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In a previous round of testing, we tested (and dismissed) Logitech’s C930e and Microsoft’s Life Cam Cinema.
Once we narrowed down the field, we took multiple pictures and videos with each webcam under controlled conditions so we could compare them directly.
If you need a less-expensive option, or something you can take with you, we recommend the Logitech HD Webcam C615.
Its video quality doesn’t match the C920’s—the picture isn’t as sharp, the frame rate is lower at full resolution, autofocus is slower, and auto white balance isn’t as accurate—but the C615 is just as easy to set up, provides 1080p resolution, and has the best quality of any webcam under .
But if your laptop’s integrated webcam is really bad (or broken, or in a dumb place), or if your desktop or display doesn’t have a camera, a USB webcam that sits on top of your screen is the best option.
A stand-alone webcam can also provide better quality for video calls, recording videos, and streaming games, events, porn—you name it!
Andrew Cunningham has spent more than six years writing about PCs and other gadgets for Anand Tech and Ars Technica, and before that he spent five years in IT helping people buy the best tech for their needs.
Kimber Streams has written about tech for six years and been a PC expert for The Wirecutter for more than three years.
It can record 60 fps at 720p (up from the standard of 30 fps), comes with a tripod, and has a fun background replacement feature.
It has sharp, 1080p video at 30 frames per second with fast autofocus and quick, accurate auto white balance; it’s simple to install and use; and at around it doesn’t cost much more than lesser budget webcams.
After a new round of research and testing, we found that the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is still the best webcam for most people, and the Logitech Webcam C615 is still the best webcam for less than .
A good webcam for most people should meet all of these basic criteria, which we used as guidelines for our research: Five of the webcams we tested met or exceeded all of our requirements, and they were all from Logitech: the Brio, C922x, C920, C615, and C525.
We also evaluated the Logitech C270, which lacks autofocus but meets our other requirements and costs only .