In a previous round of testing, we tested (and dismissed) Logitech’s C930e and Microsoft’s Life Cam Cinema.
Once we narrowed down the field, we took multiple pictures and videos with each webcam under controlled conditions so we could compare them directly.
We evaluated 19 current webcams for this update to the guide, including our previous picks, new webcams released since the last time we tested, and best-selling cameras from Amazon.
To narrow the field down to six contenders, we compared the specifications of each camera; test data from the previous version of our guide; Amazon reviews; and reviews from trusted third-party sources like PCWorld, PC Magazine, and Laptop Mag.
For our 2017 tests, here’s what we captured with each contender: We then had seven Wirecutter staffers compare the images and videos from the different cameras, without knowing which was which, and rank their quality from best to worst.
We used that data, our findings from the previous version of this guide, and notes from other professional reviewers to settle on our picks.
Its video—1080p at 30 frames per second—was crisp and clear in our testing, and the autofocus and auto white balance features worked better than those of any of the other webcams we tested.
Logitech introduced the C920 back in 2012, and there’s still nothing better for the price.
The C920’s autofocus works quickly, and the camera does a good job of adjusting its exposure and white balance—even in rooms with a mix of sunlight and warm overhead light, or when you’re sitting in front of a bright window.Kimber has tested hundreds of laptops, even more storage devices, and way too many peripherals—including wireless mice, mechanical keyboards, and webcams.Most recent laptops and all-in-one desktops have a decent—sometimes even great—built-in camera, so many people don’t need a stand-alone webcam.A good webcam for most people should meet all of these basic criteria, which we used as guidelines for our research: Five of the webcams we tested met or exceeded all of our requirements, and they were all from Logitech: the Brio, C922x, C920, C615, and C525.We also evaluated the Logitech C270, which lacks autofocus but meets our other requirements and costs only .