Best Webcams for Streaming in 2021

If you’re going to start streaming, one of the key things you’ll need is a webcam. And sure, some might say it’s not a necessity, and you could do without one. But the thing is, most people want to see you when you’re streaming. It’s about establishing an early connection with viewers passing by. And if you want your audience to get the best view, you’ll need one of the best webcams for streaming.

That being said, choosing the right webcam isn’t as simple as getting the highest resolution camera possible. You’ve got to consider sensor size, processing power, focus solution, and a whole host of other things. Unfortunately, that os what many manufacturers don’t really make available for you to read into. This means you could think you’re getting an excellent webcam, only to figure out that it’s not really what you imagined.

But fret not, as we’ve got the solution for you. We’re going to review some of the best webcams for streaming and give you some great recommendations for you to consider. Let’s get to listing some of the best webcams for streaming.

What to look for in the best webcams for streaming?

When you’re looking into getting a camera, there are a few key features you might be looking. For streaming on gameplay content, you’ll mostly want to be looking for sharp imagery, as well as speedy framerates. Considering you probably already have a solid microphone, you won’t be needing built-in array mics, for example.

Photo of someone adjusting the ring light on the Razer Kiyo, considered to be one of the best webcams for streaming.

When it comes to resolution, 1080p should still be considered your golden standard. This ensures you’ll get a sharp image, that doesn’t look blurry when using fullscreen in your streams. A decent 720p webcam could suffice as a budget pick, or something that is meant to stay minimized during the entirety of your stream. On the other hand, with a webcam spitting out 4K resolutions, you’ll at least be future-proofing your streaming set-up.

The same goes for resolution. The industry-standardized 30 frames per second should be your minimum, but 60 frames per second is preferred in more rapidly paced games. As you might want to run your stream at 60 fps, it’s always nice to have your facecam mirror that refresh rate. If you aren’t that much into quick movement, or barely stream at 60 fps anyway, 30 fps is still a great standard.

Last but not least, consider the focus solution. If the camera has some kind of autofocus, that means that your face will be sharp and clear. Additionally, webcams with wider aperture will softly blur the background, making it easy to distinguish what’s the main subject. This added depth of field is usually worth paying a bit extra for, although many webcam plug-ins can do this digitally too.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at what some of the best webcams for streaming are. No matter your price range, these top picks net you a nice facecam.

Best webcams for streaming in 2021

Logitech C920 — Still a great pick for 1080p30

Even though not the “latest and greatest”, Logitech’s C920 is our top choice for a lot of reasons. It comes at a 1080p resolution, but with a large sensor that gets you truly great video quality. Logitech has also included their excellent autofocus solution, as well as a light correction algorithm that makes sure you’re well lit and clearly visible.

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Logitech takes the cake when it comes to quality sensors. Even when the lighting around your set-up is suboptimal, the C920 can still prove bright enough for your viewers to get a good view. If you already have some lighting solution on hand, the camera can really let it’s vibrant color reproduction shine.

Overall, the C920 is a truly excellent pick. The large sensor and 1080p/30 performance ensure a crystal clear, smooth picture, even though the webcam is a bit older. If you find this model for a lowered price (as it is aging out), it’s almost always a neat addition to your streaming set-up.

Logitech C270 — Budget-friendly back-up

The C270 is Logitech’s budget option, and it comes at a price that’s more than reasonable. And yet, if 720p is satisfactory for you, it’s one of the best webcams for streaming you can get nowadays. It’s a lower bar, but Logitech still excel at image sensors within this class.

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The camera itself, while 720p, comes with an excellent Logitech sensor that still gets you a clear and crisp video feed. We’d even go as far as to say that it easily beats most of the 1080p no-name brands in terms of overall quality. It also comes with automatic light correction, which proves to work better than you might expect. Apart from dimly lit scenes, the image doesn’t get all that grainy.

The only downside is the 720p resolution and the 30fps frame rate, but at this price honestly, we aren’t complaining. You get one of the best webcams for streaming for those who work on a limited budget, or just want a cheap back-up to their primary webcam.

AUKEY PC-LM1E — Best low-budget pick for 1080p

While most newer brands don’t really focus on image quality, AUKEY is a bit of an exception. Their 1080p webcam, the PC-LM1E is on our list as the one that gets you the best value. This is for one simple reason – it costs very little, yet manages to come dangerously close to some of the premium picks in terms of image quality.

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The sensor is a 1080p, 1/2.9” CMOS sensor that gets you a sharp, smooth video. It performs very well even in a dimly lit room, and you have a fixed focus solution that keeps everything up to five meters away in focus. The stereo mics do a great job with audio too. Also, you’ve got a simple stand to attach the camera to your monitor, with some great angling too.

Overall, this is certainly one of the best webcams for streaming, especially if you want good image quality, but don’t want to pay a “name premium”. It does top out at 30fps though, so don’t expect too much from this budget pick.

Logitech Brio — Logitech’s best 4K webcam yet

If 1080p just isn’t enough for you, and you want an even higher resolution, Logitech’s Brio should definitely be your choice. This 4K webcam comes with premium glass, a HDR-like colour reproduction, and excellent autofocus. It won’t beat a professional camera as a webcam, but it’s a great all-in-one solution for imagery.

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The Brio also gets you Logitech’s Right Light 3 which auto-adjusts exposure to keep your face well-lit and compensate for any backlighting or glare. You have three field-of-view options and up to 5X zoom, albeit digital. These come with minimal quality loss, making this one of the best webcams for streaming at high resolutions. Should you remain at the lower 1080p resolution, the Brio wil spit out video at 60 frames per second.

Now, make no mistake, this is a really expensive camera. It costs almost three times as much as some of the best 1080p options. But if you want 4K, with zero compromises in any regard, it’s more than worth it. Logitech is still on top of this game when it comes to great webcam sensors.

Logitech StreamCam — Best webcam in terms of ease-of-use

If you’re looking for something compact and flexible, yet premium, the Logitech StreamCam might be your go-to. With a 1080p/60fps sensor, and luxury features like smart autofocus and exposure adjustment, this is an excellent camera for streaming. The modular USB-C cabling also makes it a great webcam to take on the road.

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The sensor inside is, as is tradition with Logitech, among the best of its class. It performs reliably in suboptimal lighting, but looks stellar with some daylight or even minimal studio lighting. Streamers might not make use of all software features, like the smart-tracking of your face, but the Logitech brings quite some digital luxury along. And still, it looks great without any tweaking, as well.

There are two other features worth mentioning. One of them is the rotation – just turn the StreamCam and you’ve got vertical video. The other is the mount – you can mount it both on a monitor, or on a tripod with the included adapter. This goes hand in hand with the aforementioned mobility, but also makes the webcam great for creating content for Instagram or Tiktok, for example.

Razer Kiyo — Shedding some light on your stream

Yes, all of our picks are some of the best cameras for streaming. But the Kiyo has a trick up its sleeve: it comes with an integrated ring light around the sensor itself. This illuminates your face and keeps it well lit when you’re streaming. This is a massive improvement over cameras that don’t perform well in bad lighting.

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Razer Kiyo 1080p 30 FPS/720 p 60 FPS Streaming Webcam with Adjustable...
  • The Razer Kiyo maintains even and flattering lighting and eliminates harsh shadows with a multi-step ring light with adjustable lighting levels
  • With 720 p resolution at 60 fps, the Razer Kiyo maintains visual fidelity during streaming
  • The Razer Kiyo supports streaming on popular platforms like open broadcaster software and Xsplit

The camera also lets you choose between streaming at 1080p and 30fps, or 720p and 60fps. Both options get you solid image quality. It’s not exactly up to par with Logitech’s best offering, but it gets you streaming alright. The sensor performs well in most conditions, especially when the lighting wasn’t too bad to begin with. In those cases, the adjustable LED ring is mostly a handy “beauty light”, that helps accentuate your face.

Even though it’s Razer, the Kiyo doesn’t require a hefty amount of extra software. Razer does offer some integration with the Synapse ecosystem, but most broadcasting suites will recognize the Kiyo from the get-go.

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