a man taking a picture of himself on a computer screen.

Best Webcam for Streaming (User Tested Reviews)

Streaming on Twitch, YouTube or whatever video conferencing platform you choose requires a high quality webcam. Here's how to choose an affordable one.

This is a guide to the best webcam for streaming on YouTube, Twitch and other popular video conferencing platforms.

I own both the Lumina and Insta360 Link webcams and have used them both to stream over YouTube.

Lumina AI Webcam

4K studio-quality webcam with AI software to make you look your best when streaming.

Use code SHOTKIT for 10% off at Lumina.

However, recently I’ve been curious about the quality of other webcams for streaming.

That’s why I spent the last couple of nights testing and researching the most popular models available.

Here are the results of my tests to find a better webcam for streaming.

What is the Best Webcam for Streaming in 2023?

Lumina AI 4K | Best Value 4K Streaming Webcam for Twitch

lumina webcam and accessories in box

Pros
  • Exceptional sharp and clear image
  • Excellent build quality
  • Configurable smart software
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Lacking Windows Hello biometrics
  • Type-C cable is very short
Lumina Code: Save $10 with code SHOTKIT

Gamers who are streaming on platforms such as Twitch and who are looking for the best possible quality have widely adopted the Lumina AI 4K webcam.

Capable of producing exceptional images that blow most of its competitors out of the water, it’s a premium-level webcam that delivers consistently impressive results.

Simple to set up and install Lumina’s bespoke camera hub software, it comes with a range of excellent features to allow users to optimise the image to their liking.

When we tested the Lumina recently, we found it to be the best webcam for streaming.

White balance, saturation, and exposure settings are just a few of the image settings available, with additional options for use with video chat programs including Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet.

The inclusion of the adjustable AI cameraman features makes this 4K resolution webcam a must for content creators looking for consistently excellent and smooth video when streaming online.

Insta360 Link | Best Streaming Webcam for Serious Gamers

a web camera is sitting on top of a monitor.

Pros
  • Multiple resolutions options are available
  • It comes with a great selection of accessories
  • Excellent streaming software
  • Impressive low-light performance
  • Fully motorised swivel design
Cons
  • Expensive
  • The gimbal is a little delicate

For a truly high-end and luxurious webcam for dedicated gamers, there’s the Insta360 Link, which combines outstanding camera quality with a range of useful AI-powered features.

The Insta360 Link’s AI automatically swivels the gimbal head to adjust the view and center the subject in the frame, registering hand gestures in order to switch modes.

This automatic tracking makes it an excellent webcam for professionals who regularly give virtual presentations or other streamed content that requires more precision from their webcam.

man with raised hand to webcam

The auto-tracking features make the Link the best camera for streaming sessions that involve movement.

This tracking feature is complemented with a consistently smooth and crystal clear 60 fps at 1080p, with 4K running at 30 fps, enhanced by its 1/2-inch sensor.

The Insta360 Link’s high price tag might be off-putting for more casual users, but its impressive selection of AI-powered dedicated features makes it a compelling option for serious users.

Logitech BRIO | Best Webcam for Business Video Conferencing

Pros
  • Crisp high dynamic range
  • Easy installation
  • Multiple field-of-view options
  • Pan, tilt, and zoom settings
  • Autofocus and light correction
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Monitor mount build quality isn’t great

Logitech has produced high-quality computer accessories to a consistently high standard, and the Logitech Brio fits capably within its catalog of products.

This high-end webcam features excellent high dynamic range images at 4K resolution, improved with auto light correction and three available fields of view.

There’s a level of fidelity to the footage here rarely seen on the webcam market, with plenty of image adjustment options such as RedLight 3 for improving brightness and contrast.

One of the more expensive webcams on the market, it’s geared towards business use with compatibility across major conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business.

With its sleek and sturdy glass design, the Logitech Brio includes two omnidirectional microphones for optimal sound quality and a 90-degree angle for full visual coverage.

The Logitech Brio is among the best webcams for streaming and boasts a raft of image manipulation features that make it incredibly versatile for professionals.

Logitech StreamCam | Best Streaming Webcam for General Content Creation

Logitech StreamCam on a blue background.

Pros
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Plenty of mounting options
  • Optimised for online streaming
  • Effective face-tracking feature
Cons
  • Lacks a privacy shutter
  • Integrated cable is short

Another webcam from Logitech that offers a competitive range of features and settings for streaming is the Logitech StreamCam, geared towards general content creators.

Shooting in 1080p at 60fps, this camera sports an impressive selection of mounting options with face-tracking along with pan and tilt functions.

A solid all-rounder, it’s suitable for everything from Twitch and Discord streaming, as well as video calls and other business applications.

It’s also easy to set up, so if you’re using third-party software such as OBS or StreamLabs, you’ll have it up and running in no time with minimal hassle.

The ability to rotate the Logitech StreamCam for portrait orientation further enhances its appeal for content creators uploading to platforms such as Instagram Reels and TikTok.

Elgato Facecam | Best Webcam for Professional Streamers

Elgato Facecam on a blue background

Pros
  • Top tier optics
  • Excellent Camera Hub software
  • It comes with a long USB cord
  • Smooth, uncompressed 1080p 60fps footage
  • Solid low-light performance
Cons
  • Bulky design
  • No built-in microphone

Online content creators and streamers with a decent budget will find plenty to praise about the Elgato Facecam and its long list of settings that can be fine-tuned.

Winner of a CES 2022 Innovation Award, the Elgato Facecam’s beautiful images are produced thanks to its excellent prime lens with an f/2,4 aperture and Sony Starvis CMOS.

This high standard of picture quality makes it perfect for everything from business video calls to game streaming on Twitch, with plenty of custom settings to get the best results.

While most webcams come with a microphone as standard, the Elgato Facecam omits this feature from the package on the assumption that pro-streamers will be using a dedicated mic.

The Elgato Facecam webcam is a solid option for anyone who is considering upgrading to a DSLR camera but isn’t quite ready to take the plunge with the investment.

Razer Kiyo Best Webcam for Streaming Video Calls in Dark Environments

Pros
  • Built-in ring light for dark environments
  • Superior image quality
  • Great autofocus performance
  • Privacy shutter
Cons
  • Unsuitable for some laptops
  • The microphone isn’t the best

Streamers who are looking for a powerful webcam for use in low-light conditions should consider investing in the Razer Kiyo webcam, which comes with a built-in ring light.

Combined with the wide dynamic range and large aperture, it’s among the best webcams for streaming in dark environments, with adjustable ISO and shutter speed settings.

In addition to the adjustable ring light, there are options to adjust the hue between warm and cool settings and offset any potential over-exposure caused by the light.

The result is consistently smooth video footage from a quality webcam, let down only by a sub-par built-in microphone that has a tendency to sound muffled.

This aside, the Razer Kiyo is the best webcam for low-light environments, with a comprehensive selection of customisation options to deliver excellent images.

Logitech C922 Pro Stream Best Budget Streaming Webcam

Pros
  • High-quality footage
  • Ability to remove and replace backgrounds
  • It comes with a tripod
  • Autofocus and auto-light correction
Cons
  • Lacking a privacy shutter
  • No HDR

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream offers a more budget-friendly alternative to online streamers who aren’t overly concerned with streaming in the best possible image quality.

While it lacks HDR, it’s nevertheless a crisp and clear webcam that’s easy to set up and get started, delivering 1080p Full HD at 30 frames per second.

Autofocus and auto-light correction keeps the image quality consistent, while the two omnidirectional microphones offer crisp and clear sound quality.

Compact and lightweight, it comes with a universal folding mount as well as a tripod, making it one of the more versatile webcams for positioning around your desk space.

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream is perhaps the best budget webcam on the market, matching the performance of the brand’s more expensive webcams along with crisp 1080p resolution video.

Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar Best Professional Broadcasting Streaming Webcam

Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar on a blue background

Pros
  • All-round excellent picture and sound
  • Privacy shutter included
  • Powerful built-in speaker
  • No drivers required
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Face tracking can be slow

By far the bulkiest webcam available, the Poly Studio Personal Video Bar bears a closer resemblance to a sound bar than it does a typical webcam.

Designed for business conferencing, its large size allows for the inclusion of a high-quality speaker for professional-grade, echo-cancelling audio.

This high standard is carried through with the picture quality, with vivid colours, excellent auto framing, and sharp details in demanding lighting conditions.

A host of features, including backlight compensation, zoom, various tracking modes, and adjustable frame size, makes it a highly customisable webcam.

These features combine to make the Poly Studio Personal Video Bar one of the best webcams on the market, removing the need for additional peripherals from the equation.

What Kind of Webcam is Good for Streaming?

Here’s what to look for when buying a webcam for streaming – it should have the following features:

  1. High resolution: At least 1080p Full HD, but preferably 4K for crystal-clear picture quality.
  2. High frame rate: A frame rate of at least 30 fps (frames per second), but preferably 60 fps for smoother video.
  3. Good low-light performance: A high-quality sensor that can perform well in low-light conditions, assuming you don’t already have good lighting set up for gaming or video conferencing use.
  4. Wide field of view: A wider field of view allows you to capture more of your surroundings which may or may not be appropriate for the type of streaming you want to do.
  5. Good microphone: A built-in microphone that can capture clear audio without picking up too much background noise. If you want to use a webcam for streaming on Twitch, it’s likely you’ll be using a headset, however.
  6. Mounting options: Consider whether the webcam has the ability to be mounted on a tripod or other mount. This can be helpful if you want to change the camera angle or position during the stream, instead of having it fixed to your computer monitor.
  7. Audio quality: While a webcam’s primary function is to capture video, it can also capture audio. Consider the quality of the microphone in the webcam and whether it can pick up your voice clearly without distortion or background noise.
  8. Autofocus: While most of the best webcams for streaming have autofocus, some may have better autofocus performance than others. Fast and accurate autofocus can help keep the stream in focus even if you move around, and tracking has the ability to keep your face in the frame or zoom using AI powered auto framing.
  9. Lighting: some of the best webcams for streaming feature built in ring lights, which can greatly enhance how you look on camera while live streaming.

How Do I Set Up a Webcam for Streaming?

Here’s a breakdown of the initial steps to set up a webcam for streaming:

  1. Connect the Webcam: Plug your webcam into an available USB port on your computer. Make sure it’s securely connected.
  2. Install Webcam Drivers: In most cases, your computer will automatically install the necessary drivers for the webcam. If not, you may need to visit the manufacturer’s website to download and install the appropriate drivers.
  3. Adjust Webcam Settings: Open the webcam software or the settings menu of the platform you’re using for streaming. Adjust settings like resolution, frame rate, exposure, focus, and white balance to your preference.

Now your webcam is ready for streaming, here’s how to stream on YouTube, Twitch and Zoom.

YouTube:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account and click “Create” and then “Go Live.”
  2. In the “Stream” tab, select “Webcam” as the video source.
  3. Configure additional settings, such as resolution and frame rate.
  4. Add a title, description, and other details for your stream.
  5. Click “Go Live” to start streaming.

Twitch:

  1. Log in to your Twitch account and click your profile picture, then select “Dashboard.”
  2. In the “Stream Information” section, choose “Webcam” as the video source.
  3. Configure other stream settings, such as title, category, and tags.
  4. Click “Start Stream” to begin streaming.

Zoom:

  1. Launch the Zoom application and sign in.
  2. Click on the gear icon to access settings.
  3. Go to the “Video” tab and select your webcam from the drop-down menu.
  4. Adjust additional video settings if needed.
  5. Start or join a meeting, and your webcam will be enabled automatically.

What are the Best Video Quality Settings to Use on a Streaming Webcam?

When streaming with a webcam, finding the right video quality settings is crucial for delivering a smooth and visually pleasing experience.

Here are some recommended settings to consider:

  1. Resolution: Opt for a resolution that strikes a balance between video quality and available bandwidth. 720p (1280×720) or 1080p (1920×1080) is commonly used and provides good quality for most streaming scenarios.
  2. Frame Rate: Choose a frame rate that ensures smooth motion in your stream. 30 frames per second (fps) is a standard option, but if you’re streaming fast-paced content like gaming, consider 60 fps for enhanced fluidity.
  3. Bitrate: Set an appropriate bitrate to maintain quality while optimizing for your available internet speed. A recommended starting point is 3000 to 5000 kilobits per second (kbps) for 720p and 5000 to 8000 kbps for 1080p streaming.
  4. Encoding: Choose the appropriate encoding format for streaming, such as H.264. It provides efficient compression while maintaining good video quality.
  5. Color and Exposure: Adjust the color and exposure settings to achieve accurate and balanced visuals. Use proper lighting and consider manual adjustments to avoid overexposure or underexposure.
  6. Audio: Don’t overlook audio quality. Ensure your microphone settings capture clear and balanced audio without clipping or background noise.

Remember to test and fine-tune these settings based on your specific streaming setup and available internet bandwidth – you can use free online tools like Webcam Test.

Factors like network stability and viewers’ playback capabilities should also be considered.

Regularly monitor your stream’s performance and make adjustments as needed to deliver the best possible picture quality to your audience.

Frequently Asked Questions about Webcams for Streaming

Should a webcam be at eye level?

The optimal position for a webcam should be set at eye level and angled downwards to deliver the best presentation.

This angle is the most flattering while positioning it below eye level will deliver an unappealing shot of your nostrils.

You can improve the aesthetic results from this angle by looking directly into the camera when talking rather than at your computer screen.

Should I stream at 720p 60 or 1080p 30?

Since the majority of online streaming platforms offer 60fps, streaming at this frame rate in 720p is the optimal setting.

While you can get away with 30fps in 1080p with a lower 3,500 kbps, the footage will look better in 720p at 4,500 to 5,000 kbps.

Ultimately, this will depend on the bandwidth of your internet connection, so it’s advisable to run some tests before you commit.

Is 60fps or 30fps better for webcam streaming?

30fps is typically a more reliable frame rate to work with when streaming video content, although 60fps is better for capturing detailed motion.

You should use 30fps if your system isn’t able to consistently deliver a higher frame rate due to bandwidth limitations.

Lumina AI Webcam

4K studio-quality webcam with AI software to make you look your best when streaming.

Use code SHOTKIT for 10% off at Lumina.

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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