The world of webcams is diverse, and more cameras are entering the market each month. There are a variety of webcams which deliver excellent quality images at affordable prices, but there are just as many that fail to give you bang for the buck. Though part of the quality of your video experience depends upon your Internet connection and your computer’s other hardware capabilities, selecting a quality webcam plays an integral role in delivering smooth, crisp web video.
The Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 features noise canceling-audio and advanced face tracking capabilities. At only $40, it provides good quality and is affordable. For an even better video chat experience, you can upgrade to the Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000. This webcam generally sells for sightly more than the VX-3000 model. It delivers consistently grain-free images. Compared to the Logitech Pro 9000, it is considerably less expensive. However, if uncompromised video performance is a high priority for you, the Logitech Pro 9000 is the best option. Available for under $100, it delivers high-quality, 2.0 megapixel video images. The higher price tag is compensated for by an excellent selection of bundled software, and it’s auto-focus and low light performance deliver admirable video in practically any setting.
Two other webcams worth mentioning are the Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF and the Logitech Portable Webcam C905/QuickCam Pro for Notebooks. Both are a bit higher in price, but have a rich set of features and specifications. The Portable Webcam C905/QuickCam Pro is a compact version of the Logitech Pro 9000. It comes with a travel case, and it is ideal for laptops or travel.
Webcams for Apple Computers
What about Mac users? Though webcams are built-in on nearly every new Mac, there are third-party solutions for those looking for an alternative to the iSight camera. One worth mentioning is the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac. It is similar to the Logitech Pro 9000, but it comes bundled with drivers and software for Mac OS computers. It costs around $100.
The best budget webcam is the Microsoft LifeCamVX-3000. At a highly accessible price point, the Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 manages to capture better than average video quality. The best quality is hands-down the Logitech Pro 9000. With a high megapixel count and built-in audio, the Logitech Pro 9000 is suitable for professional web conferences as well as video chat enthusiasts. However, as always, the best webcam is the one that will best fit your needs.