geekhack Community > Input Devices

Best webcam recommendations under $100

(1/3) > >>

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!

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.

Linus Tech tips spent a bit on this for Linus' streaming setup.
Skip to 4:15 but beware, lighting will matter.

( 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.

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.

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?


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version