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The best webcams in 2021 – elevate your streams and video calls

Webcams have proven to be invaluable tools over the past year, keeping you in touch with your family and friends, enabling you to work from home, and prompting more people to livestream on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook than ever before. You can do a lot better than the built-in lens on the best gaming laptop, tablet, or smartphone, however, as a dedicated webcam captures your likeness with crystal clear clarity.

Razer, Logitech, and Avermedia pack the best webcams with up to 4K resolution, a smooth 60fps, and some even work better in the dark with low-light sensors. They’re backed by software that makes customisation easy, so you can stop that pesky autofocus from blurring your face during all-important Discord, Zoom, or Google Meet calls and tinker with the colour balance.

Nothing quite beats the quality of Sony’s dedicated DLSR cameras if you’re a content creator, but these webcams are feature-rich while keeping the price between $30 and $200. They even fit right on top of the best gaming monitor without the need for a stand. There’s something for everyone, no matter your use case.

These are the best webcams to buy in 2021:

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Razer Kiyo Pro

The best webcam is the Razer Kiyo Pro.

Razer’s streaming camera is the best all-round option on this list, with clear 1080p imagery along with a butter-smooth 60fps frame rate. There’s also the option of HDR to really make your picture pop, if you don’t mind moving down to 30fps. You might question why it doesn’t have a built-in ring light like the non-pro version, but its upgraded sensor ensures quality even in harsh or low lighting conditions.

The field of view is set to a wide 103° by default, although you can reduce this in Razer’s Synapse software for a narrower scope. It sits pretty sturdy on its robust stand and comes with the frustration-free option to mount it to a tripod. As for the cherry on top, those of you concerned about privacy can rest easy that it comes with its own cap for when you’re done.

Razer Kiyo Pro
Resolution 1080p
Frame rate 60fps
Image sensor 2.1MP CMOS w/ low light
Field of view 103°
Focus Auto
Microphone Omnidirection
Price $199.99 /  £179.99
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Jelly Comb HD 1080p

The best cheap webcam is the Jelly Comb HD 1080P.

If you want to save some money with a cheap webcam so you can budget for the best gaming keyboard, then this option fits perfectly, coming in at just $30 / £35. Unlike the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000’s lower 720p, the Jelly Comb HD has the same 1080p resolution as the Razer Kiyo Pro, just at a lower 30fps. It still has a decent image quality in low lighting, although you can improve it with the use of an additional ring or key light.

There’s also a sliding privacy shutter, LED indicator to notify you when the camera is on, and stereo microphones, so you won’t have to worry about picking up a standalone microphone either. It’s available in several colours, too – perfect if you want to adhere to the theme of your setup.

Jelly Comb HD 1080p
Resolution 1080p
Frame rate 30fps
Image sensor CMOS
Field of view 75°
Focus Auto
Microphone Stereo
Price  $29.99 / £32.99

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Logitech Brio

The best 4K webcam is the Logitech Brio.

Webcams rarely stand up to the quality of a fully-fledged DSLR camera, but the Logitech Brio’s high resolution, HDR-powered, 13 megapixel sensor bridges the gap nicely. It’s quite versatile depending on your needs, with 4K resolution at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, or even 720p at a whopping 90fps.

There’s a wide 90° field of view, although a digital 5x zoom can reduce that if needed. It also comes with a flip-down privacy shutter that attaches above the lens, a carrying bag, and Windows Hello facial recognition support for super-fast authentication when logging in.

Logitech Brio
Resolution up to 4K
Frame rate 4K / 30fps, HD / 60fps, 720p / 90fps
Image sensor 13MP CMOS
Field of view 90°
Focus Auto
Microphone Stereo
Price  $199.99 / £219.99

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Avermedia PW315

The best webcam for streaming is the Avermedia PW315.

This option packs many features brilliant for content creation, while also being one of the cheapest 1080p options capable of fluid 60fps video. First, you can mount it to a tripod or desk clamp for a better view, and it has 360-degree rotation if you need to move it. It also features AI-powered auto face framing and filters, so you can add some flare.

It has a wide 95° field of view, along with a decent inbuilt microphone thanks to AI noise cancellation. It’s not likely something you’ll use often, but is a good backup in case things with the best gaming headset go wrong.

Avermedia PW315
Resolution 1080p
Frame rate 60fps
Image sensor 2MP CMOS w/ low light
Field of view 95°
Focus Fixed
Microphone Stereo
Price  $119.99 / £108.99

Read the PCGamesN Avermedia PW315 review for our full verdict.

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Sony Alpha 6600

The best DLSR camera for streaming is the Sony Alpha 6600, with Sony’s 18-135mm zoom lens.

While Logitech’s Brio 4K camera gives the best image quality out of the small sensors found on a conventional webcam, there’s nothing quite like a full mirrorless or DLSR camera for broadcast-quality video.

By downloading Sony’s Imaging Edge Webcam software and connecting the camera via USB, you’ve got the camera turned into a fully functioning webcam, with unrivalled image quality.

Sony Alpha 6600 w/ 18-135mm zoom lens
Resolution 4K
Frame rate 30fps
Image sensor  24.2MP CMOS
Field of view  N/A
Focus Auto
Microphone Mono
Price  $1,799 / £1,675

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elgato cam link 4K

The best camera capture card is the Elgato Cam Link 4K

Already have a decent camera lying around, and want to turn it into a webcam? Providing your camera has an HDMI output, it’ll plug right into this dongle which Windows recognises as a dedicated webcam, while it supports video at up to 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps.

best webcam deals

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The Logitech C925e didn’t make the cut, but it’s a reliable choice for pretty much any kind of user, and it’s currently on sale.

It’s got a 20% discount on Amazon US, with a new price of $79.99. On Amazon UK there’s a 29% discount, bringing the price down to £71.21. It’s a great quality 1080p camera with a built-in privacy shutter, built-in microphone, and a sleek mounting solution ensuring compatiblity with thin-bezelled monitors.

webcam buying guide

It can be a maze finding out which solution is best for you, with such a range of prices. On one end of the spectrum you have the budget Jelly Comb webcam, which offers decent image quality for a low price. Then, you’ve got the option of a standalone camera for top-tier quality, if price is no issue. It entirely depends on your budget and what kind of quality you’re wanting out of your capture device. We recommend starting small if you’re a content creator, though, upgrading later down the line.

how to improve webcam quality

Even with the budget options on this list, you can improve image quality in a couple of ways. First, if you’ve got the best graphics card from Nvidia, you can download Nvidia broadcast. This lets you remove video noise in poor lighting environments, remove or blur your background, and auto frame to your face as you shuffle in the best gaming chair.

You’ll need one of Nvidia’s RTX cards for this, however. If you’ve got an Nvidia GeForce GTX or AMD Radeon GPU instead, you can always improve lighting in your environment with the addition of a light ring or Nanoleaf wall lights, helping to reduce video noise.

do webcams have microphones?

All the options listed here have a microphone built-in, although that’s not the case for every webcam out there. None of them are a match for the best gaming microphone or even those found on a budget headset, but they’re still a useful stopgap if you’re still saving for a standalone mic.

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