Best Webcam for Streaming in 2020

Today, we’re going to do something difficult. In this review, I am going to tell you everything you might possibly need to know before choosing a camera for your stream. Whether you’re firing up your stream for the very first time or you’ve been streaming for a while and making enough money on it that you want to upgrade to something professional, you surely need the best webcam for streaming that’s on the market.

I’ve been working with cameras for a while now, and I have a stupid amount of cameras lying around. From multiple webcams to professional DSLRs, even GoPros and their cheap knockoff counterparts. Sometimes, expensive isn’t better, and it’s important to know what to look for.

So, the first thing I’m going to do is help you understand what to look for while you’re searching through the never-ending spec-sheets of cameras and help you weed through all the crap. There are only three specs that actually matter. So, we’ll talk about what they are, what you should look for, and then afterward, I’m going to give you my personal recommendation of what cameras you should purchase depending on what financial situation you’re in.

What to look for while shopping for streaming webcams

Best Webcam for Streaming

1080p – you’ve probably guessed this one. Now, right off the bat, this is kind of a weird one because 1080p is not only the least essential spec, it’s also the most important spec. When you stream, your camera is this little thing in your corner. At most, that camera is live streaming in 360p, which is very big, you’re probably not even using that much.

So why does it matter if your streaming webcam is 1080p?

It’s a huge buzzword, and camera companies know this. It’s the first spec they want to put on there because they know it’ll sell a camera. Tiny cameras in your phones are shooting in 4K nowadays, so the reason it’s important is that if the camera makers didn’t put 1080p in your camera, it means they probably cut a lot of other stuff too.

Any camera that’s less than 1080p is going to look like garbage. Not because it’s not 1080p, but because it’s a super cheap streaming camera.

60 FPS (Frames per second) – Keep in mind this one’s only necessary if you’re streaming in 60 frames per second. If you’re streaming in 30 Fps, this doesn’t matter.

60 FPS vs 30 FPS Fortnite
60 FPS vs 30 FPS Fortnite

For example, shows you watch on TV are filmed in 30 frames per second, video games are shot in 60 frames per second because of all the rapid movement you’re doing. Those extra frames help you see fine details regardless of how fast you’re turning characters. And as avid twitch viewer, I’ve grown very accustomed to that frame rate.

See also the best webcam for streaming on Twitch.

If a game is playing in 60 FPS, but the camera is only in 30 frames, the viewer might not understand why but it’ll feel off for some reason. It’s a weird subconscious thing, but spending a little extra cash on 60 frames per second for your camera can enhance the overall experience of your stream.

Field of view – The last spec it’s actually my favorite one. Now, this is probably one you’ve never heard of before, and they’ve never shown on the main spec sheet of the camera. But if you Google a camera with the words field of view after, you’ll always be able to find it.

This spec refers to how wide the viewing angle of a camera is. The larger the field of view, the more the camera can see, the farther you can move and interact without reaching the edge of the screen. Also, the wider the camera angle, the deeper the room looks behind you, which is a cool effect.

The webcam’s standard is 78 degrees, but there is some high end streaming webcams like the LogitechBrio that will go out to 90 degrees. It can make a pretty big difference whether you’re streaming and you don’t have a lot of space to put your webcam far away from you or maybe you want to get a big view, or maybe you’re green-screened, and you don’t want to be confined to a small space for fear of hitting the edge of your camera, which can always be kind of awkward.

Top 5 Best Webcam for Streaming

Past those three specific things, what you’re looking for isn’t going to show up on a spec sheet. You’re not going to know the real image clarity and color quality of a camera unless you see the results for yourself. The best way to test those things is to watch side-by-side comparisons of cameras on YouTube and decide which one you think looks best for yourself. But for the most part, you don’t have to worry about it because I’m about to give you my recommendations for the best webcam for streaming.

1. Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 Streaming Webcam

Features:

  • Full HD 1080p
  • Automatic noise reduction
  • Automatic low light correction
  • Glass lens with precise autofocus

With nearly four decades worth of experience under their belts, Logitech has built up the kind of reputation and consumer trust that many manufacturers can dream of. Whenever you see the Logitech logo on a peripheral, it is pretty much guaranteed to be good. While this may not be true for every single one of their products, it definitely is when it comes to this model.

So, if you’re a brand new streamer on a tight budget, the very first webcam I’d recommend is the Logitech C920. This is absolutely the best webcam for streaming you can get on Amazon right now. It shoots in 1080p, 30 frames per second, 73-degree field of view. As long as you got some light on you, the color quality and the clarity is pretty good. The C920 uses premium quality Carl Zeiss glass lens with smart and adaptable autofocus to ensure that the footage is always crisp and clean.

It even comes with an automatic light correction feature, which may be its most important feature. After all, the main culprit behind that grainy analog looking video quality is usually poor lighting rather than the resolution itself. But with this model, you’ll have clear footage even if your light is not the best.

Pros
  • Very good image quality
  • Nice auto focusing
  • Affordable
  • It is also able to be put on a stand
Cons
  • Software needs to be downloaded from Logitech’s website

2. Logitech C922X

Logitech C922X Pro Streaming Webcam

Features:

  • Throw and Go
  • 8D Flips
  • Bounce Mode
  • Mobile Scratch Programming
  • Move-Based Control
  • Programming Simulator

Following up, we have another Logitech webcam, which is something of an improvement over the c920. Design-wise it’s almost indistinguishable from the more affordable c920, and while it doesn’t, bring any flashy new features it does perform better in every regard. It shares the same resolution and 1080p recording capabilities as the c920, but it handles light correction noticeably better.

With this model, the lighting looks far more natural, and the autofocus tends to be more accurate and more responsive. There are some improvements in the audio department as well. It uses the same stereo microphone design, but the audio is cleaner, and there’s much less background noise. But even though it may be the best microphone that you’ll find in a webcam, it’s still not a perfect substitute for a good external microphone.

Pros
  • It can detect obstacles so it doesn’t collide
  • The audible alarm will let you know when the battery is low
  • It has been designed with EZ shots camera to allow you filming whilst flying in a circle
  • The FailSafe mode ensures an eased landing even when you lose control
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with LED light

3. LogitechBrio

Logitech Brio Ultra HD Streaming Camera

Features:

  • Throw and Go
  • 8D Flips
  • Bounce Mode
  • Mobile Scratch Programming
  • Move-Based Control
  • Programming Simulator

The third webcam I recommend is the LogitechBrio, and It’s is advertised as the Brio 4K because it shoots in 4k, but for example, Twitch can’t stream in 4k. Well, it shoots in 4K at 30 frames per second, and it shoots in 1080p at 60 frames per second. It has a 90-degree field of view, and it looks much better in low light. To show you a side by side comparison, here’s a clip of a youtube I found. You can see one how much more of a view get with the Brio, but also everything is much crisper on the Brio.

Part of that is because the Brio does much better in low light than the C920. I know I suggested 2 Logitechs, but they’re just kind of ahead of the game on this. The Brio for a webcam is absolutely fantastic, and if you start looking for anything more than that, you’re really starting to get into DSLR territory.

Pros
  • It can detect obstacles so it doesn’t collide
  • The audible alarm will let you know when the battery is low
  • It has been designed with EZ shots camera to allow you filming whilst flying in a circle
  • The FailSafe mode ensures an eased landing even when you lose control
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with LED light

4. Microsoft Lifecam Studio

Microsoft Lifecam Studio for Online Streaming

Features:

  • Throw and Go
  • 8D Flips
  • Bounce Mode
  • Mobile Scratch Programming
  • Move-Based Control
  • Programming Simulator

The fourth webcam on this list comes from none other than Microsoft, and it’s the Microsoft LifeCam cinema. It sports a cylindrical body that looks very much like a real cinematic camera, and the build is exceptionally sturdy. The design stands out, to say the least, but it’s not like the device traded functionality for good looks. The LifeCam Studio is a 1080p camera, but as we’ve said, the resolution is in everything. A noticeable feature is this camera’s wide-angle lens, which allows it to cover a greater area and add some extra depth to a picture or video.

This is hardly a crucial feature for a streaming webcam. More importantly, it’s also packed with some very neat software. It uses true color technology with face tracking. True color allows for a more accurate focus and exposure adjustment, which in turn means that you will be filmed clearly and in the best light possible.

Just as a side note, though, the autofocus on this camera can be bothersome when it becomes overactive, especially in low-light environments. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but the recurring ruler can sometimes get annoying, really fast.

Pros
  • It can detect obstacles so it doesn’t collide
  • The audible alarm will let you know when the battery is low
  • It has been designed with EZ shots camera to allow you filming whilst flying in a circle
  • The FailSafe mode ensures an eased landing even when you lose control
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with LED light

5. Microsoft Lifecam HD3000

Microsoft Lifecam HD3000

Features:

  • Throw and Go
  • 8D Flips
  • Bounce Mode
  • Mobile Scratch Programming
  • Move-Based Control
  • Programming Simulator

Next on my recommendation list, we have the LifeCam HD 3000. Another more affordable Microsoft webcam to balance out this list. It’s not nearly as flashy as the LifeCam Studio. In fact, in the context of this review, it could be seen as a budget solution, but in reality, imbalances align between low-end and mid-range webcams. So while the HD 3000 is far from the best webcam for streaming out there, it is more than capable of getting the job done.

If you’re pinching pennies, the LifeCam HD 3000 records in 720p with a simple 4-megapixel sensor and plastic lens. While it does lack some of the more powerful features of the LifeCam studio and other more expensive streaming webcams, it actually does have both autofocus and true color capabilities. On the flip side of things, this webcam faces the issue of not having a tilt adjustment feature. This is something most webcams have to enable the user to find the ideal viewing angle. So the fact that it’s missing in this webcam might spell some difficulty when it comes to setting it up properly.

Pros
  • It can detect obstacles so it doesn’t collide
  • The audible alarm will let you know when the battery is low
  • It has been designed with EZ shots camera to allow you filming whilst flying in a circle
  • The FailSafe mode ensures an eased landing even when you lose control
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with LED light