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Best Webcams for Teachers and Students 2021

Best webcams
(Image credit: Logitech)

The best webcams for education can make all the difference for teachers and students alike. The best webcam can mean a smooth, clear and -- crucially -- engaging lesson for immersive education. For remote learning as well as video meetings online, a decent webcam is ideal.

While many laptops and all smartphones will have a selfie-positioned camera for web video use, they're rarely high quality since they have to be compact enough to sit above a display. This is where a webcam, built to task, can make a big difference.

A larger camera lens can let in more light, which immediately allows for a higher quality image capture. The addition of larger sensors and dedicated abilities such as tilting, panning and zooming, all add more appeal. Of course, the ability to mount the camera in a fixed location can also help when teaching at a whiteboard, for example.

Quality varies from 720p to 1080p right up to 4K. In reality, that lower end will do the job just fine on a computer screen, but to ensure you have the best scalable image a 1080p camera could be worth the investment. An integrated microphone is another feature worth keeping in mind when deciding which is the best webcam for you.

Here are the best webcams for teachers and students during remote learning.

The Best Webcams

1. Logitech C922 Pro Stream: Best overall webcam for educators

Logitech C922 Pro Stream

(Image credit: Logitech)

Logitech C922 Pro Stream

Best overall webcam for education

Resolution: 1080p | Stand out feature: Background removal | Audio: Stereo | Streaming resolution: 720p / 60fps

Superb quality in all lights
Background removal
720p / 60fps streaming
Not a design update

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream is simply the best webcam for teachers and students during remote learning, thanks to a top quality 1080p resolution sensor that's built into a minimally designed and easy-to-mount camera. It does all this while remaining relatively affordable, too (around $100).

When it comes to live streaming, the C922 is capable of 720p quality video at a super fast 60 frames per second refresh rate. That makes for a really smooth quality feed, ideal for teaching with movement while working on a whiteboard or taking a class through an experiment live.

A very useful feature for both teachers and students is the background removal tool. As the name suggests, this removes the backdrop to keep the person in shot while maintaining the privacy of their surroundings -– ideal when in virtual class at home.

This camera is exceptional for low-light correction with auto light features that means no matter where you're able to get online from this will offer the most clear video picture quality. It'll sound clear too thanks to stereo audio recording built-in.

A superb webcam for video streaming and audio quality make it ideal for remote education for both teachers and students.

2. Razer Kiyo: Best webcam with lighting

Razer Kiyo

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Kiyo

Best lighting webcam

Resolution: 1080p | Stand out feature: Ring light | Audio: Integrated mic | Streaming resolution: 720p / 60fps

Ring light
720p / 60fps streaming
Eash mounting
No background blur

The Razer Kiyo is a webcam like no other as it features a dedicated LED light ring. This offers a diffused light that creates a professional level of lighting quality for an even spread, which is flattering for the user. The result is a very clear image that can convey emotion and feeling, helping those watching feel more immersed in the experience. 

This device has a 1080p quality resolution for recording and can stream at 720p with 60fps for a smooth video finish. The mounting system is super simple and clips to most screens easily. After that clip on and plug in, the process of getting up and running is also super simple. Yes, this is more basic than some top-end models when it comes to extra features, but for a quality video with built-in microphone for audio, this does the job very well.

3. Logitech StreamCam: Best webcam for streaming

Logitech StreamCam

(Image credit: Logitech)

Logitech StreamCam

Best streaming webcam

Resolution: 1080p | Stand out feature: AI face tracking | Audio: Integrated dual mics | Streaming resolution: 1080p / 60fps

1080p streaming quality
Face tracking
Easy mount
Auto focus

The Logitech StreamCam is, as the name suggests, built for the task of streaming. As such, it comes with integrated dual microphones for audio and a 1080p quality video streaming capability. But it's the extras that make it stand out, including artificial intelligence to track your face as you move which combines with autofocus to keep the image clear.

This device comes with a mount for displays or a tripod, works with PC and Mac, and connects via USB-C. The 60 fps video combined with a 9:16 format option (for Instagram and Facebook portrait shots) and smart exposure all make for a really high-quality image that's ideal for teaching, especially if movement is likely.

The webcam comes in a few color options and is small enough to fit in a bag, or even pocket, making it ideal for travel, storage, and use with a laptop.

4. Aver Cam540: Best webcam for 4K with zoom

Aver Cam540

(Image credit: Aver)

Aver Cam540

Best 4K zooming webcam

Resolution: 1080p | Stand out feature: AI face tracking | Audio: Integrated dual mics | Streaming resolution: 720p / 60fps

4K video resolution
16x zoom
Tilt and pan using remote
Very expensive

The Aver Cam540 is the top-end of what webcams offer, and it has a price to reflect that (around $1,000). But it's well justified as it is crammed with features. Primarily, it is capable of 4K resolution video quality, which might sound like overkill except it can be used with a 16x zoom, making it great for experiments, map analysis, and board work.

The remote allows you to pre-set 10 zones that it will pan to at the touch of a button, once again making this a great tool for teaching remotely if you want to move about and have the focus follow you as needed. Auto white balance, top color reproduction, and superb accuracy all help make this as clear as possible.

This webcam is even easy to install and works with  Windows, Mac, and Chromebooks. It's actually certified for Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom use.

5. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000: Best webcam on a budget

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

Best budget webcam

Resolution: 1080p | Stand out feature: 360 degree rotation | Audio: Integrated mic | Streaming resolution: 720p

Easy to use
Skype friendly
Noise cancelling mic
Not stereo mics

The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 has a superb image quality and performance for a very low price (around $90) when you consider all the features. This gets you a 1080p recording quality with the usual 720p streaming top end limit. But it offers 360 degree rotation using the handy mount that works as a tripod for any surface.

The autofocus takes care of keeping the image quality high while the wideband mic makes provides crystal clear audio. As for exposure and lighting, you don't have to worry about much with Microsoft's TrueColor system taking care of that dynamically. 

Pay very little, worry not at all, and get a lot. Simple.

6. Mevo Start: Best webcam for smartphones

Mevo Start

(Image credit: Mevo)

Mevo Start

Best webcam for smartphones and live streams

Resolution: 1080p | Stand out feature: Wireless, works with smartphones | Audio: 3 MEMS mic | Streaming resolution: 1080p

Mobile, battery powered cam
1080p quality
Live stream direct to social media
Wireless, works with phones

The Mevo Start is a bit different to the others on this list, in that it's wireless. Since this uses WiFi and is battery powered, it can be used with a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, anywhere. That makes this ideal for live streaming events, such as a school trip or experiment at a location, and can be done directly through the likes of Facebook, YouTube Live, Twitter, or Vimeo.

This webcam comes with a built-in thread for a mic or tripod stand, and charges via USB-C. You get 1080p at 30fps with a low distortion lens, HDR and auto exposure for consistent quality no matter where you record. While it will live stream to multiple platforms at once, you can also record it locally using the microSD slot. The battery lasts six hours on a charge, and the whole camera is small enough to slip into a pocket, making your lessons free to be experienced anywhere you dare to venture.

7. Elgato Facecam: Best for YouTube streaming

Elgato Facecam

(Image credit: Elgato)

Elgato Facecam

Ideal for YouTube streaming

Resolution: 1080p | Stand out feature: Sony sensor | Audio: N/A | Streaming resolution: 1080p

Superb software
Powerful Sony sensor
60fps 1080p
No mic or autofocus

The Elgato Facecam is packing in a super powerful and high quality Sony sensor. That means you can stream at 1080p and even enjoy 60fps quality. All that runs through some very easy to use yet powerful software, all of which add up to an ideal camera for YouTube streaming.

The downside, for anyone seeking a simple webcam, is that this is specialist and as such requires a separate microphone and won't offer autofocus - since that can be troublesome for vloggers. So, for teachers with a channel, or that teach through YouTube videos, this is ideal. But for anyone that wants a simple webcam, the others on this list are better suited. 

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Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.