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The best webcam for home working in 2021

The best webcam for home working
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best webcams are the perfect panacea for anyone who's more than a little bit sick of looking at their own face every day. Video calls are not the most pleasant of ways to interact with other human beings, but you've likely been doing a lot of them this past year! Whether you're using Zoom, Skype, Messenger, Google Meet or whatever else, the fact is that your laptop camera is probably not showing you in the best light. If you're sick of looking grainy and washed out, the solution is not a new face, but one of the best webcams!

Having a webcam isn't just about improving video quality, although that is huge. It also gives you much more freedom with camera positioning, letting you work out the optimal angle to show yourself and your background in the best light. A good webcam may also have a microphone that'll improve the audio quality of your calls.

There's a lot to consider when you're picking the right webcam for you. Below we've listed out some of the key factors to think about when selecting the best webcam:

Resolution. While a resolution of 720p is basic high definition, if your laptop is a cheaper or older model you may well be surprised at the jump in quality. In any case, 720p is Standard HD, while 1080p is Full HD, and beyond that you're getting into 4K territory. While it might seem like a no-brainer that more resolution is better, in practice, you may find that your internet connection struggles to broadcast a 4K or even Full HD image without stuttering. Ideally, a webcam with multiple resolution options is the best buy.

Audio is probably even more important than video when it comes to conferencing. If you find you are tinny and difficult to understand when talking into your laptop, it's worth knowing that most webcams have a better microphone to help improve sound recording. Some will even offer stereo, allowing your voice to come through nice and clearly, with background noise filtered out. 

• Controlling your background, as well as how your head is framed, is key to setting a good impression at home. This means that being able to angle/position the camera is really useful, as is the option to zoom in and out.

• Look out for extra features too... our top choice here offers built-in ring-lighting, to help you look at your best on screen even in a dingy room.

There's absolutely no reason to spend loads of money on a webcam. Be careful before you click buy that recent interest in webcams hasn't seen an unreasonable price jack. There are plenty of options from major brands that are highly affordable, and they also tend to be easy to set up. Many webcams are simply "plug and play", and will set themselves up the moment you plug them into the computer. The only issue you might run into is availability; as you might imagine, webcams are in big demand at the moment! 

We've picked out a selection of webcams from different manufacturers, all of which we believe are worth the money. Here are the best webcams for home working right now…

The best webcams for home working

(Image credit: Razer)

1. Razer Kiyo

Our favorite webcam for homeworking, and best for dingy rooms

Resolution: 1080p or 720p | Frame rate: 30fps at 1080p, 60fps at 720p | Field of view: 90 degrees | Size: 69 x 69 x 48mm | Weight: 200g

Built-in LED ring light
Full HD resolution at 30fps
No external audio support
Hard to find in stock

A poorly lit room is not the best place in which to show yourself to the world. So if you want to give yourself a visual edge over your video conferencing colleagues, or just impress other members of your family, then lighting is key. The Razer Kiyo takes care of this by having a built-in ringlight. Made up of twelve LEDs set in a circle, this is designed to give illumination that flatters the face – with adjustable intensity, and a daylight-balanced color temperature. As for the camera itself, the Razer Kiyo captures video at an impressive 1080p Full HD resolution at 30 frames per second, and a 60fps at 720p option is also available.

See also: Best Mac webcams

Best webcams: Logitech C310 HD Webcam

(Image credit: Logitech)

2. Logitech C310 HD Webcam

One of the best low-budget options, taking 5MP photos quickly and easily

Resolution: Up to 720p | Frame rate: 30fps at 720p | Field of view: 60 degrees | Size: 71.15 x 31.3 x 25.95 mm | Weight: 71.2g

Impressively affordable
Useful noise-suppression features
Lower resolution than others
Base doesn't pan

While laptop webcams aren't up to much, laptops themselves tend to be pretty expensive, and if you've just dropped dollar on one, you probably don't want to spend an additional chunk of change on a webcam. The Logitech HD C310 is designed with users like you in mind, available at a more, affordable price than other webcams. The trade-off is lower resolution video, topping out at 720p, and a simple base that doesn't pan left to right. If you just want something that works, though, the Logitech HD C310 is a great choice. It sets up in moments, its clever microphone has proprietary noise-reducing technology, and it integrates seamlessly with all your standard video-conferencing software. All this comes at a price that undercuts the competition, making the Logitech HD C310 one that's seriously worth considering.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

3. Microsoft LifeCam Studio

A professional looking choice for business use

Resolution: Up to 1080p | Frame rate: 30fps at 720p | Field of view: 75 degrees | Size: 60 x 45 x 114mm | Weight: 128g

Clips onto your monitor
Wide field of view
Low price
Only capable of 15fps at 2K
Only one microphone

Given that it looks like a mini CCTV camera, you will either love or hate the Microsoft LifeCam Studio's industrial design. As a top model in the Microsoft webcam range, it's meant for business use and offers 1080p recording or 720p live video calls - easily enough to keep yourself looking sharp on a VC call, while also maintaining smooth stutter-free video. There's a built-in microphone to improve the sound quality of your calls, too. It boasts Microsoft's TrueColor system which is designed to expand dynamic range to ensure you look your best on screen. The camera can also rotate through a full 360 degrees, enabling you to frame the perfect home scene for presenting to the outside world.

Best webcams for home working: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema

(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. Microsoft LifeCam Cinema

A good inexpensive way to bump up the quality of your video calls

Resolution: Up to 720p | Frame rate: 30fps at 720p | Field of view: 73 degrees | Size: 55.8 x 24 x 45.9mm | Weight: 95.3g

Lightweight and small
Hugely affordable
Maxes out at 720p

This isn't a particularly new or advanced Microsoft webcam, but it is a highly dependable and affordable option for making your video calls look significantly better. It can capture video at a maximum resolution of 720p (30fps), and while this may not seem like much compared to the extravagant digital camera of today, it's more than enough for video calls, and will look good without eating up all your bandwidth. The nice thing about the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema is that it's also extremely small and light, so won't clutter up your working space too much. 

(Image credit: Logitech)

5. Logitech C922 Pro

A brilliant all-round webcam, and great for streaming

Resolution: 1080p recording, 720p live streaming | Frame rate: 30fps at 1080p, 60fps at 720p | Field of view: 78 degrees | Size: 44 x 95 x 71mm

Can fit to monitor or tripod
Optional background removal
Stereo microphones
No external mic support

The Logitech C922 is our favorite camera for streaming and the perfect choice if you also fancy broadcasting live to YouTube, or sharing your gaming exploits via Twitch. The camera simply clips onto the top of your computer screen, or it can be attached to a tripod if you want to get more creative with your angles and framing. You can shoot and stream live in Full HD (1080p) resolution at 30 frames per second, plus there's also a ‘hyperfast’ mode for streaming 720p footage at 60fps. Twin microphones provide great quality stereo audio, and the camera comes with an 18.5cm-tall tabletop tripod.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

6. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

The best budget webcam for home working

Resolution: 720p | Frame rate: 30fps | Field of view: 60 degrees | Size: 44 x 39 x 109mm | Weight: 90.7g

Low price
Simple plug-and-play functionality
High-definition streaming
No 1080p or 4K 
Out of stock in many places

A fantastic cheap webcam for those on a strict budget, the HD-3000 proves you don't need to spend a fortune to get a decent upgrade over most built-in laptop cameras. Resolution is restricted to 720p HD resolution at 30 frames per second, but that’s still high definition and few friends, family members or work colleagues will notice you're not broadcasting in 1080p or higher. The camera provides face tracking and low-light adjustment, it has a built-in microphone, and it easily attaches to your computer screen. There's also a manual focus option to help you guard against any ugly autofocus hunting moments should reach for something out of shot.

(Image credit: Depstech)

7. Depstech 2K webcam

Great quality webcam at a great price

Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Frame rate: 30fps | Field of view: 90 degrees | Size: 150 x 80 x 40mm | Weight: 80g

Good resolution
Dual microphone
Plug-and-play operation

You may not have heard of Depstech, but they are a well-known manufacturer of optical devices such as borescopes and otoscopes – as well as an increasing range of webcams. What impresses with this model is that it offers a higher resolution than you would usually find at this budget price - offering what it calls 2K resolution, with a 2560 x 1440 output using a 4MP 1/3in CMOS sensor. We also like the fact that the mount allows you rotate through a full 360° – which is useful when either clipped over your laptop stand, or screwed onto a tabletop tripod

(Image credit: Logitech)

8. Logitech StreamCam

A great webcam for broadcasting to YouTube or social media

Resolution: 1080p | Frame rate: 60fps | Field of view: 78 degrees | Size: 85 x 58 x 48mm | Weight: 222g

Versatile mounting/orientation
Great video and audio quality
Modern USB-C connection
Pricier than most

If you fancy setting up a YouTube channel or doing some vlogging from home, Logitech's StreamCam is for you. This webcam is capable of live streaming 1080p Full HD footage at a super-smooth 60fps, while automatic face tracking keeps autofocus reliably locked on to you and nothing else. The same AI trickery also keeps exposure metering in check, ensuring you're always lit to look at your best. What's more, the camera's docking holder also lets you easily rotate the camera into portrait orientation to perfectly suit the 9:16 aspect ratio for Instagram Stories. The StreamCam doesn't let audio take a back seat, either, as dual front-facing microphones ensure you sound crystal clear.

(Image credit: Logitech)

9. Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro

Best webcam for quality with 4K and a noise cancelling

Resolution: 4K Ultra HD, 1080p or 720p | Frame rate: Up to 30fps at 4K, 60fps at 1080p, 90fps at 720p | Field of view: 90 degrees | Size: 63 x 36 x 19mm | Weight: 44g

Ultra HD video quality with HDR
Up to 90 frames per second
Could be overkill for some users

The Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro is one the highest-quality webcams around. This camera can record in Ultra HD 4K resolution. The lens has different angles of view - 65, 78 and 90 degrees - ensuring everything stays in frame, and can be tweaked to suit your office layout. This webcam can stream in 1080p Full HD at 60 frames per second, and it offers 5x digital zoom that crops a 4K image to 1080p with minimal image quality degradation. There is also a 90fps option at 720p resolution if you want super-smooth video, and the camera can record HDR (High Dynamic Range) video for improved contrast. Two omni-directional microphones and a PC monitor clip complete this brilliant webcam package.

(Image credit: eMeet)

10. eMeet c960

Cheap ultra-wide 1080p webcam

Resolution: 1080p | Frame rate: 30fps | Field of view: 90 degrees | Size: 135 x 80 x 65mm | Weight: 240g

Low price
Plug-and-play functionality
Wider view than most

This newly-introduced budget webcam is an interesting option for those that want to show a wider angle view with your Zoom meetings. The 90° wide-angle lens has a fixed focus that keeps everything up to 5m in sharp relief, with your video being transmitted at 1080p HD at 30 frames per second. The plug-and-play device is as comfortable with Macbooks as with Windows laptops, and features two microphones. The hinge-type attachment is reasonably sturdy, but if you want a more interesting camera angle the eMeet has a handy tripod attachment. 

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.