Connect face to face with a great webcam for your PC
A great quality webcam makes video calls feel almost like face-to-face conversations. Whether you're conferencing at work with clients in another city, in the midst of a Twitch stream, or setting up a video call so grandma and grandpa can see their grandkids, you'll want to make sure the video looks great. Even if you have a laptop with a built-in camera, you might find you need something that works better in low light or provides higher quality than your stock cam.
We've rounded up a list of some of the best webcams available for you to pick up for your Windows 10 PC!
- Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
- Logitech C615 Fold-and-Go webcam
- Genius WideCam F100
- Creative Live! Cam Sync HD
- Windows Hello and Intel RealSense
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
Logitech is the webcam king. Its cameras are consistently highly-rated and extremely easy to use, and the C920 has been designed for superior HD video streaming performance. With webcams, video recording and video calling are two different things. Cameras can record in a very high resolution but may not be able to perform a call with that same video quality. The C920 lets you make video calls in 1080p, with the latest version of Skype for Windows, and supports video calling with other platforms in 720p.
This webcam has two built-in microphones to capture audio cleanly. The microphones are equipped with noise reduction technology so the people on the other end of a call hear you and not the background noise of whatever room you're in. The clip, which secures this camera to your laptop or desktop monitor, is really versatile and adjustable to many sizes and configurations.
However, the stand doesn't turn side to side, so if your cat is doing something funny just out of camera range, you'll have to remove the camera or turn the whole screen to share that with the person you're calling. On the other hand, the base is easy to mount on a small tripod.
Logitech C615 Fold-and-Go webcam
If you're looking for Logitech quality but in a more portable form than the above-mentioned C920, then the Logitech C615 Fold-and-Go webcam might be the perfect solution for you.
The really unique feature of this camera is its portability. The C615's display stand not only rests securely on your computer monitor, but it can fold up to protect for travel, protecting the lens from scratches in the process. This is really convenient if you have to use this camera between work and home or take it with you on trips, because its compact form factor protects your camera while taking up minimal space in your bag. This camera can also be mounted to a tripod if you prefer setting it up on your desk rather than your monitor.
The C615 can record footage in 1080p and allows you to make a video call in 720p on Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime for Mac, and other video chat services. The camera lens was designed with exceptional autofocus capabilities, so whether you tend to hover close to your screen or like to sit far away, the people you're chatting with will see you with razor-sharp precision. This camera's built-in microphone is designed to filter out ambient noise so the audio on your calls will be as crisp as your video.
Genius WideCam F100
No one wants to crowd around a tiny camera lens for a multi-person video call. Genius manufactures a webcam with an ultra-wide lens, giving the person on the other end of your video call a 120-degree view.
The Genius WideCam F100 is the ultimate solution for the workplace and can be set up in the board room so everyone fits in the frame during a video call. The mount for this camera can swivel a full 360 degrees, which is ideal if you're in a large space where not everyone is huddled around the computer during a video call. This camera allows 1080p video recording, though video calling reportedly transmits the same resolution at a paltry 5fps. To achieve higher frame rates, the resolution must be dropped to a more bandwidth-friendly 720p or lower. A manual focus ring on the front of the lens allows you to fine-tune your focus, ensuring anything on camera is looking sharp.
The base of the camera can remain flat to be placed on a table or desktop or you can fold it out to rest on top of a computer monitor. The Genius WideCam F100 has a built-in stereo microphone with adequate sensitivity, so anyone talking in the same room as the camera can be heard during a video call. If you're in the market for a wide-angle webcam, this is a great option at about half the price of the higher-end Logitech products.
Creative Live! Cam Sync HD
Creative's webcam is the least expensive webcam on our list but still holds its own as an HD camera.
The Creative Live! Cam Sync HD clips to the top of your computer monitor and plugs into a USB port, making it easy to get up and running quickly! The 720p camera and noise-cancelling microphone makes sure your video chats look and sound great.
Live! Central 3 is the name of the software that works with the webcam to control basic setup or more advanced features. This program includes an integrated surveillance suite, allowing you to control your webcam remotely. This means if you have kids and leave them on their own, you can ensure they're not throwing a party, or you can find out what your cat is up to all day when you're at work. Parental control features on this camera's software allow you to disable it against unauthorized use.
Windows Hello and Intel RealSense
If you're wanting to protect your Windows PC and want to do so as futuristically as possible, then keep your eyes peeled for Windows Hello-enabled webcams that use Intel's RealSense technology. It can authorize entry to a PC using a combination of facial recognition and infrared. There aren't any external webcams that presently use RealSense technology, but the Stargazer Razer is set to be released in the second quarter of 2016.
Intel also sells a developer kit, which features the SR300, a camera that is not available outside of the kit.
Lights, camera, action!
If you prefer making video calls on a computer instead of a phone, there are a lot of really great options when shopping for webcams. Keep in mind that less expensive cameras may shoot video in 1080p, but they generally lack the processing and compression abilities of high-end models, which means you won't necessarily be able to make a call in HD. Fewer companies are manufacturing dedicated webcams, but existing cameras, like the Logitech C920 or the upcoming Razer Stargazer, show that there is a demand for quality HD video solutions for recording, chatting, and conferencing.
Do you use a webcam? Do you love it? If there's one you think should be on our list let us know in the comments below!