The 3 Best Budget Webcams In 2021 — They're All Under $50

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Best Budget Webcams
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Webcams can cost hundreds of dollars, but unless you're a professional streamer, a camera in that price-point is probably unnecessary. The best budget webcams should more than suffice for video calls with loved ones and Zoom meetings for work. That said, good webcams (even budget ones) should have a higher resolution, be compatible with your operating system, and deliver certain key features.

Let's start with resolution. A good cheap webcam will have high-definition (or HD) resolution, which means a clearer picture due to more pixels. The best available is usually 1080p: The "p" stands for "progressive scan" and 1080 is the vertical resolution. Even some budget-friendly webcams under $50 offer this level of clarity, but 720p is still considered HD if you're looking to shave off a few dollars.

However, an HD picture won't get you very far if the webcam doesn't work with your computer to begin with. Always check the operating-system compatibility before purchasing — though most quality webcams should switch between Windows and Mac without issue. Also ensure that the means of connection works with your computer, too. (These all use a USB plug, which is convenient and intuitive for most people.)

Last but not least, think about the types of features that'll improve your video-calling experience. Do you want a clear built-in mic with noise-reduction technology? How about an auto-correcting lens? What about a privacy shutter and 360-degree rotation? If you know where to look, you can get a durable camera with some or all of these features for less than $50.


The Overall Best Budget Webcam

Despite its budget-friendly price tag, the Wansview HD webcam has some pretty great features. Enhancement technology automatically optimizes the picture, low-light correction ensures that your image looks balanced in just about any setting, and the USB 2.0 plug makes it easy to work with. Then there's the wide-angle lens and the built-in dual stereo mic with automatic noise-reduction. Needless to say, it's a great pick for work meetings, casual calls, and webinars alike.

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac OS, Android Smart TV, Xbox One
  • Connection: USB 2.0

One reviewer wrote: "Quality is utterly amazing!! Most simple thing ever to set up and works great!! Plus it’s so cheap!”


The Runner-Up: A Cheap Webcam That's Easy To Use

You won't get too many bells and whistles with the this HD webcam, but at under $20, the value is hard to beat. This one has a 1080p resolution, plus a built-in microphone with noise-filtering capabilities and decent compatibility across various operating systems and applications. It also offers a hybrid glass lens for a crisp picture, 360-degree rotation, and automatic low-light correction. Most importantly, since it's an affordable plug-and-play camera, it's a fantastic option for those who aren't particularly tech-savvy.

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac OS, Android, Chrome OS
  • Connection: USB 2.0

One reviewer wrote: "Excellent value. Very good picture and audio qualities.”


A Webcam With Upgraded Features

It still comes in under the $50 mark, but the Winchar HD webcam is as luxurious as budget webcams get, with 1080p resolution, dual mics, and a 76-degree wide angle lens to ensure that your video calls are high quality. You'll also find features like auto-adjusting focus technology, low-light correction, 360-degree rotation with a 180-degree hinge, and a privacy shutter that you can close when the webcam isn't in use. Finally, it's compatible with a ton of different programs, not to mention software that helps you customize the light settings, white balance, and more options. It's also super easy to use. Just plug in the USB 2.0- and USB 3.0-compatible unit and get going.

  • Resolution: 1080P
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Connection: USB 3.0

One reviewer wrote: "Easy to install/set up, excellent sound and camera quality - makes me look professional even if I’m in sweats. Absolutely worth the cost, I won’t need another.”

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