Last Updated on 11/09/2022 by Dean
This is THE buyer guide for Twitch streamers looking to purchase a webcam. In this article, we’ll look at some budget webcams, some high quality webcams and even look at how DSLRs can work as a webcam.
I’ll also let you know exactly which streamer is using which webcam in their streaming setup!
Just a heads up, this article will contain a lot of Logitech cameras. That’s because Logitech is easily the best webcam brand out there. They have great software (Logitech Capture) that works with each of their webcams and they have options for every budget.
Hands down, the Logitech C920 is the best budget streaming webcam out there. This webcam has been around for a while but don’t let that turn you off, this camera offers amazing quality for a budget webcam.
If you’re looking for a webcam for your Twitch stream that’s under $100, get the Logitech C920. You won’t be disappointed.
Of course they have a good lighting setup to enhance the camera’s quality.
The Logitech C922 is the updated, more expensive brother of the Logitech C920. This model comes with a glass camera lens (C920 is standard) and can stream at 60FPS provided that you record in 720P.
The 60FPS ability makes the C922 a bit more aimed towards Twitch streamers as they are likely to be streaming at 60FPS. After all, it can look a bit odd if your game is streaming at 60FPS while your webcam is only streaming at 30FPS.
That being said, the 60FPS ability is about the only thing that really makes the C922 stand out from its younger brother the C920. It’s up to you whether that justifies the extra money you’ll spend on opting for this one over the C920. (I personally wouldn’t).
Read also: Logitech C920 vs C922
Logitech saw the market for streamers increase and decided to build a camera specifically for live streamers: The Logitech Streamcam.
This camera comes with a significant price increase of the C920 and C922 webcams. For that price increase, you get to stream 1080P at 60FPS, higher quality video, and a better auto-focus.
Caution, this is a USB-C webcam. You may need to purchase a USB adapter if your PC doesn’t have a USB-C port.
The Razer Kiyo is a Razers’ webcam designed for live streaming. This webcam is similar to the C922 and offers 1080P at 30FPS and 720p at 60FPS. What’s interesting about this webcam is that it comes with a built-in ring-light which you can toggle on/off.
This makes the Razer Kiyo a good webcam to consider for your streaming setup, especially since some of Logitechs products have skyrocketed in price recently (thanks to the pandemic).
Quality-wise, this webcam looks slightly less crispy than the C920/C922 but it’s around the same ball park.
If you’re going to get an external lighting setup (which I recommend), you should get the C920/C922 over this webcam. If you’re not going with a lighting setup just yet, the Razer Kiyo is a great option.
The Logitech Brio is a webcam capable of streaming 4k at 30FPS and 1080P at 60FPS. Obviously, no one is streaming at 4K yet so you should definitely not base your decision off of that metric.
This webcam has a larger field of view of up to 90 degrees as compared to most webcams which are capped at 78 degrees, this will make your stream setup appear wider and more appealing.
Aside from that, the Brio also has a quality increase and better lighting correction over the other webcams listed in this webcam buyer guide for Twitch streamers.
This is the best streaming webcam if you have the budget for it and you’re looking for something that streams in 60fps, has a wide field of view, and great picture quality.
C920 vs Logitech Streamcam vs Logitech Brio
The video below shows the quality difference between the Logitech C920, Logitech Streamcam, and Logitech Brio when used on stream. I think this should give you a good idea of whether or not the price difference is worth it. Keep in mind, this streamer is using a properly lit studio.
Using a DSLR as a Twitch streaming webcam
While the Logitech BRIO has amazing picture quality, some streamers want to go beyond that and use a DSLR camera instead. If you know a streamer with amazing quality and blurred background (its called bokeh), they are using a professional camera, not a webcam.
If you have a budget of at least $500 to drop on a webcam, DSLRs are what you should be looking at.
⚠️ Beware: A DSLR camera needs a clean HDMI out.
This means that when you plug your HDMI cable into your camera, there is no overlay text displaying on the camera feed. Some DSLR cameras don’t have this and thus aren’t suitable for streaming.
In order to check whether your DSLR camera has a clean HDMI out, you can check this link which lists every compatible DSLR.
You also can’t just plug a DSLR into a pc and expect it to function as a webcam, you’ll need to power the DSLR (because batteries don’t last) and you’ll need something to capture the video for your stream. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A power supply that will keep your DSLR from dying, a dummy battery power supply is used for this type of job.
- A capture card for your camera (such as the Elgato Cam Link)
Here are a couple of good DSLR cameras with amazing picture quality that are used by popular Twitch streamers.
|Camera||Link||Who uses this?|
|Sony Alpha a6000||View on Amazon||Pokimane, Shroud|
|Panasonic LUMIX G7KS||View on Amazon||Valkyrae|
How to use your smartphone as a webcam for streaming
Your smartphone likely has a pretty good camera, right? What if I told you you could use your phone as a webcam?
The way this works, is you install an app on your phone such as Droidcam (for Android) or Epoccam (for iOS), and connect your phone through WI-FI.
Once installed and set up, you can select your Epoccam or Droidcam within your streaming software (OBS/Streamlabs…) and use your phone as a webcam!
Keep in mind there will be a slight visible delay since the connection is through WI-FI. However. However, this is a great temporary, budget solution.
How to pick the best webcam for your Twitch streaming setup
Having a webcam is important, after all, your viewers are there to see you. But that doesn’t mean you should splurge and throw your entire budget at your webcam. For that reason, I’ve created an equipment order of importance for Twitch streamers.
Order of importance
When it comes to your Twitch streaming setup, there is an order of importance. While it’s important to have a webcam, the video quality isn’t that important, at least not at first.
When you’re just starting out, you want to make sure you have the following three things in your setup:
- A webcam
- A microphone
A new streamer is most likely to neglect the microphone and especially the lighting and throw their entire budget at a webcam. This is the wrong mindset.
Let’s say you’re on a super-budget and only have $100 to invest in your setup. It would be easy to buy the Logitech C922 and be done with it. After all, you can rely on the built-in microphone and your room lighting to take care of the rest, right?
As for your webcam, you should use your phone camera as a webcam for the time being.
This way, you’ll have an HD camera (your phone), a lighting kit to illuminate your face and make it ‘pop’ from the background, AND a quality, external microphone.
This is a far better way to spend your money than to drop $100 on a camera that will NOT look good without proper lighting and has a TERRIBLE built-in microphone.
Hopefully, the order of importance has made you take a second to think about your total budget, and how you can perfectly allocate it toward your Twitch streaming setup.
If you already have a proper lighting setup and a microphone, you can chuck your entire budget towards a webcam/DSLR. If not, you should consider spending at least 50% (or more) of your budget elsewhere.
Once you know your budget, you can pick one of the webcam options above or choose a DSLR (if your budget is at least $500).
Any one of the webcams above is a great choice for your streaming setup. Even the C920 is a phenomenal streaming webcam at a budget price tag and still used by top-tier streamers to this day.
If you need a 60FPS webcam, go for the C922 or Razer Kiyo. If you want better picture quality, the streamcam is a good option. And if you want the best picture quality a webcam can offer with a wide field of view, go for the Logitech brio.
Why your streaming webcam looks bad
Even the best webcam will look bad if you have no idea what you’re doing. Seriously, you can pick up a high-end webcam like the Logitech Brio and mess it all up by streaming in poor lighting conditions.
Poor lighting conditions
Your room lighting isn’t designed for a stream setup, they are designed to keep your room lit up. Professional streamers never have room lighting on while live and instead rely on lighting kits to illuminate themselves and make them ‘pop out’ from their backgrounds.
Lighting kits don’t have to be expensive either, you can find such as kit for under $50. In a separate buyer guide, I cover everything you need to know about lighting your Twitch stream.
Bad webcam settings
Webcams are plug-and-play type devices, you plug them in and expect them to work and look good. While they will work, they will always benefit from some tweaks.
If you have a Logitech webcam, you should use the Logitech Capture software to edit your default webcam settings.
Otherwise, use your included webcam software or change the settings in your OBS.
There are a number of settings you can change for your webcam:
- White balance
The following settings will most impact your webcam if the picture quality looks bad.
Many newer streamers struggle with over-exposure, this means that you have too much light coming in and your webcam ends up looking white, this is called over-exposure. The exposure setting will let you get rid of this effect.
The white balance determines the color temperature of your video quality (from yellow to blue). By changing this setting you can fix the common issue of having a webcam that looks too cool or too warm.
The gain setting will determine how sensitive your webcam is to lights. Slide this around until it looks just right. Auto-gain should always be turned off as this tends to be terrible.
Hopefully, this article has taught you a bit more about how webcams work and which webcam would best fit your Twitch streaming setup.
I think the Logitech C920 is an ideal starter webcam that looks amazing when paired with a good lighting kit. If you have a bit more budget you can upgrade to a 60FPS webcam or go for a Logitech Brio if you want a wider field of view.
If you’re a newer streamer, you really don’t need a DSLR just yet. Many top-tier streamers are still using budget Logitech cameras and getting away with it. So unless your pockets are deep, go for a webcam for now and upgrade later on.
Read also: Best lighting for Twitch streaming