With the various free video-chat platforms available, it's never been easier to stay in touch with family and friends. Many of these platforms support full HD video, and with the right webcam you can greatly improve your video and sound for those on the other end of the line. An HD webcam gives you high-resolution image quality for recording vlog posts or streaming video.
We limited our review to 1080p cameras, but there is more to picture quality than high resolution. The best webcams offer fluid frame rates at the highest resolution settings as well as a suite of extra features. Our favorite cams are the Logitech HD Pro C920, Genius WideCam F100 and Logitech HD C615. We also have articles about webcams that you can browse for more help, ideas and information.
When shopping for a new webcam, it's important that you get the highest quality image and the best tools. You should also consider how you'll use the webcam. For example, if you want a Skype camera, you want the best frame rate at the highest resolutions. But if you want to start a vlog, you want noise reduction and light correction. Below is the list of criteria to consider when looking for the best webcam for your PC.
Image quality is the most important aspect of a webcam. The best HD webcams offer full HD 1080p resolution and capture video at 30 frames per second (fps). Resolution and frame rate are forever linked, allowing you to film in HD. However, if you have a camera that is capable of 1080p images but cannot support that resolution at a capture speed of 30 fps, the video will appear choppy. It's important to figure out the maximum video record speed before buying anything.
A webcam is an interesting cross between a digital camera and a camcorder. You'll see two figures listed in terms of megapixels: video quality and image quality. Webcams usually list two different megapixel counts for video and images. An HD webcam should have at least 2.1 megapixels. Many cell phones take pictures with an 8 to 13-megapixel sensor, so we prefer webcams with comparable image quality.
You are going to want a webcam with sound that is just as clean and clear as the picture. A webcam with noise reduction will help clean up any hissing or added noise to make your video conversations feel like you are chatting in person.
If you are particular about a camera’s focus, a manual focus webcam will be the way to go. If you're not, webcams with autofocus can be quite convenient. Facial tracking will also help to make sure you always stay in focus. Fixed-focus cameras do not have the ability to adjust the focus as you move, so at certain distances the picture may become blurry. Once you have created a video that you want to share with the world, one-click upload features can speed up the process to internet stardom.
The best web cameras offer easy connection via a USB port and can rotate a full 360 degrees. Look for quality built-in microphones because these help bring more clarity to your video chat conversations. A webcam with a long connection cable enhances placement options.
Help & Support
It's important to not only look at the product itself, but also at the company that backs it. We prefer companies that offer long warranties, downloadable user manuals and easy email and telephone contact options. Getting the answers you need should be easy.
When you combine a high-resolution video with clear sound quality, you have the right foundation for a great webcam. Add features such as autofocus, noise reduction and a portable design with a full range of view, and you will have one of the best webcams available.