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If you’ve decided to give video game blogging a shot, then having the best webcam for streaming is a must. While most laptops and PCs have built-in webcams, more often than not, they are downright awful. For best live streaming results, you are better off buying an external webcam.
But, with all the available webcams on the market today, having the best webcam for streaming is entirely possible. All you need to do is know what to look for in an excellent webcam based on your needs.
Low on budget? No problem!
Webcams come in a variety of prices and features. Just keep in mind that the cheaper ones tend to have low quality. If you want a webcam with an HD camera, on the other hand, you have to shell out a more substantial amount. If you’re about to start a career as a video game streamer, you may want to invest in the latter. Having a poor webcam could be detrimental to your new-found career.
As a streamer, your audience counts on you to provide clear video and audio. What’s the point of showing your viewers a live stream of your game when they can’t see the screen and hear you correctly? As such, what you need is a webcam that provides excellent-quality video and audio.
If you want to give your live streaming career a good fighting chance, you have to think of it as a business. To help your business succeed, you need to equip yourself with the best webcam for streaming. Lucky for you, we’re here to help.
Later on, we will share with you the top 5 best webcams for streaming. Don’t worry; these webcams have all been tried and tested. We’re not going to recommend something that falls short of our expectations.
If you’re ready to start your streaming career, then let’s get it on, shall we?
Webcam For Streaming
Streaming refers to videos recorded and shared with viewers in real-time. Gamers stream their games for entertainment and training purposes. Viewers watch these videos to learn from a gamer’s strategies in playing and thereby improve their performance. Typically, gamers share their screens in their videos to show viewers their game.
There are various streaming services available today that let streamers share their videos in real-time. The two most popular services are Youtube Live and Twitch. These providers access gamers’ screens to feature their videos on their platforms.
Apart from being available in real-time, these videos are also stored and uploaded on video platforms such as Vimeo, making them viewable even after they took place.
Why Having the Best Webcam For Streaming is Important
These videos are always available for anybody to see, creating quality content is essential. This is where the best webcam for streaming comes into play. Having one is a must if you want to be able to present the best streaming possible. It will help establish a good connection with your audience. Your goal is to communicate well with your viewers, and an excellent webcam can help you with that.
Here are some of the reasons why you should get yourself a webcam for streaming:
- It’s easy to use. A device that requires a lot of set-ups could be frustrating, so good thing manufacturers created user-friendly webcams. All you need is to plug your webcam, follow quick step-by-step instructions, and it’s ready to go.
- You get quality videos — especially the ones with a higher resolution (1080p or Ultra HD). If you’re serious about your channel, don’t settle for built-in cameras as they won’t be as nearly as good as external webcams. As a viewer, there’s nothing more off-putting than a low-quality video.
- It’s got loads of added features. From special effects like background images and avatars to image correction capabilities, webcams nowadays offer tons of options to make your streaming more exciting.
- It’s highly affordable. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a good quality webcam. Awesome webcams for streaming can cost as low as $50, so there’s no need to worry about spending way too much.
What To Consider Before Buying
There are so many fantastic webcams for streaming out there, so you might feel a little overwhelmed when choosing. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before buying one.
Am I going to use this professionally or just for leisure? If your answer is the former, you may want to invest in a higher-quality webcam. If your answer is the latter, then we suggest a more affordable one.
What is my budget? Depending on the features, a webcam could cost as low as $20 and as high as $500. Narrow down your options by identifying your budget and non-negotiable requirements.
What is my computer’s operating system? When looking for the best webcam for streaming, you have to keep in mind that not all of them run on the same operating system. Thus, you have to find out what your computer is and its OS before heading to your nearest tech store.
What are the webcam’s system requirements? After all, there’s no point in pining over an incredible fabulous webcam when your computer can’t support its needs.
Checking the system requirements is particularly crucial for Linux and Mac users. Why? Because the majority of webcams today run on Windows. Sadly, Linux and Mac are left out in the webcam game, especially older versions with low memory, hard drive, and processor capacities. More often than not, the latest HD webcam models are not compatible with older machines.
What is the situation in my room? Do you have a gaming PC or a laptop? Does your desk have a decent amount of free space, or is it jam-packed with gaming equipment? Will you be moving around a lot, or are you going to sit still while recording? Are you going to use it for travel as well, or are you going to keep it inside the game room? It is crucial to keep these things in mind because they will determine the specs you need in a webcam.
For instance, if you plan to move around a lot, it’s wise to get a webcam that has a rotating head. On the other hand, if you’re also going to use your webcam for travel, you might want to consider one that’s made of metal over one made of plastic. If your space is small, then you ought to get a webcam that may be clipped to your monitor.
What They’re Not Telling You
Also, you need to know a few disclaimers about webcams that most manufacturers are not telling you. This will help you set your expectations and prevent you from potentially being disappointed with your purchase.
First up, regardless of how expensive the webcam is, more often than not, its microphone is going to suck. That’s right – even the best webcams in the world suffer from this problem. As such, if you’re going to use the webcam for streaming purposes, you have to get yourself an external microphone. A lot of your content is going to count on your microphone, so you might as well invest in an excellent one.
Next up: not all webcams can indeed record in 1080p resolution. So even though brands claim to have 1080p recording capacities, they’re most likely only record on 720p30. There are some exceptions to this, of course, but you have to be cautious about this particular feature.
Lastly, when webcam brands say they have pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities, they’re referring to digital pan, tilt, and zoom, not optical.
This means that when you zoom, the webcam is merely expanding the photo or video, not genuinely zooming it by adjusting the lens. It’s the same as zooming in an image using Photoshop – it just expands the pixels, thereby decreasing the image quality as you do.
At the same time, when you ‘pan’ on the image, the webcam merely moves the picture, not the camera, left and right.
The Best Webcam For Streaming: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
When looking for the best webcam for streaming, here are the key considerations you need to check.
As we have mentioned, your primary goal as a streamer is to connect with your audience. As such, it’s all about giving your viewers high-quality videos. Low-resolution cameras are going to provide you with grainy images that aren’t so pleasant to watch. If you want to attract viewers, consider getting a high-def webcam.
The webcam’s resolution could vary from 240p to 2160p. The ‘p’ stands for pixels. As such, these labels refer to the number of pixels in a webcam. More pixels mean clearer images. So, the higher the number, the better.
An ideal webcam has a capture resolution of at least 720p. Although, if you’re going to use your webcam a lot and for an extended period, you might want to get one with a resolution of at least 1080p. Considering the quality of the images they produce, these bad boys are not that expensive. As such, they are worth taking a second look at.
If you’re going to use a webcam for a living, though, your best option is one with a 4k resolution. While it is going to cost a lot more, this resolution is the most ideal for streamers.
High-Def Vs. Ultra High-Def
Most webcams today come in high-definition resolutions. But what’s the difference between high-def and ultra high-def?
While HD cameras give you excellent video quality, ultra HD (more commonly known as 4k) has a much higher resolution. Take note, though, that both resolutions will only work with people who have monitors that support them. Meaning, if your viewers are watching your streaming from an old model, they won’t be able to see the difference.
As such, it’s your call whether you want to invest in an Ultra HD or HD webcam. At the very least, though, since it’s going to be for professional use, get one that’s at least 1080p. These webcams are going to give extremely clear videos without burning a hole in your pocket. You don’t want to lose viewers by uploading or streaming low-res content.
The frame rate is another crucial thing to check on a webcam. It refers to the number of frames per second (hence the term ‘fps’) your webcam can record. It dictates the smoothness of the motions are in a video clip. Did you know that a video is merely a collection of hundreds of thousands of still images? They are transitioned at top speed to make them seem like the images are moving. As such, the higher your webcam’s fps is, the smoother the movements will look.
The best webcam for streaming will give you a high frame rate. Trust us, low frame rate webcams may be a lot cheaper, but they will only give you a headache. They tend to produce a video that freezes from time to time, which is such a turn off to your audience.
To check this feature, look for the “fps” label on the box. The majority of webcams today have a frame rate of at least 30 fps. This is a good thing because a 24 or 15 fps is entirely outdated and will produce shaky images and videos.
The most ideal for professional streamers is 60 fps, but that’s going to cost a little more. They produce significantly better quality, though, so If you have the budget, these are the ones you should gun for.
Factors Affecting Frame Rates
The frame rate refers to the number of photos a webcam can take every second. So, if a webcam has a 30 fps feature, it means that it can take 30 pictures every second. Meaning, the higher the frame rate, the better.
However, fps is not the only factor that affects a webcam’s frame rate. These include the brightness of the recording room, the webcam’s resolution, bandwidth, and the webcam’s software capabilities. For instance, if you’re running several devices using USB ports, this can slow down the webcam’s frame rate.
Apart from getting a high-resolution webcam, it’s going to be utterly useless if the lens is horrible. As such, it is also vital to check the make of the lens before buying a webcam.
Most entry-level webcams come in plastic lenses. And while these are generally okay, it’s better to get one with a glass lens. A glass lens improves the performance of your webcam. Plus, it is not significantly more expensive than plastic.
One of the factors that affect the image or video quality is poor lighting. If you are new to game streaming, chances are you haven’t set-up your game room yet to make it ideal for live streaming. This is where light adjustment comes to play. It is a fantastic feature that will enhance your video when streaming in a dark room.
However, do take note that while light adjustment (and also color enhancement) will help enhance your image quality, your best bet is still to record in a well-lit room.
Auto-focus, on the other hand, is helpful in re-focusing the lens whenever you move. This is an essential feature to look for because we’re pretty sure you won’t be sitting still when you’re talking to your viewers. Poor-quality webcams will lose focus on the smallest gestures, so you’ll want to get one with this feature.
A quick disclaimer on this feature, though: it tends to make your webcam slow. As such, look for a webcam whose auto-focus functionality may be turned on and off as you please.
The best webcam for streaming allows you to take photos while streaming. While a 2-megapixel camera is acceptable, go for one that’s at least 15 megapixels for higher-quality stills.
Webcam technology has significantly improved over the years. Nowadays, it’s pretty common to spot an affordable webcam with multiple built-in mics. The quality, though, is still up for debate. Some say that these built-in mics are of high-quality, but others still doubt the reliability of the feature. As such, some streamers still opt for external microphones.
If you’re planning to use the webcam’s built-in mic, we suggest that you get one with omnidirectional microphones. These guys can record from all directions around the camera. You’ll typically get this feature in mid-range to high-end webcams, though, so get ready to spend more.
Field of View
The field of view refers to the area that the webcam’s lens can cover. This feature is measured in degrees. The best webcam for streaming will have a field of view (FOV) of 50 to 120 degrees. FOV preference, of course, depends on the kind of videos you are going to make. If you need a webcam that has broader coverage, then opt for one with a higher FOV. Good thing that there is a wide range of wide-angle lens webcams out there to choose from.
Some webcams have built-in motion sensors that allow your device to detect movement. It’s not a must-have, but an excellent feature that can work as a security system. If your chosen webcam doesn’t have this feature, though, it’s possible to install a software that will turn it into one.
Special effects may not be a requirement, but they’re certainly good to have in a webcam. A lot of webcams come with a variety of special effects, such as background and avatars, so this won’t be difficult to look for. If your chosen webcam doesn’t, check your manufacturer’s website. More often than not, they offer software that lets you use special effects.
If you’re new to streaming, here are some of the top questions asked by other folks in the same situation as you.
Why do I need to use a webcam if my goal is to stream my game?
As a new streamer, you might feel a little awkward recording yourself as you play your game. But, being able to see your facial reactions and gestures help establish a connection with your viewers. It’s going to be quite challenging to do, so if your audience doesn’t get to see you. If they only see your screen, you won’t be able to convey your message as much. Using a good webcam for streaming is so effective that in some cases, viewers watch streamers not because they’re skilled at gaming, but also because they’re starting to have an affinity towards them.
If I’m starting out, do I need to get a webcam right away, or can I use my laptop’s built-in camera?
Even if you’re only testing the waters, we still highly suggest you get a good webcam for streaming. There are lots of entry-level webcams to choose from that definitely won’t break the bank.
Your first few videos must be of high quality because you want to give an excellent impression to earn more viewers. Using your computer’s built-in camera isn’t going to do you any service. If any, its poor quality output might even turn people off and not watch your videos.
While a DSLR definitely offers higher-quality videos and images, it’s not specially designed for game streaming. These recorders tend to overheat in a matter of 40 minutes of use. They also require a ton of storage and are so complicated to set-up.
So even though a webcam doesn’t have as many features as a DSLR, it’s still the better option for streaming. It is compatible with a computer, easy to use, efficient, and affordable.
Should privacy be a real concern?
You’ve probably seen at least one friend whose webcam is covered with tape. So, is privacy a real issue when it comes to built-in and external webcams? Well, as much as we do not want to worry you, webcam-spying is a real issue the digital world is facing. Hackers make use of remote administration tools or RATs to control people’s computers.
Webcams have indicator lights that tell you whether they’re in use or not. However, for particular webcams, there is a way to turn off these indicator lights. As such, your webcam can be active without your knowledge.
Thankfully, there is an incredibly simple way to prevent you from getting spied on. Post-It notes, tapes, stickers are all useful in covering your webcam when not in use. They’re all easily removable as well. However, take note that this only addresses video recording – meaning, audio recording is still possible. As such, the most foolproof way of eliminating the possibility of spying is to unplug your webcam.
The Best Webcams For Streaming Of 2019
Today, there is a plethora of webcams on the market that will promise you excellent video and audio quality and other bells and whistles that will make them seem such a worthy investment. So, with all the options out there, it could be quite tricky to pin down the one that suits you best. Starting a journey in live streaming may be a little challenging, and that’s why we’re here. We’re going to make your life a little easier by listing down the best webcams for streaming in 2019.
Logitech C922x Pro
- Resolution: 1080p/720p
- Field of View: 78 degrees
- Lens: Glass
- Light Correction Quality: Good
- Connection: USB
- Microphone: Two Omni-directional
- Compatible with macOS X10.9 up, Android v5.0, Chrome OS, Xbox One, and Windows 7,8, and 10
- Cost: $83
It’s the impressive specs listed above that make the Logitech C922x Pro one of our top options for video game streaming. With a fantastic 1080p resolution and 30 FPS frame rate, you can expect tremendously clear images as you stream your game. While its price is on the higher spectrum, it is worth investing in, especially if you plan to turn game streaming into a serious career.
And, even if you’re gaming in a dimly-lit room, its automatic light correction feature will adjust the brightness, so you still get sharp stills and videos regardless.
The Logitech C922x Pro also comes with fabulous background replacement scenes to choose from. With this feature, you get to create even more creative and entertaining videos that are guaranteed to attract more viewers.
The only negative we can say about the Logitech C922x Pro apart from its price is the fact that you have to install webcam updates manually. Other than that, this webcam is amazing.
With its sturdy build and overwhelming features, this webcam is genuinely trustworthy and worth every penny. It’s effortless to use and install, as well.
- Video compression – this lets you save a ton of space
- Two noise-canceling Omni-directional mics
- Background replacement technology
2. Razer Kiyo
- Resolution (Display): 1080p/30FPS
- Resolution (Recording): 1080p/30FPS, 720p/60FPS
- Field of View: 90 degrees
- Cost: $80
It may look rather strange, but the Razer Kio is one of the best webcams for streaming. Unlike other high-end models that pack their webcams with tons of bells and whistles, the Razor Kiyo focuses more on the two key elements of an outstanding webcam: image quality and lighting.
The Razer Kiyo comes with a built-in ring light that gets rid of unwanted shadows. So even though you record in a dark room, the ring light will adjust to make sure your videos are still uber sharp and crystal clear. This makes it perfect for streamers who like featuring horror games! Its resolution and frame rate combination is also top-notch at 1080p/30FPS, making it truly ideal for streaming.
The Razer Kiyo also has an auto-focus feature that allows you to move around a lot and still look clear on the video.
Apart from its impeccable performance, the Razer Kiyo is also incredibly easy to use. It comes in a plug-and-play design that makes for a quick and easy set-up. Plus, you don’t need to worry about manually updating the software.
- Ring light
- Advanced auto-focus
3. Logitech BRIO
- Resolution (Display): 4K/30FPS
- Resolution (Recording): 4K/30FPS 1080p/60FPS
- Field of View: 90 degrees
- Compatible with Windows, Cisco, Mac OS, Chrome OS, and more
- Cost: $160
While we can’t argue that the Logitech BRIO is truly expensive, its features are so impressive the money is worth it. For one, the Ultra HD resolution is significantly higher than any of the webcams on this list. It has a 90-degree field of view, which allows you to record an entire room. It has saturation, low light, and white balance features that are also quite impeccable.
Because it comes with an infrared sensor, the BRIO is compatible with the sign-in facial recognition feature of Microsoft: Windows Hello.
Apart from the mind-blowing resolution, the BRIO also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) – meaning, whoever has an HDR-compatible computer will be able to view your videos in clearer and more vibrant colors.
Because the BRIO has a built-in omnidirectional mic, it has noise-canceling features that help enhance sound clarity.
With its plug and play design, the BRIO is also quite easy to use. All you need to do is plug it in a USB port, and it is good to go. In order to run 4K videos, though, you have to plug it in a USB port 3.0.
However, the BRIO’s auto-focus is flawed, in the sense that it’s difficult to re-focus on other images after it has locked on one.
Also, take note that right now, 4K streaming is not yet widely supported by the majority of computers. As such, only a few people may be able to enjoy its primary feature.
- Compatible with Windows Hello
- Digital Zoom (5x)
- HDR Support
- Omni-directional microphone
4. Ausdom AW620 Pro Steam
- Resolution: 1080p
- Frame Rate: 30FPS
- Compatible with Mac OS 10.6 and up, Windows 7 and up, Android V5.0 and up, Chrome OS, etc.
- Cost: $31
What we love about the AW620 Pro Steam is that it is designed to be compatible with almost any platform in the world. It is also straightforward to use with its straightforward plug and play design. This means that regardless of what your platform is, you can use this webcam after plugging it in. Quick and easy.
With a resolution and frame rate of 1080p and 30FPS, this versatile webcam is an excellent option for game streamers. Its manual lens focus also allows the camera to follow you and your movements without getting blurry.
Also, with its built-in mic that has noise-canceling properties, it helps record your voice clearly without background noise.
Best of all, it only costs $31. As such, it is an absolutely fabulous webcam that will give you everything you need: image quality, platform compatibility, and affordability.
- Compatible with tripod
- Noise-cancelling technology
- No updates required
- Plug and play
5. Genius 120-Degree Ultra Wide Angle Webcam
- Resolution: 1080p
- Frame Rate: 30FPS
- Lens: Glass
- Built-in microphone
- 12-mp image quality
- Cost: $50
If you’re looking for a webcam that can capture a huge area while you have an exciting gaming conference, this webcam is the one for you. With a whopping 120-degree range, you can capture up to five games at a time!
Setting up is also comfortable with its plug and play design. It will only take you less than two minutes to set-up the webcam, and voila, it’s ready for use.
The webcam comes with a software called ArcSoft Webcam Companion. This app lets you capture HD videos and edit them immediately. This makes it effortless to connect the webcam with Facebook Messenger.
Granted that the Genius webcam does not offer as many features as other high-end webcams, but, overall, we think it deserves a high rating. Its wide-range angle lens alone is already pretty impressive. Not bad for a webcam that only costs 50 bucks!
- Full 360-degree rotation
- Field of View: 120 degrees
6. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
- Resolution: 720p
- Frame Rate: 30FPS
While we did say that it’s highly recommended to get a webcam with a resolution of at least 1080p, this webcam is the exception to the rule. We can’t find it in our hearts to end this list without featuring the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. Yes, it only has a resolution of 780p, but it completely deserves a spot on our list. Why? First of all, it’s only $24. And for such an affordable price, its features are pretty decent.
And, despite its relatively low resolution, the LifeCam HD-3000 manages to produce a stable image quality. So, if you want to try a career at game streaming but not sure if you’re going to take it seriously yet, you might want to give this webcam a look.
- Noise-cancelling technology
- 4mp camera
Our Final Thoughts
If you are serious about starting a career in streaming, the best webcam for streaming is not only useful to have; rather, it is a must. Excellent-quality videos will be your key to attracting viewers, and a good webcam will be able to give you that. While higher-quality recording devices such as digital single-reflex cameras and DSLRs will produce much better videos, the best webcam for streaming is a good investment, especially when you are only starting out.
And while we’ve given you our list of the best webcams for streaming available out there, it still boils down to your needs and preferences. The best features in a webcam will vary from one user to another. So whether it’s high-resolution, high frame rate, or low cost, ultimately, it’s your decision.
We hope that this guide has helped you narrow down your options. We wish you all the best in your game streaming career.