The Best Webcams

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920S, our top pick webcam.
Picture: Michael Murtaugh

Our choose

Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam

With the C920S, you’ll get full HD video with essentially the most natural-looking colours and clear particulars—at a value decrease than related cameras which might be designed extra for convention rooms. Plus, the C920S has a bodily lens cowl, so that you’re by no means on digicam while you don’t wish to be.

Shopping for Choices

*On the time of publishing, the worth was $50.

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920S is the best choice for most individuals who want a standalone webcam, because of its very good picture high quality, ease of setup, and useful (however non-compulsory) software program. Its video—1080p at 30 frames per second—was crisp and clear in our testing, and the autofocus and auto white stability options labored higher than these of any of the opposite webcams we examined. Logitech launched the unique C920 again in 2012 and up to date it in 2019 so as to add the useful privateness shutter. There’s nonetheless nothing higher for the worth.

When evaluating movies and photos taken by the 5 webcams we examined, two of our testers—together with Wirecutter’s head of photograph and video, Michael Hession—ranked the C920S first. Testers discovered the digicam produced “decent neutral colors” and “the truest, most white-balanced and detailed images.” The C920S produces sharp, 1080p-resolution video each regionally and streamed by means of providers reminiscent of Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom (although many providers default to, or max out at, 720p to save lots of bandwidth).

The C920S’s autofocus works shortly, and the digicam does a great job of adjusting its publicity and white stability—even in rooms with a mixture of daylight and heat overhead mild or while you’re sitting in entrance of a shiny window. It did simply in addition to or higher than the costlier Logitech C922x and the Logitech Brio in our earlier checks. By comparability, the inexpensive C615 produced darker, much less detailed photos with overly saturated colours.

Like the opposite webcams we examined, the C920S works proper out of the field on Home windows, macOS, and Chrome OS—simply join its USB-A plug to your laptop (immediately or through an adapter) and launch your video-recording or video-chat software program of selection. Should you want extra management, you possibly can manually regulate publicity, acquire, brightness, distinction, shade depth, white stability, and focus utilizing Logitech’s camera settings software for Windows or macOS. The different webcams we examined don’t provide related software program, so that you’d must see in case your video seize software program will help you regulate the webcam settings.

Logitech’s software program means that you can zoom and pan inside its 78-degree discipline of view—say, to maintain your beautiful face in body with out exhibiting off the muddle round you. Along with the software program settings, you possibly can bodily tilt the webcam up or down to manage what’s in body. The C920S doesn’t, nevertheless, allow you to swivel the digicam left and proper. This isn’t a dealbreaker, as a result of you possibly can all the time slide the webcam round or change the framing throughout the software program, however should you want that characteristic, check out our budget pick.

The C920S sits on prime of your display screen: A fold-out foot braces in opposition to the again of your laptop computer or monitor, whereas a plastic tab sits in entrance to carry the digicam in place. The C920S’s giant entrance tab offers stability, however should you’re utilizing a laptop computer or monitor with a super-slim bezel (just like the Dell XPS 13 or HP’s Z27n), the tab blocks a small sliver of the display screen. Alternatively, the bottom of the clip is sturdy sufficient to sit down the digicam on a desk by itself, or you need to use the webcam’s normal tripod mount if that works higher in your case.

The Logitech c920S shown on a desk.
The C920S can sit on prime of your monitor or independently in your desk. Picture: Michael Murtaugh

We discovered the C920S’s privateness shutter a welcome addition. With the shutter closed, you by no means have to fret about becoming a member of a gathering together with your video on earlier than you’re prepared. And when the digicam’s not in use, you possibly can relaxation assured you’re not inadvertently recording video, and also you don’t should resort to taping the lens to protect your privacy.

Lengthy-term take a look at notes

Various Wirecutter staffers use our earlier prime choose, the C920, as their main webcam, which is basically the identical because the C920S however with out the privateness shutter. We proceed to suggest this webcam based mostly not solely on our formal analysis and testing but additionally on our in depth expertise utilizing it day-after-day. Kimber Streams, a author for our PC protection who labored on earlier variations of this information, mentioned, “I’ve likely taken over a thousand video calls on the C920, and it’s great. It’s never acted weird or given me a hard time about anything.” Wirecutter employees author Melanie Pinola has been utilizing the C920S for 9 months, utilizing it primarily for Zoom work-related calls and Skype interviews; she has discovered it notably helpful for not having to awkwardly stare down into her laptop computer’s built-in digicam. It’s labored fully as anticipated, and due to the privateness shutter, you may virtually neglect it’s there.

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