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Which webcam for podcasting is best?

Anyone who regularly livestreams or uploads video content to the web understands the importance of owning a reliable camera. While some use action cameras such as GoPros or even a smartphone to record podcasts, you cannot beat a built-for-purpose webcam for creating high-quality in-house productions. If you are looking for a good all-around camera, the Logitech Brio is an excellent solution that shoots in 4K quality at a rate of 30 frames per second.

What to know before you buy a webcam for podcasting

Built-in microphones

Built-in microphones are surprisingly effective, given their almost invisible integration into the webcam’s body. If you are not using an external microphone in your setup, an omnidirectional microphone is usually your best option when recording the spoken word. This is because they capture the sound that is directly in front of the camera and eliminate most ambient noise. Other cameras have integral stereo mics and these are better at capturing live events at a greater distance.

Aperture and video format

Ideally, your webcam will display video in a widescreen format that is suitable for viewing on televisions and computers with standard screen resolutions. A large aperture is also important to capture faces in great detail. A high-quality webcam for podcasting should have an aperture of between f/2.0 to f/2.8 in size.

The importance of lighting

The best webcams for podcasting work in both dimly-lit and brightly lit environments. Some newer cameras feature built-in ring lights that improve lighting conditions without the need for external lamps. Consider the ambient lighting that will affect your podcasts, and ensure your chosen model has a good enough sensor to meet the demands of your filming.

What to look for in a quality webcam for podcasting

Field of view

A good webcam for podcasting will have a variable field of view, and this is important, especially if you plan on using several camera setups. For example, a 60-degree field of view (FOV) is ideal for capturing an individual speaking to the camera. If you are joined by a companion or interviewee, then 78 degrees is a good rule of thumb. Wide-angle shots are very useful for filming a small studio or a person speaking in front of a whiteboard or virtual screen.

Picture quality

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a webcam to get impressive results for your podcast, but the best models make this easier and more likely to achieve. Features like autofocus and a high frame rate greatly improve video quality, and the higher the resolution, the better. Nowadays, 1080p is a standard resolution in midrange webcams, while the best boast a 4K frame rate for smoother video and flawless image quality.

Companion software

Most webcams come with a companion app or downloadable software that greatly expands their capabilities and improves your final results. These allow you to add music, text and visual effects to your content as well as edit and mix your audio and video recordings. The best thing about webcam companion software is that it is usually free to download.

How much you can expect to spend on a webcam for podcasting

Webcams for podcasting are higher in quality than a standard model used for business and communication. You can therefore expect to pay around $60 for an entry-level model. A mid-range option will cost around $100, while a top-of-the-range webcam for podcasting can cost $150 or more.

Webcam for podcasting FAQ

Is my laptop’s camera good enough for podcasting?

A. While most built-in cameras are excellent to communicate with friends or colleagues, purpose-built webcams for podcasting offer better features, including variable fields of view, higher-quality lenses and built-in microphones that are more responsive.

Is high-definition absolutely necessary?

A. The best webcams record in high definition, and this means that it captures images at a 16:9 aspect ratio. Simply put, this means it’s ideal for viewing on a widescreen TV, with a resolution of between 720p and 1080p. When recording video for podcasting, it is recommended that you film in HD to make sure your work is compatible with modern devices.

What’s the best webcam for podcasting to buy?

Top webcam for podcasting

Logitech Brio

Logitech Brio

What you need to know: The Logitech Brio is a compact unit that produces professional results in 4K ultra-high definition.

What you’ll love: This camera captures highly detailed images in 2160p quality and has a zoom that is equally impressive with up to five times the magnification of standard models. It pairs seamlessly with your smartphone via a companion app and is not imposing when sat on top of a display.

What you should consider: This is not the most intuitive model available, and it may take time to familiarize yourself with it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top webcam for podcasting for the money

Microsoft LifeCam Studio

Microsoft LifeCam Studio

What you need to know: The Lifecam Studio offers excellent 1080p video quality in a well-built unit with an affordable price tag.

What you’ll love: This attractive model from Microsoft ticks most boxes for PC users, with autofocus functionality and a high-precision glass element lens. Audio recordings are clear and detailed, and colors are well-reproduced. The free companion software is also powerful and easy to use.

What you should consider: There is no support for Mac, and it doesn’t work with the latest versions of OSX.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Razer Kiyo Pro

Razer Kiyo Pro

What you need to know: The Kiyo Pro features exceptional build quality and is well suited to both live and studio work.

What you’ll love: This streaming webcam delivers impressive results at 1080p with a frame rate of 60fps. Its large aperture, wide-angle lens is adjustable with three optional fields of vision. It also works very well in both brightly lit and low-lighting environments.

What you should consider: This model does not perform well with USB 2.0 ports or external USB hubs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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