Laptop Mag Verdict
The Papalook PA930 proves an affordable webcam can produce a quality image with good low-light performance and vibrant colors
Good low-light performance
Sharp picture with vibrant colors
Sturdy and flexible clip mount
Mics sound hollow
Permanently affixed USB cable
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Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (2K) UHD
Microphones: Dual Omni-directional noise canceling
Noise Canceling: Yes
Field of View: 90-degrees
Connection: USB-Type A
Size: 2.5 x 2.2x 2.6 inches
Weight: 12 ounces
The Papalook PA930 HDR webcam is feature-rich without breaking your budget. For $70, you get 2K resolution at 30 frames per second with a 90-degree wide-angle camera, HDR support, and a nifty security cap to make sure no one is snooping on your camera. And for streamers, the camera can record at 1080p at up to 60 fps. Plus, it’s plug-and-play.
However, there are some concessions to be made at this price, namely hollow-sounding mics and a fixed USB cable. But for the price, the Papalook Webcam is worth a look.
Papalook PA930 webcam pricing and compatibility
The Papalook PA930 is currently available on Amazon for $69.99 and is compatible with both Windows 10 and macOS. It works with just about every video meeting platform, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Google Meet. I even used OBS to test the streaming capabilities.
Papalook PA930 webcam design
The PA930 is fairly small at just 2.5 x 2.2 x 2.6 inches and lightweight at just 12 ounces. In comparison, the Logitech HD 920 measures 4.84 x 3.11 x 1.85 inches and weighs 6.6 ounces. You can set it up on any laptop or monitor screen thanks to its adjustable bottom flexible mount clip which folds down, creating a flat surface. At the bottom of the mount is a screw hole for the included aluminum tripod that you can use instead of mounting to your display.
The Papalook PA930 is made of plastic and covered in dark metallic grey. The lens is housed in the center surrounded by a grey textured cloth behind which the dual mic array is hidden. The fabric offers a nice tactile feel. At the top of the unit is the frame switch button that allows you to choose between 2K or 1080p. The unit comes with a permanently affixed USB-Type A cable for connecting to your computer.
Papalook PA930 webcam stills
For its price, the PA930 does a nice job in different lighting situations. I was shocked by how well it did in a dim environment, using only the light from my displays. When I turned the lights out, I expected the serious issues you tend to get with a laptop webcam. However, the PA930 performed great in low light with solid color saturation, and with only some minor image noise and pixilation.
Items in the background were well lit and very discernible no matter the frame rate I switched to during my low-light testing. Under normal lighting conditions, the PA930 delivers sharp images, although my screengrab doesn’t do the live image justice. The PA930 did a very solid job with stills regardless of the lighting conditions.
Papalook PA930 webcam video
Whether recording video or during video conferences, to my vanities detriment, the PA930 accurately captured the salt and pepper of my beard. My red shirt was nicely saturated and the colors were spot-on. Under normal lighting conditions, the PA930 excels, producing a very vivid, color-accurate video that is crisp and clear.
I filmed a short video in low light to test how the unit performed. The webcam did not struggle in lowlight reproducing colors accurately and vibrantly, just as it did when I took a couple still photos. There was some minor image noise when I lowered all of my display’s brightness, with the PA930 quickly adjusting to the new conditions, and the video quality was more than acceptable.
Papalook PA930 webcam audio
I recorded some video and captured audio using the built-in dual mic array of the PA930. The resulting audio was clear, picking up the depth and timbre of my voice nicely. However, there was a hollowness to the audio I recorded, akin to recording in a large empty room. The noise-canceling worked fairly well, despite the efforts of my loud air conditioner, I didn’t hear any trace of the blowhard appliance in the background. Ultimately, for the best audio quality, I recommend checking out our best USB microphone page to pair with your webcam.
Papalook PA930 webcam software
You don’t need to download any companion software with the PA930. You just plug it in, open whichever conferencing or meeting app you normally use, check your settings you’re good to go. I tried it out with Google Meet, Zoom, and used it with OBS to record a short video. There was no downloading and no searching for proper drivers, I just plugged it in, and hopped on a Google Meet with my 11-year-old daughter who won’t stop reminding me it’s time to Just For Men my beard cause “you look too old to be my dad, pop pop.” Maybe someone should make de-aging software for webcams?
For $69.99 you can pick up a Papalook PA930 which offers surprisingly good image quality that will cover the majority of your video conferencing and streaming needs. It delivers solid results regardless of the lighting situation, even in dim-to-dark environments, Plus, it’s easy to set up thanks to its plug-and-play functionality. And due to its flexible mount clip and bundled tripod, it can be set up just about anywhere.
Although the mics could provide a bit more depth and I wish you could remove that pesky USB cable, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a 2K resolution camera at this price. And with the money saved with your Papalook PA930, you should have enough left over to buy a USB mic and other peripherals to level up your home or mobile office.
Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.