The best webcams in 2024 — tested and rated

Even as someone who doesn't love looking at himself on video calls, I appreciate the added image quality the best webcams bring to the table. Compared to your average laptop webcam, dedicated models boast improved image clarity and boost brightness levels in dark rooms. 

The best webcam I'd recommend for most people? That would be Anker PowerConf C200, which produces vibrant, crisp footage at 2K resolution, and all for under $100. If you want to really push the boat out and have the cash to spare, the Logitech MX Brio is the current king of 4K cams. 

Whether you need a budget cam that you can pick up for $50 or less, or you're after a top-tier model that will make your face look extra clear in 4K, my picks of the best webcams have all been thoroughly tested and won't let you down.

The quick list

The best webcams you can buy today 

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The best webcam overall

The best webcam for most people

Specifications

Resolution: 2K
Framerate: 30 fps
Field of view: 65, 78, or 95 degrees
Microphones: 2

Reasons to buy

+
Compact, boxy design
+
Integrated privacy shutter
+
Adjustable field of view
+
Excellent low-lighting performance
+
Crisp details, accurate colors
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
No swivel feature
Buy it if

✅ You want a well designed webcam: The Anker PowerConf C200 is a looker. Compact and with a 95 degree adjustable FOV, this is one of the best designed webcams.

Excellent image quality: 2K resolution is the absolute sweet spot when it comes to picture quality in a modern webcam. Anker's product is noticeably sharper than its 1080p rivals.

✅ You want a great value webcam: The PowerConf C200 gives you a whole lotta bang for your buck as it normally retails for just $69. That's a fantastic price. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You need a swivel feature: Unfortunately the Anker PowerConf C200 can't swivel, which makes it a touch restrictive to use. It's in no way a deal-breaker, though.

❌ You want the widest viewing angles: 78 degrees is the ideal viewing angle when using the AnkerWork app with the PowerConf C200, but there's no denying the more premium C300 sports wider angles.

The bottom line

The Anker PowerConf C200 is the webcam that's easiest to recommend to most people. It offers superb value for money, its 2K image resolution looks fantastic on video calls, it sports robust software, and features like anti-flicker and a privacy shutter are much appreciated. ★★★★

The best webcam under $100 is the Anker PowerConf C200. For the price, you get a 2K snapper that delivers excellent video in all sorts of lighting conditions, an adjustable field of view, and an integrated privacy shutter for those times when you don't want to be seen.

In our review, we found its 5MP camera sensor was great at accurately displaying colors, even if the overall image was a bit grainy at times. Its dual mics were very sensitive — it could hear us from 30 feet away. On the flipside, its AI noise cancellation was great at blocking out extraneous noise. Anker's software also lets you tweak the image and audio settings easily.

Considering this cam usually retails for around $60, its 2K image quality is absolutely outstanding at such a reasonable price point. Not only will you look crystal clear during that next important conference call, it also won’t matter what time said call takes place, as the Anker PowerConf C200 is great at picking your face out in dimly lit conditions (in part thanks to its larger aperture size). 

The small form factor of Anker’s cam is also pleasing. Measuring in at 2.4 x 2 x 1.6 inches and weighing only 2.9 ounces, its size and weight make it easy to perch on top of a monitor or laptop. 

The fact that this little cam’s privacy shutter is physically built into the C200 is another great design choice. As is the addition of tripod threading on the bottom, which allows you to easily place Anker’s cam down on your desk and adjust viewing angle appropriately. 

In all, this is a great bargain for an excellent webcam. At time of writing, you're simply not going to find a snapper that brings so much to the table at a price point that normally hovers around the $60 mark.

Read our full Anker Powerconf C200 webcam review.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualityExcellent 2K images★★★★★
Low-light qualityFantastic in low-light scenarios★★★★☆
SoftwareHorizontal flip, anti-flicker, Pick-up mode★★★★☆

The best value webcam

The best Logitech webcam under $100 for conference calls

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Framerate: 30 fps
Field of view: 78 degrees
Microphones: 2

Reasons to buy

+
 Excellent picture quality 
+
 Handy companion software 
+
 Sleek, versatile design 

Reasons to avoid

-
No 60 fps recording 
-
Field of view not adjustable
Buy it if

✅ You want maximum value from your cam: The Logitech C920s Pro HD is probably the best budget webcam you can find for conference calls today.

Excellent in all lighting conditions: Whether you're taking a call in a sunny room or in dim conditions at night, the auto-lighting of this cam is exceptional. That's largely down to Logi's RightLight 2 tech.

✅ You're craving top class software: The LogiCapture software is robust to say the least. It lets you turn off auto-focus, adjust white balance and tweak zoom features. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're an Amazon Prime member: This webcam is currently only available brand new on Amazon if you buy its Privacy Shutter Bundle for $109. Thankfully, the Logitech C920s Pro HD is $59 at Best Buy, and that's for a new model, not a renewed one like on Amazon.

❌ You need to tweak FOV: If you want a webcam where you can jump in with a few family memebers and still be seen in frame, the C920s Pro HD may not be the snapper for you as you can't widen its field of view.

The bottom line

The Logitech C920s Pro HD is a quality webcam that won't break the bank. This is a high quality cam, especially considering its price tag. If you want a device that works well in both light and dim conditions and one that also sports strong software, the C920s is a great choice. ★★★★

There’s a reason you’ve probably seen the Logitech C920s HD in just about any conference room — this is one of the best webcams you can buy overall. The C920s HD records sharp videos at 1080p and 30 frames per second, and has a wide 78-degree field of view that’s ideal for both solo conference calls and large meeting rooms.

Its sleek black design is equally ideal for clipping to displays or attaching to tripods, and its companion software offers customizable backgrounds and avatars. It also has a privacy shutter to physically block the camera's lens. 

Throw in those crisp 1080p pictures, dual omnidirectional mics and autofocus, and you’re getting a superb value cam, as the Logitech C920s can normally be found for under $60. The fact you also detach this webcam’s privacy filter is another bonus, and there’s so much to love about Logi’s peripheral at this price point.

Though it's larger (and definitely sturdier) than many of the company’s cheaper cams, this is still a reasonably small and lightweight snapper. It measures in at 3.7 x 2.8 x 1.7 inching, tipping the scales at 5.7 ounces. Though it doesn’t come with a tripod out of the box, Logitech has at least included a handy tripod-ready universal mounting clip, which means you can attach this classy snapper to your monitor. 

This plug and play device is also the right webcam for you if you often find yourself taking calls in a dim room at night. Logitech’s excellent RightLight 2 tech can easily adjust the picture to make you a lot more visible during a meet in the small hours.

If you need something higher-end for gaming, the Logitech C922 Pro Stream webcam is an enhanced version of the C920s that touts 60 fps video recording at 720p. But if you’re just seeking the best overall quality for video calls, the Logitech C920s Pro HD is the way to go.

Read our full Logitech C920s Pro HD review.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualityVery good for a 1080p cam★★★★☆
Low-light qualityAutomatic light correction excels★★★★☆
SoftwareLogiCapture lets you adjust autofocus and auto white balance★★★★☆

The best premium webcam

The king of 4K webcams

Specifications

Resolution: 4K
Framerate: 30 fps (4K) 60 fps (1080p)
Field of view: 65, 78, and 90 degrees
Microphones: Dual beamforming

Reasons to buy

+
Immaculate image quality
+
Highly adjustable tripod stand
+
Strong in low light conditions

Reasons to avoid

-
Will hit your change purse hard
Buy it if

✅ You need the best image quality possible: When it comes to video call quality, it simply doesn't get any better than the Logitech MX Brio. Its 4K output looks incredible.

The best tripod stand around: The Brio 4K's stand is terrific. It's highly adjustable and can be set to a variety of positions, making it easy to get your face framed for that next important call at just the right angle.

✅ It's a nighttime delight: Logtiech's premium cam is an outstanding performer in low light conditions. If you're a streamer who plays video games in a dark room, the MX Brio 4K will pick up every small detail of your face. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're on a tight budget: The Logitech MX Brio 4K is a premium webcam sold at a suitably premium price. Even though it's fantastic, $199 is a serious chunk of change.

❌ There are shutter speed issues: If you're in the U.K and planning to buy the Brio you may experience distracting image flicker because there's a conflict with the 50Hz refresh rate and this cam's 30 fps shutter. 

The bottom line

The Logitech MX Brio 4K is the best webcam when it comes to pure picture quality. Taking video calls with the resolution set to 4K looks unbelievably sharp, and the Brio can pick out every little detail in your office regardless of the lighting conditions you're working with. ★★★★

If you need to look your absolute best during an important conference call or you're a serious streamer, the Logitech MX Brio is simply an astounding 4K webcam. Sure, it's not exactly cheap at $199, but for that outlay you're getting a cam that outputs ultra crisp images that simply can't be beaten. 

It also boasts some seriously impressive AI features. AI-enhanced auto light correction ensures this webcam picks out the smallest details in a dark room, while the MX Brio's dual beamforming mic utilizes AI to reduce background noise. A handy feature if you happen to be working from home and your kids start screaming/the dog starts howling its heart out. 

Logi's software also allows you to calibrate color and brightness settings, letting you make further tweaks to the already outstanding out-of-the-box picture performance. And hoo-boy is the image quality the MX Brio serves up something special. When you switch this snapper to 4K mode, the clarity of your calls (at least on your end), are going to look absolutely sensational. 

In our review, we hailed this Logi snapper as "the Michael Jordan of webcams." Calling it "ruthlessly efficient and in an NBA zone of its own." It's tough to think of any higher form of praise that could be given to Logitech's top-tier cam. 

There is a small caveat if you're in the U.K. and are tempted to take the plunge on the MX Brio 4K. If you have any lightbulbs switched on that fall into the cam's field of view, you may encounter distracting on-screen flickering. This is down to a power frequency issue, with the 50Hz refresh rate causing a conflict with the Brio's 30 fps shutter speed. Thankfully, this isn't something folks in the U.S. should experience.

If you have the money to spare (and admittedly $199 is a lot to pay for a webcam), the Logitech MX Brio 4K is a slam dunk purchase you should definitely consider picking up. It truly is the king of Ultra HD snappers. 

Read our full Logitech MX Brio 4K review.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualityAmazingly clear picture quality★★★★★
Value for moneyAI-enhanced auto light correction works brilliantly★★★★★
SoftwareThree fields of view, dual beamforming mic with AI noise reduction★★★★☆

The best game streaming webcam

Best for game streaming

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Framerate: up to 120 fps
Field of view: 84°
Microphones: 0

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing image quality
+
Impressive low light performance
+
DSLR-level controls (that can be saved on the camera)
+
Hardware is sleek and versatile
+
Great price at $149

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-C cable in the box
-
Some of the AI post processing can produce weird results
-
No built-in microphone
Buy it if

✅ You're a dedicated game streamer: If you regularly stream games over YouTube or Twitch, the Elgato Facecam MK.2 is the webcam for you. Picture quality is great, it's versatile and it rocks a strong set of customization options.

It's a smooth performer: Elgato's cam feels brilliantly smooth thanks to its 60 fps output. Throw in HDR support, and the Facecam is both responsive and super vibrant.

✅ A DSLR dream: The software you get with the Facecam is granite-strong, providing you with DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) features that boost overall image quality. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ AI features don't quite work as they should: The AI components of this cam are somewhat lacking, leading to images that can appear bizarrely artificial.

You need a mic in your webcam: Another area where the Facecam annoyingly cuts corners is in the audio department, as it lacks a built-in microphone.

The bottom line

The Elgato Facecam MK.2 is one of the strongest Full HD webcams that impresses thanks to its buttery 60 fps performance and support for HDR. ★★★★

When it comes to game streaming on the likes of Twitch or YouTube, your webcam needs to have amazing picture quality, a deep suite of customization options to get that image just right, and the versatility to fit in with any setup. Elgato's Facecam MK.2 nails all three factors, and does so at just $149.

That 1/ 2.5" Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor paired with Elgato's Prime Lens optics gives you a crispy picture that is full of color, and even supports HDR for a cinematic contrasty look. On top of that, the frame rate is buttery smooth at 60 fps by default (going up to 120 fps at 720p if you want that super slow-mo effect).

We had nothing but great game streaming experiences while using the MK.2, too. Broadcasting hundreds of miles of gorgeous racing action in Gran Turismo 7 — PS5’s premier driving simulator — proved to be an utter pleasure. Thanks to the Facecam’s silky smooth 60 fps frame rate, synching our races with the steering inputs we used proved a doddle

Combine that top-tier game streaming with the 1/4-inch thread that screws onto your desk with ease, a superb software suite that gives you DSLR levels of control, a built-in privacy shutter, and you're left with the makings of an extremely solid snapper to grace the top of one of the best gaming monitors

You just need to be able to look past the lack of a built-in microphone, and turn off the oddities of AI post-processing. 

But honestly, neither of those issue come that close to being true deal-breakers, such are the other outstanding qualities of this superb webcam. 

Read our full Elgato Facecam MK.2 review.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualityA fantastically sharp, contrasty picture quality.★★★★★
Low-light qualitySome odd AI post-processing, but great in low light★★★★☆
SoftwareSoftware is complex, but gives you a ton of control.★★★★☆

The best webcam for video calls

A stellar webcam for serial video callers

Specifications

Resolution: 4K
Framerate: 60 fps
Field of view: 79.5 degrees
Microphones: 2

Reasons to buy

+
Automatically tracks subject
+
Whiteboard mode great for presentations
+
Very innovative software
+
Gimbal-mounted camera

Reasons to avoid

-
HDR not available in 4K
-
Can’t manually adjust field of view
-
Expensive
Buy it if

✅ You want the smartest snapper: The Insta360 Link is super smart, and that's because it boasts the company's awesome Insta360 Link Controller.

It's fantastic for business calls: This cam's AI-enhanced Whiteboard mode resizes and center a whiteboard during an online meeting, making it ideal for business calls.

✅ A cam that tracks like few others: The 3-axis gimbal mount is one of this webcam's strongest features, as it allows this snapper to easily track you should you start moving around your room. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ HDR support falls somewhat short: As impressive as the 4K picture quality of the Link is, it doesn't support HDR at this resolution. That's a bummer.

You can't manually tweak its FOV: If feels like a bit of an oversight that you can't manually tweak this cam's field of view, though you can at least zoom in on a subject.

The bottom line

The Insta360 Link is simply one of the smartest webcams we've ever tested here at Tom's Guide. If you're a power user, this is the snapper for you. ★★★★

This is the smartest, most innovative webcam we've seen in a long time. The Insta360 Link has a 3-axis, gimbal-mounted camera that can track you as you move around the room. 

But that's just the beginning: it has a number of AI-enhanced modes, including Whiteboard, in which it will automatically find, then resize and center a whiteboard in a room, so that callers on the other end have the clearest view possible. 

It can also zoom in to just your face, half your body, or show your entire body; you can also have it zoom in and out using hand gestures, which is a seriously cool touch that doesn't go unappreciated.

Yet all of its fancy features would mean nothing if the video was poor. Fortunately, its 1/2-inch image sensor delivers some of the best image quality we've seen, day or night. Even in a dark room, it was able to show us on-screen perfectly, using nothing more than the light from our monitor. For power users, this is the webcam to get.

A good example of said snazzy software? That would be Streamer mode: as long as the streaming platform supports 9:16 video, you can instruct this snapper to rotate its camera 90 degrees to support filming your videos vertically. Although it's a slight shame the Insta360 Link's HDR mode only works at resolutions of either 1080p or 720p.

For power users, though, there's no question this is the webcam to get. And that's no mean feat considering how many amazing cams that are all currently vying for your hard-earned money on the market right now. Quite simply, this is a completely classy cam.

Read our full Insta360 Link review.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualityGenerally great, but HDR not available in 4K★★★★☆
Low-light qualityDecent, though not outstanding★★★☆☆
SoftwareAI zoom, auto subject tracking, Insta360 Link Controller★★★★★

The best laptop webcam

A brilliant webcam for laptop users

Specifications

Resolution: 4K
Framerate: 30 fps
Field of view: 70 degrees
Microphones: 1

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely design
+
Fantastic 4K pictures
+
Absolutely tiny
+
Good for plug and play

Reasons to avoid

-
Only suitable for laptops
-
Mic isn't the best
Buy it if

✅ You want a cam that's perfect for laptops: Most in-built webcams suck, so if you want to upgrade the snapper on your portable PC, the Opal Tadpole is the way to go. It provides ace pictures and will easily clip onto your laptop.  

✅ It's a tiny wonder: It's wild just how teeny the Tadpole is. Opal claims it's actually the smallest webcam in the world, weighing just 1.02 ounces, we totally believe Opal.

✅ A fabulous 4K performer: The Opal Tadpole uses a 4K imaging sensor and a f/1,8 maximum aperture lens to produce wonderfully detailed video performance. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're a desktop user: Because the Tadpole is limited to a rear clip that can only open to a mere degrees, it's really only suitable for hooking onto slim laptop lids.

❌ Quality audio is important to you: The subpar directional mic on the Tadpole struggles to pick up audio outside of this snapper's field of view, while it also sounds quite echoey.

You're on a tight budget: It's so easy to love the Tadpole small form factor, but $129 is a lot to pay for a webcam that's only suitable for laptops users. 

The bottom line

The Opal Tadpole is the teeniest 4K webcam we've ever tested at Tom's Guide. Not only is it a cute little snapper, it's plug and play and produces outstanding 4K broadcasts. Due to its form factor, though, this is strictly a cam for laptop users only. ★★★★

The Opal Tadpole is the smallest webcam you’re likely to find, especially one that offers 4K video. It looks the part, with a sleek minimalist design that won’t look out of place on even high-end laptops.

This tiny little camera measures just 1.37 by 1.57 inches and weighs a little over an ounce, so you won’t have any trouble fitting it into your backpack. Opal supplies the Tadpole with a USB-C cable which can double up as a wrist-strap, too, if you fancy using your webcam as a clothing accessory. What’s more, the company also sells a circular case, to disguise the Tadpole as a yoyo. Kind of dorky, but we like it.

Despite its tiny proportions, the powerful Tadpole packs a 4K UHD Sony imaging sensor, which delivers really sharp images with decent contrast and natural temperature.

Thanks to an f/1.8 maximum aperture lens, the Tadpole produces nice, soft background blue, and its AF is pretty good too, tracking faces reliably during calls. This webcam will certainly be a massive step up in quality over most built-in laptop cameras.

Sound-wise, the Tadpole features a directional microphone tailored to capturing sound from within the camera’s 70 degree field of view.We couldn’t really hear much difference between the Opal’s mic and laptop mics, so if audio quality is of paramount importance to you, check out the Poly Studio P5 instead. 

The Tadpole has a few drawbacks, though. Firstly, this webcam is laptop-dedicated. If you have a ball of Fun Tak or you can jerry rig it onto one of the best iPhone tripods, it’ll work with desktops, but it isn’t designed to do so. Its clip opens to only 35-degrees, meaning it may not fit over chunkier laptop displays, either. 

At $129, the Tadpole isn’t going to break the bank, and it’ll make a really good replacement for a broken laptop webcam or microphone.It’ll also be great if you simply want to up the quality of your video calls or live streams with as small a footprint as possible. If you’re a desktop user, though, we’d recommend going for another 4K webcam, such as the Logitech MX Brio.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualityFantastic 4K/60p output with decent contrast and nice background blur.★★★★★
Low-light qualityA decent f/1.8 maximum aperture keeps things bright★★★☆☆
SoftwareN/A (as the Tadpole is plug and play)☆☆☆☆☆

The best streaming webcam

One of the best webcams for streaming

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Framerate: 60 fps
Field of view: 78 degrees
Microphone: 1

Reasons to buy

+
 Excellent picture quality and framerate 
+
 Attractive design 
+
 Offers landscape and portrait recording 

Reasons to avoid

-
No privacy shutter
Buy it if

✅ You need a quality cam for streaming: If you're serious about streaming games or love creating other online content, this attractive 1080p webcam excels thanks to its top class picture quality and speedy frame rate.

✅ You want to switch perspectives: There aren't a ton of cams out there that let you switch from landscape to portrait mode when the cam is mounted, but the StreamCam allows you to this easily.

✅ Extensive, excellent soft: The firm's Logitech Capture software works great with the StreamCam. It allows you to add text overlays, filters, colored borders and backgrounds to your calls.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a privacy shutter: One of the few flaws of the Logitech StreamCam is its lack of a privacy shutter.

❌ Quality audio is important to you: The subpar directional mic struggles to pick up audio outside of this snapper's field of view, while it also sounds quite echoey.

The bottom line

The Logitech StreamCam is obviously targeted at, well, streamers. Yet that doesn't mean more general users won't find a lot to enjoy from this snapper. ★★★★

If you’re a serious streamer or avid content creator, the Logitech StreamCam is one of the best webcams you can buy; coming packed full of all the bells and whistles YouTubers could desire. This high-end webcam records at 1080p at a smooth 60 frames per second, making it ideal for Twitch streams and high-quality YouTube videos. 

The StreamCam has the unique ability to be mounted in both landscape or portrait modes, so you can use the latter orientation to shoot content for platforms like Instagram and TikTok. And although it lacks a privacy shutter, which is disappointing, the fact the StreamCam sports a premium glass lens takes the sting out of the shutter issue a little. 

The StreamCam also makes use of AI-enabled facial tracking allowing for smart auto-focus and exposure. During our tests, this cam proved especially strong at facial tracking. 

Even if you attach this snapper to a laptop then turn it sideways, the peripheral’s auto exposure allows the webcam’s lighting to match your environment. Image stabilization, which keeps the camera from shaking if you accidentally knock it, is another welcome feature. 

This excellent streaming webcam offers a high-speed USB-C connection, a variety of mounting options and 3 months of XSplit Premium streaming software. Its refreshingly attractive design, which comes in white and charcoal, is also a great touch. 

We were highly impressed with its image quality throughout the review process, and there's no denying it's definitely worth the premium price tag.

Read our full Logitech StreamCam review.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualitySuperb 1080p/60 fps vibrant performance★★★★☆
Low-light qualityReasonable but shadows can be a problem★★★☆☆
SoftwareLogitech Capture, text overlay, scene effects★★★★☆

The best low light webcam

A great webcam not made by Logitech

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Framerate: 60 fps
Field of view: 80 degrees
Microphone: 1

Reasons to buy

+
1080p HD
+
Privacy shutter
+
4x zoom
+
Adjusts in low light

Reasons to avoid

-
No adjustable FOV
Buy it if

✅ You often make video calls at night: The Poly Studio P5 comes into its own in dim conditions. Set this puppy up in a low light room, and it will have no trouble both tracking you, while also picking out the details in the darkness.

✅ You're ready for your close up: The 4X digital zoom on the Studio P5 impressives, and this cam is good at auto-adjusting when you fiddle with your zoom level.

✅ It lets you keep your privacy: Privacy shutters really should come in the box with every webcam, but many models sadly don't include them. Thankfully the Studio P5 does, and it's also tripod-ready.

Don't buy it if:

❌ FOV is a deal-breaker for you: The fact you're stuck with the P5's 80 degree FOV can feel restrictive when more expensive models can support up to 115 degrees, making them better choices for family group calls.

❌ Noise canceling could be better: The single directional microphone in serves up semi clear sounds, but if you want to improve your audio, pair this cam with one of Poly's headsets.

The bottom line

The Poly Studio P5 is a great little webcam that gets the job done in the dimmest conditions. It's also well designed, boasts strong zoom and provides great value. ★★★★ 

Normally found for $50 or less, the Poly Studio P5 presents a compelling alternative to Logitech's many webcams. We were impressed with the P5's 1080p camera, digital zoom, and ability to adjust to low-light conditions.

In our tests, we thought it was on par with the Logitech C922. Though color reproduction isn’t quite as impressive as, say, the more expensive Logitech Brio, yet the P5 still produces vivid images that are pleasing on the eye.

The P5 only has a single microphone, so it's not as capable at isolating your voice against background noises as webcams with two or more mics — but if you're really concerned about audio quality, you should pick up one of the best microphones. 

Another aspect of the Poly Studio P5 we really dig is its compact design. Unlike most modern webcams you can buy today, this stylish snapper sports a circular, almost bullet-shaped design. It further distances itself from the pack with an alluring speckled-gray finish. 

Software is a strong point with this webcam, as it allows you to fiddle with various visual settings, such as hue, contrast, sharpness and gamma levels, which can all be tweaked via simple to use sliders.

At such a reasonable price point, it’s tough to get overly nit picky when it comes to the Poly Studio 5, particularly when it performs so admirably in low light conditions. 

The fact Poly has managed to produce a cam of this quality in such a teeny form factor means it won't stick out much, which is a big bonus. And when it comes to cams, smaller is almost always better.

Read our full Poly Studio P5 webcam review.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Picture qualityGenerally good but background noise can be problematic★★★☆☆
Low-light qualityFantastic at adjusting to low-light conditions★★★★★
SoftwarePoly Lens App lets you adjust a variety of gamma, focus and exposure settings★★★★☆

How to choose the best webcam for you

When looking for the best webcam, you should consider a few key factors including resolution, framerate and price.

Video Resolution

You'll be hard-pressed to find a webcam with a resolution of less than 720p; most budget webcams, like the Logitech C270 (which costs less than $30) can stream at this resolution.

The next step up — and the most common resolution — are 1080p cameras like our favorite, the Logitech C920s. Cameras at the resolution typically cost $50 to $100, and are best for most consumers.

If the highest-quality video is required — and you're not using your camera as a webcam — then you'll want a webcam that can stream at 4K, like the Logitech Brio. However, almost every webcam that can stream at 4K will cost more than $100.

Field of View

If you only need a webcam to stream video of yourself, then you can get away with a webcam that has a fairly narrow field of view; most models have about an 80-degree FOV. If you need a webcam for a group setting, you'll want one with a wider FOV, such as the Anker PowerConf 300, which has a 115-degree FOV. Some of the better webcams will even let you adjust the field of view.

Microphones

Cheaper webcams will typically have just one microphone, which is fine for plenty of situations. However, if you work in a noisier environment, you'll want a webcam with two or more microphones, as well as software that can help isolate your voice from the sounds all around you. Another alternative — which will deliver even better audio — is to invest in one of the best microphones.

Extra features

It’s also worth considering any special features a webcam has. The Razer Kiyo has a built-in ring light, making it ideal for folks who are recording in low-light rooms and don’t have one of the best ring lights handy. Logitech cameras generally have robust software options for customizing your shots, and the StreamCam can shoot in both landscape and portrait modes, which is worth considering if you’re shooting video for mobile consumption.

How we tested these webcams

To find out which are the best webcams, we put them through a series of tests in our home office. First, we see how easy they are to set up, and how well they sit on top of our laptop and monitors.

Next, we evaluate the performance of their cameras in varying lighting conditions; after all, not everyone has the best ring lights in their home office. We look to see how well the camera captures our face, how detailed the image is, and how it reacts if we move around the room.

Audio is just as important, so we test the camera's microphone by talking with others while we have background noise - be it a TV or music.

We also look at the software that comes with the camera (if any). How intuitive is it, and what sort of things does it let us do with the camera?

After that, we take the camera's price into consideration to see if its performance and features are a good value.

Best webcams FAQ

What is a good webcam brand?

There are several, quite frankly. As you can plainly see from the way the list above has been compiled, Logitech is on fire when it comes to consistently producing some of the very best webcams around. That doesn't mean you have to go the Logi route, though. Insta360, Anker and Dell all make excellent webcams that are well worth considering, too. 

Do I need a 4K webcam?

The short answer? Probably not. 4K webcams are generally a lot more expensive than their 1080p equivalents and unless you find yourself in scenarios where you regularly need to view yourself in 4K, you're better off saving your money and going with a lower resolution cam. Of course, if you're a content creator on YouTube or Twitch and regularly stream the best PS5 games that often output at 2160p their Quality modes, then a 4K cam could be worth considering. 

Can I use my phone as a webcam?

You sure can, my friend. There are multiple ways to use your phone as a webcam, thanks to third-party software that syncs your smartphone to your PC. Here's how to use your phone as a webcam when you're really in a pinch.

Today's best webcam deals

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

With contributions from