With all of us spending enormous amount of time on video calls, web cameras have become essential part of our lives. Any built-in camera on a laptop or a monitor, is usually of very poor quality. Due to the form factor, they are simply too small to have decent image quality or any of the advanced features. Owning something better is a good idea, if you use it every day. But it’s not easy to know what is worth your money.
From the very start, we need to admit that if you are going for the best quality, nothing can compare with a conventional photo camera (DSLR or mirrorless), repurposed as a web camera. And many people do have such setups. Unfortunately, it is extremely expensive and hard-to-setup option, so it’s not for everybody. And therefore we will only discuss conventional webcams, here that you can use out of the box.
This category was actually a big original motivator for starting this website. There is incredibly large number of utter garbage on the market and what was most infuriating is that most review websites are pushing Logitech products. It’s infuriating because Logitech has stopped innovating with web cameras pre-pandemic. Their webcams are OK, compared to avalanche of lesser known brands, but they are also terribly uninspired and technically outdated. Pretty much none of them are AI-enhanced, or have modern features.
Thankfully, there are much better options, couple of which we recommend here.
Head to Head Comparison
We tested many products in this category. Here are some that we actually liked. The prices indicated are the ones on Amazon at the time of writing this review.
|Model||AI Enabled||Wide Angle||Resolution||Price|
|Dell UltraSharp HDR 4K||Yes||Yes||4K||$179.99|
Now, without further ado, let’s get to which one is the best.
And the Bestest is…
Elgato Facecam is our favorite choice by a thin margin. It has better Price, great quality, and rich features. That said, Dell is also a wonderful option, and some may even prefer it.
We love this intelligent camera. Quality is great, it has all the modern capabilities such as: adjustable field of view (a must have!), privacy cover, auto-focus, auto-aperture, and many others. And if you own NVIDIA’s graphic card, Elgato will tap into its capabilities providing powerful features such as a virtual background in any video-conferencing app, even the ones thay may not support it.
We la-la-love Dell Ultrasharp HDR 4K webcam. As a matter of fact, it could have easily been our top choice.
Dell hit a home run with this one. Sony STARVIS CMOS Sensor is second to none, and with features such as 4K video, HDR, IR Sensor, Proximity Sensor, and privacy cover you know you are well taken care of. AI-enabled Auto Framing keeps you at the center of the screen, and is another example of this being a modern webcam with everything that you’d expect from one.
Comparing to Elgato, there are some advantages and disadvantages. Elgato doesn’t have auto-framing, camera’s artificial intelligence following your movements and keeping you in frame, but Dell doesn’t have Elgato’s built-in support for NVIDIA effects, such as backgrounds. It should be noted, however that if you don’t have a powerful NVIDIA video card (e.g. on a laptop), or are using one of many video conferencing apps that have their own support for it, you may not need camera’s support of such features. We did also find Elgato’s software to be easier to install, use and it generally seems more performant, compared to Dell’s.
Why You Should Trust Us
It's pretty simple actually: we do not (repeat, do NOT) sell our opinions. We are not owned by any big corporation, we don't answer to any greedy Wall Street stakeholders, and we started doing this because we care. Every time we wanted to make an intelligent purchasing decision, we would consult with free websites once reputable but then purchased by big media conglomerates, or dedicated review websites that we had to purchase subscription for. We would read how authors had this degree or that degree and expert knowledge, but the simple fact was, their recommendations sucked. Excuse our language. So out of frustration this website was born. We give our honest opinion and recommend products that we ourselves own, enjoy or would recommend to our friends and family. Nothing more, nothing less. You get honesty of your fellow consumer here. And that is a promise we never intend to break.