Laptops today have integrated HD web cams of varying quality (most are at 720p). When you’re starting out as an online teacher, it’s fine to rely on your built in webcam but over time if you start teaching a lot of classes you may want to consider upgrading your camera as it’s your most important tool.
Your company may ask you to upgrade your camera as well if you become a popular teacher. Lastly, you may just want to upgrade because you’re a dedicated teacher who want’s to provide an excellent classroom experience.
If you’re looking for a way to step up your video quality for cheap then you may want to consider getting a small, inexpensive, dedicated webcam. Webcams perform much better than a built in webcam in regards to low light performance, depth of field, video quality, colors and on screen space. You can also move an position a webcam with ease.
This is not only helpful for teaching online classes, it is also helpful if you ever want to create YouTube videos, do live streaming or hold a conference call.
So what should you look for in a webcam for teaching English online? We suggest the following:
Most integrated webcams in laptops record at 720P. 720P is fine for most online teaching companies. But if you’re buying an external webcam, why not get an webcam that is a significant improvement over what your laptop has?
Some webcams are strictly webcams, but the ones that are actually worth buying come with a built in microphone. While your laptop has a microphone built into it as well, the audio from an external webcam with a microphone will be much better and is worth purchasing.
The 7 Best Webcams for Online Teachers
So here is Teach and GO’s guide to the best webcams for online teaching and sort of working professional looking to upgrade their camera for a good price.
- Logitech C922 Camera
- Logitech C270
- Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam
- Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000
- Logitech BRIO
- Vitade Webcam
- Jelly Comb 1080P webcam
Logitech C922 – The Best Price and Performance
This is the webcam we suggest getting here at Teach and GO. It has excellent audio and records at 1080P. Your field of view will be much wider, colors more vibrant, video more crispy and clearer, improved low light performance for those early mornings and it sound better.
This camera is a massive improvement over any integrated webcam and allows you to do all sorts of other fun things you previously could not do. Want to create YouTube videos? You can now. Need a camera to create a video introduction? This can do that too.
- This web camera has much improved video clarity, low light performance, sound, colors and field of view over the previous C920.
- Designed for working professionals. This webcam was made for online teachers.
- The only con is the price. It’s not too expensive but it is going to cost more than a “cheap webcam.”
Logitech C270 – The Budget Option
This camera is your cheap webcam option. It is better than your integrated webcam because is has a wide angle field of view and it has better low light performance than a web camera.
It came out a few years ago and is known to have a few compatibility issues with Windows 10.
If you’re set on getting a good cheap webcam this is it, but it’s not without it drawbacks.
- Better low light performance than your built in web cam
- It’s known to not work well on Windows 10 as it’s an older webcam
- The video tends to be a bit cropped in when recording.
- Records at 720p which is the same as your integrated webcam.
Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam – LED Light Built In
This camera is the main alternative and competitor to the Logitech C922. The Logitech has a more natural color profile but the Razer Kiyo has a built in LED light which is quite helpful for online teaching. We prefer the Logitech as most teachers have some sort of video lighting.
If you’re looking for a webcam that can record in 1080P and has a built in LED light this camera is an excellent choice.
- 1080P recording
- Built in LED light to brighten your face
- A bit expensive, but the quality is there
- Colors are not as vibrant as the C920
Microsoft Lifecam HD 3000 – The Better Budget Option
Microsoft makes various, quality accessories that are quite affordable and the Lifecam HD 3000 is no different. If you’re looking for a wide angle webcam that works with Windows without issues then consider getting the Lifecam.
It’s an improvement over your built in webcam due to the wide angle and better low light performance. This webcam however only records up to 720P.
- Wide angle
- Works with Windows 10 as it’s from Microsoft
- 720P recording. It’s acceptable for online teaching however but not for YouTube videos or live streaming.
Logitech Brio – 4k Webcam
This is a 4k webcam. 4k is a video size that is the next step up from 1080P. This webcam has auto-focus, facial recognition, can record at 4k at 30 frames a second or 1080p at 30-60 frames a second, dual mics built in for good audio, has a wide angle lens built in and 5x digital zoom.
This is an expensive, feature rich webcam designed for professional content creators. It makes the list because this is the best webcam on the market currently.
- Excellent video and audio quality.
- 4k recording capabilities
- Wide angle field of view
- Excellent low light capabilities
- As it’s the best webcam, it’s expensive.
Vitade 1080P Streaming Cam -The Mid Range Option
A step up from your internal web camera, not as expensive as other options on the list and it has a built in LED light? Yes please. The Vitade streaming webcam is a great option for those who want a significant improvement in terms of lighting, field of video and picture quality.
While designed for let’s play game bros who want to stream online, this camera is a surprisingly good option for online teaching. The 1080P is a significant upgrade in quality to your internal webcam, has a wide angle lens, good audio and has a light.
- 1080P recording.
- Built in light.
- Works out of the box.
- Build quality of the device is low. Feels cheap and fragile.
- Not a wide angle. For teaching, it’s helpful to have a wide field of view instead of the video being cropped in.
Jelly Comb 1080P Webcam – The Budget C920
The Jelly Comb webcam is a nice alternative to the more premium Logitech C920. It’s a well built webcam that offers 1080P recording, excellent audio, automatic light adjustment and a wide angle lens. What’s also great about this camera is that it’s plug and play. No need to download drivers. Works out of the box.
- All the features of the C922
- Video quality and colors are not as sharp as the C922.
Best Webcams for Online Teaching Conclusion
That covers the best webcam options for online teachers. We strongly suggest getting the Logitech C920 as it has the best price and performance for online teachers. We also really like Razor Kiyo due to it’s built in LED light.
Regardless, getting a proper webcam even if your laptop has an integrated webcam is a great idea because they are designed for professional use where your internal webcam is more designed to chat with family and friends.