Not everyone needs a 4K webcam with precise white balance control, autofocus, a privacy shutter, tripod mount and premium metal construction. Instead, for everyone who just wants a way of appearing in their weekly virtual office call, a basic webcam priced at around $20/£20 will fulfill all of their needs.
This is where the Logitech C270 HD comes in. It’s a very simple webcam with a 720p HD resolution, a clip for attaching to your computer monitor, compatibility with video conferencing apps like Zoom and…that’s about it.
This is Logitech’s entry-level webcam and sits some way below the next model up, the C310 HD which is priced at over $30/£30 yet still has only a 720p HD resolution. Those wanting 1080p Full HD resolution will have to spend in the region of $60/£60 or more on the Logitech C920 HD Pro.
If you need a webcam and want to spend as little as possible, while still buying from a reputable brand like Logitech, the C270 HD could be the one for you. Just be sure to keep your expectations in check.
As you might expect, this is going to be a fairly short section. The main feature here is the Logitech’s affordability. If all you need is a very simple webcam for occasional video calls, that price is hard to beat.
Other features include a universal grip-style mount for connecting the webcam to any computer monitor or laptop lid (although your laptop’s webcam is probably a match for the C270 HD).
There’s also a simple status light next to the lens that glows green when the camera is in use, and a single microphone sits on the front. Logitech says the microphone is only best for capturing sound up to one metre away, so this isn’t a webcam suited to capturing an entire office.
That really is about it. There’s no privacy cover, so you’ll have to rely on the green status light for knowing when you’re being watched, and there’s no additional software to install, so it’s simply a case of plugging the webcam in, opening your video calling app of choice, and getting to work.
Logitech C270 HD specifications
Resolution: 720p HD
Field of view: 55 degrees
Frame rate: 30fps
Digital zoom: No
Inbuilt microphone: Yes
Privacy cover: No
See also: Best Logitech webcams
Build and handling
Unsurprisingly, this is an all-plastic webcam. Even the lens cover is plastic instead of glass, meaning the picture isn’t quite as sharp as it could be, and you should watch out for scratches and scuffs degrading quality further still. Thankfully the lens is very small and recessed into the camera a fair bit, so you’d have to be very unlucky for anything to get in there and cause damage.
The C270 HD is nice and compact, with a two-tone design and a good amount of vertical adjustability. The universal monitor mount is similar to those used by other webcams, and should attach to just about any monitor. Rubber inserts ensure the mount won’t scratch whatever the webcam is attached to.
The webcam is powered via a 1.5-metre USB-A cable that is hard-wired into the rear so can’t be removed.
There’s no setup required and the Logitech really is a case of plug-and-play, on both Mac and PC. That said, you will want to adjust the aspect ratio if your video conferencing app of choice allows, as the C270 HD produces a tightly-cropped image.
We at first found the image to be too tight, with our face taking up almost all of the frame. But once we had switched from a cropped widescreen image to the camera’s native, squarer view, the aspect ratio was closer to what we are used to from other webcams.
All this means that, while the C270 HD works well for video calls where only your face needs to be in shot, anyone wanting to hold online presentations, or include their background and surroundings for any other reason, should look elsewhere.
Logitech’s RightLight 2 system helps to balance the exposure, and it actually does a decent job, with our face still perfectly visible even with a bright window right behind us. Some integrated laptop webcams struggle in such an environment, plunging the subject into darkness as they try to compensate for the bright window, or entirely washing out the background to bring the shadows into view.
It’s not HDR, but we’re pleased to say the Logitech C270 HD managed well in what can be tricky lighting situations.
Sound quality is perfectly acceptable, although the microphone only works in mono, so there’s no stereo separation. However, this really shouldn’t matter for the vast majority of consumers, who just need their voice to be heard clearly on a video call.
Logitech C270 HD: Verdict
Affordable simplicity is the name of the game here. For those who just need a cheap webcam for a weekly catch up with colleagues, and who don’t have a laptop with integrated webcam, the Logitech C270 HD is exactly what you’re looking for.
Build quality is perfectly acceptable for the price, and in reality so is the image quality – remember, this is a webcam that costs just $20. Anyone who has used a better quality camera will likely be unimpressed by the C270 HD, and if your laptop has its own webcam then that will probably produce similar results.
But for everyone else, this is a very affordable webcam that is small, simple to use and gets the job done.