January 19, 2021


Connecting People

Best webcams for remote-working video calls in 2020: Logitech, Meeting Owl, Razer, and more

Zoom has been building headlines in modern weeks, as millions of men and women change to video-conferencing apps to retain in touch with spouse and children and buddies in the course of lockdown. Video phone calls have been essential for corporations too, allowing staff members to sustain get in touch with with colleagues and clients while doing work from home. And even when lockdown limitations are lifted, it seems likely that social-distancing steps indicate that video clip phone calls will be portion of ‘the new normal’ for some time to arrive.

Most laptops and all-in-a single desktop PCs now incorporate a designed-in webcam, so it is not necessary to purchase any added machines for video clip phone calls. Even so, people designed-in cameras do have a tendency to be pretty fundamental, with average resolution and impression high-quality, a restricted viewing angle, and number of controls. Business customers who want to project a much more skilled impression can benefit from a focused webcam that provides a improved impression, as properly as a large-high-quality microphone and other characteristics.

Less expensive webcams have a tendency to supply 720p resolution (1280×720 pixels) and some of the improved 720p cameras do present perfectly fantastic impression high-quality. Significantly, while, large-definition cameras are turning into the norm, giving ‘1080p’ (1920×1,080) or even 4K (4096×2,a hundred and sixty) resolution. Other characteristics to imagine about incorporate an adjustable stand that allows you to tilt and swivel the digital camera, a broad-angle lens, and a sounds-cancelling microphone (specifically if the young children are even now at home).

Most webcams use a normal USB relationship, so they’re suitable with each PCs and Macs, and can usually be used with normal video clip apps these types of as Skype and Zoom. Even so, Mac customers ought to also check to see if the digital camera needs a specific app from the manufacturer that supplies added characteristics.

Disclosure: ZDNet may well earn an affiliate commission from some of the items featured on this webpage. ZDNet and the creator were being not compensated for this independent evaluation.

Harman Kardon is finest known for its stylish home audio methods, but AMX is portion of its skilled division, which also supplies audio and video clip machines for the business marketplace.

There are two variations of its Acendo Vibe, with the ACV-2100 model merely consisting of a significant soundbar speaker that can present an audio up grade for an existing video clip-conferencing established-up. Alternatively, the ACV-5100 model provides an High definition webcam as properly, with FHD (1920×1080) resolution and broad-angle (110°) subject of view that will operate properly for shows when doing work from home, or for a small assembly space.

Like any fantastic soundbar, the Acendo Vibe is pretty properly connected, offering USB for computer system relationship, HDMI for a Television set or greater display screen, and Bluetooth to allow the soundbar to operate as a speakerphone when getting phone calls from a smartphone. The formal price is really shown about £1300/$1300, but we’ve viewed the ACV-5100 on the internet not too long ago for as tiny as £458.33 (ex. VAT £550 inc. VAT) and just $300 in the US.

$300 / £458.33 (ex. VAT)  (regular on the internet price)

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B&H (US)



AVer Information and facts provides a broad assortment of AV machines for business and education, and its Cam340+ is a versatile unit that can double up as each a own webcam and ‘huddle room’ conferencing system.

It truly is neatly made, with a clip stand that can attach to the leading of a notebook or desktop monitor, but also folds into the foundation of the digital camera so that you can sit it on a desk or close by shelf. There is certainly a tripod connector as properly, although a tripod is just not involved in the price. 

The Cam340+ is rather pricey, but supplies full 4K resolution when connected to a Pc or Mac through USB 3. or USB-C – and can scale the video clip impression down to 1080p and 720p for older computers as properly. The digital camera also supplies an spectacular one hundred twenty-degree viewing angle that functions properly for shows and lectures, and AVer’s qualifications in education comes in useful with its EZLive app for PCs and Macs offering added characteristics for annotations and grabbing snapshots.

$520 / £366.sixty seven (ex. VAT)

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Amazon (US)



Cisco’s Webex Desk range is pretty much the corporate-government alternative for video clip phone calls, with even the entry-level DX80 shown in this article costing about £1,833.33 (ex. VAT £2,two hundred inc. VAT) or $two,000.

No mere webcam, the DX80 is a self-contained video clip-conferencing terminal that combines a 23-inch High definition display screen (1920×1080 resolution) with a designed-in digital camera and speakerphone, as properly as a range of added USB ports, HDMI for connecting to your notebook, and Ethernet connectivity for a lag-cost-free wired network relationship.

Video resolution is restricted to 720p, but Cisco’s business-oriented Webex conferencing software program – which it presently encourages as a much more safe, business-high-quality option to Zoom – supplies characteristics these types of as a whiteboard and annotations that will be practical for collaboration and shows. The sting in the tail, aside from the price, is that the DX80 is made precisely for use with Webex conferencing software program, although it is also probable to be part of Webex phone calls when applying Skype, and some other video clip-conferencing methods from Polycom (now known as Poly, because its merger with Plantronics).

$two,000 / £1,833.33 (ex. VAT)

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Amazon (US)



Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops are a common option with many business customers, and its VOIP 360 Digicam Speaker is a versatile accessory that is practical for each video clip and voice phone calls.

The digital camera takes advantage of a USB-C cable to attract electrical power from a Pc or Mac, with a USB-A adapter involved, alongside with a carrying case. The 1080p digital camera is made to sit on a desk, instead than staying clipped onto the leading of a computer system monitor, but that is mainly because it supplies 4 separate viewing modes. Simple video clip phone calls may well only involve the 90-degree viewing method, but you can also switch to broad-angle 180° or the full 360° for use in a small assembly space. There is certainly even an alternative to capture 4 separate 90-degree visuals for distinctive men and women in a space.

As the name suggests, this is a combined digital camera and speaker, so it can also be used as a speakerphone for VoIP (Voice in excess of IP) phone calls, as properly as supporting Unified Communications (UC) for business methods. There is certainly no Bluetooth while, so you are not able to use it for phone calls on a smartphone.

$214.ninety nine / £196.sixty seven (ex. VAT)

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Lenovo (Uk)



Logitech has been in the webcam business for a long time, and its existing assortment covers all the things from lower-charge cameras for home customers correct up to boardroom video clip-conferencing methods costing hundreds of pounds. But if you might be immediately after an very affordable business-high-quality webcam, then the C930e is a fantastic position to start off. 

Outfitted with a large-high-quality glass lens, the C930e provides 1080p resolution – which can be scaled down to 720p if needed – and a 90-degree viewing angle with vehicle-target, so that you can step back to a whiteboard for shows if need be. There is certainly also 4X digital zoom for close-up operate, twin microphones and a privacy shutter in case you’ve got just stumbled out of bed in the early morning.

You can tilt and swivel the digital camera on its adjustable stand, which can be clipped onto a notebook or external monitor. There is certainly a tripod connector too, although you will need to present the tripod oneself. 
$a hundred thirty / £100 (ex. VAT)

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Logitech (Uk)



As the instead very long-winded name suggests, the Brio Extremely High definition Pro is Logitech’s leading-of-the-assortment own webcam for business customers (there is an additional model called the Brio Stream, which appears nearly similar, but is aimed at gamers). 

It truly is packed with characteristics, which includes a large-high-quality glass lens that supports full 4K (4096×2160) resolution with HDR (Substantial Dynamic Variety) for ideal photograph high-quality. You can expect to need a Pc or Mac with USB 3. or USB-C in purchase to use the 4K method, but the digital camera also provides 1080p and 720p modes for older computers as properly. 

The Brio supplies a few viewing angles, with 65° made for very simple head-and-shoulders shots, while 78° can in shape an additional person into the impression, and 90° supplies a wider view of the space for shows and demos. There is certainly also a 5X digital zoom accessible, although this only functions when applying 1080p resolution, alongside with a privacy shutter, twin sounds-cancelling microphones, and optical and infrared sensors that support Windows Hello for additional safety.

$199 / £165.eighty three (ex. VAT)

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Logitech (Uk)



Logitech’s webcams are mainly supposed for own use, but the company also makes a range of ‘ConferenceCams’, these types of as the Connect, which are a tiny much more versatile.
The cylindrical Hook up is made to sit on a desk, instead than staying hooked up to a computer system monitor, but you can pan and tilt the glass lens applying the handheld distant management (which also covers the lens for privacy when the Hook up is just not in use). The digital camera supplies 1080p and 720p video clip modes, with 4X digital zoom, and its 90-degree subject of view is fantastic for stepping back and providing shows, or masking small teams in an business.

There are two internal microphones, and the Hook up can also operate as a speakerphone for audio phone calls, applying Bluetooth to join to your cell units. It even incorporates a rechargeable battery so that you can speedily decide it up and have it from space to space, allowing you to use it as a standalone speakerphone without having requiring a USB relationship to your Pc or Mac.

$499.ninety nine / £365.eighty three (ex. VAT)

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Logitech (Uk)


Owl Labs

Owl Labs’ Meeting Owl will be overkill for very simple person-to-person video clip phone calls, but it is a fantastic alternative if you need to give shows while doing work from home, or organise a small assembly in an business huddle space.

Immediately recognisable many thanks to its distinctive ‘owl eyes’ position lights, the Owl provides two types, with the Assembly Owl shown in this article offering 720p resolution, while the Meeting Owl Pro steps up to 1080p. Even so, each types use a 360-degree lens to produce a panoramic view of the space, with a split-monitor view that demonstrates the entire space, as properly as focusing on the existing speaker. There is certainly also a ‘lock’ alternative that can retain the digital camera preset on a particular portion of the space, these types of as a whiteboard in the course of a presentation.

The digital camera functions with normal video clip apps these types of as Zoom and Skype, but does involve the Owl app for iOS or Android in the course of the initial set up process. There is certainly a designed-in speaker as properly, although this usually means that the Owl needs each a USB facts relationship to your Pc or Mac, and a separate mains electrical power source.

$799 / £665.eighty three (ex. VAT)

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Owl Labs (Uk)



Plantronics’ takeover of Polycom in 2019 produced a new communications large, which now goes by the name of Poly. The new company features an considerable assortment of video clip-conferencing machines, with its EagleEye range of webcams focusing, so to speak, on people and scaled-down teams.

Charges start off at just £95.eighty three (ex. VAT) or $a hundred sixty five for the EagleEye Mini, which is a own webcam made for use with a notebook, although other EagleEye types can cater for teams of up to a dozen men and women. The digital camera is pretty traditional, with a clip-on stand and USB cable for connecting to a Pc or Mac, but it is a single of the much more very affordable cameras that provides full High definition resolution (1920×1080) and 4X digital zoom. The stand incorporates a tripod connector (tripod not involved), and Poly also supplies an optional wall-mount package as properly.

The EagleEye Mini can be used as portion of a greater Poly conferencing system, and supports the company’s RealPresence collaboration software program, which is accessible for each Pc and Mac. It also functions with normal video clip-conferencing apps these types of as Skype and Zoom.

$a hundred sixty five / £95.eighty three (ex. VAT)

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Poly (Uk)



Razer is properly-known for its assortment of gaming laptops and add-ons, and its Kiyo camera is mainly made for on the internet gaming and streaming. Even so, it does have a single pretty ingenious aspect that can arrive in useful for business customers who want to add a much more skilled look to their video clip phone calls.

The digital camera alone is pretty traditional, giving 1080p and 720p alternatives for video clip phone calls, while the Kiyo software program also supplies an alternative to alter the factor ratio to four:3 for video clip phone calls, as properly as the capability to capture even now visuals at 2688×1520 resolution. 

The clip stand can effortlessly attach to a notebook or external monitor, and incorporates a tripod connector as properly (tripod not involved). 

The Kiyo’s stand-out aspect, while, is the ‘ring light’ that circles the digital camera. The additional lights can help to increase visibility and impression high-quality in the course of your phone calls, and is speedily modified merely by rotating the ring mechanism on the digital camera. It truly is attractively priced too, and the only drawback is that the Kiyo software program is presently only accessible for Home windows PCs. 

$ninety nine.ninety nine / £83.33 (ex. VAT)

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Razer (Uk)