Top 5 Best Webcams for YouTube and Twitch Streaming 2018
Webcams are extremely useful for streaming and YouTube gaming channels. They are incredibly cheap and are just what you’ll need if you plan to record in front of your computer.
It can be a pain to choose the right one because there’s an impressive amount of bad possible choices. However, I’ve managed to curate a nice list of the best webcams for Youtube and live streaming for this year 2018.
Even though more streamers are starting to use normal cameras for streaming, some of these webcams are still the most popular. They still have disadvantages, but I’ll explain how to counter them in a bit. For now, let’s start with a chart.
Comparison Chart: Best Webcams for YouTube and Twitch
Pan and Tilt
Price / Our Rating
Table of Contents
- Comparison Chart: Best Webcams for YouTube and Twitch
- What You Need to Know First
- Review of the Best Webcams for YouTube and Twitch Streaming
What You Need to Know First
First, you should know that it really doesn’t matter what webcam we’re talking about, all of them have terrible sound recording capacities. Even though these might be the best webcams for YouTube and Twitch, they are not free of this issue. Some of them might do a better job than others, but nothing will compare to having a good external microphone.
1. Your webcam’s microphone is extremely bad
I’m telling you, if you really want your vlogging channel to be good, you will need a good microphone. Don’t hesitate in investing in one; webcams are really cheap, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get also a good mic if you’re serious about this.
2. Only 1% of webcams can record in truly 1080p
Another thing is that a lot of the cameras that you see on the market promoting as having “1080p recording” are lying; most of them record 720p30. There are few exceptions to this rule, mainly the first camera I’ll talk about in the following reviews.
3. Pan and zoom functions are almost always digital and decrease image quality
Finally, you will see that most webcams say that they can pan, tilt and zoom. Most of these actions are only offered with the software you install with the cameras. This means that this is only digital.
What does this mean?
For the zoom, it means that the webcam will simply expand the image, just like you would increase an image’s size in a software like Photoshop. The camera is not truly zooming in by adjusting the focal length of the lens and capturing the same amount of pixels, it just resizes the picture by expanding its pixel. This makes the image quality decrease when you use the zoom.
What you need to take from this is that the digital zoom doesn’t create a crisp image like the optical zoom.
And once the image is ‘zoomed in’, the software controllers allow you to ‘pan’ the webcam by simply moving the expanded image to the left or right, not the camera itself.
The good thing is that at least these cameras can be tilted.
Now that you’ve armored yourself up against the dangers of the webcam market, you’re ready to start reading some reviews.
Review of the Best Webcams for YouTube and Twitch Streaming
All the webcams reviewed here are compatible with Windows, but not all can be used on Mac.
You should check carefully before buying one of these webcams to see if they’re compatible with your specific OS.
The Best Webcam 2018: Logitech HD Pro C920
It really does not matter where you look; the Logitech HD Pro C920 is the best camera for the price.
This is due to its impressive recording quality for a webcam; I haven’t find another webcam that can match this one in quality.
If you’re a streamer or plan to record gaming videos, you are probably going to buy this camera; there are not many reasons not to do so.
Its focus is automatic and it can record 1080p at 30fps. The image quality doesn’t feel like it’s coming from a webcam.
The only bad thing is that its sound recording quality is not very good.
If you decide to go for this camera, please use another microphone. If not, you will sound equalized and robotic. You will also need to speak really loud for the camera to pick up your voice.
Still, it’s a great choice because of its good price. It can tilt and pan and it does deliver good quality.
However, one of the biggest features this camera has is that you can mount it on a tripod. You don’t have to hang your webcam over your monitor like the rest; you can instead choose the best place for your camera and use a small tabletop tripod for it like this Manfrotto.
Bear in mind that the camera doesn’t come with a tripod.
If you combine this camera with a good USB microphone, you can start recording high-quality videos for a low cost.
And one last tip: Do not think the C930 or C922 are better than this one just because they’re newer. The truth is that this older model seems to have fewer issues and it processes video faster. I would still recommend this one over any of those two, even if they sell you the C922 as optimized for streaming. That’s a half-truth, and this one is even cheaper.
However, it’s possible Logitech stops releasing the C920 and starts selling these more expensive versions soon.
Best Webcam for Streaming: Logitech C922
Once Logitech realized that most Twitch streamers were buying the C920, they decided to release a tailored version for them. That's the Logitech C922.
Now, the camera recording quality itself is basically the same as the C920---which is available for less---. But it has additional incentives for vloggers.
The most important one is a feature that can remove the background, doing what a green screen is supposed to do.
The camera can recognize human shapes and it removes everything else, so you can use any background you want to.
How effective is it? Here are some pictures:
As you can see, it can be helpful if you don't have a green screen background... but it is not good enough to completely replace it.
On the other hand, it's worth mentioning that it can record 720p at 60 fps, while the C920 is capped at 30fps. Still, it can only record at 30 frames per second in 1080p, so it's unlikely you'll be using this feature.
Finally, this version comes with a 6-month XSplit license if you buy it on Amazon. This is a streaming software that is preferred by some over the popular and free OBS that most streamers use.
The price difference isn't that big, but try to determine if you'll really find these features useful. You can still get the C920 and a cheap backdrop and you will get a better result with the background removal if you do it right. You can also use a high-quality green screen that you can store easily instead, like ElGato's portable screen.
Newer Alternative to the C920: Logitech C930e
This one is a small upgrade from the C920, but it’s a lot more expensive. It has UVC H.264, which means that all the encoding process will be done by the camera; it doesn’t need to use your PC’s resources.
It also includes the 4x zoom and has a wider 90-degree pan.
Some users have reported having compatibility problems and the camera being slower. This is why I tend to still recommend the C920 as the first option, if you can find it new.
After all, you are paying more for a camera that doesn’t feel like it comes with any significant improvement.
720p Webcam Alternatives
Its resolution is still really good for vlogging, especially if you’re starting. Not everybody will notice a great difference between 720p30 and 1080p30.
It will also depend on your YouTube channel.
For example, if you run a channel about gameplays, recording 720p will not matter at all since you will probably show yourself in a small frame.
It is one of the best-seller webcams thanks to its low price and good recording quality. This should be your main option if you don’t mind not getting 1080p video.
This one is the alternative to the C270.
It can record 720p at 30fps with pretty good quality in a moderately lit room
Its microphone comes with noise suppression and it’s pretty decent for the price. Its image quality is also really good for this cheap.
Its lens isn’t quite that wide. You won’t be able to show too much of your surroundings, but this is something I like. It will depend on what you want to achieve. I prefer not to have a fisheye lens because the perspective distortion it creates is uncomfortable for viewers after a while.