The best gaming cameras can accurately capture your commentary and intense reactions as you play online. The most popular gamers tend to garner a large and interactive audience, who enjoy watching the streamer battling through in-game challenges or real-time reactions when replying to comments and messages.
The better the video (and audio) quality of your streaming setup, the more likely audiences will enjoy your content and hopefully want to stick around, and if that’s the aim for you in growing your streaming channel, then investing in a decent gaming camera is one of the first steps.
We also recommend completing your setup with one of the best ring lights available on the market right now and don't forget to check out our guides to the best microphones for vlogging and filmmaking, as well as the best headsets.
Other things to consider when setting up your channel and gaming space, including checking that you have a suitable internet connection to support the high-speed demands of your console or PC. if you're based in the UK, take a look at our pick of the best broadband deals in the UK to get you started.
You'll also want to have some decent hardware, such as the latest and best graphics cards, and if money is no object then definitely consider investing in one of the best 8K monitors to have a supreme visual advantage over your opponents in-game, as well as for your gaming setup. Having a dual-monitor setup may also be a smart choice, for multitasking while you game and checking the group chats.
Arguably the most crucial part of your setup will be the camera, and there's so much choice that it can be overwhelming. We have plenty of guides on the best webcams for home working, as well as the best 4K webcams, not to mention the best Mac webcams for Apple users. But before you go on the hunt for a basic webcam, let us explain the benefits of using a DSLR or Mirrorless camera instead.
Compact, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras have long been capable of being used as live streaming cameras, albeit through a series of convoluted adapters and capture cards - but recent firmware upgrades and additional software developed by the manufacturers themselves have allowed users to easily connect their cameras to the computer and live stream without any additional hardware.
There have always been a wide number of plug-and-play HD webcams for online gamers who stream, as they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to operate. While these webcams offer great value for money, serious gamers might want to consider more advanced and dedicated compact cameras or interchangeable lens cameras for superior image quality, this is where we come in.
Using a "proper" (non-webcam) camera is definitely a viable option for gamers wanting enhanced video quality, especially when considering the myriad of options that interchangeable lens cameras offer, fancy streaming with a fisheye lens? While it can be a little more expensive, it'll be so worth it in the long run. What you really need most from these cameras is a flip-around 180-degree screen, for the benefit of being able to see yourself being filmed, vlog-style, for focus checking.
You might even be able to use a DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have at home. For example, the Canon EOS Utility software lets you live stream with over 40 different Canon cameras via a USB, even going back as far as the EOS 60D, or the Rebel T5! Sony, Fujifilm, and Panasonic have similar webcam utilities.
Whether you’re looking for a gaming camera that’s affordable, or are willing to stretch to a premium price tag, take a look below at some of the best gaming cameras you can buy right now. Our guide contains both regular webcams for straightforward ease of use, as well as a camcorder and mirrorless camera options for more professional-looking image quality.
Best gaming cameras in 2023
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Great video quality and achieving it automatically with minimal user input is the Logitech StreamCam’s special ability. It tracks faces easily and automatically adjusts focus and exposure for a clear view at any time.
It’s certainly a step up in terms of video quality when compared with the other Logitech model in this roundup (the C920S) but it doesn’t pretend to compete, sitting at a heftier price point. Another added benefit includes the ability to rotate the camera between horizontal and vertical orientation with automatic ratio switching without having to dig into the settings – that means gamers remain the right way up on-screen.
Building on the reputation of the Razer Kiyo, the Kiyo Pro nearly doubles the price tag of its little brother and has dropped what’s likely the most defining characteristic of the previous model: the ring light.
While the ring light was a good idea for low-light shooting, Razer has instead focused on improving the low-light performance of the image sensor which makes sense as most game streamers have their own lighting setup anyway. Full HD at 60fps gives smooth video quality and the composition can be tailored to suit thanks to the adjustable field of view on the wide-angle lens giving three options of 80, 90, and 103 degrees – perfect for fitting in a little more of the background, or cutting it out.
Read our full Razer Kiyo Pro review for more details
If you’ve just done a double-take at this webcam because it looks familiar, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the C920. The C920S has everything that model has but also includes a privacy shutter that folds down over the lens when not in use – handy for those paranoid about hackers.
On the whole, though, the C920S is a superb webcam at a reasonable price. It shoots 1080p for the detailed video quality but is limited to 30FPS, which is fine for more casual users. It also has decent low-light performance but off-camera lighting is recommended for those in darker environments.
Once past the initial fiddly setup procedure, this camcorder/live streaming camera is an excellent choice for those that want to take a step up in video clarity. A maximum resolution of 4K UHD tops out at just 25fps, but drop that down to Full HD and it jumps up to 50fps for smoother footage.
The real benefit of this camera lies in its lens. A fixed 26.8-536mm lens brings loads of compositional options into the mix for online gamers and although it’s a tad overkill for a bedroom, it can double as a handy capture device for on location recording should you wish to supply additional content without having to purchase a second camera.
Sony is packing huge specs into a tiny form factor with the A7C. A compact camera capable of live streaming (after enabling the MTP function in the menu), it boasts a full-frame 35mm image sensor for insane detail capture.
It’s an online gamer's workhorse too, able to shoot 24.2MP stills and record 4K UHD video at 30FPS for extra content needed when setting up a streaming channel and website. If choosing lenses we recommend the 28-60mm kit lens for gamers who like to adjust composition occasionally. The Sony A7C does come with a hefty price tag but for the flexibility, it’s worth it.
Read our full Sony A7C review for more details
When paired with the EOS Webcam Utility software the Canon EOS M50 Mark II becomes a webcam behemoth. The power of the camera lies in its ability to change lenses, making it ideal for online gamers who are really into their cinematography. Pair the camera with a wide aperture EF-M lens for shallow depth of field and creamy bokeh-filled backgrounds which set video quality apart from the rest.
It does have a microphone built-in, but online gamers using this camera to stream via the utility software will need a separate microphone as it doesn’t process audio, though gamer headsets are commonplace and normally have a Britney-style mic anyway.
Read our full Canon EOS M50 Mark II review for more details
If you own a Playstation 5 and intend to stream from it, we have some bad news for you. Sony does not allow compatibility for any other webcams to be used with the PlayStation 5 console, other than the PlayStation 5 HD Camera. "That's not so bad" you might be thinking, but this camera had so much potential and is essentially a flop and extremely limited in what it can do.
I feel so strongly about the wasted potential of this camera that I even wrote an article complaining about it that goes into much greater detail - see the 5 things I wish the PS5 Camera did better. Thankfully, you can use the existing PS4 camera with the Playstation 5 console via an adapter, but it's limited to only 720p resolution.
One of the only perks of owning a PS5 HD Camera includes its built-in background removal tools, but even this has been reported to be extremely buggy and temperamental, requiring the purchase of a green screen separately. It's also pretty easy to stream with for newcomers to the practice, simply hit the 'create' button on your DualSense control pad to start live streaming video, also offering picture-in-picture broadcasting.
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