Logitech C920 review | CNN




CNN
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As someone who reviews tech gadgets for a living and streams on Twitch on the side, my PC setup has been inundated with roughly a dozen different webcams over the last few years. And after rigorously testing everything from no-frills budget cameras to high-end shooters made for serious YouTubers, I’ve yet to find one that offers better quality for the money than the universally beloved $69 Logitech C920. It really is that good.

Despite some strong competition, the C920 has remained our overall best webcam pick thanks to its ability to capture true-to-life video and offer a nifty companion app, all for a relatively low price. After using various versions of Logitech’s camera during countless video meetings, YouTube recordings and Twitch streams — and testing out every notable competitor — I’m convinced that it’s still the webcam that most people should buy.

The Logitech C920 emerged at the top of our rankings after weeks of in-depth webcam testing (which consisted of me taking lots of pictures and videos of myself) by producing the best-looking shots of any camera in its price range.

When sitting in front of natural light, Logitech’s camera captured sharp 1080p photos and videos that made my skin tone look natural while making fine details (such as the strands of my beard and the text on my hoodie) easy to pick out. The C920 got a bit blurry once I closed the blinds to test low-light performance, but it still produced shots that were brighter and sharper than most of its rivals under those dim conditions. Its 30 frame-per-second video capture is largely smooth and consistent, though there were a few occasions when the C920’s auto-focusing lens would refocus frequently, creating somewhat jumpy-looking shots.

Compare the Logitech C920’s shots to similarly priced webcams, and the difference in quality is pretty significant. While Microsoft’s Lifecam Studio camera excels in low light, the photos it took under natural lighting were strikingly dark compared to the C920. Meanwhile, the more expensive $99 Razer Kiyo created shots that were far more saturated than Logitech’s, and it didn’t look great under low light — even when its built-in ring light was activated. The C920 can also capture a good amount of my room thanks to its generous 78-degree viewing angle, which is about in the middle of the pack amongst every model I tested.

Michael Andronico/CNN

The Logitech C920’s great image quality is complemented by a simple, well-built design and a handy set of features. It’s easy to see why this camera is a staple in home offices, stream setups and conference rooms alike — it’s black plastic design looks sleek and feels sturdy, and I never had an issue clipping it to various monitors and laptop screens. You can also attach it to just about any tripod using the universal tripod mount at the bottom, which is something I’ve taken advantage of often while streaming on Twitch.

If you’re the type to tinker or just want a fun way to mess around with the C920, Logitech’s Capture software offers a solid amount of options for tweaking how you look on-screen. You can adjust parameters like brightness, contrast and saturation, toggle things like autofocus and white balance and zoom in for a more cropped shot. You can also add text and filters to your images, and take photos and videos right from the app if you want to record something quick for YouTube or Facebook. Capture isn’t quite as robust as the Elgato Facecam’s excellent Camera Hub app, but it gives you plenty of basic options for customizing your shots.

As someone who streams to Twitch fairly often, I use Logitech’s higher-end StreamCam as my main shooter thanks to its smoother 60 frame-per-second video capture. However, the C920 has been invaluable as my secondary streaming cam. I can use it to provide a closer-up view of my hands during music streams, or, much to my audience’s delight, cut away to a dedicated feed of my dog sleeping in bed. And when my main camera crashes (which has happened on many occasions), the C920 is more than sharp enough to substitute in as my primary broadcasting webcam — especially when I have the right lighting set up.

Mike Andronico/CNN

While the C920 is still the best overall webcam, there are other options on both the lower and higher-end worth considering if you’re on a budget or have more specific needs.

The Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000 is the best budget webcam we’ve tested, producing impressively natural-looking 720p shots for a price that frequently dips below $30. It’s got a wider field of view than the also-impressive Logitech C310, and its tiny rubber design is especially ideal for folks who want a good laptop-friendly webcam for travel use. Aside from its relatively low-resolution video, the big trade-offs here are its lack of a tripod mount or companion software — though we suspect the everyday Zoom-er won’t care about those.

If you can pay a little bit more, the recently released $69 Microsoft Modern Webcam is a solid and much more compact alternative to the C920, with good 1080p picture quality, a tripod-friendly design and a neat built-in privacy shutter. Just note that while the Modern works well in low light, it can be a bit sensitive to sunlight and tends to oversaturate.

On the higher-end, the Logitech StreamCam (starting at $149) is our pick for content creators, and the webcam that I personally use the most. This camera’s calling card is the ability to shoot at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second, a combo that results in video that’s both highly detailed and realistically smooth. It’s also the only webcam out there that can shoot in a vertical orientation, which could come in handy for producing TikTok and Instagram clips from your computer.

If you want to step up even more, the $199 Razer Kiyo Pro is another Twitch and YouTube-friendly camera that also captures great 1080p video at 60 fps. The Kiyo Pro stands out with its best-in-class low light performance, with an ambient light sensor that produces strikingly bright and clear shots under less-than-ideal conditions.

Unless you’re looking to spend as little as possible or are a serious content creator seeking extra-smooth video, the Logitech C920 remains the best webcam you can buy. It captures clear, true-to-life images in both dim and well-lit rooms, and has a sturdy design that fits well onto monitors, laptop screens and tripods. The camera’s fun and flexible Logitech Capture companion app certainly doesn’t hurt either.

A boatload of webcams have hit the market since the C920 first arrived, and a lot of them are worth taking a look at. Microsoft’s LifeCam HD-3000 gets the job done on a super-tight budget, and those looking to step up their YouTube or Twitch setup should turn their eyes towards the Logitech StreamCam or Razer Kiyo Pro. But if you just want to look good on your daily Zoom calls, are dipping your toes into content creation or need a secondary PC camera for broadcasting, the C920 still does it better than any webcam in its league.



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Written by bourbiza

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