Best Budget-Friendly Webcam: Affordable Web Cameras for Home Work and Video Calling
With the increase in flexible home working, having access to a quality webcam is quickly becoming a necessity for video calls and online meetings. While most laptops, tablets, and smartphones come standard with front cameras, their image quality and controls can often leave a lot to be desired and their viewing angle will usually be dictated by the angle of your screen.
Fortunately, a good quality webcam doesn’t have to cost the Earth dearly, and there are plenty of reliable options out there at affordable prices. Below you’ll find our webcam buying guide that highlights some key features to look out for, followed by a list of our proven selection of the best budget webcams on the market.
How to buy the best webcam for you
How much should you spend on a “budget” webcam?
High-end and 4K webcams can easily cost hundreds of dollars, but, for day-to-day activities like video calling and online meetings, there are plenty of budget cameras out there that are more than suited to the task. For our guide, we’ve limited ourselves to models that sell for under £ 100 as this offers a range of options that should cover most people’s needs.
Do i need a 1080p webcam?
If that fits your budget, a 1080p webcam is great, but for video calls, especially conference calls where each participant takes up only a small square on the screen, a 720p webcam can work very well. Plus, the resolution isn’t the pinnacle of picture quality, and a well-balanced 720p webcam may offer more useful features than a simple 1080p unit.
And a microphone?
The vast majority of webcams, and certainly all of the cameras on this list, include a built-in microphone. When it comes to video calling, your audio quality can be just as, if not more important than the quality of your video, so you need to make sure that any camera you buy has a decent quality mic in it.
What else should I look for in a budget webcam?
Depending on how you plan to use your webcam, it may be worth paying attention to the mount it comes with. Basic mounts should fit comfortably on most monitors or laptop covers, but more advanced mounts may offer tilt and rotation adjustments to fine tune your framing. Additionally, it’s worth keeping an eye out for a mount with a tripod thread, as this can allow you to attach the webcam to a camera stand or tripod.
You can also check the length of the cable that came with the webcam. While a short 1m cable should work fine for a laptop, if you need to connect to a desktop PC that’s under your desk, you’ll probably need something a little longer.
Finally, it is worth choosing webcams with privacy protection, as it ensures your privacy even if your computer is hacked.
The best budget webcams to buy in 2021
1. Logitech C270 HD webcam: the best cheap webcam
Price: £ 25 | Buy now on Amazon
Small, light and easy to set up, at under £ 30, it’s hard to go wrong with the Logitech C270 HD. Simply attach the camera to your monitor or laptop, plug it into an available USB-A port, and you’re ready for video calls via Skype, Google, Zoom, or 720p video recordings from your desktop.
Using Logitech’s RightLight technology, the C270 automatically adapts to your ambient lighting, and the included webcam software also lets you pan, tilt, zoom, and follow your face when you’re in front. the camera.
The C270’s built-in microphone isn’t exactly broadcast quality, but it’s acceptable for the price and offers automatic background noise cancellation.
Key Specs – Resolution: 720p; To concentrate: Fixed; The audio: Built-in microphone with noise reduction; Frame type: Clamp support, Cable length: 1.5 m
2. Microsoft LifeCam Cinema: Best webcam under £ 50
Price: £ 49 | Buy now on Amazon
If you’ve got £ 50 to spend, for our money the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema is the best option on the market right now.
While it may miss the Full HD video (you’ll have to upgrade to LifeCam Studio for that), thanks to its all-glass lens, autofocus, and Microsoft’s TrueColor exposure controls, picture quality is very good. Videos are bright, clear, and skin tones look natural in most lighting conditions. Microsoft’s companion software is also helpful, offering an automatic zoom feature that helps you stay centered in the frame.
The LifeCam’s microphone is also top notch and is a definite upgrade from typical laptop mics or other webcams at this price point.
Key Specs – Resolution: 720p; To concentrate: Automatique; The audio: Built-in microphone with noise reduction; Frame type: Desk / clip; Cable length: 1m
3. Logitech C920 HD Pro: Best webcam for under £ 100
Price: £ 85 | Buy now on Amazon
When it comes to Full HD webcams, the Logitech C920 HD Pro is the best you can find for under £ 100.
With a CMOS sensor, responsive autofocus, and a five-element all-glass lens, the image quality of the C920 is excellent. Full HD video looks nice and crisp, and Logitech’s Auto Light Correction ensures you’re always properly lit. The audio department is no slouch either, with a dual microphone setup delivering clear sound that is a significant step up from standard laptop audio.
The C920’s foldable stand can be clipped onto just about any laptop or monitor cover or, using the tripod’s thread in its base, you also have the option of mounting it on a separate desk stand.
Key Specs – Resolution: 1080p; To concentrate: Automatique; The audio: Two microphones; Frame type: Clip / holder; Cable length: 1.5 m
4. Ausdom AF640: The best 1080p camera for wide angle views
Price: £ 56 | Buy now on Amazon
At just over £ 50 for a 1080p webcam, the Ausdom AF640 is already a solid Full HD option, but with a few cool features it manages to set itself apart from other similarly priced competitors.
While most webcams typically offer a field of view of 60, 70, or sometimes 80 degrees, the AF640 zooms in up to 90 degrees. This wide angle lets you fit more than your head and shoulders into your call or include multiple people in one shot.
The camera’s built-in mono microphone is nothing fancy, but the video quality is nice and crisp and the camera adapts well to the ambient lighting.
The AF640 comes with a standard articulated mount, but with a 3/4 inch tripod thread built into its base, it can be attached to a tripod or desktop mount if needed.
Key Specs – Resolution: 1080p; To concentrate: Automatique; The audio: Built-in microphone with noise reduction; Frame type: Desktop / clip, tripod wire; Cable length: 2m
5.Rapoo Xw2k HD 2K webcam: The cheapest 2K webcam
Price: £ 40 | Buy now on Amazon
Technically, the 2K resolution (2560 x 1440) isn’t much higher than 1080p, but any extra is worth it and the Rapoo Xw2J HD 2K webcam is a pretty good product in its own right anyway.
There is nothing fancy about it, but the picture quality is solid, the microphone picks up your voice clearly without too much background noise, and it comes with a long cable and physical cover to ensure the confidentiality in case of hacking of your computer. . Add a tripod wire and a flexible monitor clip and you have a product worth putting on your shortlist.
Key Specs – Resolution: 2K (2560 x 1440); To concentrate: Auto focus; The audio: Built-in microphone with noise reduction; Frame type: Clamp support
6. Razer Kiyo: The best inexpensive webcam for online streamers
Price: £ 100 | Buy now from Argos
Gamer-centric tech tends to come at a premium price, and while Razer’s Kiyo webcam sits at the high end of our budget bracket, if you’re looking to upgrade your streaming setup, it could be an investment. solid.
The most remarkable feature of the Kiyo is its integrated light ring. A light is a welcome addition to any webcam, adding a touch of lighting to conference calls and hangouts, but it’s especially handy for streaming because it can keep you well lit even when you’re seated. in a dark room. Video streaming is available at 30 fps in Full HD or you can upgrade to 720p for smooth playback at 60 fps. The Kiyo is also compatible with Razer’s Synapse 3 software, which allows you to manually adjust the camera’s brightness, contrast, and color to your liking.
The only real downside to the Kiyo is its somewhat lackluster microphone performance. Although the sound is clear, it is a bit quieter than we would like.
Key Specs – Resolution: 1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 60 fps; To concentrate: Auto focus; The audio: Omnidirectional microphones; Frame type: Clamp support; Cable length: 1.5 m
Buy now from Argos