7 Best Webcams for Video Calling

We have tested a wide variety of cameras with VSee, and pretty much anything that works with Windows DirectShow will give you a satisfactory experience, but a few webcams really stand out for video calling with their superior image quality due to superior optics and optical auto-focus.1.  For general usage, we recommend the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920.  It has the all-Logitech hd pro C920important mechanical auto-focus and runs $75-$100. It can also work for telemedicine, like this cost-effective VSee-Intermountain tele-NICU setup using 3 Logitech C920 webcams. Ubergizmo has an excellent review of the C920 with pictures comparing the video quality of several other popular Logitech webcams –  Pro 9000, C910, and C920.  Logitech c925e-webcam 2. Logitech C925e works great for businesses and is affordably priced. At $99.99, get HD quality videos in any setting. The RightLight™ 2 Technology intelligently adjusts to improve visual quality in low-light and backlit venues. It also has a privacy shutter that allows you to close the lens when you are not on the video call (or don’t want to be).3. If you’re on a tighter budget, Logitech B525 is a good quality camera at $60. It has a 360-swivel and fold-and-go design. It still has the clip that can attach to your laptop, and can be easily tucked away when not in use.

Logitech HD webcam C930e4. For a little bit more money, the Logitech Webcam C930e (~$130) for businesses is an excellent webcam that gives you a really spectacular, smooth HD video experience. It’s a nice choice for telemedicine with its wide 90-degree diagonal field of view and Pan-Tilt-Zoom. (However, the C920 can be adequate, too. )

Logitech webcam bcc950 conference cam5.  The Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam is the updated version of the now discontinued Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF. It also has a 9″ stick mount for eye-level video conferencing.It’s designed for group conferencing and has built-in omni-directional speaker phones, remote control, and 8 feet of cord length compared with the Orbit’s 6 feet. It makes nice (inexpensive) choice for room video conference calls where it can be put on the table and moved around to bring the camera closer to people’s faces. I’ve seen this camera for as low as $188, although it more typically runs around $250. Tom Keating at TMCnet did a thorough review of the BCC950. Unfortunately VSee does not support remote PTZ control for the BCC950. (See below for supported PTZ cameras or contact sales@vsee.com if you have questions.)Microsoft LifeCam Cinema7. Microsoft is also in the camera business. While we’ve really liked the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema in the past, we’ve found over time that its video performance has been inconsistent and its driver bloated. It also claims to put out HD video at 30 fps although I couldn’t get it to go over 15 fps at 720p.  However, even at that setting the video was stunning.NOTE: QuickCam Pro for Notebooks, (also sold as the Webcam C905) as previously published in this blog is now a discontinued product. You may choose between C925e, B525 or C930e depending on the functionality needs and price sensitivity.

PTZ Cameras for Telemedicine & Telepresence Conference Rooms

VSee Minnray PTZ camera

Minrray 820-usb3

Finally, if you are building out telemedicine exam rooms or a telepresence conference room and cost is no object, you should look into one of these cameras: The first two units will start around $1,800 at least. At this price point you get really high quality optics and mechanical zoom as well as pan-tilt.What’s nice about the Minrray and Logitech cameras is that they are both USB 3.0 devices which makes for a super simple plug-and-play set up.
Logitech PTZ Pro

Logitech PTZ Pro

Logitech also offers a complete solution with the Logitech GROUP which already includes a speakerphone in a very sleek design.The GlobalMed camera is an analog camera. This means a fairly complicated setup that requires you to use the video capture device that Globalmed provides with it.
Logitech GROUP

Logitech GROUP

**Only the VSee customized version of the Minrray PTZ works with VSee. If you get a non-customized Minrray, you will have aspect ratio issues.For more information about VSee telepresence system,  to see VSee’s remote PTZ feature in action, or to purchase a customized Minrray for VSee, please contact sales.If you don’t have VSee, get it free here.Article first posted December, 2009. Updated July 1, 2016. Updated August 2, 2016.
Comments ( 10 )
  • admin
    Rich Griffin says:

    It should be pointed out that there is quite a difference in the WebCam Pro 9000 and the QuickCam Pro 9000 – along with the QuickCam Pro for Notebooks and Portable Webcam C905. The C905 & the WebCam Pro 9000 have additional circuitry within the camera that takes the onus off the computer’s CPU for RightLight2. The outcome is higher frame rates for the cameras.

  • admin
    ghaladen says:

    I have the Microsoft Lifecam Cinema, and I must say it’s a fantastic little device. That brings me to the question, widescreen resolution in VSee. Can it be done? I have the bandwidth and the computing requirements to stream video in 1280×720 resolution (I do it with one-way streaming via Flash Media Encoder/Justin.tv). Because this would be phenomenal in video conferencing. How do I submit a request for this?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • admin
    Chris says:

    Chris-

    We have 720p running in the lab and plan to release it soon. Watch this space for further developments

    -Chris

  • admin
    Claribel Abair says:

    Thank you for the advice! I am going to try it out.

  • admin
    Neil Shirtcliffe says:

    I gave up on finding a reasonably priced webcam with zoom and attached a 5X extension lens to a cheap one. The results are OK, if amateur looking.

    https://sites.google.com/site/drneilshirtcliffe/Home/macro-webcam

  • admin
    Paul Richards says:

    Hi Guys,

    Today we found out the HuddleCamHD 12X and 18X both work for Remote PTZ Control with VSee. Give me a call if you would like to test: 610-518-2200 x38

  • admin
    Anish says:

    Do you have a camera that focuses on the speaker. For example, we are in meeting and the camera has to focus on the person, who is currently speaking.

  • admin
    anne says:

    Hi Anish – I believe this is a function of your video conference software and not the camera itself, since “focus” would be chosen by voice detection. VSee has chosen not to have this feature at this time, since it can sometimes be distracting in terms of usability. Zoom.us, however, does have this capability. You can check out our review here.

  • admin
    Vikingvista says:

    The unsuspecting customer might not realize that these options are all lacking a computer. That is, they are webcams so that in addition to the camera and a monitor/TV, a 3rd pricy component–a computer–is required to run the system.

    If that is not a convenient solution, such as for a family room TV, there are some android-based cameras which require only the monitor and no additional computer.

  • admin
    Simon Bruins says:

    Dear Viking,
    I hope it will be clear that these webcams need a computer to work.
    These days mobile devices are great for video telemedicine also!

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