We've noticed a pattern after years of notebook testing: Built-in webcams generally . With the exception of a few standouts, those cameras are grainy, blurry, off-color and lacking in detail. You can do better. Plugging in an external webcam can provide better image quality and clearer audio for teleconferencing and streaming.
In our testing, Logitech showed off its muscle in the webcam space. We found cameras that were great for business users and for budget buyers. And we found our favorite overall, the HD Pro Webcam C920.
These are the best webcams today:
Logitech HD Webcam C920 (Best Overall)
The $60 Logitech HD Webcam C920 was an easy favorite. Images that we took with the 1080p camera were sharp, color-accurate and crystal clear. The C920's 78-degree field of view could comfortably fit two people in the frame for a teleconference. Software that comes with the C920 lets you implement filters, adjust the angle, use the webcam as a security camera and take photos to save to your hard drive.
Logitech Webcam C930e (Best for Business)
The Logitech Webcam C930e is the enterprise version of the C920. It's more expensive at $106, but that may be a premium businesses are willing to pay for the best noise-cancelling microphone we found in our camera testing. Talking, keyboard clicking and even videos played in the same room were muted on the C930e. The images were a bit oversaturated, but otherwise just as clear and detailed as on its cheaper sibling, and with a wider viewing angle of 90 degrees. However, if you're using your own mic or headset, most people — and businesses — will be fine with the C920 at the lesser price.
Logitech HD Webcam C310 (Best on a Budget)
If you're on a budget, the $40 Logitech HD Webcam C310 is the best you can get. The 720p camera took detailed photos and stills, but doesn't offer the wide-angle lenses of Logitech's more expensive cameras. The C310 is also tough to affix to a screen, but with a little patience you can get it on tight.
Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD
The LifeCam Cinema HD is a 720p webcam with a bit of a twist: The device is perched on top of a 360-degree swivel. Need to show your video-chatting partner something on the other side of the room? Just rotate the Cinema HD in that direction. The video is clear (with the exception of occasional autofocus hiccups), but the camera is a royal pain to attach to a monitor or laptop and falls off frequently when you try to rotate it.