If you’re looking to find the best webcam for YouTube recording, there are a few factors to consider first:
And many, many other things as you browse our list of webcams for YouTube recording.
Sure, there are DSLRs. And, yes, they really are the bomb.
If you’re in the market for one of these, here’s what some familiar YouTubers use to shoot their videos:
If you’re able to fork out for one of these, a sensible option is the GoPro HERO10 Black. If you plan to record online videos in an office environment but also plan on shooting outside or on the move, GoPro has been leading this market for years.
But what if you’re a part-time YouTuber or don’t have the budget for one (yet)?
The webcam market has seriously upped its game since the advent of YouTubing as a genuine career.
Vendors used to providing mediocre equipment for work from home calling now provide HD and even 4K experiences from a clip-on camera that sits atop your laptop.
First off, you might be thinking you’ve already got a webcam built into your laptop.
While this is almost always true, laptop webcams are almost always inferior quality.
Unless you’ve got a serious laptop, yes a webcam is better than a laptop camera.
Rolling Stone recommends the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 as the best built-in webcam on a laptop.
However, starting at $819, it’s probably not the right option when you’re in the market for a webcam.
Sure, some DSLRs come in way more expensive than that; but there are plenty of affordable webcams available at a more reasonable price.
Let’s take a look at them:
Let’s start with a curveball.
If you already own an iPhone, then you might already have the webcam you’re looking for. The iPhone 13, for example, comes with a 12MP camera system including telephoto, wide, and ultra wide angle lenses.
The digital zoom is up to 15x so if your camera setup is a little further away than sitting at a desk, there’s no compromise on camera quality.
If you think about it, how many Instagram pros shoot everything on their iPhones these days?
It’s a no-brainer if you’ve already got one, and makes total sense if you’re in the market for a new phone too.
Price: around £700.
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Logitech has long been a specialist in at-home, mountable laptop webcams. Its current top of the range clip-on webcam is the Brio. And at a modest price of £120, you’ll do well to find better.
Under the hood, you’ve got RightLight 3 and high dynamic range (HDR) technology which automatically adjusts in low light, direct sunlight, or high contrast lighting conditions.
You get a 5X Zoom, autofocus (which actually works), and 4K recording.
If you’re on the move a lot, this is the ideal pocket-size webcam at an affordable price.
Here’s a video I recorded when simply plugging it in. Note, there’s no time spent on a fancy recording setup here. There’s an Elgato Key Light Air behind my laptop but otherwise a pure spare room setup.
Price: around £120.
Wondering what screen recorder I used here? It’s Tella 😉
The predecessor to the Brio is the C930e, and if you aren’t planning on recording in 4K, is still a worthy contender for YouTube recording via webcam.
Its price point is the most attractive genuine contender for recording, at under £100.
Features include 4X Zoom, autofocus, and is USB plug and play. Considered the yardstick for budget laptop webcams for a long time, there’s still life in the old dog yet.
Price: around £88.
David Maldow, Founder of Let’s Do Video, includes the C930e as he runs through various “affordable” webcams in his YouTube series.
Placing them side by side is a neat idea. You can really see where some excel over the others.
This is a strongly recommended watch.
Before the C930e came the C920 and it’s still worth a mention.
If you only plan on making a few YouTube videos, or perhaps will be screen recording more so than recording via camera, the C920 ticks a lot of boxes.
It looks just like the C930e, is lightweight, and is plug and play.
You can record in 1080p, use the low light correction, and you can use Logitech software to tweak both audio and video settings once you’re connected.
You’ll notice in David’s comparison video above that the field of view is narrower than the C930e. This could be a pro or a con depending on what you’re recording.
Price: around £52.
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The fourth webcam (we skipped the third as it made his face turn yellow) included in David’s comparison video is the AverMedia 313.
Another extremely attractive price point (£41.68 at the time of writing) makes this webcam unavoidable when comparing budget webcams for YouTube recording.
Features include 1080p video capture, 30fps, and it is plug and play.
Created “for live streaming”, AVerMedia included a swiveling, tripod-ready design so you can move your camera with you.
While the sound quality leaves something to be desired, if you’ve already got a microphone and are looking for an entry-level camera, this is a solid option.
Price: around £42.
With stats like 1080p/60fps and an 82 degree field of view, the Elgato Facecam has everything you’d expect from a basic webcam for YouTube recording.
But this gets an inclusion for its built-in heatsink for longer recording sessions. If you’re planning on recording video footage hours-long or live streaming for long durations, the heatsink ensures your camera doesn’t overheat.
If you’ve watched regular YouTubers or streamers who’ve disappeared from their screen for a period of time while recording, it’s likely because their camera overheated.
This is clearly the reason for buying this webcam as it lacks things like autofocus and doesn’t come with a built-in microphone.
Online forums also express concerns over the tones of reds when captured.
But, if you don’t include reds in your recording setup, have an external mic, aren’t moving around a lot, and stream or record for long periods of time, the Elgato Facecam is worth considering.
Price: around £130.
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As the winner of “Best In Show” at ISE 2021, the stand-out feature of the Poly Studio P15 is its automatic camera framing that lets you move with confidence.
If you’ve ever been on a call and moved away from your desk for a second then come back to an out of focus camera, you’ll know how annoying this is. You definitely don’t want that when recording YouTube videos.
It connects via USB so there’s no time spent with configuration. It supports up to 4K and has a high-quality built-in speaker (Poly also specialises in office audio equipment so you’d expect that as standard).
The one negative about the Poly Studio is the amount of real estate it takes up. At 17 inches wide, it’s wider than most laptops. But if you’re using a monitor or have somewhere to mount it, the Poly Studio P15 is a superb option.
Price: around £400.
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Like the Poly Studio P15, the Jabra Panacast has a panoramic 4K camera to make sure you’re always in shot and always in focus. The difference here is the use of multiple cameras and a spaceship-like look clipped onto your laptop.
The camera zoom adjusts automatically so you don’t need a video engineering qualification to get the best out of this webcam when recording for YouTube.
While the main benefits of the Panacast are uncovered when managing meeting rooms in large offices, there is no doubting the quality of the Panacast.
Price: around £400.
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Mac users have long been waiting for the invite code to buy their Opal C1 camera. The buzz its marketing team has generated is somewhat Clubhouse-like; but does the delivery live up to the hype?
With a built-in 4K Sony sensor, Opal quotes “DSLR quality on a webcam for the first time.” It’s also mirrorless and apparently has the fastest lens ever on a webcam.
Bold claims to back up but it has been received with some mixed reviews on Twitter and online forums.
The best way to check whether the Opal C1 is right for you is to see it in action.
Aidan Fitzpatrick, Founder of Recincubate (mentioned in the iPhone section), put it up side-by-side with his iPhone13, Logitech Brio, and Lumina webcams.
As promised, here’s a first video comparing the Brio, Opal, Lumina and an iPhone. This is without any software layered on top — bare hardware in different scenes — so it’s not a full or fair test.— Aidan Fitzpatrick (@afit) April 20, 2022
I’ll be recording some videos that show the difference the software makes soon. pic.twitter.com/F6QYPtNfDW
Note, these are all out-of-the-box displays. Aidan says he didn’t change any settings before recording this video.
Price: around £260; only available with invite code.
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It may feel like it’s becoming a Logitech love-in but for a good reason.
Logitech has taken its prolific plug and play webcam series and created a version specifically for streaming and YouTube recording.
You can record at 1080p with 30fps or 720p with 60fps and it includes a 78 degree field of view.
But what makes the C922x built for YouTube is its hyperfast streaming setting to ensure no lag and no drops in footage. Full HD streaming captures all the details, bright, natural colors, and fluid video—perfect for gameplay streamers.
Price: around £62.
Whether you opt for a DSLR, a new webcam, or even a new laptop like the Surface Pro 3, make sure you look after your lighting too.
Ben Johnson’s “Lighting for YouTube Videos” video has nearly three million views for good reason. Have a watch below:
So, what are you waiting for? Get your webcam (and lighting) and start recording your next YouTube video!
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