Hybrid working has now become the norm, with most of us dividing our time between the office and the home office – so while in-person meetings remain an important part of office culture, video calls are still a weekly occurrence and no-one wants to be the blurriest person in the meeting.
To both look good and communicate optimally in a video meeting, owning one of the best webcams makes a lot of difference. These cameras deliver an integrated audio-video unit that is perfect for team meetings, briefings and staying in touch with friends and family – and you can mount them anywhere too, so it's easier to put them at a comfortable height for long meetings.
Looking for something for the office instead? Then consider one of the best video conferencing cameras. These are tools that are now just as important to the home office setup as one of the best office chairs or best keyboards are.
We've also got a range of options in terms of form, functionality and price. Some of these top webcams can present in 4K, while others offer automatic tracking, giving you lots of flexibility when on a call in terms of what you display. Each webcam here also delivers good audio quality, as we feel that is a requirement of any good webcam purchase.
Which is the best webcam in 2023? The top 3
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The best webcam for most people is the Obsbot Tiny 4K. It brings with it excellent audio and video quality, it can keep you in the frame at all times, and it comes with plenty of customisation options and settings.
The best premium webcam right now is the Insta360 Link. Thanks to some smart on-board AI, it's second-to-none when it comes with handling varying lighting conditions, and following your face wherever it goes.
The best budget webcam remains the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000, which gives you a solid level of performance for not much money at all. If you don't have much to spend then it's well worth checking out.
The Obsbot Tiny 4K is perhaps a little pricier than some people will want to pay for a webcam, but you certainly get a lot back for your money: automatic framing and face tracking, for example, which means you're always in shot as you move around, and in glorious 4K resolution as well.
This is a webcam that can also manage lighting really well, so whether you're in a bright or dark corner of your room, the Obsbot Tiny 4K will be able to pick you out. Add in the wide selection of settings you've got to play around with, and we think this is a webcam with very broad appeal.
As its name suggests, this is a pretty small camera too: you can place it anywhere on your desk and it won't take up much room at all. You'll find it works seamlessly with whatever video calling app you prefer, so there are no problems on the compatibility front with this webcam.
If you've got the money to be able to afford it, the Insta360 Link is a superb choice for your next webcam. It can sit separately or on top of your monitor, and the way it's designed means it'll follow you around the room if you want it to – you can even control it using hand gestures.
Not only does the webcam keep you in shot when you need it to, it'll also capture you in glorious 4K. Whether you're catching up with someone on the other side of the world or dialling into a work meeting, your features will be crystal clear.
There's some very clever artificial intelligence at work here, making sure that the lighting, colours and focus are all well balanced. We also like the DeskView mode, which can capture objects lying on your desk (such as drawings) and convert them into 2D images to put into your feed.
For shoppers on a budget, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is a great choice. It delivers a mix of 1080p recording and 720p live video calling, a flexible head that can rotate 360 degrees, a variety of mounting options including on a tripod, a wideband microphone and autofocus function, and access to Microsoft's TrueColor system, that alters exposure dynamically to maintain best possible image quality.
Aesthetically it isn't the most attractive camera, but considering the package it delivers in terms of hardware and features, at this price you really can't complain. 30 frames per second is fine, and the ability to capture still images from it at 4MP resolution a small extra boon. A great choice for budget webcam shoppers.
You can compare this camera to one that costs more money in T3's Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 vs Logitech StreamCam comparison feature. This should help you determine what an extra spend could buy you, or if your needs will be covered by the LifeCam HD-3000.
Razer evolves the Razer Kiyo for a more professional audience with the Kiyo Pro, with the camera ditching the in-built ring light and opting instead for Full HD 60 fps performance along with HDR and enhanced low-light features.
The result is a camera that offers both excellent image quality for video meetings, with the camera's STARVIS tech ensuring subjects remain lit even when in a dark environment, and the HDR functionality mitigating over and under exposure for a more natural look, as well as one that can still be used by gamers.
The Razer Kiyo Pro also offers three different fields of view, too, with the widest being 103° (perfect for showing multiple people on a call) and the narrowest being 80°, which is good for a tight crop on the subject.
The hardware is only half the picture though with the Kiyo Pro, as its Synapse software configuration tool allows its picture to be setup and tweaked in a variety of ways. HDR can be turned on and off (with HDR on you are limited to 30fps, while with it off you get 60fps), profiles can be selected from, field of views cycled through and things like saturation and contrast manually tweaked.
Combined it means the Kiyo Pro offers a premium webcam package that will suit many people perfectly. It's a bit pricey and it doesn't offer a 4K resolution, but aside from that it is pretty much perfect.
Made for the streaming age, but just as at home for videoconferencing, Logitech's USB-C camera is a very modern take on the webcam. That even goes down to its design, which is all matte plastic and fabric, just like half the coolest new tech in 2020.
In terms of image quality, you've got Full HD 1920x1080 streaming here at up to 60fps, which isn't a common feature. You can even rotate the camera easily so you're broadcasting in portrait without cropping.
The USB-C connection makes it perfect for ultraportable laptops with that port – particularly the likes of the MacBook Air, which has only that port. But it does many that if you have a computer with only boring old USB-A ports, you'll need an adapter to use this webcam (or should just choose another, maybe).
It has electronic image stabilisation built in so that you can actually grab it and move it without things looking horrible, it as a high-quality dual-mic setup for clear audio, it can be mounted on a tripod, and Logitech's software gives you loads of control over the look. It works on Windows 10 and macOS 10.14 and above, and is geared up with support for various live-streaming tech, as well as video-chat services – this is very much a webcam for the new age of flexible and remote working.
Read our full Logitech StreamCam review for more.
The Logitech Mevo Start isn't just a webcam. While you can use it with your PC or Mac to make video calls as and when you need to, its main purpose is to record and stream video content online.
Thanks to this camera, you don't need to be a videographer to create professional-looking live streams. It takes all of the hassle out of the process, so setting them up is quick and easy to do.
You control it all through an app on your smartphone where you can stream directly to sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. If you'd rather record a video to edit and publish later then it'll let you save the footage to a MicroSD card which you insert into the back of the camera.
Because it's completely wireless and you can choose to stream over Wi-Fi or LTE, you can literally start live streaming from anywhere at any time.
This camera will allow you to record footage in resolutions up to 1080p. When we tested it out, the videos we took looked really clear and sharp. You get lots of control over the image in the app as well with manual settings for exposure, ISO, white balance and more. Admittedly it still won't compare to a proper video camera, but it'll be a big improvement on most standard webcams.
You can find out more about it in the Logitech Mevo Start review.
The Trust Teza will cost you more than a lot of other webcams, but look at everything you get back in return: a 4K resolution, dual-mic audio capture, a bundled tripod if you don't want to put the webcam on your screen or monitor, and a straightforward setup process that just about anyone can follow.
There's no software included with the Trust Teza for playing around with the picture quality, but the webcam is smart enough to handle colour balance and white balance automatically, so you always look your best when appearing on camera no matter what app you're using.
The device works across Windows and macOS so there are no compatibility issues. As well as the high price it's also quite a chunky and not particularly stylish looking webcam, but we can forgive all of that because the Trust Teza delivers where it matters – making it one of the best webcams around.
If money isn't a concern then the Logitech Brio Webcam should be top of your best webcams to checkout list. That's because it not only delivers an Ultra HD 4K resolution as well as HDR, but also because it is Windows Hello compatible (allowing you to log-in to your computer through biometrics) and comes with 5X HD Zoom function, autofocus, dual omni-directional mics with noise cancelling, and an external privacy shutter. That's a hell of an offering.
One other neat feature delivered by the Brio Webcam is its adjustable field of view, with the user capable of selecting 65, 78 or 90-degree viewing angles. This is great as if you need to hold group video calls with more than one person in the room, then the Brio can deliver, while equally if a tight image angle is needed for just a head and shoulders perspective, the Brio can also deliver. If money is no option, this is your answer.
Unlike the Razer Kiyo Pro above the standard Kiyo doesn't come with as advanced hardware, with no HDR on offer and 60fps is only available at a 720p resolution. But what it does deliver is a built-in ring light.
The Razer Kiyo has a ring light built into it, around the camera lens. Ring lights are a favourite of streamers, Instagrammers and the like because they give you an even light from a single source – no positioning hassle required, and no awkward shadows.
The camera itself is good too, including Full HD streaming or 720p, and while you can leave it to manage the colour balance itself, you can also customise things like the white balance, if you know what you're doing. The result is an image that leans towards a "studio" aesthetic, so streamers will be in their element, as too many gamers who like to show off their gaming room while they play.
There's no doubting the camera makes a good option for professionals, too, but the Kiyo Pro is really the better choice for that demographic. Still, for gamers and streamers you really can't do better than the Razer Kiyo, so it is an easy recommendation if you need it.
As we conclude in our Jabra PanaCast 20 review, this is "undoubtedly one of the best webcams out there at the moment for Windows and macOS, with a 4K video feed and some clever integrated functions".
The PanaCast delivers a 4K resolution and host of smart features, such as Intelligent Zoom, which zooms and pans automatically to keep your face in the shot, as well as intelligent lighting optimisation, which brightens up dull scenes through a bit of AI processing.
With a steep price over 200 pounds however this is very much "you get what you pay for" sort of deal. If you can afford the PanaCast 20, though, then it is a no-brainer recommendation.
What to look for when shopping for a webcam
The biggest difference from budget webcams to more expensive models is resolution: the cheapest webcams will do 720p HD (1280 x 720 pixels), while going mid-range will take you up to 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). If you go elite, you can get a 4K webcam (3840 x 2160 pixels). Pretty much all laptops have an inbuilt webcam, and some are probably good enough to do the job, but it depends on your hardware.
It's not really necessary to go beyond 1080p, if you're mostly using the webcam for video conferencing, because by the time it's all compressed over the internet, the fine quality will be filed off anyway. But if you want to be recording yourself at the highest possible quality (perhaps to show off how smart you look), then sure – go 4K!
More expensive webcams will also be able to record at faster frame rates – 30fps is the minimum you want, with 60fps making for a smoother and more realistic looking recording (though, again, when video conferencing, the internet connection speed of people involved may make this moot).
We're also looking for webcams with good built-in autofocus and auto-exposure, which is pretty standard, mercifully. It means that even as the light changes throughout the day, you won't need to worry about looking off.
Good forward-facing microphones are vital too, naturally. Separated stereo mics are preferable for clarity's sake over video conferencing, though lots of people will use headsets anyway (and streamers will have a mic setup for sure), so it's less important than video quality overall.
It's great if a webcam has good software you can use to tweak how it works, particularly for streamers. We also want to make sure you can just plug and go and everything still looks great, though, because lots of people won't be into fiddling with the settings (it's hard enough making sure everyone isn't muted). And, of course, we're looking at what will work on both Mac and PC.