11 Best Webcams for Online Teaching [2021 Teacher Webcam Guide]

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When it comes to webcams for online teachers (as well as headsets), there is a huge difference in quality between most built-in models when compared to a dedicated camera.  And, as many of you have likely experienced, having a poor webcam can cause a lot of inconvenience for you as an online teacher. The best teacher webcam should make teaching easier, not harder.

The issue is that while some newer models do offer HD video, they are severely limited by their design and location. Built-in webcams are obviously less flexible when it comes to adjusting what they see, and are often more affected by low light and exposure to sunlight.

Dedicated webcams, however, are not limited by space and even the low-cost models tend to employ technology to combat adverse lighting conditions.

Our top teacher webcam pick is the Logitech HD Pro C920. This model includes its own stand, widescreen mode, and the ability to conduct video and audio calls. It also has light correction technology to make sure everything displays correctly on screen.

The Best Teacher Webcams for Online Classrooms

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920

From widescreen to video calling to desktops and laptops, this webcam can do it all.  Everyone knows Logitech makes awesome products and their webcams for teachers are no exception.

This camera works almost everywhere and comes with a folding stand so that you can place it on a table if you don’t have somewhere to clip it.  On top of that, it’s got stereo mics + low light correction to ensure you’re seen and heard with 100% clarity.

What We Like:

  • Best design for basic classrooms at an affordable price
  • Includes a folding stand and clip for versatile placement
  • Stereo microphones filter out ambient noise
  • Low light correction technology makes images clearer in dim settings
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS, and Android

What We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t have the most manual options for camera setup
Best overall
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video Calling and Recording, 1080p Camera, Desktop or Laptop Webcam
5
$76.00
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07/31/2021 06:14 pm GMT

Razer Kiyo

If you’re teaching (or vlogging) in the early morning or evenings then this webcam is for you.  Low light can be catastrophic for any online lesson and the light ring on the Kiyo ensures you’ll be seen regardless of the time or conditions.

In addition, the Razer features autofocus to make sure you stay clear and is fully adjustable making it easy to find a place to put it while still capturing you and your lesson.

What We Like:

  • Streams at 30 fps in 1080p or 60 fps in 720p
  • Includes ring light with adjustable brightness levels
  • Advanced autofocus features keep you in focus
  • Compact design is good for teachers who commute
  • Compatible with streaming platforms like Streamlabs

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not compatible with non-PC systems
Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam: 1080p 30 FPS / 720p 60 FPS - Ring Light w/ Adjustable Brightness
4.5
$82.71
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07/31/2021 06:12 pm GMT

Logitech HD Webcam C525

Looking for something a little more powerful when it comes to your webcam?  The Logitech HDWebcam C525 is priced a little bit higher but makes up for it with features and functionality.  While the video quality is the same as the Creative Live model, Logitech includes a built-in microphone with their model to make sure you’re heard as well as seen.

In addition, the C525 has a swivel function that makes positioning and adjusting the camera a snap and uses autofocus to make sure your students don’t miss any of the action.  All of this makes it one of our top picks when it comes to webcams for online teachers. Note: the C525 only works on Windows computers.

What We Like:

  • Most affordable option for video capture
  • Streams in 720p
  • Lets you upload lessons to Youtube and Facebook with one click
  • Compatible with PC systems
  • Long USB cord for more versatile placement options

What We Don’t Like:

  • 720p is the same quality as most built-in laptop cameras
  • Doesn’t work with Macs
Most affordable
Logitech C525 USB HD Webcam
4
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IPEVO Point 2 View USB Camera

Looking for an awesome document cam that can improve your ability to show off worksheets and exercises?  Then the IPEVO Point 2 might be for you. Perhaps the most useful for online teachers is the jointed display stand which allows you to adjust the focus between you and a worksheet or document in seconds. 

The IPEVO also touts a built-in microphone for superior audio quality, plus the ability to work on both Mac and Windows systems. Despite these extra features, the IPEVO isn’t that much more expensive than the other webcams for online teachers and it’s certain to enhance the lessons for everyone involved.

What We Like:

  • Stylish camera with a jointed display stand
  • Captures 2 megapixel images
  • Ability to shift focus between subjects, like you and your worksheet
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac systems
  • Custom downloadable software for saving images to your hard drive

What We Don’t Like:

  • Better for quick worksheet demonstrations than long video lessons
Ipevo CDVU-03IP Point 2 View USB Camera (Discontinued and Upgraded to IPEVO V4K)
4
$196.81
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07/31/2021 06:11 pm GMT

Microsoft Life Cam

If you’re looking for an awesome webcam for online teaching that has both top notch image quality and audio recording, then the Microsoft Life Cam is the perfect choice. The high-quality built-in microphone will allow you to free yourself of your online teaching headset and teach more fluid and dynamic lessons. 

It also has a high-precision glass lens and TrueColor technology that will enhance your video quality. 

What We Like:

  • Best reputation from a trusted company
  • Face tracking technology automatically adjusts color balances
  • 360 degree rotation makes adjusting the camera angle easy
  • Precision glass lens allows capturing in 720p HD
  • Solid audio quality

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lower video resolution compared to other models on the list
Best reputation
Microsoft LifeCam Cinema, Retail
4.5
$41.04
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07/31/2021 06:16 pm GMT

4K Webcam with 8MP HD Computer Camera + Microphone

This is one of the best options on the market for teachers, especially considering the affordable price tag. The high-tech lens can capture images in 8 megapixels and deliver 4k HD video, which is nearly movie-quality. If you often do physical demonstrations in your lessons, this will capture them perfectly.

The microphone has a noise reduction setup to reduce ambient background sounds. It’s capable of transmitting your voice clearly from up to 12 feet away, so it’s ideal for big spaces. Also included is a tripod clip that can be adjusted universally to meet your needs.

All you need to do is plug the USB cord in, and you’re ready to go. The cord is 6 feet long for optimal camera placement and you can also conveniently fold the camera to take it from place to place.

What We Like:

  • Best for teachers who move around due to the tripod option
  • Transmits audio up to 12 feet away, so it’s good for demonstrations
  • 6 foot USB cable plugs into any USB-enabled device
  • Camera captures 8MP and 4K HD audio
  • Rotatable tripod clip gives you a customizable fit

What We Don’t Like:

  • No image-adjusting technology to help with poor lighting
Best for teachers who move around
4K Webcam, Webcam 8MP HD Computer Camera with Microphone
5
$39.99
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07/31/2021 06:13 pm GMT

Depstech HD 8MP Sony Autofocus Webcam

This teacher webcam model also captures in 4K HD with an image quality of 8 megapixels. It comes with a tripod, privacy cover, and microphone. The plug-and-play design allows for easy setup — all you have to do is plug the USB cord into your computer.

With a video capture rate of up to 30 frames per second, this is a great option for teachers who want to show their students complex details. The model also has technology to reduce delays, creating the feeling of face-to-face conversation. An autofocus feature keeps you in focus while blurring out unnecessary background noise. You get a clear image even in low lighting.

The noise filtering technology automatically filters out background sounds while amplifying your voice. When not in use, the privacy cover will protect the lens from smudges and dirt. The model is compatible with both PC and Mac.

What We Like:

  • Best classroom webcam thanks to stunning video detail
  • Included tripod lets you balance the camera on other surfaces
  • Autofocus keeps you in the frame while reducing background clutter
  • Microphone transmits your voice while filtering out noisy background chatter
  • Compatible with Mac OS and several Windows operating systems

What We Don’t Like:

  • Camera is a little pricey, so it might not work for teachers on a budget
Best for the classroom
4K Webcam, 2021 DEPSTECH HD 8MP Sony Autofocus Webcam with Microphone
4.5
$69.99
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07/31/2021 06:12 pm GMT

Vitade 960A USB Pro Computer Web

The Vitade camera allows you to stream video in HD 1080P and is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. A built-in ring light allows you to enhance your facial lighting in dim settings and you can choose between three different brightness levels.

The camera also uses compression technology to deliver high-quality video at faster speeds, making it ideal for people with slower internet connections. The autofocus lets the camera zoom in on the main subject in sharp detail. There’s also automatic light correction in dimmer settings.

In addition to working with Mac and PC, the webcam can support Android and Chrome OS devices. An included tripod clip allows for universal placement on any LCD screen or monitor.

What We Like:

  • 1080p video capture with light correction and autofocus
  • Built-in light with 3 brightness settings to illuminate your face
  • Compression technology transmits HD video faster
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Chrome OS, and Android
  • Includes universal tripod clip that’s compatible with all digital monitors

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not the most detailed video capture on the list, though still very good
PC Webcam for Streaming HD 1080P, Vitade 960A USB Pro Computer Web Camera Video Cam for Mac Windows Laptop
4
$48.85
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07/31/2021 06:11 pm GMT

NexiGo AutoFocus 1080P Webcam with Stereo Microphone

This durable teacher webcam has a high-tech design that looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. The sleek stand and large lens allow for crystal-clear 1080p capturing. There’s an autofocus setting that zooms in on the subject, but you can turn this off and manually configure the focus as well.

Like other models with privacy covers, the camera is protected from dirt and debris (and spying). The microphone has noise-canceling features to reduce background noise and it’s compatible with Facetime, Zoom, video calls, streaming, and most online classroom platforms.

You can plug the camera into a USB port, and then it’s ready to go. It’s compatible with a variety of operating systems including Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, and Ubuntu.

What We Like:

  • 1080p video capture with a 7-centimeter lens and clear autofocus
  • Autofocus can be turned off and configured manually if you want
  • Built-in microphone has noise cancelling technology for clearer speech
  • Most durable option as long as you maintain it properly
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Chrome, Linux, and Ubuntu

What We Don’t Like:

  • May transmit video more slowly than some other options
Most durable
NexiGo AutoFocus 1080p Webcam with Stereo Microphone, Software Control and Privacy Cover, N930AF FHD USB Web Camera
4.5
$54.99
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07/31/2021 06:11 pm GMT

NexiGo Business Streaming USB Web Camera

This business streaming webcam captures 1080p HD quality with a refresh rate of 30 frames per second. The built-in adjustment tools will change the color contrasts and improve the lighting to make sure your video always looks great.

The autofocus feature can follow a primary subject as they move across the screen. There’s also a 90-degree field of view that allows for a wider look at your space, so it’s great for classroom demonstrations. You can adjust the mounting clip to whatever camera angle you need.

The stereo microphone filters background noise to keep your voice clear. Like the previous model, this option is compatible with Chrome OS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and Ubuntu.

What We Like:

  • Streams in HD at 30 frames per second
  • Adjustable clip lets you change the angle as needed
  • Wide field of view for classroom meetings
  • Noise filtering microphone makes your speech clearer
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Chrome, Ubuntu, and Linux

What We Don’t Like:

  • No option to create a manual camera focus
2021 AutoFocus 1080P Webcam with Microphone and Privacy Cover, NexiGo Business Streaming USB Web Camera
3.5
$54.99
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07/31/2021 06:14 pm GMT

OBSBOT Tiny PTZ Webcam with AI-Powered Framing & Gesture Control

The tiny Obsbot webcam is easy to store and pack if you travel, making it the best choice for teachers on the go. It uses AI machine learning to automatically track and frame the subjects of the video. With a USB-C connection, video transfers at high speeds.

The camera comes with computer software that allows you to select targets, adjust the camera rotation, zoom in and out, and create preset positions. It’s a great choice for teachers who are interested in cinematography.

The video encoding software allows video to be transmitted in HD even when you’re dealing with low bandwidth. The package includes the webcam, power cable, mount, warranty card, and a user manual.

What We Like:

  • Tiny design is best for teachers who travel
  • AI neural network technology automatically captures the best video
  • Downloadable software lets you adjust different aspects of the image
  • Encoding technology transmits HD video at low bandwidth
  • Streams at 30 fps in 1080p HD

What We Don’t Like:

  • Requires you to download software to use effectively
Best for teachers who travel
OBSBOT Tiny PTZ Webcam, AI-Powered Framing & Gesture Control, Full HD 1080p Webcam with Dual Omni-Directional Mics
4.5
$199.00
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07/31/2021 06:10 pm GMT

Buying Guide for Online Teaching Webcams

Mac vs PC

You’ll need to make sure that your teacher webcam is compatible with your operating system. Several devices are compatible with both Mac and PC and devices like the NexiGo Autofocus are compatible with even more systems, such as Linux, Chrome OS, and Ubuntu.

Home vs Classroom Teaching

Your location makes a difference. Are you teaching to students at home or from a classroom?  A classroom likely has better lighting and an easier place to set up your camera.

If you’re working from a place with low light, you might want a camera with light adjustment technology. Models like the Razer Kiyo have ring lights that you can use to illuminate your face and there are even different brightness settings.

Wired vs Wireless Setup

You’ll need to decide whether to use a wired or wireless setup. Wireless cameras give you more freedom in your placement, but they have some disadvantages. For one, they run on battery power. For another, they transmit video more less consistently than hardwired models.

If you’re worried about setting your camera up with a wired model, look for a design with a long USB cord. Some USB cords are up to 15 feet!

Portability

Portability is key if you’re going to be teaching in multiple places. Look for compact webcams that can fold up and be easily stored. Some might even come with their own storage cases or stands.

Microphone or Headset

If you use a headset, you don’t need to worry much about the webcam microphone. But without a headset, you’ll be relying on your computer’s built-in microphone.

The microphones in a webcam are usually much better than built-in ones. Models like the Logitech C920 are built to filter out ambient noise, allowing your voice to transmit more clearly.

Image Quality

The image quality makes a huge difference. The highest-end cameras on the market transmit in 1080p HD at rates of up to 30 frames per second. There are cameras with even better video capture, though these tend to be built for professional streamers.

Models like the OBSBOT Tiny take things a step further. They use AI technology to automatically detect and capture the best video. This includes focusing on the right subjects, shifting the lighting, and upping the video contrast.

Teacher Webcam FAQ

Do I Need a Webcam for Online Teaching?

You don’t necessarily need to invest in a classroom webcam. Your computer should have a built-in camera and microphone that will do the job, but these do have limitations. The audio quality of a built-in mic doesn’t tend to be very good, and your camera might be slow to capture your movements.

If you do invest in the best USB camera options, it’s a lot easier to conduct your lessons. You can make sure that everything is seen clearly, easily adjust the angle of your camera, and get better audio recording quality.

What image quality do I need for a teacher webcam?

Most computers have a built-in camera that records 720p video. That’s not a bad capture rate, but it also isn’t as good as it could be. If your connection slows, the image might not transmit properly, either.

It’s a good idea to invest in a 1080p webcam, which is the best video camera for classroom recording. These produce high-quality video that will allow you to conduct your lessons with sharp, clear focus.

How can I take care of my teaching webcam?

Make sure that the webcam is stored in a safe place when not in use. You don’t want it to get stepped on or crushed. It’s also good to avoid sand, dirt, and oil and you definitely shouldn’t let any liquid get into the device.

Try to avoid touching your camera lens, as this can leave behind oils from your fingers. If you’re dealing with extreme weather, make sure the camera isn’t stored in a place that will get too hot or too cold.

Wrapping Up

It’s easy for teachers, especially new teachers, to want to jump right into their lessons without giving much thought to their equipment or supplies.  We’ve definitely been guilty of that and while it is certainly possible to give a lesson from your laptop’s camera, there is no mistaking the difference a good teacher webcam can make once you try it. 
Overall, our top pick for the best webcam for online teaching is the Logitech HD Pro C920. It’s easy to use, simple to maneuver, and has great lighting technology. Whatever choice you make, your teacher webcam should enhance your online lessons.

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18 Responses

  1. Hi there,

    Love this post, but many of the cameras on here are not compatible with MAC or are unclear if they are compatible or not. Which would you recommend to purchase for streaming live classes with a MAC laptop? Preferably inexpensive. Thanks!

    1. Hi Tagen – we actually just updated the post and the TedGem should work for a Mac. It’s a bit expensive but on the lower end for this list – hope this helps!

      1. Hey Quincy! I teach yoga and personal training, so I am standing and sitting and moving, but not very far. I have been using the camera on my computer but have to keep adjusting it to be seen. I am wanting to upgrade. I have an external mic already.. But I’m open to any other suggestions. I am not currently capturing them on video but I will be. I am currently using Zoom as my platform if that makes any difference. Thank you!!!

        1. Hi Sherry – good question – out of this list I think the IPEVO would be your best bet as it’s the easiest to adjust given the base + hinges. You still might need to change the angle during your classes but it will surely be easier than moving your laptop!

  2. Can we use this logitech camera for an interactive teaching where teacher and student can interact? And is it compatible with android mobile phones?

  3. Hi! Can you recommend a camera that would work to show a whiteboard (and able to focus on the writing on the board) from a distance?

      1. Hi,
        I’m looking for a camera that can capture me teaching mathematics on a normal dry erase whiteboard. I will also be in the foreground. I want to give live streaming classes to my students.

        1. Your best bet is to use a document camera and a blank sheet of paper and a Sharpie. Whiteboards are to large to focus on and get your message across and still be visible to everyone.

  4. I want to be able to move around while teaching, and go write on my whiteboard. I want it to be able to capture me and the whiteboard at the same time. Which would be the best camera, and would I need a bluetooth microphone?

    1. Hi Susan – good question – any camera should be able to capture both you and the whiteboard (you may have to adjust it’s focus) but you’re right that the sound will be better if you have a wireless (or Bluetooth) mic.

  5. Would any of these cameras be good (in terms of pixels and sound) for recording a yoga class, in which case there would be some distance between me and the camera?

    1. Hi Anna – they should all be good for video but you’ll likely need a dedicated mic to capture the sound clearly.

  6. Hi, I am reiterating the question from M.S. Rana. In spring, my child in 4th grade was having remote interactive 1-on-1 sessions using google meet with his teachers and some sessions were group based where each student in the class joined the google meet session. Lessons were posted on google classroom. Expecting similar model in Fall with longer 1-on-1 remote sessions.

    The sessions typically require the student to either read from the computer screen or printed material on the desk, listen to the teacher, respond to the teacher either verbally or by writing on his worksheet. Teacher need to be able to see the student as well as the worksheet on the desk.

    What option would be best suited?

  7. I’m wanting to give my classes to students in class and online at the same time. My problem is my board is an interactive smart board and I can’t find a camera that focuses on the screen so that the students at home can see me and what is written on the screen. Am I better looking at a streaming camera as opposed to a webcam? I’ve looked at a lot of videos, websites etc but everything seems to be about gamers or 100% online classes rather than hybrid classes.

    1. Good question – if your interactive baord is pulling material from your computer than Id look into simply streaming your computer screen with a camera aimed at you as well. The downside is that any marks you make on the board might not show up, but that could be a decent tradeoff to not having a camera show your board at all.

  8. Thanks so much for your informative article! Just getting into some online teaching myself these days and want to upgrade from my current set-up.

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