The 9 Best Webcams For Online Teaching

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 09/02/23 •  Teach Online

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, 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:

1080P webcam (minimum)

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.

Today, most webcams can shoot up to 4k so we suggest 1080P as an absolute minimum and don’t even bother with any device that maxes out at 720P.

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. A lot of the webcams we tested actually have a better microphone than the on-board mic from our laptops (mostly MacBooks and Dell XPS laptops).

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.

Focal length

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.

Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra – Webcam with bokeh

This is a big webcam with a beautiful image quality and a blurry background due to it’s large 1 1/2 sensor size. We’ve honestly have not seen another webcam that comes close to the image quality out of this. The only thing that beats it is using a dedicated camera system as a webcam.

Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra

A big webcam with a large sensor that can produce bokeh. Optically, it’s the best on the market.

The Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra can record at 60 FPS in 1080P or 30 FPS in 4k. It has a large sensor size for a webcam and that helps produce a slightly blurry background. The overall optics of this webcam are second to none.

Finally, this webcam has autofocus built in and performs well in low lighting but does suffer from focus breathing if the lighting is too dark.

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Insta 360 Link – Gimbal webcam

The Insta 360 Link from DJI is a 4k webcam with a 1/2 inch sensor. That means you get high quality video out of this device. Perfect for professional online classes as well as streaming.

Insta 360 Link

A high quality webcam on a gimbal that tracks you so you’re always in frame. Optically it’s very good too but not as sharp as the Kiyo Pro.

It models after DJI’s popular “Pocket” camera in that the top automatically tracks you and is built on a gimbal like swivel. That means you move, the webcam will keep you in the shot. You can turn this feature off too if you like.

You can also purchase this webcam with a tripod handle. We didn’t find this accessory particularly useful as we need a webcam for our laptop, not a vlogging tripod handle. But if you’re curious, it’s an option if you want a way to comfortably hold the webcam or mount it on your desk.

Last, this webcam has dual noise canceling microphones built in which help reduce ambient background noise and amplify your voice. It’s not a replacement for a dedicated USB mic, but it’s a vast improvement over your laptops internal microphone.

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Logitech Brio 500 – Great price and performance

The Brio 500 is an upgrade to the original Brio 4k webcam which used to be in a class of it’s own as it is one of the original 4k webcams (it came out at a time when this was unheard of).

Logitech Brio 500

The best price and performance option.

This webcam has auto-focus, and facial recognition, can record at 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 webcam is a reasonable priced, feature-rich webcam designed for professional content creators and professionals. 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.

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Osmo Pocket – Vlog camera that can double as a webcam

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is primarily designed for vloggers and content creators, but this camera can actually double as a webcam by simply plugging it into the USB-C output on your laptop. It’s a surprisingly good webcam with a gimbal on top that can track you.

Osmo Pocket

1 inch sensor multi-use camera. A vlogging camera that can double as an excellent webcam.

The main reason why this camera made our list is it’s 1 inch sensor. Because it has a large sensor size, you’re able to get a naturally blurry background with you in focus. This camera produces a very high image quality overall and you can use this camera for vlogging and content creation as needed as a teacher.

The only downside is the lack of an external power source. The Osmo Pocket 3 does have a battery handle that provides hours of charge and lifts the device up so you can frame yourself. But it this battery handle does need to be charged unlike a traditional webcam that is powered by your PC.

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Elgato Facecam – A good high framerate 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.

Elgato Facecam

A good, 60 FPS, 1080P webcam. Good image quality and easy to use.

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.

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Logitech C922 – A classic choice

The C922 even today is still a great webcam. 1080P at 30 FPS, or 60 FPS at 1080P. Comes with a little tripod to mount the camera on.

Logitech C922

A classic choice, great 1080P video quality. Up to 30 FPS in 1080P, 720P for 60K.

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.

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NexiGO Webcam – A wide field of view

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.

NexiGo Webcam

1080P fixed focus webcam that has a wide field of view.

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.

From John Scott

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IPEVO Ultra HD – Document camera

The IPEVO Ultra HD Document Camera will transform the online learning experience for your students by you being able to show in high detail, documents, papers, books and more to your students..

IPEVO Ultra HD

An HD document camera designed for the creative professional.

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.

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Logitech Streamcam – Built for streamers, but good for teachers

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.

Logitech Streamcam

Our favorite budget option. Good price and optics. Can record at 60 FPS in 1080P.

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.

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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. Just make sure you invest in a quality video lighting solution.

Without proper lighting in your room where you’re teaching, you could have the best camera on earth and it would still produce poor results.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.

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