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3 cheap webcams to make you look like a pro on Zoom

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Owning a webcam is something that I think should be required for people who do any type of office work, whether that is at home or in the office! Not only will it make you look better, but a separate webcam also gives more options for camera angle placement.

Built-in cameras on most laptops just aren’t very good, and the location of the camera usually makes your face look less flattering.

Here is what I see in my Zoom calls (and no one sees on me anymore):

  • Chin: When using a laptop that isn’t raised up in any way, they have to look down at their laptop, which can give you a double chin.
  • Dark areas: Exaggerated shadows on faces due to poor camera and lighting, making them look more tired.
  • Side eye: People who use a separate monitor as their main display, but the camera on their laptop is used for video calls. This makes it look like they aren’t watching the meeting even though they probably are, since the camera isn’t located close to where they are looking.
  • Giant hands: One coworker has a computer where the webcam is at the bottom of his laptop screen instead of the top, making his hands look gigantic when he types due to perspective.
  • #Nofilter: Some meeting apps have features such as backgrounds, or mild airbrushing, that you can only do if your camera is good enough. I understand that this can seem silly, but if you’re someone who feels they need a shower and time to get ready for meetings normally you could perhaps skip this with the right filter.

You can avoid all of these issues with a cheap camera and thoughtful placement. I truly believe this is even more important for things such as job interviews, as it can leave a much better impression on hiring managers. Unfortunately, so many things in life are superficial, and I think that looking your best can go a long way when trying to make an impression in an interview or that big meeting. Unless you’re a professional Youtuber you probably don’t need anything like a 4K camera, which will help you save money.

Benchmark brand name ol’ reliable, but not the cheapest

C920s PRO HD WEBCAM: $59.99
Logitech c920s
Image credit: Logitech.com

This Logitech is by far the most popular option. It is considered to work well in most lighting, works well out of the box, and was really difficult to find in stock for many months. In fact, many of the dupe cameras gained popularity due to this camera shortage.

While some may fault its non-wide field of view, I prefer this to show less of the room I’m in during work calls. This camera also has autofocus, whereas lots of the other cheaper cameras are fixed focus, meaning they work best within a normal distance away from a laptop or monitor.


  • 1080p 30fps
  • Physical privacy cover
  • Auto Focus


  • No horizontal swivel
  • Most expensive option

Lowest cost option

AUKEY Overview Full HD Video 1080p Webcam: $39.99 (currently on sale for 35.99)
Image credit: Aukey.com

This is a great value, especially if you can snag it on sale. You’re getting 1080p at 30fps, which is the standard for midrange cameras that usually cost more. It has other features you would expect with angle adjustability, and outperforms other cameras in this price range.

One issue I take with this camera is that the viewing angle is quite wide, which some people like! I however want people in meetings to see less of my room however, which this camera does not do. But what I took issue with most on this is that the viewing angle isn’t mentioned on their website, I had to dive deep into user reviews to find this out.


  • Horizontal rotation
  • 1080p 30fps
  • 2-megapixel webcam with 1/2.9” CMOS image sensor
  • Wide angle


  • The wide viewing angle isn’t well advertised by the manufacturer
  • No physical privacy cover, but can rotate away
  • Slides around on the monitor more than a Logitech
  • Focus is fixed (no autofocus, works at specific ranges)
  • The colors are a little more washed out than a Logitech

Top Pick: Best quality at a great price

AverMedia Live Streamer 313: $59.99 (currently on sale for $36.99)

This camera has the unique functionality of doubling as a microphone and is more in line with the video quality of the Logitech c920s. Some reviewers say the video quality is actually better! While the MSRP of the AverMedia and c920s is about the same, this one is definitely worth grabbing when it’s on sale, which it frequently is. If buying this for less than $40 then this one is easily the best option.


  • Horizontal rotation
  • 1080p 30fps
  • Image sensor: 1/2.7″ CMOS sensor, 2MP
  • Build in sliding physical camera cover for privacy
  • 95-degree wide angle field of view
  • Tripod ready


  • Focus is fixed (no autofocus, works at specific ranges)


There are even cheaper options available, but when buying a webcam you don’t want to go too cheap and have your video quality suffer. A webcam is one of those little upgrades that once you have one it will be hard to imagine not using it, and it makes you look better in all of your meetings!

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