For gamers and live streamers, having a high-quality webcam is essential to provide a great viewing experience for your audience. From high-definition video and clear audio to smooth performance and good low-light performance, a webcam can make all the difference in the world. But with so many webcams on the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs?
This comprehensive guide will dive into the world of webcams and explore what makes them tick. From webcam resolution and frame rate to low light quality and other additional features, we’ll give you the knowledge you need to choose the best webcam for your live streaming and gaming needs.
Understanding how Webcams work
A webcam captures images and videos and transmits them over the internet in real-time. A webcam typically includes a lens, an image sensor, and an encoder chip that processes the data from the sensor and converts it into a digital format suitable for transmission.
The quality of a webcam depends on several factors, including resolution, frame rate, lens quality, image sensor, compression, audio quality, etc.
Most people are familiar with resolution in terms of photographs, but it is actually an important aspect of webcams as well since it determines the quality of your video. You don’t want your stream to look grainy, so we recommend a webcam with at least 1080p resolution for live streaming and gaming.
What’s important to note is that your viewers won’t only need a robust internet connection to view a quality 4K stream, but they’ll also need an HD-capable monitor to witness the high definition. These are the main reasons why most streamers still transmit in 720p resolutions.
Another important factor to consider is the frame rate of your webcam. While the resolution will determine the quality of your video, the frame rate will impact how smooth the picture looks.
The frame rate is basically the number of pictures a webcam can take and transfer to the computer. For example, If your webcam is described as 30 fps, it can take 30 pictures every second and transfer them to the computer screen.
Frame rates are usually tied to the camera’s resolution. For example, a camera may capture 60fps at 720p but only be able to capture 30fps at a full 1080p.
We are looking for a frame rate higher than 60 frames per second for professional live streaming.
Low Light Quality
A recent study in the New York Magazine pointed out that the quality of a live stream is the most important part of attracting larger audiences and more engagement. According to them, 67% of the viewers would ‘drop out’ when they stumble upon a dark, grainy, or poorly lit stream.
The fact that most people aren’t using an additional light source – except their computer monitor – makes most streams look awful. We realize that professional lighting setups might be expensive, so we’d focus on buying a webcam with a “low light quality boost”-option.
This low-light quality refers to how well the webcam performs in low-light conditions. A webcam with good low-light quality will produce clear and detailed images even in dimly lit environments.
Other Additional Features
Depending on your needs and wishes, it might be interesting to look into the additional features of a webcam. A few of these features could be:
- Autofocus (You might want one that keeps its focus on you)
- Built-in microphones (A webcam with a microphone is always a nice to have, in case you need a backup microphone)
- Lens (Plastic or glass?)
- Construction (Is it easy to mount? Does it work with a Clip-on or tripod?)
- Background removal feature (Virtual green screen)
- Built-in ring lights
- Image processing algorithms
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Webcam
By considering factors like compatibility and budget, you can make an informed decision and choose a webcam that meets your needs and fits your budget.
Purpose of the Webcam
Before you can choose a webcam, it’s important to consider the purpose of the webcam. If you’re mainly using the webcam for live streaming, you may want to choose a webcam with high resolution and a high frame rate. If you’re mainly using the webcam for video conferencing, you may want to choose a webcam with a built-in microphone and good low-light quality.
Another factor to consider when choosing a webcam is compatibility with your device or setup. Make sure that the webcam you choose is compatible with your computer and that it can be easily set up and used.
Finally, consider your budget when choosing a webcam. Webcams are available at a wide range of price points, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Determine what features are most important to you and choose a webcam that meets your needs and fits within your budget.
Webcam for live streaming – Frequently Asked Questions
As a seasoned expert in the field of webcams, we welcome you to our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section. Here, we’ve gathered answers to the most pressing questions related to webcams, covering everything from compatibility and features to usages and best practices.
What webcam is best for streaming?
The best webcam for streaming depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some popular options include the Logitech C922 and the Razer Kiyo, both of which are designed specifically for gaming and live streaming.
Do I need a 60 fps webcam?
A 60 fps webcam is not necessary, but it can greatly enhance the overall viewing experience for your audience as it will produce smoother and more fluid video, which is especially important for fast-paced games.
Do you need a webcam to be a good streamer?
No, you don’t need a webcam to be a good streamer, but it can greatly improve the overall viewing experience for your audience. A high-quality webcam can provide clear and detailed video and audio, allowing your viewers to better understand what you’re doing and saying.
Is 4K or 1080p a better resolution for webcams?
For live streaming and gaming, 1080p is typically better than 4K. While 4K offers higher resolution, it requires a lot of processing power to handle and can result in lag or other performance issues. 1080p offers a good balance between resolution and performance, making the 1080p resolution the preferred choice for many streamers.
Is it better to stream with a webcam or camera?
It depends on your specific needs and preferences. A webcam is the better choice if you’re mainly streaming yourself or your face. However, a camera may be better if you mainly stream a scene or environment. Both have their pros and cons, so consider your specific needs and choose the option that’s right for you.
Does a webcam make a difference when streaming?
Yes, a webcam can make a big difference when streaming. A high-quality webcam can provide clear and detailed video and audio, which can greatly enhance the overall viewing experience for your audience. A webcam can also help you look and sound more professional, which can make a big impression on your viewers.
Is a 1080p webcam better than a 720p webcam?
Yes, 1080p is typically better than 720p for webcams. 1080p offers a higher resolution, which results in sharper and more detailed images. While 720p can still provide good-quality video, 1080p is the preferred choice for many streamers and gamers.
The 5 Best Webcams for live streaming
With this in mind, we’ve tested several different webcams: and can present our top 5 cameras. Each of them has been carefully selected and evaluated based on factors such as resolution, frame rate, compatibility, and overall performance.
Below is a short overview of the key aspects, followed by a top-line review of the specific webcam.
|Full HD 1080p 30 fps, 720p 60 fps
|Dual stereo mics, built-in noise reduction
|Autofocus, 720p live streaming, Hyper-fast upload speed
|720p/30fps and 1080p/30fps
|Built-in ring light and microphone
|Background removal, HD video recording
|Full HD 1080p/60fps and 720p/60fps
|Dual stereo mics, built-in noise reduction
|Autofocus, automatic low light correction, fast and easy setup
|1080p Full HD at 30fps
|Facial recognition technology, privacy shutter
|1080p/30fps and 720p/30fps
|Aluminum build, powerful autofocus, flexible tripod mount
Our Webcam recommendations
Our favorite option
The Logitech C922 is a popular webcam among streamers and gamers. It features 1080p resolution and 30 fps, which provide clear and detailed video. The webcam also comes with automatic low-light correction, which helps to improve video quality in low-light conditions.
Additionally, it includes support for background replacement, which can be a fun feature for creative streamers.
The Razer Kiyo is another popular webcam for live streamers and gamers. It features 1080p resolution and 30 fps, which provide good quality video. The webcam also has a built-in ring light, which helps improve your setup’s lighting and create a more professional look.
The Razer Kiyo is also easy to use and set up, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
The Logitech Streamcam is a newer webcam that has gained popularity among streamers and gamers. It features 1080p resolution and 60 fps, which provide smooth and detailed video.
The webcam also comes with automatic image correction, which helps to correct distortion and adjust the color and brightness for a better viewing experience. Additionally, it has versatile mounting options, making it easy to use in various setups.
Dell UltraSharp Webcam
The Dell UltraSharp Webcam is another great choice for business and professional users. It features 1080p resolution and 30 fps, which provide good quality video.
This webcam also comes with a privacy shutter, which allows you to control when the webcam is active and protect your privacy. Additionally, it has a compact design and easy plug-and-play setup, making it also an excellent choice for travelers and remote workers.
Elgato Facecam Full HD Streaming Camera
The Elgato Facecam Full HD Streaming Camera is a popular webcam for live streamers and gamers as it features a 1080p resolution and 60 fps, which provide smooth and detailed video.
The webcam also comes with a built-in tripod and flexible mounting options and has an adjustable lens, which allows you to focus on the main subject and create a more professional look.