Technology

Webcams in the market check: powerful cameras for the home office


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Kamera kaufen: Kompaktkamera, Bridge, DSLR oder DSLM?

A good webcam on your PC at home can be essential not only during a pandemic. Whether at conferences or conversations with the family – your picture shouldn't become blurry and jerky. Therefore, we have put together some top models from user reviews that combine good quality and a fair price-performance ratio, evaluate them and also give tips for buying a webcam.

The concept of home office is becoming more and more popular in many areas and more and more Germans are setting up a home workplace. However, this includes more technology than one might initially assume. The standard equipment includes a PC or notebook, mouse and keyboard, a monitor and a smartphone for communication. However, a webcam is sometimes required for these, for example for conferences or virtual meetings, in order to be able to present them visually to colleagues from home.

While most notebooks already have a built-in webcam, PC users usually have to use external webcams. This can also apply to laptop users, because the built-in models often disappoint with poor quality of picture or sound. The external cameras are normally connected via USB and, for example, placed over the monitor and used by most popular video chat programs such as Skype , teams , Slack or Discord automatically recognized. Then there is nothing standing in the way of video calls with colleagues or friends and relatives.

So that you can see them well and not deal with a shaky and the pixelated image of you have to mess around, the choice of camera is particularly important. We have selected some top models that can convince you with a very high quality or a wide range of functions and sometimes with a strong price-performance ratio. After a brief overview, we want to treat it in more detail and give you a few general tips on how to buy a webcam.

Webcams in comparison

top model Price Tip Best seller professional tip

Logitech Streamcam

Microsoft LifeCam HD – 3000

Logitech C 920 HD

Marantz Professional Turret

https://www.chip.de/unabh_dateien/126237875/streamcam.jpg https://cdn.bestcheck.de/N5v3h6MfcQ6oprvKA2ak-RCMVsc=/trim/fit-in/640x480/filters:fill(fff)/www.bestcheck.de/img/product/100000/166000/166996_640x480_3.jpg https://cdn.bestcheck.de/FND-IAbILAV8oYqDqRoCXkJpExw=/trim/fit-in/640x480/filters:fill(fff)/www.bestcheck.de/img/product/400000/457000/457003_640x480_3.jpg https://www.chip.de/unabh_dateien/126237875/marantz.jpg

Price (approx.)

159 Euro

25 Euro

63 Euro

299 Euro

user rating

resolution / frame rate

1080 p / 60 fps

720 p / 30 fps

1080 p / 30 fps

1080 p / 30 fps

Microphone

2 microphones

Omnidirectional microphone

2 microphones

condenser microphone with pop filter

Connection

USB Type C

USB 2.0

USB 2.0

USB Type C (incl. Adapter)

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Price comparison

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Top model: Logitech Streamcam webcam

  • Source: Logitech

    Logitech Streamcam

    The Streamcam convinces its users with a sharp and fluid image and also offers some useful features. Only the microphone could be better.

Benefits
Good picture in 1080 p and 60 fps
Extensive capture software
Useful features
Disadvantage
Microphone only okay
Short USB-C cable without adapter

For our top recommendation, we chose a webcam that can particularly convince its buyers with good image quality and a wide range of functions. The Logitech Streamcam can already score from a technical point of view: The camera films in full HD resolution for recordings, video calls and the like and offers a smooth frame rate of up to 60 frames per second. It is supported by useful features such as auto focus, image stabilization and automatic white balance. The so-called auto-framing, which tries to recognize the face of the user and keep it as central as possible despite movements, is also appealing. Since the camera does not turn or tilt by itself due to the lack of motors, this is only a small correction and not a complete tracking.

However, if the camera is rotated by hand, another function of the Streamcam is revealed: When rotated by 90 Degree, videos can also be recorded in portrait format, for example for Instagram stories or YouTube. If the recipient is using a smartphone, the vertical image format can be very pleasant for them. The webcam is attached using the monitor posture or the tripod. With larger setups, the cable, which is quite short with a length of 1.5 meters, could be a problem here. After all, it is a USB Type-C cable; however, an adapter to conventional USB 3.0 is not included.

For the acoustics, the Streamcam uses two forward-facing microphones, which record in mono, stereo or dual mono mode. This works quite well, but the sound quality is said to be only slightly outstanding. The is also useful for setting the sound and picture. Capture Software . This helps, for example, with the management of the video and another recording source (e.g. screen recording), with features such as blue or green screen detection and the arrangement of the two sources in the output image using drag & drop. The resolutions and the frame rate can also be set here and throttled if necessary.

Balanced relationship between quality and price: The Streamcam from Logitech offers a coherent overall package. Picture: Logitech

Price tip: Microsoft LifeCam HD – 3000

  • LifeCam HD-3000

    Source: BestCheck

    Microsoft LifeCam HD – 3000

    With The LifeCam offers an inexpensive picture at a very reasonable price d, this is only for video calls 480 p allows. The low price also brings restrictions.

Benefits
Inexpensive picture and sound quality
Simple positioning
Fair price
Disadvantage
Inclination only horizontal
Just 480 p for video calls

For round 30 Euro is the Microsoft LifeCam HD – 3000 our tip for the smaller budget. However, the demands also have to be reduced somewhat. For example, the webcam only offers a maximum of 720 p at 30 frames per second and even only allows for video calls 480 p to. Not too much is offered in terms of functions either: automatic light compensation, a fourfold digital zoom and a blue operating light already cover the full range of functions – there is no auto focus or face tracking. The camera is connected via USB 2.0 via the 1.8 meter long cable.

The LifeCam HD – 3000 an uncomplicated positioning, either standing on the desk or attached to the notebook or monitor. However, the placement should be chosen well, because although the camera is horizontally about 30 degree can be pivoted, it is immovable in the vertical. This means that it cannot be tilted up or down. Nevertheless, the camera convinces testers and buyers with good picture and sound quality as well as the strong price-performance ratio. On Amazon there is a decent 4.1 out of 5 stars for over 500 Reviews.

Good and cheap: If you don't want to spend a lot on temporary home office operations, you've come to the right place. Picture: Microsoft

The best seller: Logitech C 920 HD

  • C920 HD Pro HD-Webcam 1080p

    Source: BestCheck

    Logitech C 920 HD

    Despite the low frame rate, the picture also appeals to the Amazon Bestse all. The varied placement and the sharp resolution are equally impressive.

Benefits
Good picture quality
Flexible positioning
Auto focus and exposure compensation
Disadvantage
Frame rate only 30 fps
1.5m cable quite short

The currently on Amazon most popular webcam is the Logitech C 920 HD, which is also very well received by users (4.5 stars at just under 9. 500 Reviews). For around 100 Euro the camera offers resolutions up to Full HD (1080 p), however, the frame rate is limited to 30 Frames per second. According to user feedback, the image quality is impressive and is supported, among other things, by stepless auto focus and HD exposure correction. The latter enables more beautiful colors and clearer contrasts.

The C is connected HD via USB with the 1.5 meter long cable, which could also be too short for some workplaces. But it can be positioned flexibly: So you have the choice of screwing the camera to the edge of the monitor, simply placing it down or attaching it to a tripod. The technical installation runs automatically thanks to the Logitech Capture program. We already covered the many functions that the program offers in our top recommendation above.

The Logitech C 920 HD captures a field of view of 78 degrees, but can not be swiveled sideways. For this, the two integrated omnidirectional microphones offer good recording quality, which is made possible not least by the noise reduction. Although for the price a few additional functions and also 60 fps would have been desirable, the C 920 great popularity. Users like the image and sound, and the software also offers many convenient setting options.

Rightly popular: The Amazon bestseller convinces with a sharp picture and its flexible positioning. Picture: Logitech

The professional model: Marantz Professional Turret

  • source: picture: Marantz

    Marantz Professional Turret

    For a slightly larger budget, the webcam tower also offers a camera a professional microphone and exposure through the LED ring.

Benefits
Strong picture and sound quality
All-In-One with microphone and light
Very good value for money
Disadvantage
Bulky for transport
Just 30 Frames per second

Those who not only want to offer their video call colleagues a good picture, but also want to produce videos or podcasts, usually use more expensive professional equipment. The Marantz Professional Turret is one such candidate that remains affordable thanks to its strong price-performance ratio. For around 270 Euro everything you need is already here: In addition to a professional camera, the tower also offers a condenser microphone Pop filter and an LED light ring for improved lighting conditions. The latter can be adjusted in terms of brightness and the temperature using two attachable panes.

The camera itself offers a sharp resolution of up to 1080 p (Full HD), five megapixels and a fast-reacting autofocus. Regardless of the resolution, the frame rate is however 30 fps limited – at least for video calls this is not a problem. If the lighting conditions are not optimal despite the light ring, the automatic correction makes sensible adjustments and, according to user feedback, enables a sharp and impressive picture. The camera can be moved very flexibly, even by 180 degrees in the horizontal. The condenser microphone is also very flexible due to its swivel arm and offers a very high recording quality. Optimizations such as microphone sensitivity can also be set manually using the rotary controls. A signal light indicates that the camera or sound is being recorded.

The turret is connected via USB-C, but unlike the Logitech model, it is here also include an adapter to normal USB ports. The processing of the plastic tower is described as high quality. However, because the components cannot be separated, the transport is somewhat bulky. Apart from that, the device convinces users and testers with its pleasant handling and intuitive operation. So if you are willing to invest a little more for your equipment, you might be happy with this.

For professionals and those who want to become one: Equipped with a camera, microphone and LED light ring, the Turret is the webcam with the best all-round package. Picture: Marantz

What should you consider when buying?

Even though Most notebooks already have built-in webcams, but many users still like to use external solutions – after all, cheaper laptops offer only moderate camera qualities. However, in order not to make any mistakes when choosing the camera, there are a few important points to note.

When it comes to image quality, resolution is particularly important. While for video calls via Skype and Co. also a minimum of 480 p (640 x 480 pixels) is fine, higher resolutions are desirable, especially for recordings. Of course, called colleagues are also happy to receive a sharp picture of you, which is why HD and especially Full HD are advisable. The higher the resolution, the better your internet line should be. So a resolution of 360 p e.g. 1. 00 0 kbit / s in the upstream, while in full HD five times is recommended for a smooth transmission – a previous speed test (e.g. at speedtest.net ) provides useful information here. Speaking of fluid, the frame rate could also play an important role for many. For video calls 30 Images per second are sufficient, not least in terms of internet performance, but who also records videos for YouTube or social media would like to benefit from liquid 50 or 60 fps (“frames per second”).

You can also pay attention to the type of lens when buying. Plastic lenses are often cheaper and can also achieve great results as a composite material at the webcam level, but the higher quality glass lenses are more resistant to scratches. With regard to light sensitivity, you should also take a look at the ISO value. The higher this is, the more light-sensitive the sensor and the less light is necessary for a recognizable image. A high ISO value also increases the image noise. So if you are working in a well-lit room, a low value is fine. However, if the lighting situation is uncertain, you should prefer to use a higher ISO as a precaution.

The microphone is also an important aspect of video calls. However, most webcams only offer mediocre internal microphones, which only achieve moderate results due to the often great distance from the speaker. Here it is worth using external microphones or Headsets to fall back on or to pay attention to the alignment as well as features such as noise reduction. Features can also be very important for the camera. An auto focus and exposure control are particularly common here. With movable setups, you also benefit from an (optical) image stabilizer and face recognition. The latter tries to keep your face in the center of the image either by means of motors or by zooming – but with some webcams this can also be done using software. The more of these functions a webcam offers, the higher you have to go with the price. While cheap models already for under 20) you should already have with professional equipment calculate a few hundred euros.

Shop recommendation for webcams

Offer from BestCheck.de | Prices incl.VAT plus shipping

Which webcam is the best?

users rate the Logitech Streamcam very high. Here you get a USB-C webcam with 1080 p-resolution, 60 pictures per second and many practical features such as image stabilization, auto focus, automatic white balance and auto framing.

Why mask the webcam?

Like any component Every webcam can be hacked on the PC with enough effort. Then an attacker can access the webcam unnoticed. Masking the webcam is an insurmountable obstacle to all digital attacks and also protects you from embarrassing situations if a recording is in progress without you noticing it.

Which webcam to stream?

If you are streaming privately, most webcams are fine. However, if you want to stream publicly, we recommend a model with at least 1080 p-resolution, 60 Frames per second, lower ISO and automatic image enhancements such as auto focus, automatic white balance or an image stabilizer. In addition, the camera should be easy to adjust in position. The lighting is also very important in such a setting.

How to access webcam?

Modern webcams work under current operating systems usually via plug & play. You only have to plug in the device and after a few seconds it is ready for use – programs for video calls or for recording recognize it automatically, in the respective settings it may only be necessary to switch the image source to the camera.

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