We said in the past that an Webcam can’t compete with a camcorder connected via analog capture card or analog tv tunner, well that was true for the past, but with the latest HD Webcams from Logitech, the situation changes a bit. An older camcorder (not HD camcorder) it has maximum resolution around 720×576 (that’s max), while latest Logitech HD Webcams have up to 1920×1080 at 30fps or more, superb image quality in good lighting condition and are much easier to setup in comparison with a classic or HD camcorder.
Day by day customers demands in terms of quality gets higher, if in the past a 320×240 resolution was enough, currently even 640×480 is getting old, 800×600 is becoming normality, and sooner or later the next step will be full HD resolutions, which starts from 1280×720. As a regular camcorder doesn’t have more than 720×576, choosing a good quality HD webcam is the optimal choice to be able to broadcast at resolutions higher than 640×480.
The only aspect where a camcorder still does a better job in comparison with an HD Webcam is the ZOOM functionality, and that is normal as the camcorders have optical zoom (from lens) so the quality remains the same at any zoom level, while the current webcams have only digital zoom, meaning that for ZOOM, the original image is increased, so image quality gets decreased with each zoom step. However latest Logitech HD Webcams are doing a great job for the first 5x zoom steps and in most of the cases 5x zoom is more than necessary.
When it comes to choose an webcam, don’t complicate yourself, pick one of the latest Logitech HD WebCam, BCC950 and C920 are the best webcams at the time this guide was updated (February 2013). Don’t waste your money on very low budget webcams as most probably it won’t provide the required quality. Microsoft and Creative produce also good webcams, but at this time their top webcam product is not as good as the top Logitech product.
Best and most popular Logitech HD Webcams:
- Logitech BCC950 Conference Webcam – is their latest HD Webcam product, it comes with integrated motorized pan-tilt (you can move the webcam up/down/left/right) and a remote control from where you can control the pan-tilt + 5x zoom + audio level or turning off audio. BCC950 was released around September 2012 at the price of 250$ on Logitech website, but it can go up to 400$ depending on country, a bit expensive but worth every cent.
- Logitech C920 – also a very good hd webcam, the price range between 60 and 150$ (depending on country, shop etc) it doesn’t have a pan-tilt or remote control, image quality is superb, it can be mounted on a tripod, and you can buy a pan-tilt device separately if you want.
- Logitech C910 – is no longer produced, was replaced by C920, but if you have already a C910 is a good choice, just make ensure it has enough light.
- Logitech Pro 9000 – was for years a very good webcam, but is old and no longer produced also it doesn’t compare in quality with the recent HD webcams from Logitech (BCC950, C920 and C910). If you have a very low budget it can be good for a start, if you find a cheap one, second-hand.
- Logitech Quick Orbit AF – still a very good hd webcam with integrated pan-tilt, but is no longer produced and it doesn’t have a remote control like BCC950, so the pan tilt and the other functions can only be controlled with the mouse. If you have a low budget it can be good for a start, if you find a cheap one, second-hand.
If you are going to buy a NEW WEBCAM, the choices are simple, if you have the money don’t hesitate buying BCC950, remember that even if is a webcam, if you want clear crystal image you need proper lighting in the working room, also BCC950 doesn’t come with a software it’s installed automatically with default windows drivers, but we recommend to install latest drivers from BCC950 and also if necesarry the C920 software which will recognize also the BCC950 device and you will have same settings available (also easier to adjust the webcam with the Logitech Software). If you have low budget, than choose Logitech C920 and after you start to generate good money, you can get BCC950 or better (if new models will be released in the meantime).