Whether permanently or temporarily, there is a great deal of education taking place online. Teachers in one place and students in another. This is uncharted territory for many teachers, and they never believed this would happen, however, it has. As you begin to explore these uncharted waters, one thing you will need is a webcam.
Best webcams for online teaching at a glance (Updated July 2020)
- FONREST FHD 1080P Webcam
- Hrayzan 1080P HD Webcam
- Great choice: Logitech C270 Black Webcam
- Microsoft Lifecam Cinema
- AUKEY FHD Webcam, 1080p Live Streaming Camera with Stereo Microphone
- Our top pick: IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition 8MP USB Document Camera
- Logitech Brio
A webcam will step up your video quality. Virtual learning can take place through numerous avenues that involve video chatting and video chat; you need a webcam. We have gathered a list of the top best webcams for online teaching to help the beginning of mapping out these waters for you.
Our Top 7 Webcams for Online Teaching Reviewed
As we researched the best webcams available, we looked for a variety of criteria. First, the webcams had to have excellent customer reviews. Next, we wanted to make sure that the specs were within the recommended range for a webcam for the purpose of online teaching.
Finally, we wanted cameras that were versatile enough that it would pick you up whether you were sitting right in front of it or up writing at a whiteboard. Finding the perfect Webcam can be time consuming and overwhelming. However, we know you will find a favorite within our list.
Compatible with both Mac and PC, this Webcam offers a 110° wide-angle, six-layer lens. It has a 1080P resolution with 5 million pixels and 30 frames per second. In the box, you will find the camera, a user manual, a tripod, and a 1.5m long cable.
This camera is new on the market. However, it has a lot to offer. The built-in dual microphone allows you to be headset free. The microphone does an excellent job of canceling out echo and extra noise. The autofocus works nicely, so you aren’t having to adjust focus while teaching continually. The autofocus is also lovely as you move to teach, especially if you use a whiteboard to teach from. The built-in adjustable stand works with any computer or laptop, making set up easy, and if you don’t want to attach it to monitor or laptop, there is a tripod included as well. Having this tripod saves you from having to buy one.
We love that it is compatible with both MAC and PC. The USB plug and play makes it easy to set up and use. A driver must be installed on the computer before use, but it is easy to walk through. The color is great on the screen and with 30fps, so there is no choppy video.
A downfall of this Webcam is that it does not have great light sensitivity. There is poor picture quality in low light. To make up for this downfall, adding some light in your teaching area will help.
FONREST backs its product with a 12-month warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee. They also offer 24-hour customer service. It is great to see a company back their products as well as FONREST does.
This Webcam offers the USB plug and play feature with no drivers needed. It has a 110° wide view angle, 1080P HD resolution and 30fps. A 50cm-2.5m focal length is provided in his camera. Other specs offered with this camera include a privacy cover and a tripod. It is compatible with MAC, PC, and Chrome systems. A built-in auto noise reduction mic picks up voices at 5m. This Webcam offers low light correction.
The very first aspect we love on this camera is the privacy cover. It gives a sense of security, so hackers can not hack your camera. Much like the FONREST webcam, this camera offers the same wide-angle, plug and play connectivity, and 30 fps.
Unlike the FONREST, this camera has low light correction. We did notice that although the camera claims to have a resolution of 1080P, it actually streams at 720, which makes it to an adequate streaming webcam for online teaching.
A couple of downfalls of this camera is that the four corners are often distorted because of the wide view angle. The center of the picture is clear, but the corners are out of focus. This camera also has poor color calibration. Users often look washed out; this can be changed by changing camera settings and changing light.
Unlike the FONREST webcam, there is no warranty offered with this Webcam and very little customer service support.
Offering 30 frames per second, this Webcam has a built-in, noise-reducing microphone. This Webcam offers autofocus and auto light correction. It has a universal clip for monitors and laptops and is compatible with Chrome, MAC, and PC. It offers 3MP and 1280X720 video capture resolution. To connect to a device, this Webcam uses a 2.0 USB with plug and play.
We love how easy this device is to install and use. It is truly a plug and play camera with a 5-foot cable. As soon as you plug it in, it works. This is nice for teaching because it is reliable to know it will be easy to set up before class. The picture is crisp, clear, smooth, and often better than the built-in camera that comes with a laptop.
A downfall of this camera is that it does not offer a tripod mount or a tripod, unlike the FONREST and the Hrayzan webcams.
Logitech webcams are in high demand and great for online teaching because of their clear picture and microphone capabilities.
The warranty offered with this Webcam is a 2-year limited hardware warranty. Logitech also offers online support for this product through their website.
For online teaching, this camera offers 720p HD resolution and 30fps. A high precision glass lens uses autofocus to see the picture clearly. Microsoft uses its ClearFrame technology to create the video alongside its TrueColor tech. This camera can rotate halfway in both directions for an all-around video. A high fidelity microphone is also built into this camera. This Webcam comes with a lens cap.
We are going to start off by saying this is a Microsoft item, so it is not compatible with MAC or Chrome devices. However, if you have a PC, this is a great camera. The high fidelity microphone produces high-quality sound that is sharp and clear. Designed for business, it is the highest model of all the Lifecam cameras.
Don’t let the fact that it was designed for business to deter you; this camera has a fantastic video that is clear, high quality, and their ClearFrame technology gives such a smooth, detailed video. The color is just as fantastic as the video quality. TrueColor Tech gives such a bright and colorful video.
This Webcam is great in any light, which makes it very versatile for online teaching. Want to take your teaching outside one day for a science experiment, this Webcam will deliver. Since this Webcam comes with a lens cap, it can be used as a privacy cover, much like the privacy cover that comes with the Hrayzan Webcam.
Microsoft offers a three-year limited warranty on this camera. Just like the Logitech webcam, this camera does not come with a tripod or tripod mount, which is the only downfall we see for this camera.
Another new to the market webcam is offered by AUKEY FHD. This camera has a built-in stereo microphone. The specs for this camera include 2 megapixels, 1080P, and 30 fps. It has a fixed focus at a wide 65° angle. It comes with 1.8m USB cable and the ability to mount on a tripod. It works perfectly with Skype and Zoom.
The built-in microphone gives such a natural audio with an enhanced sound. If you are a music teacher looking for a webcam, this is it as the sound is so clear. The image is sharp and clear. Much like the rest of the webcams on this list, this camera features plug and play USB connection. It has a convenient foldable design for easy transportation or to be packed away when it is not being used.
It is great for dim light, so if you teach in a poorly lit corner of your house or office, this camera is the perfect one for you. We love the fact you can mount this camera on a tripod.
We wished this Webcam was compatible with all devices. However, it is only compatible with Windows XP / Mac OS 10.6 / Android 5.0 or above. AUKEY FHD camera has a great warranty of 24 months.
The IPEVO V4K Document Camera is not only a webcam but also a document camera. Offering 30fps, autofocus, and auto exposure, this camera has a three-axis tilt to capture from all angles. This camera has two modes, top-down mode for documents and a selfie mode for online teaching. It also has a detachable camera head that would fit on a tripod mount. It is compatible with PC, MAC, and Chrome.
Unlike any camera on this list, the IPEVO V4K Document Camera is a two in one camera designed with educators in mind. In fact, it comes with dedicated education apps to help utilize Google Education, Google Drive, and Google Classroom.
To switch from top-down mode to selfie mode is so easy. It can flawlessly be done while teaching class. The document portion of the camera can shoot worksheets, books, drawing, crafts, and even 3D objects with a max shooting area of 13.46-inch x 10.04 inch. This is big enough for a textbook with both pages on the screen at once.
We love that this camera is multifunctioning. As if it couldn’t get any better, it is compact and can fold up into a backpack for easy transporting. This is our favorite camera on the list because of its functionality.
The only UltraHD, 4K Webcam on the list, this camera is high end. It has a premium glass lens, 4K image sensor, autofocus, and HD 5X zoom. Powered by both optical and infrared sensors, this camera operates at 60 fps. The Logitech Brio has a digital zoom and pan and three fields of view to choose from. It has two Omni-directional built-in mics which give a crisp, clear sound. This camera is compatible with PC, MAC, and Chrome. It is also Windows Hello certified.
Like the Microsoft Lifecam, the Logitech Brio was designed for business. We feel that if it was designed for business, it would definitely be a great resource for online teaching. This Webcam is the most hi-tech on the list as it has facial recognition, and the price tag shows it. Rich in features and offering top-end resolution, the video is so true to life. It is as if you are sitting in the same room as the person you are talking with.
We really appreciate the autofocus and that it automatically adjusts to any light. This means it compensates for glare and backlighting. This camera comes with three different USB attachments, which is convenient to have options for connections.
It does not come with a tripod mount, which is inconvenient. Similar to the OKIOCAM T USB Camera, it is not a plug and play camera as there is software that must be downloaded in order for it to be used.
A Buyer’s Guide for Your Streaming Webcam
When looking for a webcam for online teaching, there are several specs to keep in mind. These specs are specific to online teaching, and finding a camera within these specs will ensure a camera that will get the job done and exceed it. The specs to consider when purchasing a webcam are resolution, frame rate, and light sensitivity.
Resolution is often measured in pixels or megapixels. A megapixel is one million pixels—the more megapixels a web camera has, the higher the quality of the video picture. Webcams’ resolution can also be measured in measurements such as 640×480 and 1600×1200. An average webcam has a resolution of 640×480 and is the recommended lowest resolution for a webcam for online teaching. Most of the cameras on this list are 1080p, which puts their resolution slightly above average. Most laptop built-in webcams are 720p. Adding a 1080p webcam to your online teaching would be a great improvement.
The next spec is frame rate. Basically, the frame rate is the number of frames a camera captures and displays in a given time. In this case, the time frame is a second, so we say frames per second or fps. The lower the frames per second, the choppier the video will be, and when the video becomes choppy, the audio becomes out of sync. It is recommended for online teaching to have a webcam that has 30 fps. All but one camera on this list operates at 30 fps. The Logitech Brio operates at 60 fps.
Generally, a webcam requires a lot of light, especially cheap webcams. When searching for a webcam, it is important to find one that can handle low light. A webcam with low light correction is ideal as it can automatically adjust to low lights and brighten up the video.
When purchasing a webcam, it is important to look at the specs and choose the one that is the best Webcam for online teaching. You will have better-focused students if the video is clear, crisp, and colorful. There are already enough distractions without webcam issues while teaching.
Choosing the best Webcam can be overwhelming; however, if you choose one on this list, you will be satisfied and have a great experience teaching online. Find the right one today and happy teaching!