The Top Five HD WebCam Options
The Top Five HD WebCam Options
Whether you are chatting with a long-distance boyfriend or hosting a web conference, owning a quality webcam can be the difference between a smooth conversation and a choppy one. Below are a few HD webcam reviews to help you make the best decision for your particular needs.
Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000
As the cheapest webcam on this list, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 retails for just $24. It takes 4 megapixel (MP) stills and shoots at 720p, which is excellent for the price point. On a technical level, it lags behind some of its competitors, but the noise-cancelling microphone does produce clear audio.
Due to its clip design and very short cord, desktop users will probably want to choose a more expensive model, but the HD-6000 works well enough for laptops, so if you’re looking for a simple webcam to talk to friends and family, the HD-6000 is an affordable choice.
At the $35 price point, the HP HD-3110 boasts slightly better specs than the HD-6000. It still shoots 720p video, but it takes 5.7 MP stills. While the stills aren’t fantastic, they are noticeably sharper than the HD-6000.
Unfortunately, the HD-3110 is lacking when it comes to integrated photo and video effects. The included software offers only the simplest cropping and resizing tools, but the autofocus does a good job of tracking your movements and adjusting the digital zoom.
This particular camera can also swivel around a full 360 degrees, making it another good choice for laptop users. It also features a number of easily accessible buttons on the front to switch to still camera, video recording and webcam modes.
Creative Live! Cam Socialize HD AF
The Creative Live! Cam Socialize HD AF webcam offers one of the best price-to-performance ratios out of any model. It retails for $40 and takes 10 MP stills. Unfortunately, the HD AF only shoots in 720p. If you’re just looking to use a webcam for Skype or web conferencing services, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 offers comparable video and audio quality at about half the price.
While it typically shoots in 720p, the Creative Live! Cam Socialize HD AF does have the capability of shooting at a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200. However, that resolution hasn’t been particularly useful since retailers began exclusively selling widescreen monitors. While some larger monitors with a max resolution of 1920 x 1200 or above can use this webcam resolution, you’re better off shooting in 720p.
The wide camera lens does record a wider image, and its excellent autofocus will keep you from appearing blurry. The flexible clip design allows the webcam to be hooked up to a wide range of monitors, and the small size makes it very portable.
Logitech HD C310
At $55, the Logitech HD C310 is one of the more expensive models on the market. One of the first things you’ll notice about this product is how intuitive it is to install and use. It’s compatible with older machines that only have USB 1.1 ports, but you’ll want to plug it into a USB 2.0 port for faster data transfer speeds.
While the 720p video resolution and 5 MP stills leave a lot to be desired in terms of raw specifications, the Logitech software largely makes up for these shortcomings. Logitech RightLight 2 and RightSound make the webcam image sharper, keep you in focus and track your voice anywhere in the room. These two technologies alone add a lot of value to the HD C310.
However, the HD C310 is deficient in the audio and video effects department. It also lacks the ability to capture a 360-degree panoramic view, so desktop users will find it more useful than laptop users. The HD C310 does feature social media integration, and users can upload photos to Facebook and Twitter with a single mouse click.
Logitech HD Pro C920
The Logitech HD Pro C920lives up to its name in most regards. You’ll receive full 1080p video recording and jaw dropping 15 MP stills. The 1080p video eats up a lot of bandwidth, so make sure your Internet connection is up to the challenge if you plan on streaming at 1080p.
Also, combined with Logitech’s noise cancellation technology, the HD Pro C920’s stereo microphone captures incredibly clear audio. You can use the facial recognition software to unlock your computer instead of a password, and you can even log into websites using the security software. It also includes numerous video effects for those users who like to wear beards or turn themselves into aliens.
But like the other Logitech webcam on this list, the HD Pro C920 can’t swivel 360 degrees, and it is significantly heavier than most webcams, so you’ll want to use this model with a desktop computer. Even though it can’t twist in every direction, the 6-foot cord allows you to place it almost anywhere.