We’ve pretty much contained the pandemic. Yet many people still work from home. And it can’t do any harm to invest in these excellent webcams, so that you come across as sharp as possible, in contrast to the many other people in meetings.
We have become very accustomed to many Zoom-, Teams- or Discord-meetings because of the pandemic. But (as I’m sure we know) not all meetings came through with the same clarity. In fact, we have never seen so many people with pixelated faces, who were also unintelligible.
Amateur going pro
It may very well be that you were one of those individuals. No worries; we’ve had calls with multinationals who had the exact same problems. Lousy webcams on laptops, lousy audio, dropped connections. An investment in a good-looking webcam (aside from bandwidth and audio) will at least keep you from looking like a pixelated mop. We have listed five excellent webcams for you.
Three of these people could use better webcams (Image: CompareFibre / Unsplash )
#1 Logitech C920S: affordable webcam
This webcam is relatively basic, but excellently affordable. The 920S is a Full HD camera (1080p and 30 frames per second). In addition, it has a viewing angle of 78 degrees. The most pleasant thing is that the camera automatically adjusts exposure. So then you’re not immediately in the dark when a cloud drifts over. Also nice: the C920S has two stereo microphones, and they sound pretty good.
It’s one of our favorites that we used for a fair amount of time ourselves.
Tight image and affordable (Image: Logitech)
The webcam costs €69.99 and can be found at Bol.com and elsewhere.
#2 Logitech Brio (4K)
Despite loving the C920S, it was time for us to switch to its “bigger brother” (or sister): the Brio. This is an excellent 4K webcam. The little device is packed with nifty innovations like RightLight 3, which makes you look professional at all times. It doesn’t matter if there is low light, direct sunlight or too much contrast.
The reason for the switch is that we also use the camera for streaming and recording videos. And for a reasonable price you get value for your money. In fact, you can also “magnify” your image up to 90 degrees, and it has excellent microphones (if you don’t want to use an external mic or headset).
It does cost a little more than its smaller brother. The Brio is on sale for €142 on Bol.com.
One of the better cams in the line up (Image: Logitech)
#3 Insta360 Link Webcam
This webcam goes one step further. The Insta360 features a so-called gimbal, so your image is always stable. But that’s not all. This camera also has tracking technology in the gimbal system. So if you walk around during a presentation (or stream), it will continue to follow you.
The Insta360 also has control via hand movements and two noise-cancelling microphones for clear sound. And a funny extra privacy feature: if you are not in the picture for ten seconds, the camera will automatically lean forward on the gimbal so that only your keyboard is visible.
A lot of technical ingenuity in a small body (Image: Insta360)
The Insta is not cheap. The official site offers it for €369.99. Whew.
#4 Small bargain: the Microsoft LifeCam HD-300
At least this cute little webcam doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. For €32.69 it can be found on Bol.com.
So don’t expect miracles. The camera shoots / streams in up to 720p. You do get a noise-cancelling microphone for the money. That’s not bad for the money and the camera is so small that you can easily fit it in a bag or suitcase. In any case, the quality is probably better than that of your laptop.
Small but beautiful (Image: Microsoft)
#5 Discounted: Razer Kiyo Pro
Previously mentioned Logitech Brio has formidable competition from this Kiyo Pro. Although the computer/gaming device manufacturer’s webcam can’t shoot 4K (maximum 180p at 60 frames per second), the image is rock solid.
This is also due to the so-called STARVIS technology that is also used in security cameras today. It also has the widest viewing angle of all webcams at 108 degrees.
One drawback is that the microphones don’t sound too good. But if you want to use this webcam for streaming, we assume that you use a headset or external microphone anyway.
Nice ‘bargain’ (Image: Razer)
You’ll snap up the Razor Kiyo Pro at Bol.com for €129.99!
So the question is: what do you want to use your webcam for and what is your budget? But one of the above cameras will go a long way toward not looking like an under- or over-exposed, blurry zombie who can’t be heard.