At this point, almost everyone and their dog are streaming their games online. It’s not hard to see why, considering the breadth of tech that’s currently available. The webcam is an essential piece of the streaming puzzle. It’s the device that gives your audience a direct line to you as a person. A face to go with your content, that provides a deeper connection than adding disembodied audio of gameplay footage.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about taking your streaming a bit more seriously and want to invest a bit more into your channel? Or maybe you’re feeling a little lonely while in self-isolation and want some online company while playing Ghost of Tsushima? Either way, we’ve collected a couple of different webcams that are great options for the burgeoning streamer, or someone looking for an upgrade for your current set up.
If you’re looking to pick up a webcam that doesn’t break your bank, the C615 is a decent option. This compact device will only set you back $99.95 and, if you’ve never streamed before, is pretty easy to get a handle on. The webcam comes with a smooth auto-focus function, and the in-built noise-reducing mic is a good option if you don’t already have a microphone set up.
The C615 can record video at Full HD 1080p, which is great if you just want to sit in from of the camera and explain why Redd is the true villain of Animal Crossing. However, it only streams at 720p, which isn’t the worst but you can do better. Ideally, you would want to be streaming video at 1080p, but for rookie streamers this is perfectly fine. If you’re looking to get a new streaming webcam as an upgrade, I’d leave the C615 alone.
AVerMedia’s PW313 is an all-rounder webcam. There’s no real stand out feature of it, but you get good image quality and can stream 1080p at 30fps with two built-in microphones. It keeps things simple — a step up from a beginner webcam, but not quite pro-tier. At $1146.16, it’s not a bad choice.
The PW313 is mounted on a nice 360, and comes with an easy-slide privacy cover. The camera also comes pre-programmed with some face-tracking filters that are fun enough to warrant a spin.
The only problem I have with the PW313 is that it doesn’t have an auto-focus function, which is a strange omission from an otherwise decent webcam. You’ll have to fix your focus before going live. It also struggles a bit in low-light, but that’s easily fixed with a lighting set-up — which is something you should be considering anyway.
Keeping in line with Razer’s unique product design, the Kiyo is a fun little webcam whose biggest draw is that it comes with a built-in lighting ring. Depending on where you grab it from, you can pick one up from anywhere between $169 to $184.95.(Although it is currently out of stock at Razer’s online store.) This webcam can stream 720p 60fps and 1080p 30fps, which is ideally what you want.
As for the Kiyo’s built-in light ring, it’s nothing game-changing but the connivence of having it bundled with the webcam is nice, and even the most basic lighting set up is considerably better than none at all. It also has 12 brightness settings, so you can adjust it to suit your needs. At the very least, it’s one less piece of equipment that you need to worry about sourcing and setting up if you’re just starting out.
The Logitech C922 is an upgrade of the c920, placing a greater focus on streaming. It has been designed with optimisation for Twitch and YouTube. The C922 supports H.264 encoding, so you’ll get a quality compression rate so your computer won’t be bending over backwards to maintain stream integrity. This webcam can stream full HD 1080p video at 30fps, and 720p at a smooth 60 fps. It also has two built-in microphones, so you can record audio in stereo. Unfortunately, it does have a subpar background removal feature, but this fault is definitely outweighed by the C922’s other strengths.
Logitech’s C922 is fantastic if you’re either a new streamer or if you’re looking to upgrade your gear to something that you’ll be able to rely on for awhile. You can currently pick it up for $188 over Bing Lee, which is $11.95 cheaper than the RRP.
If you’re after the best webcam that money can buy, Logitech’s Brio is pretty much it. It runs at a 4K native resolution, which isn’t particularly common for webcams. . In terms of frame-rates, the 4K streams at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps and 720p at 90fps are all possible. The Brio comes with RightLight 3 and HDR built-in, so you’ll get some solid automatic low-light correction. The Brio’s noise cancelling, omni-directional mics aren’t too bad either.
For the newly minted streamer, dropping $349.95 on this might be a bit hard to justify. Although, if you’re willing to spend the cash, the production quality that you’ll get from this product offers a strong air of professionalism most other webcams can’t. If you’re serious about streaming and are deadset on being able to show your audience every throbbing vein and sweaty pore on your face while you struggle to not die against the same terrible dog in The Last of Us 2 again, you can’t get much better than the Brio.