All of these webcams are automatically detected by Windows 10, mac OS, and other modern operating systems; Windows 10 downloads and installs the necessary drivers for you.
We used that data, our findings from the previous version of this guide, and notes from other professional reviewers to settle on our picks.
We also downloaded and used Logitech’s webcam software for the cameras we tested.
Its video quality doesn’t match the C920’s—the picture isn’t as sharp, the frame rate is lower at full resolution, autofocus is slower, and auto white balance isn’t as accurate—but the C615 is just as easy to set up, provides 1080p resolution, and has the best quality of any webcam under $50.
Its mount also folds around the camera to protect the lens, making the C615 a better portable option than the C920.
Kimber Streams has written about tech for six years and been a PC expert for The Wirecutter for more than three years.
Kimber has tested hundreds of laptops, even more storage devices, and way too many peripherals—including wireless mice, mechanical keyboards, and webcams.
But there’s still no better webcam for the basics, and price drops have only improved the C920’s value—you can usually find it for or less today, a significant drop from the 0 it cost when it was released.
If you need a less-expensive option, or something you can take with you, we recommend the Logitech HD Webcam C615.
Most recent laptops and all-in-one desktops have a decent—sometimes even great—built-in camera, so many people don’t need a stand-alone webcam.
But if your laptop’s integrated webcam is really bad (or broken, or in a dumb place), or if your desktop or display doesn’t have a camera, a USB webcam that sits on top of your screen is the best option.
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is the best option for most people who need a stand-alone webcam, thanks to its superb image quality, ease of setup, and helpful (but optional) software.