Every creator has different needs and price points to consider when they look for gear, especially with webcams. The good news is you can start streaming right now for around the cost of dinner. Finding the best camera for streaming starts with figuring out your needs. Are you going to be streaming multiple people at once for a “let’s play?” Or are you looking to join the legions playing games on Kick?
Let’s help you find the best camera for your streaming setup. Whether you want the best budget webcam for streaming or something top-of-the-line, we can help.
What should I look for in a streaming camera?
The most important thing to remember when looking for live-streaming cameras is you don’t have to blow up your budget. There are incredible options available for under $200, with perfectly good cameras even available under $60. Whether you take our recommendations or go with another product, there are a few things you need to consider when buying a webcam.
Field of view
A camera’s field of view is how much of your environment is observable from your camera. It’s important to consider the entire field of view your camera offers. Often with cameras, we only think about the focal point of the image or the centered subject. But live streaming cameras can sometimes show more or less of our lives than we want.
Streamers who want to show off their background, awards, or general vibes will want a camera with a wider field of view. A wider field of view is also essential if you’re streaming with multiple people on screen at once. A 60-degree FOV (field of view) is tight, focusing on one person. If you’re looking for a wider FOV, look for one that offers something around 115 degrees or greater. Or, even better, a camera that allows you to adjust the FOV.
If you’re going to be streaming for a living, eventually, you will need to get a professional microphone. But if you’re using your webcam as an all-in-one streaming device, you should ensure the microphone is good. Great video doesn’t mean anything if the audio is indecipherable.
Even the worst webcams can record at 720p, so don’t settle just because you find a good price. Seriously, we’ve included a budget model below that you can have for less than $25. It isn’t difficult to find affordable cameras that can shoot in 1080p. However, if you’re looking to stream in 4K, be aware those cameras can get pricy.
Even the best camera needs light to fully realize its potential. Before you start making content, read up on the basics of lighting the area you’ll be streaming. Utilizing proper lighting can make even budget streaming cameras and webcams look dramatically better. We’ve already got a guide to setting up lights for a stream ready to help you get started.
What is the best camera for streaming for my budget?
Best All Around Camera For Streaming—Anker PowerConf C200
Anker’s PowerConf C200 is a powerful, full-featured beast of a webcam that can give any streamer professional-looking results. With a 2K resolution, it delivers razor-sharp image quality for your most important streams and business meetings. It can record in 1080p at 30 frames per second (FPS) and features incredible low-light performance and accurate bright color.
On the microphone front, Anker delivers two sensitive microphones with AI noise cancellation for cutting out background noises. The PowerConf C200 has an adjustable field of vision (FOV), giving you the choice between a 65, 78, and 95-degree FOV. There’s even a built-in privacy shutter to keep the camera covered when you’re not online.
But its most remarkable feature might be its price tag, just $59.99. You get incredible picture quality, a great field of vision, and two microphones for under $60 before taxes. While the lack of 60FPS streaming might be an issue in the future, you can always upgrade to a better computer later. This is a steal for new streamers.
Best Streaming Camera for 4k—Logitech Brio (2017)
If money is no object, Logitech’s Brio is the 4K monster that will bring the best quality picture to your streaming setup. With ultra 4K resolution and a 5x HD zoom, Brio is like using a mirrorless camera to stream. Logitech’s RightLight technology uses HDR to help you find the exact lighting for any situation. Its dual omi-direction mics cut out background noise while offering crystal-clear audio.
You can stream at 2160p at 30FPS or 1080p at 60FPS, making this ideal for musicians or live shows that stream on Twitch. The Brio has three FOV presets, 90, 78, and 65 degrees, letting you show off your studio or pull in tight on your face.
The only real downside of this little webcam wonder is its price. But, given it launched at $199.99 and now can be had for just $129.99 on sale, it’s become a much easier investment to make. This is also the 2017 model, which is still incredible. If you’re willing to splurge a little more the 2022 model is even more powerful.
Best Streaming Camera With A Ringlight—Razer Kiyo
Do you want to start streaming but lack both a camera and lights? The Razer Kiyo is ready to guide your journey. This simple-to-set-up webcam comes with a built-in ring light, illuminating your face during streams without lighting up the whole room. The Kiyo can stream 1080p at 30FPS and 720p at 60FPS and has a field of view of 81.6 degrees.
It has built-in autofocus, letting you quickly start streaming without fine-tuning your image. And the ring light levels can be adjusted to ensure you’re never washed out. While it has a built-in microphone, we suggest using something external. It can work in a pinch, but the sound is softer and more muffled than viewers will expect from a pro streamer. However, for the price, this is an incredible place to start.
Best Ultra Budget Streaming Camera—Logitech C270
The difference between $60 and $20 can be as big as the world when money is tight. Just because you’re balling on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get great quality. Thankfully Logitech still delivers quality on a budget. This simple plug-and-play webcam gives you a 720p picture at 30FPS with a 60-degree FOV. It uses Logitech’s RightLight 2 for auto light correction, producing impressive images even in weak lighting.
You even get one omni-direction mic to capture your audio. And, well, that’s it. You don’t get autofocus, though it’s easy to stay focused once you get used to the placement. You can’t stream in 1080p. But for $20, you can get started with making content.
There are plenty of streamers who start off with a bare-bones setup, only to upgrade when they learn the basics. This is as basic as it gets. But if you’re looking to experiment before you invest, Logitech has offered a brilliant low-budget solution.