After researching 19 top webcams and testing six, we think that if you need a webcam for video calls, streaming, or recording, you should get the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920.
We evaluated 19 current webcams for this update to the guide, including our previous picks, new webcams released since the last time we tested, and best-selling cameras from Amazon.
To narrow the field down to six contenders, we compared the specifications of each camera; test data from the previous version of our guide; Amazon reviews; and reviews from trusted third-party sources like PCWorld, PC Magazine, and Laptop Mag.
The C920, our top pick, is less expensive and our testers preferred its picture quality, but the C922x was a close second and it uses an identical microphone and monitor clip.
It also supports smoother 60 fps video at 720p, it includes a tripod, and it supports (on Windows only) a background replacement feature that simulates a green-screen effect.
When comparing pictures taken by the six webcams we examined, our testers consistently ranked the C920 first, beating out even newer and more expensive models like the C922x and the Logitech Brio.
The C920 produces sharp, 1080p-resolution video both locally and streamed through services such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom (though many services default to, or max out at, 720p to save bandwidth).
But features like background replacement require Logitech’s software.
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.
It did just as well as or better than the more expensive C922x and the Brio in these tests.
By comparison, the less expensive C615 produced darker, less detailed images with too saturated colors, and the C525’s pictures in front of the window were underexposed, making the rest of the room too dark.
It has sharp, 1080p video at 30 frames per second with fast autofocus and quick, accurate auto white balance; it’s simple to install and use; and at around it doesn’t cost much more than lesser budget webcams.