Ever since last year, working from home has become the new norm, with in-person meetings being replaced by virtual conferences. This has naturally led to a huge increase in the demand for webcams. While most modern laptops, even the expensive ones, continue to offer a mediocre camera experience, it’s best to invest extra money for a webcam that delivers better quality video. We already have a list of some of the best webcams you should be looking at to enhance your virtual meeting experience. But today, we’ll check out some of the best cheap webcams you can buy on a tight budget.
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Best overall: Lenovo 300 Full HD Webcam
Lenovo is a reliable brand, and that’s one of the reasons why we recommend this product if you’re looking for a good full-HD webcam on a budget. It comes with its own physical privacy cover and includes a 2.1-megapixel CMOS sensor that supports 1080p video at 30fps. It also comes with tilt support, a 1.8m USB cable, dual microphones and can also be mounted on a tripod.
The lens comes with a 95-degree field of view, while the flexible mounting mechanism allows you to attach it to your desktop computer monitor or a laptop. The webcam is said to support both Windows and Mac systems.
Best webcam with fill-in light: Tecknet 1080P Webcam
Having a fill-in light ensures your face is always well lit for your video meetings. The front fascia around the lens lights up using LEDs to brighten your area, along with the option to adjust three levels of brightness that can be done using a touch-based switch on top. The camera features a 2-megapixel sensor along with dual microphones that include noise reduction, a 360-degree horizontal rotation function, and a USB Type-C port.
The webcam is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android and is said to be supported by a variety of apps, including Zoom, Teams, Twitch, Skype, and more.
Best 4K webcam: GoHZQ 4K Webcam
If you’re looking for the best resolution possible for just under $30, you can get yourself the GoHZQ 4K webcam. It features an 8-megapixel 1/3.2” Sony CMOS image sensor that supports 4K video at 30fps. It also comes with its own privacy shutter, a mini tripod, and dual microphones. With high-res video support, the webcam should offer improved sharpness and picture clarity compared to most of the affordable webcams available on the market today.
Best Windows Hello webcam: Lenovo 500 Full HD Webcam
Windows Hello face recognition is a great way to instantly get access to your Windows 10 PC without the need to set a complicated password. The biometric authentication system scans your face and quickly grants you access to the system. The Lenovo 500 Full HD webcam is one of the most affordable webcams certified for Windows Hello. It supports 1080p full-HD video, has a 75-degree lens with 4x digital zoom, and a privacy shutter. It can easily be attached to your monitor or laptop with flexible controls to let you pan, tilt and rotate the lens 360-degrees.
Note that this webcam doesn’t have a built-in microphone, so make sure your PC has the option.
Best wide-angle webcam: Inmiss W301
The Inmiss W301 is one of the only wide-angled webcams we could find on a tight budget. It features a 120-degree lens, which means you can have more people in your frame in case you want a cheap webcam for group video calls. It supports 1080p video at 30fps and uses H.264 video compression. It also features a built-in microphone with auto-noise reduction and is claimed to pick up your voice from up to 6m distance. Other features include support for tripod mount, tilt and rotate features, a detachable privacy shutter, and a bundled mini tripod.
Best 2K webcam: Depstech 2K QHD USB Webcam
Surprisingly, we managed to find an affordable webcam that supports 1440p video, which should deliver a much more quality experience compared to a standard 720p or 1080p webcam. The webcam features a 4-megapixel CMOS sensor that supports 2560 x 1440 quad-HD resolution at 30fps. The camera lens offers a 90-degree field of view which is decent if you want to fit 2-3 people in a single frame, and it features built-in dual microphones with noise reduction.
It’s also claimed to offer automatic low light correction and HDR; however, considering the plug-and-play nature of the camera, we doubt there are any settings that can be adjusted manually. While it can be clamped onto your monitor or laptop and has the option for a tripod mount, there is no dedicated privacy shutter.
These are some of the best cheap webcams you can buy today. Let us know if you think we missed any. If you’re planning to buy a new laptop for your work-from-home setup, consider checking out our list of the best laptops for 2021. We also have a roundup of the best 5G laptops if you need mobile connectivity and some of the best laptops with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.