Webcams are light-weight and portable devices that are easy to setup. This is great for the less tech savvy content creators that just want a simple option that just works and are usually the best option for content creators that require more flexibility in their streams (travelling, Outdoor, etc).
Webcams are an excellent option for both beginner and professional streamers, as there is a large range of options available regarding the quality and cost.
We tested 20 of the most popular webcams to find the best webcam for streaming in 2022.
Best webcam for streaming on a budget
The Logitech C920 is our top pick for those of you on a budget. You can usually pick it up for around $80 (or £60) but it has almost everything you could want from a webcam, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s a really versatile product that has been a staple for streamers since it was first released way back in 2012.
If that date scares you, don’t let it. Streams are only available in 1080p anyway, which this camera can film in. It has a full HD signal that helps you capture really crisp images, and its frames per second might not be ideal, but it’s definitely workable, especially if you mostly play in 30 FPS. This is a great starter option or budget-friendly option to improve your stream quality, and many of the biggest streamers today started out on this, so you’re in good company.
You can’t go wrong with the Logitech C920, and for $80, you can’t really ask for much more from it. We love this option and we think you will too.
Best webcam for streaming at lower frames per second
The Razer Kiyo is slightly more expensive at around $90 (or £70) but they have expertly created it to work well at those lower frames per second we’ve been speaking about. It is also compatible with filming at 60 FPS, but it will drop in quality to 720p. Still, it’s great to have that option if you need it.
It captures really crisp images at 30 FPS with 1080p, and it has an autofocus feature that allows you to jump straight into the action without compromising on the quality of your stream. The built-in ring light is another wonderful feature, meaning that this will perform well in low light conditions too, so it’s a great option.
Honestly, the drop in quality at 60 FPS isn’t that big of a deal, but it makes you wonder why they bothered to include it. Still, for filming at 30 FPS, you can’t get better than the Razer Kiyo because it has everything you need, including that outstanding built-in ring light. Check what FPS you play at the most on your video games, and if it’s 30 FPS, pick up the Razer Kiyo!
Best webcam for streaming with outstanding video quality
Now we’re taking a bit of a step up in quality, so naturally, we’re taking a step up in price. If you liked the sound of the Razer Kiyo but wanted just a little more from your camera, then let us introduce you to their younger, cooler brother, the Razer Kiyo Pro. It shoots 60 FPS at 1080p, it’s HDR-enabled so you get the most outstanding video quality, and you can really see how it makes your stream pop.
It now has a more thoughtful design too, with a detachable cable. Often cables are the first things to break on webcams, so being able to replace this for a fraction of the price of a new webcam is brilliant. Yes, this is more expensive, at around $170 (or £130), but the difference in video quality really makes that price jump worth it, in our opinion.
This is one of those webcams that just blows your mind. Using this after using a built-in webcam is like night and day, so if you have the money to drop on a webcam that focuses on top-quality video quality, then pick up the Razer Kiyo Pro today!
Best webcam for streaming overall
For us, the Logitech Brio is one of those webcams that just feels professional. It’s actually capable of shooting at 4K at 30 FPS, so if you ever need to drop your frame rate for whatever reason, you’ll end up with unrivaled picture quality. At 60 FPS, it still performs at 1080p, but because of that 4K capability at lower frame rates, it just seems to give off a more detailed picture quality overall.
This is the most expensive offering we’ll be giving you today, and at $200 (or £160) this webcam won’t be for everyone, but if you can afford it or you have a birthday coming up, then try your best to get one of these. The picture quality is insane, the usability is second to none, and the performance in even low light conditions outstrips most other webcams. Seriously, this option is great.
Now hear us out about that last point. The reason we like that less is that at $200 you’re encroaching on DSLR camera territory, which has better specs. Still, we can’t criticize it too much because maybe the lines blurring is a good thing. Besides, low-end DSLR cameras and high-end webcams might not be all that different in terms of the end result, so you might as well opt for the high-end Logitech Brio option here unless you can afford the huge jump to the more expensive DLSR cameras that will bring you exceptional quality streaming for a much bigger initial investment.
For us, this has to be the best webcam for streaming.
Webcam for streaming: A buyer’s guide
There are just four things to look out for when picking up a webcam that’s going to be good enough for streaming:
The ‘P’ level: This is one of those specs that you need to look out for, despite it not having a huge impact on the quality of your stream. That’s because 1080p is one of those words that has flown around the industry until it has become something of an industry standard. If you are looking at a camera that is less than 1080p, you might have a problem. That means the manufacturers aren’t putting their all into this product, so it’s possibly going to be missing some other important things too. Anything less than 1080p, then look closer at the other specs before making a decision!
Frames per second: Frames per second, or FPS, is one of the most important things to look out for when streaming. Most games show on your screen at 60 FPS. Why? Well, video games need to refresh the frame rate quickly, because there is so much information to take in and so much fluidity in motion in video games today. Without it, it’ll feel stilted, and less smooth. Your webcam has to be 60 FPS or it won’t keep up with the games you’re playing, and your viewers won’t stick around for long. *But be aware that you can lower the FPS frame rate of video games to 30 FPS in most cases if you can’t find a suitable webcam at 60 FPS.*
The field of view: This refers to the amount your camera can record of you and your location. Webcams generally come with a field of view of 78 degrees and this is perfectly workable. But if you want to look professional and use the same field of view as the big streamers, look out for webcams with a 90-degree field of view. The effect is minimal to you, but huge to the audience because it shows more of your filming space, more of you as you move, and elongates your background so you really stand out as the primary focus of the stream.
Price: The price is just one of those things you have to prepare yourself for. You will need to spend a little money to get the best quality. As they say, buy cheap and you buy twice. If a camera seems like a budget camera, it’s because it has budget specs, and your stream will suffer as a result.
Webcams VS DSLR cameras
We’re not going to beat around the bush here. DSLR cameras will give you a much better-streaming result, but they’ll also cost you a hell of a lot more than a webcam will. That’s important because not everybody has the money to drop on DSLR cameras that carry these amazingly high specs, especially if you’re just starting out.
Webcams are not bad by any means, but they won’t offer you the same control over the image, the same color and impact quality, or blur out the background to make you the focus of the stream like a DSLR camera will. And yes, many of the big streamers have made the switch to these types of cameras for streaming, but that’s because they have money to burn and it’s their job, so why not, right?
For you, as somebody who is just starting out or just looking for a quick way to boost your streaming quality, webcams are absolutely your best option. It has the most immediate effect on streaming quality for a fraction of the price of a DSLR.
Our advice? Skip the DSLR cameras until you’re making the big bucks. Until then, one of the following webcams will help you get there!
Frequently asked questions
Is video necessary when streaming? No, it isn’t necessary. You can stream the game without streaming yourself, and just talk to your audience through the microphone. The problem with this is it will make your streaming channel look less professional than others who are investing in webcams and showing who they are in their streams. Being visible makes it easier for your audience to connect with you, so try to leave self-consciousness at the door and just have fun with streaming via webcam – your audience will thank you for it.
Does the webcam I use really matter that much? Yes, it really does. We know that investing in a piece of streaming gear isn’t ideal, but our budget-friendly options above still produce great quality streams that your viewers will appreciate. By investing in a quality webcam, you’re letting your audience know that you’re taking your streams seriously, giving them the confidence to stick around and watch you more. Low-quality streams are far less likely to attract viewers, and that’s just a fact.
As streamers, webcams are not only your friend but your bread and butter. Investing in one that helps you produce top-quality streams is the secret to almost every big streamer’s success. We’ve given you four amazing webcam options for streaming today, but if you want to venture out on your own and pick up something for yourself, remember our key points from the general buyer’s guide section to steer you in the right direction.
Whatever you decide to do, we know your streams will be improved massively if you invest in even a small upgrade to your webcam. And whichever way you decide to go, good luck, and happy streaming!
Check out our other lists of top equipment to use for streaming on Twitch.