8 Best Webcams 2021 | Top Webcams to Replace Your Laptop Camera


Virtual meetings, live-streaming, and content production are now a permanent fixture of our daily life. You’ll need more than your laptop’s mediocre webcam for crystal clear communication with others over the web. External webcams ensure your audience stays focused on your message by eliminating the distracting graininess and blur built-in laptop cameras create. Be it collaborative work over Zoom or a global livestream using Twitch, these are the best-performing webcams to help you put your best self out to the digital world.

Check out quick info below on the top five webcams, then scroll deeper for buying info and full reviews of these and other models.

Why Get a Webcam?

Even if you have a $2,000 laptop, chances are that its camera is still significantly worse than the one found on your phone. With most built-in laptop cameras capped at a 720p resolution and under five megapixels, what you are left with is less-than-impressive image quality. Not only is this disappointing to the person who paid top dollar for a laptop with a second-rate camera, it’s especially distracting to those on the receiving end of your video feed. Audio distortion and overexposure make it hard for viewers to decipher what you’re trying to say.

As phones have gradually taken the place of our cameras, they receive upgrades so often it’s hard to keep track of the newest models. Yet laptop cameras continue to be overlooked. As bezels continue to shrink, many laptop cameras are left with smaller sensor modules, often placed in awkward positions or removed altogether. While video quality may not have been your priority in the past, hybrid work models and Zoom calls with the family are becoming increasingly important for both business and pleasure. If you want to maximize engagement, appear professional, and improve the overall quality of your image—grab yourself a dedicated external webcam.

Webcams will also give you the ability to expand your creative control with your image and video captures especially in adult cam sites. Many have the ability to filter, autofocus, zoom, adjust to lighting, and even take photographs. Some even have built-in mics that can help give you a better quality of sound as well. If you are a content creator or streamer, an investment into an external webcam can be a relatively inexpensive way to make a serious improvement in your video quality.

How We Selected and Rated Them

We researched multiple expert sources such as PC Mag, PC Gamer, and Tech Radar, as well as 4,500 consumer reviews, to select the top eight webcams of the year. Our Consumer Score represents the percentage of customers who rated the product at least four out of five stars on retail and review sites like Amazon, Walmart, and manufacturers’ websites.


Logitech C922 Pro Webcam

Consumer Score: 94% gave it 4 stars or more
Everything you need for your everyday use with superb polish.

Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam

  • Superior omnidirectional microphones
  • Automatic low light correction
  • Difficult to find in stock

At just under $100, Logitech’s C922 slightly improves upon its predecessor, the C920. That’s a pretty impressive feat since the C920 happens to be the most popular webcam of all time. The C922 captures the same detail-rich 1080p image quality but adds improvements like crisper audio from the two omnidirectional microphones, silky smooth motion with a 60 frame per second recording speed at lower resolutions, and automatic brightness adjustments for improved low-light conditions. Simply put, Logitech works its magic to make a 1080p webcam indistinguishable from a piece of professional studio equipment.

While the top-notch autofocus and optimized lighting make this camera popular with content creators, anyone can greatly benefit from the pop the C922 creates between the foreground and background in both work and casual calls. The camera’s small body doesn’t take up much room on top of your monitor and comes with its own tripod stand for extensive placement options. As the bar for high-quality video continues to rise, it’s hard to top the performance of the C922 without splurging for webcams that are way more expensive.


  • Video Resolution: 1080p (30 FPS), 720p (60 FPS)
  • Attachment: Universal Mount, tripod
  • Microphone: Dual omnidirectional integrated with noise cancelling
  • Connectivity: USB-A
  • System Requirements: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome


Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 Webcam

Consumer Score: 79% gave it 4 stars or more
Simple and affordable.

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

  • Affordable
  • Built-in filters

If you’re looking for a budget camera that can improve your video chatting experience without breaking the bank, Microsoft’s LifeCam HD-3000 is a great option. Its sleek design makes it travel-friendly and integrates into any setup without taking up much space. Locked to a 720p widescreen resolution, the LifeCam isn’t as clear as our other options. TrueColor technology provides vibrant color and brightness that compensates for this. While the microphone is unidirectional, speaking directly toward it produces crisp sound with acoustic noise cancellation. If you’ll be using your webcam with multiple people in the same room or you tend to use it while walking about, you’ll want to look into a webcam that has omnidirectional microphones.

The brighter image and wide 69-degree field of view provide a more immersive sense of space than built-in cameras are capable of. Don’t feel like using your LifeCam in your current environment? You can use an extensive collection of provided background filters to look like you’re tuning in from the Bahamas instead of the home office you’ve been cooped up inside for the past year. The LifeCam also allows you to capture photos and record video, and is even Skype-certified for clear and lag-free video chat.


      • Video Resolution: 720p (30 FPS)
      • Zoom: 100x
      • Attachment: Universal Mount
      • Microphone: Unidirectional integrated with Acoustic Noise Cancelling
      • Connectivity: USB-A
      • System Requirements: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome


NexiGo N660

Consumer Score: 94% gave it 4 stars or more
Present to colleagues and clients like a boss with work-centric features.


  • Dual Microphones
  • Privacy Cover

Striking an optimal balance between features and price, the NexiGo N660 has a higher resolution than our budget pick in addition to more image adjustability for a more professional look. Crisp 1080p, full high-definition performance pairs with an ultra-wide 110-degree angle for a lifelike presence in conferences. Coworkers can see more visual details during presentations, and the built-in microphones clearly capture and annunciate your words through the screen. When you wrap up your meetings, a physical privacy shutter ensures you won’t be caught scarfing down leftovers between calls.

If you want to fine-tune your settings, NexiGo provides a suite for advanced adjustments such as white balance, brightness, and hue. For those who couldn’t care less about optimizing their picture quality, the N660’s simple plug-and-play operation leaves you with a fine-tuned image right out of the box. With the N660 you’ll focus less on fiddling with adjustments and spend more time getting collaborative work done.


        • Video Resolution: 1080p (30 FPS)
        • Attachment: Universal Mount
        • Microphone: Integrated with Ambient Noise Cancelling
        • Connectivity: USB-A
        • System Requirements: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome


Logitech Streamcam Plus

Consumer Score: 90% gave it 4 stars or more
Feature-packed with full HD landscape and portrait shooting orientations.



$149.99 (12% off)

  • Widescreen and vertical for mobile video
  • Superior face-tracking
  • Requires strong hardware for optimal performance

If you’re a media maven, the StreamCam optimizes your workflow. A higher-end sibling to our top pick, the StreamCam has refined auto-focus sensors, AI-enabled facial tracking, and the most accurate colors overall. Physically rotating the webcam instantly switches between shooting in a landscape and portrait orientation. When you need to hop on a video chat or create widescreen content for YouTube, you can leave the camera sitting horizontally for a wider view. If you want to go live on TikTok or create an Instagram reel, flip the camera over to work in the same full 1080p resolution at a 9:16 vertical format that’s optimized for mobile video.

With visual performance that surpasses our top pick, a superior built-in microphone and a premium mesh body, the StreamCam will set you back a bit more than the other options on our list. Like the C922, the StreamCam can also access the full Logitech Capture suite for adjustments like light correction, zoom levels, and color accuracy. If you’re serious about media production, the StreamCam helps you pump out tailored content across all devices while serving as a beastly general-use webcam. For those looking for a simple quality improvement, the StreamCam is admittedly overkill.


          • Video Resolution: 1080p (60 FPS) in widescreen and vertical orientation
          • Attachment: Universal Mount
          • Microphone: Stereo audio with built-in dual mics
          • Connectivity: USB-C (USB-A with third party adapter)
          • System Requirements: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome


Razer Kiyo

Consumer Score: 89% gave it 4 stars or more
Look your best no matter where you are.


  • Onboard lighting
  • Extensive camera control

Razer’s Kiyo webcam includes a built-in 5600K ring light that can be adjusted in real time with a physical rotating bezel. This eliminates the need to dig into software or adjust external lighting equipment—handy for instantaneous adjustments when you’re live. Wrapped around the camera lens, the ring light keeps you evenly lit from all angles. Like our top pick, it can shoot in full HD and switch to a lower 720p resolution for smoother motion rate of 60 frames per second. The autofocus rivals the Logitech line a majority of the time but is a tad finicky on occasion. That could be a problem if your calls or videos often require you to hold an object up to the camera. Eliminating shadows and illuminating your face, the Kiyo helps you look your best whether you’re in a bright living room or chatting from an indoor event with darker lighting.


            • Video Resolution: 1080p (30 FPS), 720p (60 FPS)
            • Attachment: Universal Mount
            • Microphone: Built-in
            • Connectivity: USB-A and USB-C (with third party adapter)
            • System Requirements: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome


Logitech Brio 4K Webcam

Consumer Score: 85% gave it 4 stars or more
The highest definition you can get from a webcam.

Logetich BRIO 4k Ultra HD Webcam



  • 4K HDR video capture
  • 90 degree field of view
  • Overkill for a majority of people

It’s easy to get caught up in the 4k definition of the Brio, but that’s not all it has to offer. In addition to an image four times as detailed as our 1080p picks, it has a 90-degree field of view, which can capture an entire room (so beware when taking important Zoom calls!). Features like advanced autofocus and support for HDR capture vivid lifelike colors and highlights. Unfortunately, while you may be able to utilize the 4k quality on some virtual calling services, it won’t carry over to platforms such as Youtube where 4k resolution isn’t supported yet. The one real downside seems to be the autofocus accuracy, which reviewers at PC Gamer found to be spotty at best.


              • Video Resolution: 1080p (60 FPS), 4K (30 FPS)
              • Attachment: Universal Mount
              • Microphone: Built-in dual omnidirectional mics
              • Connectivity: USB-A and USB-C (with third party adapter)
              • System Requirements: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome


Mevo Start 1080p Streaming Camera and Webcam

Consumer Score: 90% gave it 4 stars or more
Take high-quality streaming wherever you go.

Mevo Full HD 1080p Camera

  • Wireless Operation
  • Portable body

For frequent travelers, or those who want to chat on the go, this is the webcam for you. All you need to get started with a wireless webcam is a network to connect to and your phone to start chatting. The camera allows you to pan, tilt, zoom, and even cut between wide and close shots without being tied down by wires. Plus, it can run for up to six hours on a single charge. Its 1080p video leaves you with an incredibly crisp image, great for professional work or remote interviews on the go. While this is certainly more expensive than other webcams, you’re paying for superior image quality without having to worry about where you can and cannot video chat.


                • Video Resolution: 1080p (30 FPS)
                • Audio: Internal built-in microphone and a 3.5mm input for external audio
                • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
                • App Compatibility: iOS and Android
                • Video Conferencing Compatibility: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Skype


NexiGo N940P

Consumer Score: 81% gave it 4 stars or more
Take control of your camera from anywhere in the room.


  • Physical remote for on-the-fly adjustment
  • 2K Resolution
  • Microphone lacks bass and picks up background noise

If you want to zoom, adjust volume levels, or even turn off your webcam from a distance, the N940P’s IR remote control offers a convenient way to control your calls. You can stand up and present PowerPoints to coworkers or sit on the couch and adjust the camera to find your most flattering angle. Hovering between a full HD 1080p resolution and the Brio’s overpowered 4K capabilities, the 1440P Sony CMOS sensor on the N940P hits the definition sweet spot. The microphone is okay but lacks bass and is prone to picking up light background noise like the hum of an air conditioner.


                  • Video Resolution: 1440p (30 FPS), 1080p (60 FPS)
                  • Audio: Internal built-in microphone with noise cancellation
                  • Connectivity: USB-A, USB-C via included adapter
                  • System Requirements: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Chrome
Gabrielle Hondorp
Gabrielle Hondorp began her journalism career in 2019 as a Digital Editorial Fellow for Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazine.

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