What Can I Use as a Webcam?

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Updated August 24, 2022

The best webcams can get a little pricey, so sometimes it’s better to learn about what you can use as a webcam instead. Sometimes you can get even better quality than you could with your internal or external webcam. So, if you already have these devices on hand, it’s usually better to just use them.


  • Several devices can be used as a webcam.
  • The first popular option is to use a digital camera that can plug into your USB port. You might also have to use an HDMI cable, however.
  • The second most popular option is to use your mobile device. This could be a phone or a tablet, and sometimes they provide far higher quality.

What to Use Instead of a Webcam

Whether you have a high-quality webcam or not, there might be a better device already on-hand that can provide far better video and sound quality. You can use several different things for video chat apps instead of a webcam. Today we’ll go over two of the most popular options.

Insider Tip

Sometimes a camera or phone can give better video quality than even a modern webcam.

Learning about how a webcam kill switch works will help you better understand your external or built-in webcam a little bit better, and help beef up your security measures.

Compatible Cameras

For the best-looking video, you’ll want to use compatible cameras. If you’re wondering, “What do I do if my built-in webcam is not working?” then this is an option. Many DSL cameras provide a high-quality video feed that looks great during video calls.


Be gentle with the USB cable your external webcam uses since these cords can be fragile.

Mobile Devices

You can always use mobile devices like your phone or tablet as a webcam. Of course, you’ll want to compare your webcam vs a phone camera before you make the switch. You might be better off just learning how to use your phone as a webcam and leave it at that because, sometimes, a phone can provide far higher video quality than your traditional webcam.

STAT: 38 percent of internet users worldwide reported making video calls using their mobile devices and smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2021. (source)

What Can I Use as a Webcam FAQs

What is the best video chatting software?

Google Meet is a fantastic option for video conferences and doesn’t require downloading any third-party products. It all takes place in your browser.

What should I look for in a modern webcam?

The webcam feature you look for will depend on your personal preferences. A clear video stream is useful, however. Easy webcam setup is another great feature to have.

Will I need to download any webcam software?

That depends on which modern webcam you invest in. Most of them will come with some sort of software, however, to help you set your webcam preferences and change the settings.

Does my laptop have a built-in webcam?

Most laptops will come with a webcam built right into their interface. You can check this by looking at your laptop to see whether or not a webcam is present.
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