Author Topic: Best webcam recommendations under $100  (Read 2267 times)

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Offline noisyturtle

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Best webcam recommendations under $100
« on: Wed, 28 July 2021, 15:28:56 »
I've bought 2 cams over the past week, both of which are total garbage for different reasons. The Razer Kiyo makes me look blue and stutters at 1080 clearly running less than the advertised 30fps, only being semi functional at 60fps 720p. The Logitech one just runs like choppy trash all the time with zero settings or adjustments, sub 20fps at all times despite resolution.

I need a cam for my upcoming job, so if anyone has a recommendation that doesn't make my skin blue and can run smoothly please let me know!

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 28 July 2021, 21:08:36 »
First off keep in mind the chip shortage and that webcam inventories were absolutely decimated by remote workers due to Covid, so you may need to pay a bit more than you plan.

Laptop webcams are often using the same garbage sensors they have for over a DECADE, Asus decided to ditch them entirely just prior to Covid (oops) others merely moved them lower, making them useless, only now have a few actually decide to actually improve them. I mention them because it's an entire package leaving your desktop free for other things, but they just stink. Dedicated webcams are often utter garbage, unfortunately it's just a fact and worse, they seem to have this idea they're worth their weight in gold, particularly with Covid, they were asking 3-4x normal price, if you could get one at all. Why they think a sh*tty low res camera is worth $100 or much less $200 yet they can fit 3 or even 4 of them on a $1000 cell phone (a.k.a. a mini computer) is beyond me but it's the best way to get a decent camera. For my wildlife cams I ended up using old cell phones (Galaxy S4, S5 and HTC 10) after trying various webcams and came away disapointed. Another option is look for used Go Pros and knockoffs, be sure to look at specs and reviews and make sure it can work for your needs (not all are the same), personally I freaking HAAAAAAAAATE Gopros, the cameras work great, they're nearly indestructible, but my god the interface is horrible. As a dedicated webcam it can work fine since you can monitor it easily as you set it up but in the field it's just a hassle, maybe I didn't use it enough and I was trying to get stop motion but wow I hated it.

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Offline jamster

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 28 July 2021, 21:55:53 »
( I thought webcams were about as generic as milk these days)

I've got a couple of Logitech C920s and Microsoft HD-3000s which have always been non-comitally reliable. They run on a variety of machines, down to a 2015 i3.

Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 28 July 2021, 23:56:44 »
As it stands my phone works better than the 2 dedicated cams I tried, but the angles and lighting are terrible. I'd not considered a GoPro but that's a solid suggestion.

Offline jamster

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 29 July 2021, 01:11:27 »
I've owned a couple, but it's never occurred to me to use a GoPro. Angle of the lens is far, far too wide to use as a webcam. Perhaps you could compensate for this in software, but it's just seemed an additional faff.

And GoPros are generally a lot more expensive than even the 'nicer' webcams.

Really, the C920 seems to be considered the standard, good, webcam. I've had 3, had recommended them to friends who didn't want to research (and they have been happy).

It's well under $100. If it doesn't work well, then there's probably some other problem beyond the webcam itself (computer, the lighting, or network). There has been close to no development on webcams for... five or ten years... because they are such a mature market.

@noisyturtle, which Logitech did you try?
« Last Edit: Thu, 29 July 2021, 01:13:11 by jamster »

Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 29 July 2021, 01:22:28 »
@noisyturtle, which Logitech did you try?

It was just a really basic $30 QuickCam but it was horrible. It felt like it was from the 2000's

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 29 July 2021, 01:24:07 »
I tried a few older gen Logitech (720) and Microsoft (hd-something) since they worked with Pis, even the Galaxy S3 blew them both out of the water, I mean it wasn't even close. The S4, S5 and HTC 10 were even better. It's just amazing how much better cell phone cams are. You'll probably spend twice as much on a webcam as a used GoPro or cell phone just due to demand and how these companies are, it's just crazy. Why is it you can get a brand new low end GoPro for around the same price as some of these?


I know some of the higher end webcams can do well, the 920 is mentioned often but for the money I just don't see it as worth it. Remember it still needs a dedicated computer, where a GoPro or cell phone serves as it's own computer and they have wireless built in (a benefit for wildlife stuff). More importantly, you may not need this camera for anything other than a webcam but why spend that much on such a limited device, you can get a used cell phone, GoPro or even a used DSLR (check into used mirrorless Sonys) for nearly the same price and you can use those for all sorts of other things and will hold value even after the rush on webcams is over. I got my mirrorless Sony DSLR as open box for $150 (retail $550), just beware the Sony NEX-F3, it won't let you use it as a webcam over USB (ask how I know), but you can get a usb hdmi capture adapter for dirt cheap ($5) and get around that problem.
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Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
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| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
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| KBT Race S L.E.
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Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
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Costar model with browns
| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline james97

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 02 August 2021, 01:52:01 »
Definitely recommend Logitech C920. I have been using that for 2 months.
Good quality, affordable price and can be used for streaming and video conferencing.

Online yui

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 02 August 2021, 07:00:32 »
if you have a digital camera already some will allow to directly stream video on USB and act as a webcam, i think that my old nikon coolpix allowed that, and i never tried with my current D3100, but if you have one it could be worth a try, or maybe you can find one that works for cheap secondhand
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Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 02 August 2021, 13:41:23 »
Wound up going temporarily with this until I can just get a nice one that can do 1080 @ 60fps.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091Y49PMS/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Amazon can eat a **** in hell putting it on sale for $5 less 2 days after I ordered it though  >:D

Offline foxieze

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 28 September 2021, 03:09:04 »
i just use a spare iphone i had lying around using an app called Iriun Webcam - never had any problems with it and works on Linux

Offline _rubik

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 28 September 2021, 12:04:25 »
Hopping onto the necro-thread bandwagon because this has been on my mind recently too.

I also have a C920 but the white balance is garbage, the sensor is underwhelming, and the depth of field is sub-optimal. I'm tired of living in a fuzzy, blue fishbowl and the Logi Capture software doesn't help all that much.

I've honestly been thinking about getting a mirrorless Fujifilm or Sony Alpa with a prime lens. Obviously that's a 5-700$ expense, but at least I get a semi-decent camera out of it?
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Offline jamster

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Re: Best webcam recommendations under $100
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 28 September 2021, 12:12:52 »
Logitech 920. It's slightly more in absolute terms than bargain bin webcams, but it'll last forever and unless you're going with 4K sensors, webcam tech moves at a glacial pace anyway. I've got three of them scattered around and all have decent enough quality- sharpness, colour, DoF, mics. Vast improvement over whatever comes in a laptop, obviously.

Webcams are just one of those things not worth worrying about.