The best gaming cameras can capture your commentary and your reactions as you play online. The most popular gamers garner an interactive audience who can see the streamer reacting to in-game challenges or replying to comments and messages. The better the video quality, the more likely audiences will take streaming gamers seriously and want to stick around, and if that’s the aim then investing in a decent gaming camera is important.
A good internet connection, decent hardware, and a favorite game is everything you need to play. But when it comes to live streaming gameplay it’s not as simple as sharing the screen with the world.
There have always been a wide number of plug-and-play HD webcams for online gamer streaming as they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to operate. While these webcams offer great value for money, serious gamers might want to consider dedicated compact cameras or interchangeable lens cameras for superior image quality.
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 camera capture software developed by the manufacturers themselves have allowed users to connect up their cameras to the computer and live stream without additional hardware. This makes a dedicated camera (i.e. not a webcam) a viable option for enhanced video quality, especially when considering the myriad options that interchangeable lens cameras offer.
Maybe you can use a DSLR or mirrorless camera that you have already? For example, the Canon EOS Utility (opens in new tab) lets you livestream with over 40 different Canon cameras via USB, even going back as far as the EOS 60D or Rebel T5! Sony, Fujifilm and Panasonic have similar webcam utilities. What you need most in these cameras is a flip-around 180-degree screen so that you can see yourself being filmed.
This enhanced video quality comes at a cost though, being both more expensive and physically bulkier. So, 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 and camcorder and mirrorless options for more professional looking image quality.
Best gaming cameras in 2022(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab). 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.(opens in new tab)
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 which 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 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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab) 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.
Best camera for streaming (opens in new tab)
Best PTZ cameras (opens in new tab)
Best video switchers for live streaming (opens in new tab)
Best USB microphones (opens in new tab)
Best microphone isolation shields (opens in new tab)