforms you can consider, but remember that the largest platforms have the best chances to get you subscribers.
Note: if you’re still trying to build context on how much to spend on a Streaming Camera, make sure you read this article.