Zoom or rather any other video conferencing application has become quite common among working professionals, high-school & college students or anyone who is working from home. Finding the right webcam that is compatible with Zoom doesn’t come without its share of challenges. While we know that you need a reliable webcam, the tougher question is, how to find the best one?
Unlike a webcam that is traditionally used for content streaming, the one suited for Zoom and other related applications like Skype, Google Meets, etc, must be bolstered with high-end microphones, excellent field of view, and decent low-light performances.
Most of us end up purchasing generic webcams when we should be looking for options with excellent AF or even Fixed Focus capabilities. Besides, the major pet peeve when it comes to selecting a Zoom-compatible webcam is the inability to identify one with a powerful acoustic setup. Other pain points include purchasing a device without standard security measures like kill switch, biometric login, privacy shutter, and microphone muting support.
At Freedom 251, we help you scale beyond these pain points by helping identify the best webcams for Zoom and other video conferencing applications. We have tested more than 50 variants, only to come up with a list of webcams best suited for video conferencing, albeit with the focus being on Zoom. During our extensive research, we have zeroed in on webcams that offer multi-app support, responsive UI, privacy features, excellent microphone, and budget-centric compatibility.
- 9 Best Webcams for Zoom Meetings in 2021
- 1. Best With Privacy Shutter: Logitech BRIO Ultra
- 2. Best With Autofocus: Razer Kiyo
- 3. Best Microphone: Microsoft LifeCam Studio
- 4. Best For College Students: Logitech C920x Pro
- 5. Best Noise Cancellation: NexiGo N930AF
- 6. Best Field of View: Logitech C270
- 7. Best With Digital Zoom: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
- 8. Best For 1080p Videos: eMeet 1080p
- 9. Best With HD Autofocus: IVSO Webcam
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is a fixed focus webcam still good enough for Zoom calls?
- Is it important to invest in a device flaunting Video Compression standard?
- What is the significance of FoV when it comes to purchasing webcams?
- Which portability features to look for whilst purchasing a webcam for video conferencing?
- How important is multi-software compatibility when it comes to selecting a webcam for Zoom?
9 Best Webcams for Zoom Meetings in 2021
Undeniably, there are quite a few relevant webcams in the market that are best suited for Zoom calls and team meetings. However, we have extensively tested 19 of the best devices that are currently available in the market, precisely to come up with the top 9 offerings. In addition to lending adequate support to Zoom sessions, each of these webcams can be used for other impactful software solutions like Cisco Webex, Skype, Hangouts, Jabber, and whatnot.
1. Best With Privacy Shutter: Logitech BRIO Ultra
If we had to review the BRIO Ultra in one word, ‘Amazing’ would be the term we would use. Although there are quite a few competent webcams in the market, nothing justifies perfection better than this device, which comes equipped with certain market-moving characteristics and covers every base for the professional within.
Firstly, when it comes to resolution, Logitech brings in a handful of options to work with. While you can arrange conferences and capture videos in 4K, there are 1080p and even 720p modes to work with. Therefore, if you ever plan on recording professional conversations, the file size will hardly be an issue with multiple resolutions supported by the webcam.
Provided you are interested in the lens quality and other structural elements associated with the Logitech BRIO, the glass lens, made of a premium quality material, deserves a special mention. Moreover, there is a dedicated 4K sensor embedded within, which justifies the higher price point. Furthermore, the sensor also paves the way for HDR-capable images and True-to-Life videos, which is more of an asset if Zoom is one of your go-to software solutions.
With the Logitech BRIO to work with, video blurring hardly seems an issue as we get to experience the fast autofocusing mechanism. Not just that, you can seamlessly work in low-lit conditions as this external webcam is one of the few devices in the retail space to offer exposure adjustment support. Besides, you need not lose sleep over the room orientation while attending team meetings, courtesy of the integrated backlighting compensation and glare management enhancement.
Then again, we took time out to test this webcam for each of our 10 team Zoom meetings and were blown away by the light correction capabilities of the same. What impressed us the most is the razor-sharp projection of videos followed by unimaginable clarity!
However, the acoustic setup associated with the Logitech BRIO Ultra also deserves accolades. To start with, you get access to a dual-microphone setup, boasting stereo-grade output and omnidirectional sound capturing support. Despite the bells and whistles, it was the natural voice reproduction that worked best for us.
In case the privacy is a cause for concern and quite appropriately so, this webcam comes equipped with a Privacy shutter, precisely to keep Shadow IT threats at bay. Besides, the gadget is compatible with several video conferencing platforms like Hangouts, Skype, and obviously Zoom and supports the Microphone muting capabilities associated with each.
Connecting the Logitech BRIO Ultra to the concerned host is probably easier than ever, owing to the USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and even Type-C compatibility. Therefore, regardless of the nature of the computer you own, the BRIO Ultra is expected to find a place. Coming to OS-centric compatibility, this external webcam works perfectly with almost every operating system and device.
However, the specs sheet continues to enthral with BRIO making room for the 5X digital zooming capability. This feature allows you to focus on the more important elements at the backdrop whilst capturing images or videos. The Plug-and-Play functionality is perfectly complemented by the UVC mode and even accommodates Pan zooming into the mix. Lastly, if pricing isn’t an issue and you are seeking the best external webcam for your Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing platform, the Logitech BRIO Ultra is the gadget to invest in.
- Customized Field of protection
- Comes with dedicated privacy perks
- Supports up to 90fps for 720p capturing
- Brightness optimizer is integrated
- Comes with Windows Hello support
2. Best With Autofocus: Razer Kiyo
Despite the occasional hits and misses, the Razer Kiyo continues to feature as one of the best webcams for your Zoom-centric indulgences. However, before you move further into this review, you need to understand that Kiyo needs to work with the Razer Synapse enhancement, especially for helping you procure the best set of visuals.
Coming straight to the clarity and resolution, the Razer Kiyo features a high-end 1080p sensor. While this attribute allows you to capture and stream videos in Full HD, it is also backward compatible with the 720p resolution. Moreover, if your Zoom meetings concern high-speed elements or on-the-move indulgences, the 30fps 1080p video capturing might not be something you would want. Instead, you can also tweak the settings to assume 720p videos at 60 frames per second.
While the HD resolution makes way for smoother video capturing, both FHD and HD formats are compatible with diverse streaming modules like OBS. However, we were most impressed with the scene optimization attribute that is exclusive to Kiyo. With this feature turned on, you need not worry about the minimally illuminated surroundings and other discrepancies as the person sitting on the other side will always get to experience your best self. This is especially useful for work-from-home professionals.
The Razer Kiyo is a minimalist webcam that helps you get rid of harsh shadows and even cluttered lights. The adjustable lighting support can be experienced as a part of the scene optimization feature. Plus, the Kiyo also exhibits enviable levels of visual fidelity, provided you have the Synapse 3 support, switched on.
While we wouldn’t go gaga over the integrated microphones, the audio production capabilities were still close to perfect. The noise cancellation, however, doesn’t work all that well. Then again, this external webcam is best known for the advanced autofocus, which ensures blur-free visuals. Plus, there are quite a few other software-centric enhancements to make use of, provided you are willing to explore every attribute associated with the Kiyo.
That said, this is one of the few external webcams that allow you to pair a light ring, in case the environment is abnormally dark. However, the light ring is literally bezel-less and takes up minimal space, and doesn’t even add up to the structural footprint of the same. Besides, if you have the Synapse 3 application by your side, it becomes easier to adjust the sharpness, brightness, and even focus, as per requirements.
Other relevant specs include multi-OS compatibility followed by the ability of the Kiyo to work as a basic plug-and-play webcam, with the USB 2.0 port to rely on. Besides, the white balancing feature is what adds to the credibility of the same. Therefore, if you are in the market for a feature-packed webcam that offers excellent manual control over the image and visuals, the Razer Kiyo is worth investing in.
- Customizable app-based interface
- The best option for low-light conditions
- 720p output is receivable at 60fps
- Features the dedicated light ring
- Not the best microphone
- Experiences several compatibility issues
3. Best Microphone: Microsoft LifeCam Studio
For starters, we were impressed by the structural presence of this external webcam, primarily characterized by the elongated body and a pretty sturdy inflection point. In addition to the exquisite aesthetics, you are also perfectly served by the glass-element webcam lens that exhibits high-precision output.
However, a majority of the video-centric workload is shouldered by the reliable 1080p HD sensor. While the sensor allows you to shoot videos in 1080p and even 720p, provided you are up for higher frame rates, it is the widescreen visual projection that makes the most sense. This attribute allows you to manage professional calls with precision, whilst offering wider viewing angles for the team members to work with.
Besides, this is one of the few external webcams that rely on video quality, more than the images. This means the advanced webcam AF, clubbed with TrueColor technology allows you to project your best self to the team members, thereby living up to the main essence of video conferencing. Moreover, the color reproduction is close to perfect, owing to the associated enhancements.
The wide-angle lens associated with the LifeCam studio is perfectly complemented by a 360-degree viewing range. While this feature eliminates the need for perfect alignment, it works in cohesion with the affable ClearFrame video capturing technology, for sending forth reliable video streams to the other side.
Coming to acoustics, there is a high-fidelity, studio-grade microphone to work with. Clubbed with high-end optics and relevant technologies, the Wideband microphone makes room for the best professional experiences. Besides, the sound recording capabilities of the same are highly organic and compatible with the likes of Zoom, Skype, and more.
Provided you are interested in the full suite, the LifeCam Studio webcam is precisely optimized for the Lync communication platform. However, despite working seamlessly with Microsoft’s proprietary platform, this Aluminum-clad device is also good enough for almost every video conferring application, owing to the maneuverable field of projection. Not to mention, the plug-and-play support followed by the Windows and macOS compatibility.
Overall, the LifeCam Studio from Microsoft is a reliable device that comes equipped with the innovative Face Tracking feature. While the video quality is top-notch, the structural elements and the security-centric attributes further the credibility of the same.
- High-fidelity acoustic setup
- Glass lens justifies the pricing and longevity
- Advanced autofocus
- Widest possible viewing experience
- Wideband microphone cuts out noise like a pro
- Doesn’t come with a dedicated carrying case
- Heavier than usual
4. Best For College Students: Logitech C920x Pro
The Logitech C920x Pro is one of the best mid-range webcams on the list. While the feature sets readily resemble any high-end external webcam, we were most intrigued by the 1080p or rather Full HD video calling support. In case you are concerned about the quality of captures, the 30fps limit is good enough for college students who attend classes on Zoom and Skype calls.
For feature seekers, this webcam allows you to downgrade the videos to 720p resolution, precisely for achieving faster outputs. Therefore, you can even consider using the same for Facebook Messenger and other platforms where video capturing is more about the frame rates and less about the resolution. Besides, this webcam is also more than capable of capturing the minutest of details, without slowing down the host.
As far as the lens quality is concerned, the Premium Glass module certainly deserves a special mention. This means you can expect Razor sharp images whilst getting ample support from the advanced autofocus that allows you to shoot and record videos sans blurs. Then again, we tested the Logitech C920x Pro in low-lit conditions, only to discover the brilliance and the low-light correction support, courtesy of the shadow elimination and backlighting and glare elimination.
The automatic light correction isn’t the only good thing about this webcam. Instead, it also emphasizes the acoustic, courtesy of the stereo microphones. The dual-microphone setup offers omnidirectional support, which allows you to project the sounds from every possible angle. However, this model doesn’t allow you to replace the background as is the case with the C922x. However, the former is still good enough in terms of lens quality i.e. 5-element support and video-centric outputs.
As far as the connectivity suite is concerned, this webcam supports plug-and-play functionality courtesy of the USB 2.0 support. Besides, the multi-OS, or rather the multi-platform compatibility is something that you can take pride in. Overall, Logitech also offers a year-long warranty on the same followed by the XSplit VCam functionality for editing and maneuvering videos on the move.
Therefore, if you are looking for added app-based functionality on a pretty affordable yet intuitive webcam, we would recommend the Logitech C920x Pro is the go-to device.
- Advanced video capturing
- Automatic lighting adjustment
- Dual microphones offer omnidirectional output
- Best webcam for poorly illuminated conditions
- Excellent AF
- 78-degree viewing experience
- Doesn’t offer background replacement support
5. Best Noise Cancellation: NexiGo N930AF
The featured webcam from NexiGo is your best bet if you are interested in truckloads of features but aren’t willing to burn a hole in the pocket. For starters, this external webcam comes equipped with a standard 2MP shooter as the company takes it upon itself to declare the exact set of specifications. However, what works in your favor is the 1080p video capturing resolution at 30fps. As expected, this webcam allows you to downgrade videos to 720p, precisely for reaching higher refresh rates.
Next in line is the decent-enough field of projection, set at 65 degrees. This means the viewing area is never an issue for the NexiGo 1080p webcam. Not just that, we are also in the awe of the CMOS lens, which doesn’t only capture clear videos but also ensures that you do not miss out on the smaller details. No wonder, this device features on the list, alongside some of the stalwarts.
Furthermore, this webcam also boasts an efficient autofocus system, which in turn allows you to enjoy blur-free Zoom sessions. Unlike a fixed focus webcam, NexiGo is capable of adjusting the focal length according to the distance. For social media influencers or YouTubers, this external webcam comes with a lot of promise. Firstly, you get access to a noise-canceling unit, which is compatible with almost every live streaming application like Twitch, Periscope, etc.
Therefore, you can keep up with the professional developments even when on the move as the integrated microphone works well even when external noise is kind of overwhelming. Besides, the plug-and-play functionality, owing to the USB 2.0, makes it a great mobile unit. Then again, the plug-and-play unit is supplemented with a sizable 2 meter, USB cord, precisely for easy access.
For privacy seekers, this webcam comes with a dedicated privacy shutter. This attribute keeps phishing and cybersecurity threats at bay whilst safeguarding the device from dirt and debris if used outside. Other relevant specs include multi-app and multi-OS compatibility followed by the ability of NexiGo to correct and improve the image quality.
This means the AF functionality is ably supported by the light correction ability of this webcam. While we already talked about the Field of View, the NexiGo webcam goes one step further and offers 360-degree manual rotational support to the more enthusiastic users. Therefore, if you plan on purchasing a reliable webcam with noise-cancellation and low-light optimization technologies, the 1080p unit from NexiGo is the best option in the retail space.
- Excellent low-light performance
- Fast AF
- Can be rotated up to 360 degrees, manually
- Multi-app compatibility
- Long cable
- The integrated microphone comes with noise cancellation perks
- The field of projection isn’t even 90 degrees
- Doesn’t offer Digital or Pan zooming support
6. Best Field of View: Logitech C270
The Logitech C270 might not look like much but it certainly lives up to the name and delivers performances that are worth remembering. Besides, if you only want to invest in a basic yet powerful webcam, which works better than a laptop adhering one, this is the perfect option for your Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, and other relevant indulgences.
Coming to the video capturing resolution, the Logitech C270 supports 720p, and that too at 30fps. While this isn’t as good as some of the other webcams, it works perfectly for low bandwidth internet connections. Next in line is the auto light correction, which furthers the smooth calling performances, regardless of the illumination, making it a good option for online schooling. Not just that, despite being a budget webcam, you still get to experience natural and vibrant colors, associated with the live images.
Also, the Logitech C270 offers a widescreen viewing experience with the FoV being fixed at 60 degrees. While the field of projection might look underwhelming, it certainly justifies the price point. Coming to acoustics, this webcam flaunts the noise-reduction microphones. While the mono microphone might not look like a powerful addition, it is quite loud and justifies the inclusion of the Logitech C270 on the list.
Have you ever considered using the webcam for clicking photos? If not, the Logitech C270 offers the requisite support by allowing you to capture images via the 3MP shooter. However, you can take photos in the 4:3 aspect ratio whilst assuming a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. In addition to the enviable support for imagery, this webcam also comes equipped with motion detection support and the pan zooming control.
As far as gadget privacy is concerned, you get face tracking support instead of the privacy shutter. Setting up and using the Logitech C270 is easier than ever as you can deploy the same as a plug-and-play device courtesy of the USB 2.0 port. Besides, there is a universal clip to work with, provided you want to attach the same securely onto the gadget.
Therefore, if you want to invest in a budget-centric and sleek webcam that isn’t way too much for your basic video conferencing requirements, the Logitech C270 is the one to consider.
- Multi-OS compatibility
- Supports the UVC mode as a plug-and-play unit
- Compatible with almost every video conferencing app
- Adequate Field of View
- Automatic light correction
- Mono speakers are underwhelming
- Doesn’t come with AF support
7. Best With Digital Zoom: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
The LifeCam HD-3000 is one of the best external webcams on the list, especially if you are looking for a more affordable option. Firstly, this device projects videos at 720p, which is probably the best option for low bandwidth connections. However, if you aren’t game for an imaging rate of 30fps, this might not be the perfect option to invest in.
Regardless, the LifeCam HD-3000 is also good enough for capturing stills at 1280 x 800 pixels. Besides, this external webcam doesn’t let you down when relevant imaging features are concerned. This means you get access to digital tilting and panning support followed by the 4x digital zooming support. However, contrary to our expectations, we get a fixed-focus module with a maximum range of 1.5m.
This attribute is still good enough if the Zoom meetings do not require you to sit far from the device. However, poor illumination isn’t an issue as the webcam comes fortified with image adjustment support, and that too with provision for manual override. In case acoustic performance is one of your priorities, there is a unidirectional microphone to work with, which is compatible with diverse applications and video conferencing resources.
The webcam interface, on the other hand, presents a wider viewing angle and also accommodates multi-OS compatibility. Then again, you can carry this plug-and-play webcam almost anywhere as it comes equipped with the USB 2.0 port, relevant USB cable, and the universal attachment base that allows you to pair the same with almost any given host.
Overall, the LifeCam HD-3000 is probably the most affordable webcam in the market to consider if you seek a noise-canceling microphone followed by a reliable lens boasting video recording of cinematic quality.
- Comes with auto image optimization support
- Equipped with 4x digital zoom
- The best option for managing Zoom teams at once
- Excellent microphone with adequate noise cancellation
- Lacks a privacy shutter
- Fixed focus is slightly restrictive in nature
8. Best For 1080p Videos: eMeet 1080p
The eMeet 1080p external webcam is one of the more competent units in the market, provided you are more invested in video resolution than AF and other related capabilities. To start with, eMeet offers access to a high-end CMOS lens, bolstered further by anti-glare capabilities. This means, if you are continuously working from home and looking for a webcam that puts minimal stress on your eyes, eMeet 1080p is the one to purchase.
However, despite the excellent lens and the true-to-life images, the fixed focus support comes across as slightly overwhelming. Then again, if you are primarily a Zoom or Skype user, the fixed focus with a range of up to 197 inches, isn’t going to set you back. In case you are more of a technical guy, you can expect an f/2.8 optical sensor. While the aperture isn’t as good as a high-end smartphone, it is more than adequate for low-light correction.
This webcam also exhibits automatic color correction and even makes room for light and color boosting support, whilst taking care of the exposure. Coming to the microphones, you get access to a dual, noise reduction setup. While the omnidirectional microphones do not exactly cancel out the noise, they are still good enough considering the price you are paying for the same.
Coming to the compatibility, alignment, and field of view, this plug-and-play is easy to set up and even offers 90-degree coverage. Therefore, you are better equipped when it comes to covering the additional area for your video calls, provided you have this webcam to rely on. The wide-angle lens is ably complemented by the multi-app support and exceptional compatibility. This means you can pair this webcam with almost any video conferencing resource, sans functional compromises.
Overall, the eMeet C960 is one of the better webcams in the market, especially if you are loyal towards 1080p projections and that too on a budget.
- Excellent acoustic support
- Comes with a dedicated multi-core processor
- Excellent fixed focus range
- 1080p resolution on a budget
- 90-degree viewing angle is worth mentioning
- Expected autofocus
- Adjustable base isn’t the sturdiest one around
9. Best With HD Autofocus: IVSO Webcam
The last product on our list is probably the most innovative of the lot, courtesy of 1080p video capturing support and the inclusion of the high-end optical lens. However, unlike some of the other budget units, the IVSO webcam doesn’t let affordability come in the way of functionality.
The IVSO, quite appropriately, makes way for a CMOS image sensor that comes equipped with a decent specs sheet. While the dynamic resolution is fixed at 1080p, it is the automatic low-light image correction and the imaging rate of 30fps that add to the credibility of the same. However, if you are more into Zoom calls and Skype sessions, you can consider downgrading the dynamic resolution to up to 720p, to achieve better frame rates.
Coming to the additional feature sets, we had the opportunity to test this budget webcam as a part of our remote team induction. Despite the affordability on display, we were impressed with the insanely high viewing angle or Field of View spanning 110 degrees. This feature allowed us to cover a larger area and introduce every remote employee to our in-house team. In addition to the ability of this webcam to bring in more participants, we would also like to mention the class-leading acoustic setup.
Firstly, we get access to a dual microphone arrangement with omnidirectional output. Despite being an impactful setup, the microphones are also capable of noise-cancellation. This means you can consider carrying the webcam outdoors and can still get decent acoustic clarity during Zoom meetings.
In addition to these attributes, this plug-and-play device from IVSO comes equipped with USB 2.0 support and multi-OS compatibility. This means you can pair the same with almost every device, irrespective of the application and the operating system. Lastly, if camera-centric specifications are to be enlisted, the IVSO 1080p webcam also flaunts the 180-degree base unit at the inflection point followed by the adjustable focus, which minimizes blurry visuals.
Overall, this webcam is probably the best choice if you are considering a budget unit with autofocus support, especially for the HD dynamic resolution.
- Excellent stereo microphones with studio-grade fidelity
- Multi-app compatibility
- Comes with a 110-degree FoV for wider captures
- HD autofocus for the given price is unbelievable
- 30fps isn’t adequate for more pressing online meetings
- H.264 video compression doesn’t seem to work
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a fixed focus webcam still good enough for Zoom calls?
While we would always recommend a webcam with AF capabilities, you can still get one with a Fixed focus, if video conferencing is one of your priorities. Unlike streaming where you need the webcam to focus automatically on the subject, desk-based online meetings hardly concern subjects that keep moving. However, even if you are planning to get a more affordable option with Fixed Focus support, opt for the one with a longer range. This would help if you plan on sitting at a fair distance from the device.
Is it important to invest in a device flaunting Video Compression standard?
Modern streaming is all about sending forth data segments or rather streams, which might put a lot of pressure on your internet connection and the CPU pertaining to the host. Therefore, it is advisable to look for a webcam that supports H.264 video compression standard. This attribute ensures that the webcam sends across high-quality snippets whilst minimizing the encoding and even decoding pressure on the processor.
What is the significance of FoV when it comes to purchasing webcams?
For video conferencing, you need to emphasize the Field of View more than anything else. While a wide-angle webcam lens can do the job for you, it boils down to the coverage area you are planning to go with. For instance, something in the 60-degree ballpark is sufficient if you are simply sitting in front of the desk. However, if there are two people trying to get featured, 78 degrees is a good count to consider.
While you can always opt for larger FoVs, it is advisable to purchase a device that supports vertical alignment, to capture additional resources at once.
Which portability features to look for whilst purchasing a webcam for video conferencing?
Although some might invest more in AF and light correction capabilities, we would urge you to get a portable webcam, provided you are more of a globetrotter and you do not want work to take a backseat. While USB 2.0 or higher is preferred so as to facilitate plug-and-play usage, it is necessary to consider devices with dedicated clams, privacy enhancements, and a customizable base unit for seamless attachments.
How important is multi-software compatibility when it comes to selecting a webcam for Zoom?
Zoom, as a go-to video conferencing tool, supports Chatbot and other software-centric integrations. Besides, every device you consider pairing the webcam with comprises a select camera-centric UI, which needs to be prioritized. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in a webcam that syncs perfectly with diverse software solutions whilst paving the way for customizations.
Each of the 9 webcams fits into your Zoom-centric repertoire with seamless ease. However, if you are still clueless about targeted selections, here are certain use cases to look at.
- For corporate calling, online tutoring, and other demanding processes you require a professional and complete Webcam setup. The BRIO Ultra serves you best for the purpose.
- If you’re looking for webcam that allows Omni-directional acoustic access, go for LifeCam Studio. It has best Audio-Centric Brilliance.
- While if privacy is your concern, we recommend the Logitech BRIO Ultra This one comes integrated with a privacy shutter for preventing phishing attacks with ease.
- If you’re always on the go and need to move the subject around, consider a good webcam with Autofocus. The Razer Kiyo is best for travelers.
Apart from that, we have also enlisted options based on Digital Zoom, noise cancellation, Field of View, and other relevant capabilities.