(Pocket-lint) - One of the absolute must-haves for any aspiring streamer is a great webcam, but that's not to say that they're only for content creators.
If you also use your computer for video calling, whether occasionally or daily as part of a remote working arrangement, a great webcam is a really useful tool. Of course, you might already have a webcam on your laptop, but just want to improve the quality.
These webcams are all capable of at least 720p HD, with some also able to reach 1080p Full HD and even 4K Ultra HD.
It's also a really crowded market, though, with loads of cameras to choose from and a lot of specs lists that look pretty identical at first glance.
That's exactly why we've taken the time to comb the market for you, whittling down the masses into a useful shortlist of some of the very best models out there, accounting for different budgets. Check them out, below.
Our pick of the best webcams to buy today
Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
There's a good chance that you just want a webcam to make sure that you're not sunk if you need to make the odd video call, and therefore are keen to keep costs down. Microsoft's got a really solid range of affordable cameras, none more so than the LifeCam HD-3000.
It's super cheap, but records great 1080p video (720p when live) and has good audio recording into the package. It's great for Skype calls and at a wonderful price it's a pretty persuasive option.
Logitech C922 Pro Stream
We think that Logitech's C922 can really do whatever you need it to, whether that's providing buttery-smooth Full HD footage for live streaming, or pick up clear audio for all-important conference calling. It's not cheap, by any means, though.
It also has impressive low-light performance to ensure that even if you're filming in the dead of night you won't be recording a washed-out mess. Great adaptability makes for a great webcam.
The Logitech Streamcam is another fantastic webcam from Logitech. This one is a bit pricier but is designed specifically for streamers with a number of features that make it powerful and useful. It's not only capable of 1080p video capture at 60FPS but also has different mounting options that mean it can be used in both landscape and portrait modes.
You can use the Streamcam to capture square portrait-style videos that are perfect for Instagram and the like. It also comes with Logitech's Capture software that allows you to do all sorts of things including adding filters, text overlays, other sources and more. Highlights for us though are the superb autofocus capabilities and video capture quality that make the Streamcam well worth owning.
If you're more serious about the streaming side of things, though, and particularly if you know that you're likely to be recording mostly in low-light or evening settings, gaming expert Razer has made a doozy of a webcam for you.
The Kiyo almost looks like an influencer's selfie-camera because of that ring of soft LED light around its lens, but that means that it has great lighting to go with its 1080p resolution. It's simple and easy to use and will get your stream looking professional in no time.
Logitech makes another entry on our list, with a webcam that's likely to be outside of most people's imagined budgets, but brings the increasingly-important option of 4K video to the table. It's also got HDR on board, making for picture quality that seriously impresses.
There are a few nice touches, like Windows Hello to let you get into your PC with a glance, plus a 90-degree field of view to get good viewing angles. It's pricey, but if 4K is a priority for you, it's a great shout.
Microsoft LifeCam Studio
That said, if you want to spend just a shade more, one of Microsoft's other cameras is a real competitor to Aukey's. The LifeCam Studio is more expensive than the above HD-3000, but has improved performance to explain the higher price.
It's a fairly serious-looking webcam, ideal for boardrooms or workplaces but equally useful in a home study. It's got great 720p live recording and 1080p resolution as standard, plus a wideband microphone that makes for clear audio. If you need a webcam for work and are happy to spend a little more for good quality, it's a great pick.