Laptops today have integrated HD webcams of varying quality (most are at 720p). When you’re starting as an online teacher, it’s OK to rely on your built-in webcam, but over time, if you begin teaching many classes, you may want to consider upgrading your camera as it’s your most essential tool.
Your company may also ask you to upgrade your camera if you become a popular teacher. Lastly, you may want to upgrade because you’re a dedicated teacher who wants to provide an excellent classroom experience.
If you’re looking for a way to make your video quality better, consider getting a small, inexpensive, dedicated webcam. Webcams perform much better than built-in webcams regarding low light performance, depth of field, video quality, colors, and on-screen space. You can also move and position a webcam with ease.
This is not only helpful for teaching online classes, but it is also helpful if you ever want to create YouTube videos, live stream, 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, we suggest spending the money to get a webcam that significantly improves what your laptop has, which would be a 1080P at a minimum.
Integrated, built-in microphone
Webcams all come with a built-in microphone. While your laptop has a microphone built into it, look for a webcam that also has improved audio via an integrated, built-in microphone.
Ability to adjust the position of the webcam
An underrated but beneficial feature of an easy-to-use webcam is that you can change the angle and position of the webcam, unlike your integrated webcam, and even mount it on a tripod.
In addition, some webcams, like our top recommendation, come with a handy little tripod to help you position the webcam as needed. This is important because you want to ensure you have a good teacher background, so being able to set your camera independently of your laptop is essential.
Teachers unfamiliar with cameras will notice thatthe focal length on an integrated webcam is a bit cropped in. When looking to buy an external webcam, consider getting something that has a more wide angle field of view.
This enables you, the teacher, to have more visual space for your lessons online instead of the camera shot being tight on your face and requiring you to push back or sit back from your laptop.
The 8 Best Webcams for Online Teachers
So here is Teach and GO’s guide to the best webcams for online teaching and working professionals looking to upgrade their camera for a reasonable price.
- Logitech BRIO
- Elgato Facecam
- Logitech C922 Camera
- NexiGo AutoFocus 1080p Webcam
- Vitade Webcam
- IPEVO Ultra HD Document Camera
- Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam
- Logitech Streamcam
Logitech Brio – The 4k, premium choice.
This is a 4k webcam. 4k is a video size that is a massive next step up from 1080P. This webcam has auto-focus, and facial recognition, can record at 4k at 30 frames a second or 1080p at 30-60 structures, has a dual mics system built in for excellent 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 a list because this is the best webcam on the market currently and is our top choice due to the 4k recording ability, video quality, and acceptable built-in audio.
- Excellent video and good audio quality.
- 4k recording capabilities
- Wide angle field of view
- Excellent low light capabilities
- It’s a bit expensive compared to other options on the list, but for the value you’re getting it’s worth the price.
Elgato Facecam – 60 FPS, 1080P webcam
This webcam is designed for professional (or aspiring) YouTube and Twitch streamers. It records at 1080P at up to 60 FPS. With this webcam, once you install it, you’ll have access to intuitive, easy-to-use software to adjust the video quality.
It has no autofocus and instead leverages what many action cameras use in that it has a constant focus which means that everything is in direction at all times. You can, however use software to blur the background so only you are in focus.
Overall this is #2 on our list because the image quality is simply some of the best we’ve seen. It’s comprehensive but not too exhaustive and nice and sharp. Perfect for the work-from-home, online teaching professional.
- The best image quality from a webcam we’ve seen.
- Excellent low light performance.
- 60 FPS and a wide range of compatible software.
- Expensive as far as webcams are concerned.
- You’ll want an external mic to pair with this device.
Logitech C922 – Great Price and Performance
This used to be our top choice, but the BRIO is simply an improved version of this model. With that said, the C922 sill has excellent audio and records at 1080P. Your field of view will be much wider, colors more vibrant, the video more crispy and clearer, improved low light performance for those early mornings, and it sounds better.
This camera is a massive improvement over any integrated webcam and allows you to do fun things you previously could not do. Want to create YouTube videos? You can now. Need a camera to make 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.
- Can mount on tripods and comes with it’s own mini tripod for ease of use.
- Good image quality, but not as good as the Elgato Facecam.
NexiGo AutoFocus 1080p fixed focus webcam – the wide budget option
We were pleasantly surprised at how wide this webcam was for online teaching as most webcams are still designed for personal use and are a bit tight on the face. This camera is sharp, low cost, and performs well in average lighting. It does have a bit of a fish-eye effect however but nothing too dramatic.
The Nexigo is a budget-friendly, plug-and-play webcam that’s easy to set up. Its 2MP camera delivers smooth video with its autofocus and facial enhancement features. While its autofocus feature helps to make sure your video is crisp and sharp.
Last, it also includes a built-in noise-cancelling mic, which reduces ambient noises during online classes. Perfect for when you need your voice captured while eliminating unnecessary background sounds.
It’s compatible across Windows/Mac OS devices as well as many popular apps for increased flexibility at home or work.
- Wide field of view.
- Great audio.
- Lens privacy hood.
- No way to crop the live video image in if you’re not liking the wide angle.
Vitade 1080P Streaming Cam -The Mid Range Option
It is a step up from your internal web camera, less expensive than other options on the list, and has a built-in LED light. Yes, please. The Vitade streaming webcam is an excellent option for those who want a significant improvement in terms of lighting, the 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; it has a wide-angle lens, good audio, and a ring 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.
IPEVO Ultra HD Document Camera – The creative professionals choice
The IPEVO Ultra HD Document Camera will transform your online learning experience. This webcam comes with an 8-megapixel camera that can capture ultra-high definition live images and is perfect for people who do demonstrations or web conferences. The adjustable stand and camera head allow you to take pictures of books, documents, art projects, or yourself.
This webcam has a fast-focusing feature that is perfect for art teachers who need to create video tutorials or present an art process live. The image sensor provides exceptional noise reduction and color reproduction, even in low-light environments. While not the cheapest webcam, this is it if you’re looking for a quality mid-range upgrade.
- Simply the best option if you’re wanting to do any sort of live, on screen tutorial.
- Easy to adjust to record books, yourself or any type of document.
- A bit excessive in terms of price and size for online English teachers.
- Not portable at all.
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 Logitech as most teachers have some 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
Logitech Streamcam – A decent budget option
The Logitech StreamCam is a versatile and powerful webcam designed with content creators and streamers in mind. However, it’s an excellent choice for a teacher needing a modern, small webcam to record at a high framerate.
One of its main advantages is its high-quality video output, which capturess footage in Full HD at 60 frames per second. The camera’s auto-focus and image stabilization features ensure the video remains sharp and clear, but you will need decent studio lighting.
The StreamCam comes with various mounting options, including a tripod stand and a versatile clip that can attach to your laptop or desktop monitor. This makes it easy to position the camera exactly where you need it.
- An excellent alternative to the Elgato Facecam.
- 60 FPS in full HD makes for very smooth video.
- No 4k video recording. For most teachers this is not an issue.
- Mediocre colors and the video is not as wide as other webcams on our list.
Best Webcams for Online Teaching Conclusion
That covers the best webcam options for online teachers. All in all, we strongly suggest getting the Logitech C922 for most teachers as it has the best price and performance for online teachers. The IPEVO document camera is also a good choice too.
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.
Editorial StaffThe editorial Staff at Teach and GO is a team of teachers with a broad range of experience led by David Unwin. We have been creating helpful advice, guides and tutorials for teachers since 2018.
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