The Best Webcams for Streaming in 2021
Streaming is a bit more complicated than just sitting and talking while you play some games. A lot goes into it, but your set-up is nearly as important as actually making entertaining content. A good set-up needs a few things, like a good gaming PC, a mic for streaming, graphics card, and, preferably, the best webcam for streaming.
Most viewers demand a certain level of visual integrity from streamers. If the games look great, they don’t want a low-res stuttering video on top of it. A PC’s built-in camera isn’t great for streaming.
That doesn’t mean your equipment has to break the bank though. The best budget webcam for streaming is still going to look pretty good. You can get great quality on a budget if you know what you’re looking for.
If you want to stand out on Twitch you need decent equipment. There is a lot to consider when looking for a webcam for streaming.
We’ve broken down the top choices currently on the market, to find the best candidates out there. These are some of the best streaming webcams, their pros and cons, and what specific streamers they are right for.
Best Webcams for Streaming
The Best Streaming Webcam with Privacy
- Records in 1080P and Widescreen
- HD Autofocus and Light Correction
- Stereo Dual Microphones
Streaming can be a bit of a public thing. You’re putting yourself out there and letting strangers watch you… but not all the time. You need some privacy. This Logitech webcam for streaming is designed to give you just that.
This webcam features a privacy shutter. This might seem like overkill, but webcam hijacking is a surprisingly common problem. This webcam gives you the privacy that you need. This is really helpful if you’re after the best webcam for live streaming, and to have a life outside of streaming.
Outside of the privacy, this webcam has everything else where it counts. It records in 1080P, so be prepared for your audience to see every minor flaw!
This is definitely a great webcam with its great picture and wide compatibility. However, the extra privacy features also give you peace of mind.
- Cable Length of 5 ft. Fits Streaming Set-Ups
- Records in HD
- Privacy Features
- Included Mics of Lower Quality Than Standalones
The Best Webcam for Streaming in 4K
- 4K Video
- Light Adjustment
- Connects Via USB C
This Logitech BRIO webcam definitely looks the part. It is made of high-quality materials and designed to suit a modern-looking set-up. You won’t just have a set-up resembling a pro streamer with this one though, it can give you a crystal clear image too.
This is a 4K camera. This kind of future-proofs it. Very few streaming platforms can offer 4K video yet, and even fewer consumers have a demand for 4K content from them yet! However, we’ve seen the creep of quality happen quite fast in the past and it is foreseeable that 4K streaming will be in demand soon.
Essentially, you’re getting a camera built to last here. This camera features some other nice elements though. It produces an HDR image with autofocus, and technology to automatically adjust and compensate for light. There is even a 5x zoom. This is one of the best streaming webcams for Twitch since it does a lot of the production work adjusting the image for you.
Good streaming webcams have to be ready to go without much fuss. Most streamers don’t have time to readjust their image every time the lighting moves, a real hassle on long streamers. This is one of the best webcams for streaming video games with all of these features.
- Great Video Quality
- Automatic Adjustments
- Face Recognition Software Has Privacy Concerns
AUSDOM AF640 1080p 30fps Webcam
The Best Plug-in-and-Play Webcam for Streaming
- 1080p@30fps Recording Quality
- USB Plug-And-Play
- Features Built-In Microphone
The AUSDOM AF640 is a simple to use webcam that has solid recording quality and all you need to do to make it work is connect it to a free USB port on your computer. The 1080p 30fps video quality is crisp enough for Zoom and Skype meetings, just make sure you have a strong light source because the low light performance of this camera is less than ideal, to say the least.
As for the included microphone well, it’s best to have a standalone unit if you want others to hear and understand you without issues. The design is reminiscent of some popular Logitech models and build quality is pretty good for the price. It’s pretty solid for newbie streamers, just remember that in case you’re streaming from a console, you’ll need a capture card on top of a webcam.
- Very Simple To Set Up
- Solid Video Quality
- Good Enough For Video Conferencing
- Less Than Ideal Low Light Performance
- A Standalone Microphone Is Strongly Advised
The Best Webcam for Streaming in High FPS
- 1080p@60fps Recording Quality
- Features Smart Autofocus And Facial Tracing System
- Uses USB-C For Connection
The StreamCam from Logitech is a perfect webcam for up and coming streamers. It does cost a pretty penny but it features 1080p at 60fps streaming quality along with USB-C connectivity, multiple mounting options, and a lot of versatility. The build quality is fantastic. The camera looks very solid and it’s covered in high-quality materials.
The camera itself is quite small and perfect for any streaming setup. It can be mounted on top of a monitor but it also comes with a tripod mount. The camera is made for streamers and video conferencing and its smart auto-focus and facial tracking systems will make sure your face is always in focus. This can be handy for more energetic streamers.
The webcam should work with zero issues in all popular video and streaming apps and is especially easy to use with OBS. Do note that the webcam comes with Logitech Capture and Logitech Camera Settings apps. Download these for the best experience, especially if you want to improve image quality. Overall, this is a very capable camera for streamers and at-home workers.
- Crisp 1080p Video Quality In 60fps
- Attractive Design
- Multiple Mounting Options
- Smart Autofocus Works Great
- Some Users Will Need USB-C To USB-A Adapter
Wansview 1080P Webcam with Microphone 101JD
The Best Budget Webcam for Streaming
- 1080p@30fps Recording Quality
- USB Plug-And-Play
- Adjustable Focus Lens
If you need a cheap camera for conferencing while working from home or in case you’re a new streamer who wants to save a buck or two this Wansview webcam is one of the best budget choices on the market. First of all, it looks rather nice. It has an all-black design and is very similar in shape to other, more expensive models.
Streaming quality is pretty good for the price. You get 1080p@30fps recording quality, more than enough for usage in Zoom, Skype, or while streaming games. The camera is very easy to use thanks to its plug-and-play design and while the built-in microphone won’t blow your socks off, it will do its job in case you’re in a noise-free environment. As for streamers, you should definitely get a standalone mic.
This webcam is affordable, small, easy to set up, works across different systems, and has decent enough video quality as long as you’re in a bright environment. It definitely cannot compete with high-end, even some mid-range models, but it is an excellent choice in the budget market.
- Very Affordable
- 1080p Video Quality
- Easy To Set Up
- Built-In Microphone
- Poor Performance In Lowlight Environments
- Colors Tend To Get Overblown Even When Streaming In A Brightly Lit Room
Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam
The Best Streaming Webcam for Picture Control
- Films in 1080 30FPS or 720P 60 FPS
- Comes with Software to Adjust Image
- Ring Light
Focusing on raw power in a webcam is an easy metric to measure them by. However, it doesn’t give the full picture. So much of picture quality is being able to adjust and cater your image to your surroundings. This is one of the best streaming webcams if you need to customize and perfect your image quality.
The Razer Klyo Streaming Webcam comes with some full camera controls. This allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, most of the settings you need to get your image looking perfect as you record.
On top of this, this webcam can run at HD 30 FPS or 720P at 60FPS, so it is a good choice if you’re a competitive player. It also features a ring light to easily get the right lighting for your picture.
This is a decent webcam if you’re looking for complete control over your picture without a lot of fussing with external software. It doesn’t hurt that the camera itself is pretty good too.
- Fine Tune Your Image
- Ring Light Makes Lighting Simple
- Good Price for Picture Quality
- Stand Can Be Difficult to Balance
NexiGo H.264 Streaming Webcam with Ring Light
The Best Webcam for Live Streaming in Lowlight
- 1080p@30fps Recording Quality
- Uses USB Connection
- Features A Ring Light
This NexiGo webcam features a ring light, which massively improves low light performance of the camera. The best of all is that the price is very competitive, placing this webcam as an excellent choice for budget users in need of a webcam with a built-in light source.
Max recording quality tops out at 1080p and 30fps, making the webcam perfect for video conferencing as well as a more than a solid choice for streamers. The camera has a clip-on for mount for monitors but it also comes with a tripod screw hole for advanced setups.
The built-in dual-microphone system is pretty solid for video conferencing when in a silent environment. Finally, the design. The camera doesn’t look bad but it’s a bit chunky thanks to the ring light. While this won’t bother most users, the lack of a privacy shutter certainly could.
- Competitively Priced
- Great For Lowlight Environments
- Good Enough For Video Conferencing And Streaming
- Includes A Tripod Screw Hole
- Lacks Privacy Shutter
How to Choose a Webcam for Streaming
Those are some great options for finding the best webcam for streaming, no matter what your specific needs are. However, it can be difficult to figure out just which webcam is right for you. If you’re looking to get into streaming, you’ll want one of the best webcams in terms of features but also a webcam that is built to last. This guide covers what you need to know to make a decision, how to figure out which of the webcams are for you.
What You Need to Know
If all you know is that you need a camera to record you, a lot of the details of webcams for streaming might be a bit much. This isn’t helped by the superfluous way cameras and their features get described. This is what you need to know to figure out what your needs are:
- What Format Recording Do You Need? – A lot of these webcams can record in different formats and video qualities. What quality and FPS you need to record at will depend on your stream. Twitch allows you to stream in either 25-30 FPS or 50-60 FPS. Video quality of HD is preferred, but most users won’t notice a drop in quality at 720P either. While you can stream in lower quality, these should be what you aim for. Other platforms will have their own requirements that you should double-check.
- Lighting – Filming is difficult unless you’re taking a lot of care with lighting. You don’t really have time to adjust these things on the fly while you’re streaming. This means you either need to have a camera that automatically adjusts to changes or be able to control the lighting through your own lights. Ring lighted cameras can help with this.
- Software – There are plenty of different bits of software that can be used for streaming. However, the most common are Open Broadcast Software, XSplit, and Wirecast. The vast majority of webcams simply capture an image that can be processed by these programs.
- Microphones – Most webcams come with built-in mics, but they’re not fantastic quality. Most streamers eventually add a standalone microphone. However, some of these webcams have decent microphones for beginners.
What to Consider Before Making a Purchase
While there are lots of great webcams for streaming available, you have to consider what your exact needs are. It is worthwhile to take some time to consider these things so that you can make an informed choice that suits your own needs.
- Cost – Some of the best budget webcams for streaming aren’t that far away in quality from the high-end webcams. Most can stream in HD. Keep this in mind when deciding which is right for you.
- What are You Streaming? – Your needs for a webcam are going to be different depending on what you’re streaming. If you’ll be picture in picture mainly, then keeping the image stable with that of your game is more important than a 4K image, since it will be displayed quite small.
- Where are You Streaming? – Double-check that your webcam is capable of the exact video quality that your streaming platform requires.
- Cables and Connectors – A lot of these webcams come with integrated cables to connect them simply via USB. While this is a lot simpler, those that have a replaceable cable like a USB C connecting between the webcam and the PC can be more easily replaced when a loose wire causes problems.
Some of these webcams trumpet their wide accessibility in their marketing, claiming to be compatible with more devices than other webcams! However, compatibility is often more of a marketing tactic than anything you actually have to be concerned about. Even if your device isn’t listed on the box of a webcam, you can likely still use it. This is what you need to know:
- A webcam is basically just a camera. If you use software to interpret this image, it can be picked up on by PC or Mac.
- Not all webcams can be identified by the native software on a PC or Mac. Some Windows devices may require drivers to be installed, and you might need to work at getting a Mac to recognize your device by using external software like OBS.
- The vast majority of webcams can work with any PC or Mac.
- Other devices get more complicated since they’re not as easy to put widely accessible software on. If you’re trying to use your webcam with a TV, games console, or even a mobile device you should check that this is supported.
- At their core a webcam is just a camera, so all you need to do is ensure software to connect and stream that camera’s image runs on your device.
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