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Best Webcam For Teaching Online Classes (2021): Which Should You Buy?

Today, many colleges and universities are incorporating online and distance education in their programs. Whether temporary or permanently, these remote learning setups require many teachers to adapt and to use tools that may not be at their disposal. High-quality webcams, for instance, are an asset for smooth, clear, and engaging online classes. Unfortunately, many still rely on their laptop’s built-in cameras or their phone’s selfie cameras.

The best webcams, however, aren’t far from reach. Today’s market features a range of HD devices that can fit any kind of budget or need. Here, we take a look at four of the best webcams for teaching online classes—the best-selling Logitech C920, the premium AVer Cam540, the mobile Mevo Start, and the versatile Logitech StreamCam. Keep reading to see which webcam is best for you as a teacher.

Best Webcam For Teaching Online Classes Comparison Chart

NameLogitech C920 HD Pro WebcamAVer Cam540Mevo StartLogitech StreamCam
 Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, 1080p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording (960-000764)AVer CAM540 4K Conference Camera - Smartframing Technology - 16x Zoom - 86° Wide Field of View -...Mevo Start, The All-in-One Wireless Live Streaming Camera and Webcam. Live Stream in 1080P HD and...Logitech StreamCam, 1080P HD 60fps Streaming Webcam with USB-C and Built-in Microphone, Graphite
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Standout FeatureAffordable HD webcam with background removalSmart face tracking technology and support for 4KWireless camera that is compatible with mobile devicesVersatile mounting options for full HD vertical videos
Resolution1080p/30fps
720p/30fps
4K/30fps
1080p/60fps, 30fps
720p/60fps, 30fps
1080p/30fps1080p/60
Field of View78°86°76° horizontal field of view, 83.7° DFOV78° diagonal
FocusAutoAutoFixedAuto
Built-in MicDual microphonesDual microphonesThree MEMS microphone arrayDual omnidirectional mic with noise filter
Dimensions 29 mm x 94 mm x 24 mm227 mm x 189 mm x 261 mm87 mm x 34 mm x 75 mm66 mm x 58 mm x 48 mm
Cable Length1.5 m4.8 mWireless, USB cable only for charging1.5m
RechargeableNoNoYesNo
Compatible ApplicationsSkype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime for MacSkype, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, Adobe Connect, Cisco WebExZoom, Google Meet, Skype, Microsoft TeamsSkype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime for Mac, Facebook Messenger
Warranty2 year limited hardware warrantyCamera: 3+2 years
Accessories: 1 year
1 year limited hardware warranty2 year limited hardware warranty

Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam

Logitech’s best-selling webcam offers HD video quality at a reasonable price

The Logitech C920 HD Pro is a staple in the webcam market.

There’s a reason why the Logitech C920 is a mainstay in the webcam market. For a webcam under $100, you get excellent video and picture quality that at times even matches those from pricier devices. A favorite among professionals and even online streamers, the Logitech C920 boasts a full HD glass lens and a max resolution of 720p/30fps to 1080p/30fps.

The best-selling webcam also comes with a 78º field of view, wide enough for a second person to fit the frame — useful if you’re welcoming guests to your classes. Plus, the webcam’s software allows for background removal, ideal when you’re trying to maintain privacy teaching classes from your home.

Appearance-wise, the Logitech C920’s design isn’t revolutionary. However, it is sleek enough to be a welcome addition to any workspace, whether in school or at home. Weighing just 4 ounces and measuring a little over 3.5 inches wide, the webcam can easily be installed on any desktop or laptop. You can carry it wherever you go, too.

Teachers who want a no-nonsense upgrade from their laptop’s camera will find the Logitech C920 fits the bill. The only downside of the webcam is its mediocre background noise removal features. While your voice will still be intelligible from the other side, at its best you get decent sound quality. If you’re working in a particularly noisy environment, you may want to get a noise-canceling headset instead.

AVer CAM540

A premium 4K webcam with smart tracking that’s best for immersive online classes

Here’s a look at the front and back view of the AVer CAM540.

At over $1,000, the AVer CAM540 is undoubtedly a premium option. A quick look at its features, however, explains the price tag. The AVer CAM540 boasts 4K high definition video streaming that’s combined with smart, auto-framing technology. This means less setting up the device to keep everyone or everything you need into view, and more time actually teaching.

The CAM540’s lifelike video quality makes it ideal for online classes that demands engagement. Just think of complex lab experiments or lectures where you need to use a board. With the 4K resolution, you can zoom in up to 16x so your student-viewers get a clearer picture of their lessons.

Teachers who like to move around, however, will appreciate the fact the AVer CAM540 comes with a motorized tilt and pan movement. This can be pre-set using an accompanying remote control. Coupled with its wide field of view, the CAM540 allows teachers to get up from their desks and move around freely, making remote learning feel more natural than virtual.

Designed by a global solutions provider for education, the AVer CAM540 comes certified for Google Meet, Zoom, and Skype. Its main drawback, however, will be the price tag. For personal use, $1,000 seems overboard. But if it’s for streaming or broadcasting classes and conferences that benefit all faculty and students, then it’s a device worth recommending for inclusion in the school budget.

Mevo Start

A compact device that combines webcam and camcorder capabilities for live streaming and recording.

You can operate the Mevo Start using just a smartphone.

Unlike traditional webcams, the Mevo Start is wireless and can be operated using a smartphone. This makes it ideal for live streaming or recording events like recognition days, graduation, field trips, online workshops, and seminars. Because of its design, the camera can also be set up in a variety of ways: at the back of the room during lectures, a wide-angle view for fireside chats, or even close up for demos and experiments.

Compared to other HD webcams, Mevo Start’s image quality is good but not stellar. In low light conditions, the video quality can be too soft. There’s no auto-focus here as well. Audio setups, however, are more flexible thanks to its built-in 3.5mm jack and USB-C audio input. And for recordings, you get a micro SD slot.

The Mevo Start boasts a battery life of 6+ hours. That’s more than enough for capturing or broadcasting most long-form events. Through its mobile app, users can also wirelessly control the webcam for zooming and panning. It’s a great way of lending a professional feel to your online lectures.

The Mevo Start allows users to stream directly to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for convenience. It also works as a webcam on Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Team among others. However, compatibility with these video conferencing platforms is still in the beta stage.

Logitech StreamCam

Compact and sleek-looking, the StreamCam is perfect for HD streaming and HD vertical videos.

Logitech’s StreamCam is a versatile device for HD horizontal and vertical videos.

The Logitech StreamCam looks different from most Logitech webcams thanks to its boxy design and weaved fabric finish. But it’s precisely this design that gives it its versatility. Simply turn the StreamCam to one side and you immediately get a full HD portrait mode. This proves beneficial for creating high-quality vertical videos that can be viewed by your students with their smartphones. Think of short video lessons, demos, or experiments.

As its name implies, the StreamCam primarily caters to streamers. Teachers, however, stand to benefit from the webcam’s 1080p video streaming capability with smart auto-focus. If you’re someone who moves a lot and frequently waves their hands often during lectures, you’ll like the face tracking of the Logitech StreamCam.

Since it’s also made for streamers, audio quality is better than the other webcams in this list. The Logitech StreamCam comes with a two-mic setup for both mono and stereo. The sound quality is clean and balanced but it’s not exactly pro-grade. Given its compact size, it still does a satisfactory job at reducing background noise. Like in most cases, however, we still recommend getting a separate noise-canceling headset.

While not as expensive as the AVer CAM540, the Logitech StreamCam isn’t a budget option at over $180. But if you’re online teaching is a long-term engagement, then it’s a good investment. Like most Logitech webcams, the StreamCam is compatible with Windows and macOS. It’s also optimized for streaming to YouTube.

Verdict

The Logitech C920 and the Mevo Start are our picks for the best webcams for teaching online classes.

While the AVer CAM540’s features are impressive and the Logitech StreamCam’s streaming capability is superb, most teachers will find that the Logitech C920 HD Pro and the Mevo Start are more than good enough. The Logitech C920 HD Pro, for instance, is great value for money given its HD video streaming and recording features. If you need a quick upgrade from your laptop’s integrated camera, you won’t go wrong with this best-seller.

Meanwhile, the Mevo Start is a nifty camera that can do a lot of things for remote learning. Since it’s a wireless device, you can bring it anywhere and not worry about not having a laptop. Simply connect it with the Mevo Camera app, and you can start streaming and recording your lectures.

FAQs

📌 Which webcam is good for online teaching?

The Logitech C920 HD Pro and the Mevo Start are two of the best webcams for online teaching. Given their respective features, you get plenty of value from both devices that should make online classes more engaging.

📌 What’s the best camera or webcam for recording a lecture?

The Mevo Start is a great device for recording your classroom lectures. The device can be mounted on standard tripods, and wirelessly operated using a smartphone. Its accompanying mobile app also allows users one-touch panning and zooming for a truly professional recording experience.

📌 Does the Logitech StreamCam come with a privacy shutter?

The Logitech StreamCam doesn’t have a built-in privacy shutter.

📌 What’s the best webcam for broadcasting a school meeting or conference?

If you want high-quality video streaming or recording, the AVer CAM540 is a solid choice. The device supports 4K high definition video quality, and an intelligent framing technology to keep everyone in a meeting or conference in view.

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.