Best Webcam for Windows PCs Windows Central 2021
While most computers have a built-in webcam of some sort, many webcams still lack in video quality or just flat-out aren't good. The Logitech BRIO webcam has a standout feature list that others just can't match right now. If you're hunting for the very best, then this is the one to get, especially if you're now working from home a lot more. All of the webcams featured here are perfect for video-calling with colleagues, friends, and family.
- Best Overall: Logitech BRIO
- Best Affordable: AVerMedia Live Streamer CAM 313
- Best for Hello: Mouse Facial Recognition Camera
- Best for Streamers: Razer Kiyo
Note: While our picks for best webcam remain the same, you can expect widespread shortages due to COVID-19. If you need a webcam right now, here's where you can check the latest in-stock items
Best Overall:Logitech BRIO
Do you really need a 4K webcam right now? Probably not, but that doesn't make the BRIO any less impressive. If your needs stretch to the highest quality video, then it has to be top of your list.
Besides 4K, the BRIO ticks about every box you'd want from a webcam. Streamers will love the integrated background replacement feature. Everyone will enjoy that it supports Windows Hello, and the more security-conscious will appreciate the privacy shutter.
You're also getting HDR, so the video quality isn't just limited to resolution. It's not the cheapest webcam, but there's nothing else out there right now quite like it.
The issue currently is availability. These are incredibly hard to get hold of and are back-ordered essentially everywhere. If you want one, the best thing to do is sign up to be notified of new stock at a retailer like Best Buy.
- 4K video
- Supports Windows Hello
- Privacy shutter
- Quite expensive
- Overkill for many purposes
Best Affordable: AVerMedia Live Streamer CAM 313
AVerMedia might target this webcam at the streaming market, but the truth is it's a solid shout for anyone shopping in the mid-range market. The price is good, it's compact, and the built-in privacy screen is a nice touch that's still all too rare on modern webcams.
You get video up to 1080p, albeit limited to 30 FPS, paired with dual-mono microphones, which while not much use for streaming, are certainly clear enough for conference calls. The body of the webcam pivots through 360-degrees, too, so whatever your home setup, you can easily get a perfect angle.
Picture quality is good given the price, though you will have to download AVerMedia's software to get the best from it. It's also nice that this webcam only uses USB 2.0, so there are no compatibility issues with older PCs.
- 1080p video
- 360-degree rotation
- Privacy slider
- Only needs USB 2.0
- Requires companion software for good performance
- Average low light performance
Best for Hello: Mouse Facial Recognition Camera
Windows Hello is a fantastic tool to help you easily log in and secure your PC. Whether it's a desktop or laptop, it's built into Windows 10 so long as you have the right hardware, which is where this webcam comes in.
It won't break any records for video quality since you're limited to 720p, but the price offsets that shortcoming a little. It promises one-second recognition for fast access to your PC, as well as having multi-user support for a shared computer. Everyone can then log in to their accounts with ease.
It'll be fine for video conferencing, but ultimately this is a strong, affordable choice to add Windows Hello to your otherwise Hello-free PC.
- Dual microphones
- IR camera with depth-sensing
- Supports Windows Hello
- Affordable price
- Average video quality
- Quite large
Best for Streamers: Razer Kiyo
The Kiyo has one essential feature: A big ring light on the front. For streamers short on space for lighting, the Kiyo can solve the issue. Despite its size, the adjustable light can get very bright, bringing your face right into your streams.
The image quality itself is pretty good, too, with excellent contrast and decent sharpness, and it can record in 1080p at 30FPS or at 60FPS if you drop the resolution to 720p. There are no software requirements either — it's a simple plug and play affair, and you can adjust settings from within your streaming software.
There's also a standard tripod mount on the bottom if you'd rather not mount it to a monitor. Wherever you place it, you'll have a crisp, well-lit stream.
- Built-in ring light
- 1080p video
- Optional 60 FPS
- Plug and play operation
- Quite large
- Sometimes erratic auto-focus
Not everyone will need a 4K video from their webcam. Still, even so, you can't beat the sheer quality you get from the Logitech BRIO. It supports Windows Hello, too, for some added biometric security on your PC and is the top webcam for both home and office environments.
You're also future-proofing to some extent. Sure, you may not need a 4K video from a webcam now, but these aren't products that go out of date very quickly. Your 4K webcam today may well come into its own in a couple of years, particularly if you're a streamer.
Logitech webcams are also incredibly good quality. There's a reason so many have trusted them for so long, and the BRIO is just another notch on the belt.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Richard Devine Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
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