Streaming has become extremely popular for content creators on YouTube, particularly gamers. If you are building an audience in the gaming niche, or you want to take advantage of live video on YouTube and Facebook, then you will likely want to use the best webcam for streaming that is within your budget.
Even incredibly successful gaming YouTubers like Markiplier and Pewdiepie used affordable webcameras to get started, and recommend that beginners start there as well. Of all the different youtube camera options, a good, cheap webcam can be all you need to start your channel and start attracting fans.
Best Webcams for Streaming
Benefits of using a webcam for streaming
You may be asking, do I need to use an external webcam for streaming? While not a requirement, a webcam can be critical in connecting with your viewers because they can see your reactions to their comments. Making yourself visible is one of the best ways to personalize your stream. Given how many people are watching gamers online, smaller streamers should make every effort to deliver A+ content.
A webcam is necessary for interacting with your audience, and it has become more or less the standard expecation among the many gaming fans online. If you’re streaming an intense gaming stream, being able to chat with them ‘face to face’ saves time when responding to questions and comments.
What do you like best about your favorite streamer/YouTuber? What makes them stand out from the others? Most, if not all streamers have a personality that keeps bringing viewers back to their videos/stream. Even if you just place the live feed in the corner of your stream, your viewers can see that you’re genuinely enjoying the games/content- in short a webcam really helps express emotion to your viewers that would get lost in text.
How do I choose the right webcam for streaming?
Finding the right webcam will differ depending on what you are doing with your channel. If you are just starting out as a streamer (especially as a hobby) there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a top vlog camera features that you won’t even use. Even a cheap digital camera isn't always the right fit.
We recommend that you can keep your budget at under $100 to get a solid webcam with the features you need. On the flip side, you will have a tough time finding a really good streaming webcam for less than $30. If you want something that will serve a dual purpose for streaming and filming on the go, a good affordable camcorder is a nice option.
Here are some of the features and considerations to look for based on your streaming needs:
On most webcams this will be a standard feature. Some YouTubers prefer to use a separate microphone or headset for streaming. If you plan on doing the same, this feature won’t be as important.
Multiple microphones on a webcam can make it easier for subscribers to hear you. If you’re streaming with another person, you may want to look into getting separate mics for each person.
High Definition Video
If you plan on primarily streaming, HD video won’t be as important since you want to avoid causing your viewers to constantly buffer. On the other hand, if you’re going to be posting frequently on YouTube, being able to offer higher quality to your subscribers can be a welcome addition if your blog requires a lot of detail. Keep in mind that this feature will drive up the price of the webcam.
Higher resolution webcams have become expected by audiences. When looking to purchase a webcam, take a look at the resolutions will be displayed at each quality. Fortunately most webcams can provide 1080p HD video at an affordable price. If you go for an older, super cheap model just be aware that lower resolution webcams will provide a grainier feed for your audience.
Adjusting for Location
You don't need to worry about streaming on a mountain with an action camera doens't mean your surroundings don't matter. What are the conditions in the room or rooms where you will be streaming? For YouTubers that prefer working in low light conditions, there are webcams available that correct in low-light conditions.
Another important factor to consider is the angle that you want viewers to see you from. Some webcams can attach to a tripod that will make adjustments easier for you. Streaming systems like OBS will show you where you are on the frame so investing in a flip screen camera isn't as critical as it will be for other YouTubers
Plastic or Glass
Entry level webcams tend to feature plastic lenses. You can often find a comparable webcam for a slight increase in price for one with a glass lense. Glass lenses provide a clearer picture for your subscribers. This is one area where you can get increased quality without a significant increase in price and all the webcams listed below have use glass lenses.
Best webcam for streaming gamers
Best value for YouTube & Twitch
Good budget webcam
Solid Logitech Webcam
Streaming Webcam Reviews
A webcam intended for serious streamers, the Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam is the best pick for anyone who wants to stand out and look like a pro gamer on YouTube or Twitch. This is an update on the popular C920 and is designed specifically to make great gaming content, and is the best overall streaming webcam.
The video of the C922x is noticably stronger than its competition. Of the three Logitech webcams reviewed here, this is the only one that can stream at full 1080p video quality. At 1080p you’ll get about 30fps, and at 720p you’ll experience an improvement at 60fps. You won't feel like you need to spend on a DSLR because the video quality is everything that a streaming audience expects today.
Even with the higher resolution, the H.264 video compression feature mans that you will take up less network resources while uploading content to YouTube.
One of the new 'pro' features that you can use if you are running Windows 7 or newer, is the background remover tool. This can eliminate the need for a green screen for gaming streamers which adds some nice production value to your Twitch streams.
Here is an overview of some of the new features from Linus Tech Tips
You can capture crisp audio withouy any external microphone with the built in stereo audio microphones. These provide clear audio from any angle during your stream.
You can also count on good performance regardless of your lighting situation as the C922x provides the best low light performance of any webcam on the market.
If you have the budget to pay a little extra, the only people we wound't recommend this webcam to us Mac owners. This webcam is not plug-and-play friendly with Macs. Additional software will need to be downloaded to make this work properly and it is less reliable than on PCs where it is very dependable.
Logitech is the undisputed leader of the webcam world and the Logitech HD Pro Webcam 920 is its most popular model. It is an affordable webcam for YouTube or Facebook, and for gamers it recommended by legends like PewDiePie, Markiplier and Jacksepticeye. With millions of loyal subscribers, those streamers know a thing or two about creating good content.
The Carl Zeiss Tessar autofocus lenses have a wide-angle view for capturing all of the action on stream that look on par with many pro YouTube or Twitch gamers.
For livestreams, the C920 lets you stream in 720p, while providing full 1080 HD for posting videos onto YouTube. While full 1080p for streaming would be ideal for most users this won’t be an issue unless you need true HD streaming - not considered a must for most gaming viewers today.
If you do not have a microphone, the C920 features not one but two stereo microphones that helps pick up audio. It even has built in noise reduction.
A great technical feature of this webcam is the built-in H.264 video compression. The webcam allows you to record and compress at the same time without adding strain to your computer since its processed right on the camera. This provides streamers with older computers the capability to record and stream in HD with lower hardware requirements.
This camera gives you multiple ways that you can set it up. Its mount allows for vertical and horizontal adjustment, and you can rotate the head up to 90 degrees.
Another convenient feature is that it can takes photos with a surprising 15 MP camera which is handy to take quick pictures of your YouTube thumbnail or other channel art.
This webcam doesn't offer a lot of bells and whistles, but it does have very respectable 1080p video at up to 30 fps. There is automatic low light correction that can be hit and miss, but its nice that it is there in a budget webcam.
The microphone is respectable given the price, but you will likely want to upgrade to an external mic for when you are gaming.
Overall if you are looking for a streaming webcam at under $50, you could certainly do worse than the JIFFY C100
This webcam allows you to stream in HD at up to a whopping 1536P (2048x1536) video resolution. Doing this effectively will depend heavily on your internet connection for live streams, but can be a great option if you like the idea of extra resolution. At 1536p the webcam can still maintain up to 30 fps.
The Besteker webcam has low light correction but overall it isn't the best if it is in rooms that aren't well lit.
While it lacks in autofocus, this webcam has a manual focus ring that is very effective. You can adjust the focus from the front of the webcam instead of relying on software and the extra step leads to more dependable results.
The two stereo microphones can provide an acceptable quality for a stream, but it definitely leaves something to be desired in terms of clear audio. We would recommend using a separate microphone for best results.
The H.264 video compression will help to speed up uploads so that you can share content with your viewers faster. Recording quality for the C910 is at 1080p while the streaming stays at 720.
Like with the C920, live streaming video quality will be at 720p. The two stereo microphones located on each side of the webcam provides clear stereo audio. Similar to other Logitech webcams, the mic has automatic noise cancellation to help drown out background noises.
The C910 has some nice features that help to enchance your video. Auto light correction helps to balance out the light to provide a sharper, clearer image to your audience, even if you haven't perfected the lighting in your gaming environment.
The camera also has a wide field of vision which provides for capturing a fuller background for streamers that need a bigger frame.
Most streamers use a third party software to set up their streams and we recommend you do so with this camera. The software sometimes crashes which is a pain.
*Note that the C910 seems to have taken a price jump making it tougher than it used to be to recommend, even though it is still a great streaming webcam.