If you weren’t familiar with Zoom before the pandemic, there’s a good chance you are now. The rise in remote employment since the first mandatory work-from-home orders has caused video conferencing to skyrocket. Zoom alone saw 300 million daily meeting participants last year.
And for all of those hundreds of millions of participants, having access to top-tier equipment—such as high-quality webcams-—has been foundational to a great Zoom experience.
That’s why we’ve put together a quick and easy guide to picking the best webcams for Zoom meetings.
Do You Need a Webcam for Zoom?
Despite the fact that Zoom is a video conferencing platform, you can in fact use it as an audio-only tool.
That said, the vast majority of teams and organizations prefer to utilize its video conferencing capabilities as a way to stay connected and get some much-needed face time.
And while the vast majority of computers come with built-in webcams, there are some that don’t. Realistically, even those that have them built-in are often low in quality, which can compromise your Zoom experience.
But that’s not the only great reason to find the best webcam for your Zoom meetings.
Zoom also offers a unique MultiCam mode that allows you to use two cameras to show two different things at the same time.
What to Consider When Buying a Webcam
If you’re going to purchase a webcam, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when shopping around.
1.) Resolution and Frame Rate
These are important factors to know because a camera with low resolution and frame rates can produce low-quality and video as well as images that stutter and periodically freeze on-screen.
This is not only annoying for both you and the other people in your meetings, but it can also make you look unprofessional. And nobody wants that.
When you’re looking at a webcam’s specs, check for “FPS,” which stands for frames per second. Ideally, you should aim for 60 fps and never lower than 30 fps. Any lower than 30 would be effectively useless for streaming video, in turn defeating the purpose.
2.) Type of Lens
Check what type of lens a webcam has before purchasing it. Lower-priced entry-level models often have plastic lenses that are functional but offer lower picture quality.
Cameras with glass lenses will offer significantly higher performance and quality without having too serious of an impact on the price.
The majority of webcams these days come with built-in microphones. Most have at least one, if not two, of them.
If you’re planning to use your new webcam as a secondary camera, then you don’t need to worry so much about the quality of your microphone.
That said, if you do plan to use it as your primary camera, look for cameras with omni-directional microphones built in that record from every direction. This drastically improves audio quality and can be found in most mid-range and top-tier webcams.
4.) Privacy Cover
You may want to look for a webcam that comes with a privacy cover, or look for an aftermarket one to purchase.
While this may sound surprising, webcam hacks are more common than you might think. So, just for the sake of your comfort and peace of mind, a privacy cover is worthwhile when your camera is not in use.
The 3 Best Webcams for Zoom Meetings
Without further ado, here are our three favorite webcams for Zoom meetings.
When it comes to getting the best bang for your buck, the Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam is a great go-to option at only $69.
This camera boasts 1080p quality in 30 fps with autofocus functionality. And with a 78-degree field of view, you’ll be able to move comfortably in front of the camera without worrying about going out of frame or going out of focus.
It also features a stereo microphone and light-correction technology that will help you get better audio quality as well as better picture quality in lower light.
Last but not least, it also comes with a built-in privacy shutter.
The BRIO Ultra 4K HD Pro carries a slightly higher price point at $199, but also offers features to match.
The first feature is its true high-definition capabilities, offering 4K video recording. It offers a high-quality glass lens and operates at a high-tier 60 fps. It also has a flash on the front of the camera that makes it incredibly effective in low light and has dual mics that provide high-quality audio.
We need to get the price tag out of the way right off the bat with this camera: it will run you a whopping $1,399. But that’s because this isn’t the webcam for one-person businesses.
It’s the ultimate webcam for large teams and conference rooms.
The first and most notable feature of this webcam is that it has a full 360-degree viewing angle, which means that it can show every single person at the table in the same video at the same time. And it does so in stunning 1080p quality at 30fps.
Its top-tier microphone has an audio pickup radius of 18 feet which means you could hear someone standing on the other side of the room, loud and clear. But what’s even more impressive is that it won’t pick up every sound simultaneously. Its mic array will automatically focus on the speaker and filter out background noise to ensure it’s not picking up an overwhelming amount of sound.
If you’re among the 300 million people who use Zoom every day, then it’s worth your while to invest in a high-quality webcam. By knowing what to look for, you can find the best webcam for your needs to help make sure every Zoom meeting you participate in is successful.