An engaging online class is one where the teacher does not only sit and talk. It requires a bit of movement and animation to make the class fun and interactive for both young and adult learners. You can show realia and props; stand and demonstrate movements; or present a lesson using a whiteboard. Hence, investing in a good webcam for online teaching is very important. A good webcam can make you clearly visible to your students during an online class, and it helps you record excellent quality educational videos that you might want to put on YouTube or any online platform for your students’ reference.
Although laptops come with a built-in camera, there is a big difference in the quality of a built-in camera and a dedicated webcam. Hence, consider investing in a good web camera to provide your students with an excellent online learning experience.
Things to Consider in Buying a Webcam
What should you look for in a webcam? There are a few things to consider making sure you get the best quality webcam for your online teaching.
The digital resolution is the most important consideration in purchasing webcams. Most built-in cameras record at 720P. Although 720P may produce a good video quality, you’d want the video calling and video recordings for your online teaching particularly sharp and in high definition. A 1080P webcam would definitely deliver you that high definition video quality, making you and your lessons clearer and more understandable on the students' end.
Although laptops also have built-in microphones, it is worth taking into account a webcam with a microphone integrated in it. The audio coming from an external webcam is truly better.
Field of View
Larger camera lens, larger sensors, and dedicated features such as tilting, panning, and zooming all add to the benefits that a built-in camera doesn’t offer. Larger camera lens captures more light for superior quality videos. A webcam with a wide field of view would allow you to maximize your workspace more effectively.
With these things in mind, we’ve listed for you the nine best webcams for online teaching.
Best Webcams For Online Teaching
The Logitech Brio Ultra HD Webcam would make any online teacher look great in any light. Its 4k sensor, high dynamic range, and autofocus deliver beautiful videos. This camera also features automatic exposure and contrast adjustments. This webcam is a little expensive compared to others, costing a bit over $200; but considering that you can digitally zoom 5x, pan, and choose from three fields of view options while maintaining a high definition resolution, it is a worthy purchase. This webcam is great for recording video introductions and lessons. The Logitech Brio is best for teachers who usually conduct classes in virtual learning environments like Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet, and more because this webcam is enterprise-ready. In terms of quality and performance, Logitech Brio is one of the best webcams for online teachers.
The IPEVO Ultra HD Document Camera is for dynamic online teachers who always do live demonstrations and web conferences. This webcam features an 8-megapixel camera that captures ultra high definition live images, fast focusing speed, and lag-free live streaming. What’s great about this webcam is it has an adjustable multi-joint stand that offers flexibility when capturing images from books and documents; and art and handicrafts tutorials. What we love best about this webcam is its fast focusing feature and its image sensor that provides exceptional noise reduction and color reproduction of images even in low light environments. This webcam is recommended for art teachers who need to create video tutorials or present art process live. Priced for just a little over $100, this webcam is definitely a value for your money.
The Razer Kiyo Streaming Webcam is one of the best webcams for online teachers who live stream and record high-quality educational content. This webcam allows you to have full camera control. You can adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, and white balance to suit your preferences. It also comes with a built-in ring light that gives you that decent camera illumination. Although it only has a 4-megapixel camera and streams at 720p resolution at 60 frames per second and at full HD 1080p at 30 frames per second, you can count on smooth video footage and excellent image quality. The Razer Kiyo also features a fast and accurate auto-focus for seamless video footage. It is also easy to pack and take along. Reasonably priced at a little over $100 and with stunning overall features, the Razer Kiyo is one of the best webcams for online teaching.
If you are a teacher who is fond of broadcasting on popular websites such as YouTube and Twitch and want to record videos in remarkable quality, the Logitech C922x is a good webcam option. With a 1080P full HD webcam, it can record videos even in low light environments. Its best feature is the Personify background replacement technology that allows you to change and remove background without the use of a green screen. This is a great help if you are conducting online classes from home and haven't set up an appropriate background. Logitech C922x is one of the mid-range priced web cameras that give you high-quality professional videos. It also comes as a complete set with two built-in microphones that capture sounds in rich stereo audio. This webcam works with Windows 7, 8, and 10 and Mac Os. It is a value for your money kind of camera.
A lower-priced option from Logitech that also gives high definition, smooth, sharp, rich, and clear images is its Logitech C920 web camera that offers the same 1080p resolution. Its full HD glass lens and precisely tuned autofocus capture clear, vibrant, and true to life videos. What we like about this web camera is its ability to adjust automatically to accommodate shadowy or harsh lighting conditions, assuring you of outstanding picture quality. An additional feature is its built-in dual stereo microphones that automatically reduce noise. Priced at less than a hundred dollars, this camera is a budget-friendly choice for online teaching and live streaming.
The Microsoft Q2F Lifecam is also a good webcam for online teaching and personal use. Its TrueColor technology tracks facial movements and adjusts the exposure so your videos are sharp and vivid in all light conditions. Its ClearFrame technology also provides smooth and detailed footage. Though the camera is only 5MP, it produces crisp and balanced images. It offers 1080p video recording capacity but for video calling; it is limited to a 720p resolution - a fairly adequate resolution for conducting classes online and having teacher-student conversations. Its mono-mic can pick up sounds well and produces warm vocals. It is good to bear in mind that the mono-mic can also pick up a fair amount of background noises, so it’s best to use it in a quiet environment. What’s great about this webcam is its 75-degree field of view. It can also rotate 180 degrees on each side, making it easy for you to change the camera angle. If you are an online teacher or a student looking for a camera that works seamlessly with Windows, the Microsoft Lifecam is a great option.
Another budget-friendly, plug and play, easy set-up webcam is Nexigo. Its 2MP camera delivers smooth and sharp videos with its autofocus and facial enhancement features. It also includes a built-in noise-cancelling microphone that reduces ambient noise. During online classes, it can capture your voice while eliminating unnecessary background noises. Even with only a 2-megapixel camera, Nexigo Autofocus Webcam provides good transitions during video calls and recordings. It is also compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and a variety of video calling applications. This is a good webcam to consider if you are only delivering basic online teaching tasks.
This chic, convenient and easy-to-use webcam is a budget-friendly option for online teachers and students. Aukey FHD Webcam delivers full high definition videos for online classes and video recording. Although it does not have an auto-focus feature, this webcam performs well even in dimly lit rooms and keeps images up to five meters away sharp. It’s built-in dual stereo microphones capture clear audio. This webcam is very convenient to use. You can mount it on your laptop or desktop monitor or make it stand on your desk. It can be folded and can easily fit inside your laptop bag. Aukey FHD Webcam is great even for teachers who are on the go.
Teaching, whether classroom-based or online, must come in a total package. Every educator knows that the best instructional material in any class is the teacher; hence, the quality of the webcam you use is essential for effective and engaging teaching. We’ve recommended the best webcams with different price points; however, in any purchase, you always have to consider your professional and personal needs.
External Webcam VS Built-in Webcam
Education has taken a new level, and it is beyond argument that virtual learning has become an essential part of life. For a virtual experience to be near the real-person experience, the quality of the webcam used in online teaching is very important. Laptops come with built-in web cameras so you may wonder about the difference between an external webcam and a built-in webcam.
Well, here is a comparison of the two in five different attributes.
Field of View
Most built-in webcams offer a limited field of view because it is mostly designed for one-on-one communication. Most external web cameras have a widescreen video lens and offer a wide-angle field of view. This allows more people to take part in video calls at any endpoint
Focal Length and Light Sensitivity
A lot of embedded web cameras offer 720P resolution or less. Because built-in webcams don’t have the room to put multiple lens components, its focal length is usually limited. This makes images not as crisps. It also rarely adjusts to low light environments affecting image quality. Higher quality external webcams have a full HD 1080P recording at a fast frame rate. They have multiple lens stacks and are usually equipped with autofocus features. This means that it can adjust its focal length; hence, the subject is always in focus regardless of its distance. Some can also fine-tune in dimly lit environments maintaining the quality of the image.
Ability to Position
Built-in webcams provide its users with little opportunity to adjust the camera position. You would need to move your entire device to capture certain things on camera. External webcams are more flexible. You can adjust its position and even mount it on a tripod or display stand.
Microphones from built-in webcams offer outstanding sound quality; however, you may be limited in your positioning to be heard well. Some external webcams come with stereo microphones that have noise-cancelling features.
External webcams offer better features compared to built-in webcams. Its 1080P camera and built-in microphone give impressive quality video and audio. It is an excellent investment whether for personal, educational, entertainment, or business purposes.