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The best budget webcam in 2022

best budget webcam: eMeet c960
(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)

The best budget webcam will help you improve the video and audio quality of your Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams calls and more. In short, it will make you look and sound more professional, without costing a fortune.

Yes, you could spend hundreds of dollars on the best 4K webcams, but for most of us, that's just going to be overkill. Especially when, by spending well under $50, you can still boost the quality of your video calls considerably, beyond what your computer's in-built webcam has to offer. 

In this article, we've brought together the best cheap webcams on the market today, offering crisp audio and high-quality video, with resolutions ranging from 780p to 1080p Full HD. (However, if there's something specific you need that isn't catered for here, seeout our general guide to the best webcams.)

Best budget webcams in 2022

(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)
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The best budget webcam overall

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Sensor: 2.1MP
Frame rate: 30fps
Field of view: 90 degrees
System requirements: Windows Vista or later, Mac 10.4+, Android Smart TV
Privacy shutter: Yes
Size: 135 x 80 x 65mm
Weight: 240g

Reasons to buy

+
Full HD 
+
90-degree field of view
+
Low light tech

Reasons to avoid

-
No digital zoom

The eMeet c960 is our pick as the best budget webcam overall. It's easy and straightforward to set up, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac. 

With Full HD 1080p video at 30fps, and a 90 degree field of view, the picture quality is very good. You can angle the camera up and downwards, and if you're in a dimly lit room, you'll appreciate the in-built auto low-light correction tech. Plus you get a privacy cover, and good audio from two omnidirectional noise reduction mics.

As you'd expect from the price, this is a fairly basic webcam. For example, there's no digital zoom and no autofocus. But it'll still make your video calls look and sound much better than your computer's in-built webcam, for a low price indeed. For more details, see our eMeet C960 webcam review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Ausdom)

2. Ausdom AW615 Webcam With Built-in Microphone

The best budget webcam for audio

Specifications

Resolution: 1080p
Sensor: 2MP
Frame rate: 30fps
Field of view: 90 degrees
System requirements: Windows, Mac
Privacy shutter: Yes
Size: ‎118 x 117 x 52mm
Weight: 210g

Reasons to buy

+
Noise-cancelling 
+
Full 1080p HD
+
Digital zoom

Reasons to avoid

-
Not so great in low light

Do you make a lot of video calls from noisy offices? Then you may prefer the Ausdom AW615, because we found the noise-cancelling technology with its built-in mic worked the best out of all the cheap webcams on this list. 

This is also a great budget webcam in general. It's compatible with both Windows and Mac, and the picture quality is fantastic for the price, thanks to Full HD 1080p resolution, 30fps and a 65 degree viewing angle. Digital zoom is also included. On the downside, there's no privacy cover and the picture in low light isn't as good as the eMeet 960, number one on our list.

(Image credit: Jessica Weatherbed/Digital Camera World )
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The best budget webcam for portability

Specifications

Resolution: 720p
Sensor: 1.2MP
Frame rate: 30fps
Field of view: 60 degrees
System requirements: Windows 7 or later / Mac 10.10 or later / Chrome OS
Privacy shutter: No
Size: 71 x 31 x 26mm
Weight: 71g

Reasons to buy

+
Small
+
Light 
+
Easy to setup

Reasons to avoid

-
Not Full HD
-
Lacks features

The C310 HD, like the rest of the cheap webcams on our list, does not offer Full HD resolution. However, 720p at 30fps will be good enough for most purposes. And on the plus side, this device is very easy to set up. It's also very small (71 x 31 x 26mm) and super-light (75g). 

This cheap webcam boasts auto light correction tech and noise reduction, but in practice we didn't find either of these strikingly effective. So overall, we'd mainly recommend this one if smallness and lightness is your priority; if you have a Chromebook (it's compatible with Chrome OS); or if you find one for a very low price. For more details, see our Logitech C310 webcam review.

(Image credit: Logitech)
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4. Logitech C505e

The best budget webcam for mounting versatility

Specifications

Resolution: 720p
Sensor: 1.2MP
Frame rate: 30fps
Field of view: 60 degrees
System requirements: Windows 7 or later / Mac 10.10 or later / Chrome OS
Size: 73 x 32 x 67mm
Weight: 75g
Privacy shutter: No

Reasons to buy

+
Long range microphone
+
Longer cable than most
+
Low price

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest

Logitech has a number of sub-$50 webcams available right now, and they're all pretty good. The C505e is very similar to the c310 (number three on our list); the main differences are the long-range microphone and extra-long cable.

The former is a single, omnidirectional mic with noise-reduction technology, which is engineered to support clear conversation up to 3m away, even in busy environments. The latter is a seven-foot long USB-A cable, along with a universal clip, giving you huge flexibility in terms of where to position your webcam.

• See also Best Logitech webcams (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton/Digital Camera World)
A good choice for penny-pinchers

Specifications

Resolution: 720p
Sensor: 1.2MP
Frame rate: 30fps
Field of view: 55 degrees
System requirements: Windows 7 or later / Mac 10.10 or later / Chrome
Size: 73 x 32 x 67mm
Weight: 75g
Privacy shutter: No

Reasons to buy

+
Low price
+
Decent quality

Reasons to avoid

-
C310 has better picture
-
C310 is smaller and lighter

At time of writing, the C270 is the cheapest Logitech webcam on our list, despite being very similar the C310 (number 3 on our list). That said, you do get a less powerful sensor (3MP to the C310's 5MP) and the field of view is slightly narrower (55 degrees, to the C310's 60 degrees), so the picture you get won't be quite as good. Also note that the C310 is a bit bulkier.

On the whole, though, both webcams offers 780p resolution at 30fps, both are around the same weight, and both are compatible with Windows, Mac and ChromeOS. So if every penny counts to you, the C270 is definitely worth considering. For more details, see our Logitech C270 HD review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Microsoft)

6. Microsoft LifeCam Cinema

The best budget webcam for features

Specifications

Resolution: 720p
Sensor: 1MP
Frame rate: 30fps
Field of view: 73 degrees
System requirements: Windows
Privacy shutter: No
Size: 51 x 128 x 129mm
Weight: 95g

Reasons to buy

+
Quality sensor 
+
Autofocus
+
5x digital zoom

Reasons to avoid

-
Windows only

Microsoft is a reliable and trusted tech brand, and a recent drop in price means its LifeCam Cinema webcam is now within the realms of "cheap". Note, though, that it's only compatible with Windows, so if you're using a Mac or Chromebook, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Otherwise, this well-made webcam has a lot to offer. With a quality, precision-cut, 5MP CMOS sensor, you'll enjoy a great picture with 720p resolution. And you'll benefit from a range of features, including TrueColor Technology, digital pan, tilt, and 5x digital zoom, auto focus (ranging from 6 inches to infinity), and automatic image adjustment with manual override. 

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton/Digital Camera World)
The cheapest webcam we can recommend today

Specifications

Resolution: 720p
Frame rate: 30fps
Field of view: 68.5 degrees
System requirements: Windows
Privacy shutter: No
Size: ‎44 x 39 x 109mm
Weight: 91g

Reasons to buy

+
Low price
+
Good features

Reasons to avoid

-
Windows only
-
No autofocus

If you're watching the pennies, then the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 offers a significantly cheaper alternative to the LifeCam Cinema, featured above. In fact, at time of writing, it's the cheapest webcam we can recommend today (as long as you have a Windows computer to use it with).

Like the former, you still get 720p resolution, a noise-reducing microphone, and TrueColor technology. The main things you're compromising on are the lack of autofocus, a narrower viewing angle, a less powerful (4MP) sensor and a more limited digital zoom (4x). But given the current price differential, you may well find that acceptable. For more details, see our Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 review (opens in new tab).

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Tom May
Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specializing in art, photography, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq (opens in new tab), and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, T3, Heat, Company and Bella.