With work-from-home becoming an increasingly important part of our regular lives and the general population familiarizing themselves more with technology, webcams are now one of the most crucial accessories anyone can have to accompany their computers. Most laptops these days come with built-in webcams. But if you have a PC setup, you most likely won’t have one. The best external webcams are great for anyone who regularly participates in video meetings and hosts streaming sessions. Or needs a device for high-definition recording.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of the best external webcams, we’ve curated this list of our top picks for all budgets. Here, you can expect to find cheap but functional choices to professional-level streaming-specific options. Read on below to find out our favorite external webcams.
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4 Best External Webcams For All Budgets
Here are our four best external webcams for individuals of all budgets:
1. Starter Option: Creative Live Cam Sync 1080p V2 ($40)
At only approximately $40, the Creative Live Cam Sync V2 is a solid choice for those looking for a functional starter device. If you’re a professional streamer or require a highly crisp video at all times, this may not be your primary option, but it’s great if you need an external webcam that gets the job done. This webcam provides stable 1080p video quality at 30 frames per second (FPS) with a 77-degree field of view. You’ll probably struggle to find a camera with similar specs for that price. However, if you want to make the most out of this webcam, you might need to employ some lighting tricks.
Generally, the autofocus works fine, and the image quality is stable, which is all you can ask for with a cheap device. There is a companion app for the device. But unfortunately, it doesn’t have any way to tweak your video settings – only the audio. One of these audio settings includes VoiceDetect, which automatically mutes and unmutes you depending on if you’re speaking. This allows you to free your hands to take notes or participate in the call actively rather than fiddling with the mute button. All-in-all, Creative Live Cam Sync V2 is a great choice if you’re looking for a functional entry-level webcam.
2. Budget Option: NexiGo N60 1080P ($30)
The NexiGo N60 is cheap at only $30 or so, but we were pleasantly surprised with its quality. It’s a full HD 1080p 2-megapixel CMOS webcam and consistently provides you with 30 FPS, so you don’t have a choppy end result. The unique feature of the NexiGo N60 is that it has a camera cover to protect the lens from any dirt and dust from harming it. Although the webcam does have a built-in microphone, we wouldn’t wholly recommend anyone rely on an external webcam’s microphone when in important meetings or when recording unless you know your device has a great-quality microphone.
The focal length of the lens has an ultra-wide angle of 110 degrees. While that may not be necessary for casual uses, it’s great for presentations or if you’re in a meeting and need more space to demonstrate things physically. Since the NexiGo N60 has a foldable design, you could theoretically take this out and about, plug it into your USB port, and use the device. We don’t see this being a stand-out feature. As most people would prefer to use an external webcam at home, but it’s an option for those looking for portability. We appreciate this product as a budget option, as it has surprisingly good video quality for only $30.
3. Most Balanced: Logitech C920e ($70)
Logitech is generally seen as a well-balanced consumer tech company specializing in creating functional yet relatively affordable products for the public. The Logitech C920e is a wide-angle external webcam certified for business purposes, with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and other conferencing services partnering with the product. Although perhaps a bit freaky, this webcam comes with a service called “Sync” that allows project managers and team leaders to see where employees connect and if their Logitech C920e is up-to-date. If that’s something you or your office think is necessary, this feature seems unique to this particular webcam.
You can find this product for $70 on Amazon. This is relatively balanced, considering the product comes with omnidirectional microphones for good-quality audio reception, automatic light correction, and autofocus for clarity. Some versions of the C920e come with a privacy cap included to protect the lens, but it seems as if the official Logitech website doesn’t market that version as much. If you’re looking for brand recognition and trust a reputable company like Logitech, this is the perfect office accessory for those who regularly participate in conferences and meetings.
4. For Recording: Elgato Facecam ($160)
Last but not least on this list, we have the Elgato Facecam. For general purposes, one might think this product is overpriced for an external webcam, considering it costs around $160. But that’s just for the base product. You can order various bundles that include various supplementary accessories. Such as a standing light, external microphone, and pop filter. Or even a shock mount. It’s safe to say that this webcam is aimed at the streaming or professional gaming niche, seeing as the market is targeted towards that demographic. What’s different about this product that makes it one of the best external webcams is that it supports 60 FPS video at 1080p resolution.
The Advanced Image Engine produces uncompressed videos without artifacts. So you can access the highest-quality video possible. All this may feel like overkill if you’re trying to work from home, and you’d be right to think that. If you need an extremely high-quality webcam for streaming, then the Elgato Facecam seems like a steal at $160. You can also order the added bundle items and get a setup going quickly for convenience.
External webcams seem like a dying industry, but they are still needed, especially in the work-from-home era. If you don’t have a laptop or need a desktop for streaming, presentations, meetings, or more, then having a functional and good-quality external webcam can help you out. If you’re looking for some of the best external webcams, this list can help you navigate products of varying price points to make the purchase that fits your needs.
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