Webcams are showing up everywhere. They have been on computers and laptops for some time now, but today even smart doorbells are doing webcam duty, and smartphones are doubling as webcams – yes – there’s an app for that.

With the wide variety of devices and software available for webcam applications, how do you choose the right one for you? You can read our reviews below!

Know What You Need

There are at least three basic questions you need to ask when searching online or through the local computer or electronics store for the ideal solution:

  • What is your budget? – no sense looking the amazing full-featured, latest offering, if you can’t afford it
  • What are you going to use it for? – this should help narrow the field and tell you what features you need. If your game is to record quality video for YouTube you should plan to select a higher-resolution camera with a broader range of view than someone who just wants to Skype occasionally with a few friends.
  • Features – what features are musts for your use, and what may be “nice to have”
  • What software is available or required to support the device?

Prices vary widely for webcams, and some manufacturers and models offer a plethora of optional accessories that make the cameras easier to use or more adaptable for specialized applications.

Picking the Wireless Webcam That’s Right for You

There are many high-quality webcams on the market today, many at very affordable prices and loaded with features. To name a few:

Logitech C922

Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera

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Logitech has introduced their newest webcam, C922 Pro Stream. This streamlined and stylish camera has the features many tech-savvy buyers look for:

  • Full 1080P resolution
  • Autofocus
  • Stereo audio
  • Low light correction and great low light performance
  • 720P streaming at 60fps
  • Background removal feature

Logitech C920

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video Calling and Recording,...

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The predecessor to the C922, the C920 is still a full-featured webcam with 1080P resolution, autofocus, and auto light correction, and the camera is compatible with both PC and MAC systems.

Microsoft LifeCam HD 3000

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000, Retail

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This model from Microsoft admittedly provides only 720p resolution, but provides very good results for Skype and Facebook use at a low price, and a respectable set of features:

  • Auto color correction
  • Noise-cancelling microphone
  • Mounting capability on desktop or laptop computers

Logitech C615

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No products found.

This model is also referred to as the “fold and go” model for its ease of portability. Still a full HD wireless webcam with 1080p resolution, the C615 is great for recording at HD quality, and serves for quality 720p video calls, as well. Other factors that make this model attractive to many users include:

  • Autofocus that works well in environments from bright light to close-ups
  • 360-degree swivel capability
  • 8mp static shots
  • Tripod mountable

Microsoft LifeCam Studio

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema, Retail

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This model is designed with a slant toward the needs of professionals, and has the features that prove it. Equipped with Microsoft’s TrueColor system, this webcam adjusts the exposure automatically to accommodate darker environments.

  • Full 1080p resolution and 720p video calling
  • Wide field of view
  • Microphone with wideband provides improved sound
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Tripod mountable
  • Autofocus with range from 4” to infinity

TeckNet C016

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No products found.

If you need a good-quality but inexpensive webcam, this may be the model for you. TeckNet’s model provides a noise-cancelling mic and 720p resolution, horizontal and vertical rotation, automatic exposure adjustment, and white adjustment for low light conditions. This is obviously not the choice where high-res is required, but is quite suitable for everyday use – and cheap.

LucidCam 3D 

LucidCam: World’s First True Virtual Reality 3D 4K Camera Captures...

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Want to try a 3D webcam experience? Check out the LucidCam 3D with a resolution of 800 x 600 and fixed focus, this is probably not a great choice for everyday applications, but it looks cool and makes an interesting toy, certainly.

Logitech C930w

Logitech C930e Webcam

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Looking for a major step up? This one is fully equipped for professional use, as in board rooms for presentations and video conferencing. All this comes at a higher price, of course.

  • Quality Zeiss wide-angle lens
  • On-board video processing
  • Certified for PC and Mac

There are many more on the market, to be sure. Doing a little more research on the web will reveal others that may be right for you, as well.

How Do You Find the Best Webcam Software?

Most webcams are sold packaged with the vendor’s software – some with much more robust features than others. Some computer operating systems (Windows or Mac) also include software for supporting webcams and basic video streaming and editing.

But to take full control of your recordings and editing capabilities, an investment in webcam software can be worthwhile. Let’s review some of the best webcam software on the market:

ManyCam  – ManyCam 4.0 is available in a free version, as well as Pro and Enterprise versions that include additional professional features (at a price, of course). Even with the free version, ManyCam provides effects for webcam studio, including spicing up your Yahoo and Skype calls with special effects. Advanced versions include filters and such features as transitioning effects.

CyberLink YouCam – This is one of the most full-featured systems you’ll find, for capturing video and photos, wide variety of effects, and even for surveillance video. Standard and Deluxe versions are available, with the Deluxe package incorporating additional features that include dual camera support and beautification tools.

IGlasses – available for Mac only, iGlasses may be less full-featured, but it does a great job with a simple, easy-to-use interface that makes adding visual effects to your videos and tailoring photos you’ve taken with your webcam. Additional processing features include entertaining effects and color correction.

There are of course close to as many software tools for processing webcam videos and photos as there are webcam companies, but these will give you a good idea of software features that you may want to browse for. Putting a webcam to use and experimenting with the software can be entertaining and fun for both beginners and professionals.

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