Best 4K Webcams You Can Buy Right Now

Make use of a 4K webcam to enhance your video-calling experience.

4k Webcams Feature

Whether you’re in a Zoom meeting or live streaming on Twitch, you’re going to want the best visual fidelity possible when it comes to your webcam. Unfortunately, most budget options make you look like you’re inside a console television from the 1950s or beaming yourself back to Earth from the Apollo 11 mission. Thankfully, there are a number of ultra high-resolution 4K webcams available.

What Is “4K” Anyway?

The term “4K” has been floating around on fliers for big box retailers for years. Most often associated with televisions, “4K” refers to the resolution of an image. Image fidelity is measured by the number of individual vertical lines that make up an image. This is where we get seemingly arbitrary numbers from. For example, the standard definition is referred to as “480,” as there are 480 individual lines that make up the image.

4k Webcam
Image source: Pexels

A “4K” image is made up of roughly 4,000 lines. As a result, the image is much clearer and sharper, even when compared to a 1080 display. Long story short, the bigger the number, the better the picture!

A 4K webcam features a lens that is capable of capturing images and video at 4K resolution. This results in a clearer, sharper, and more detailed image. In addition to better video quality, most 4K webcams boast advanced features not found in cheaper, lower-resolution webcams. These can include things like automatic image correction and better low-light performance.

1. Logitech Brio 4K

The Logitech Brio is consistently rated as one of the best webcams ever made, not just one of the best 4K webcams. One of the best compared to every other webcam in existence. The Brio supports 4K at 30 frames per second (fps), 1080p at 30 or 60 fps, and 720p at 30, 60, or 90 fps. If you opt for 4K video capture, make sure you wash your face and maybe even use some concealer – this webcam is going to pick up every blemish and wrinkle.

4k Webcams Logitech Brio
Image source: Amazon

The Brio boasts autofocus, high dynamic range (HDR) for better color accuracy and improved brightness, and auto white balance. It can track your movements and light sources automatically and makes adjustments on the fly.

This ensures that your video stream will look super crisp. Furthermore, the Brio offers users the choice between three different fields of view: 65 degrees, 78 degrees, and 90 degrees. Finally, the Logitech Brio includes not one, but two omnidirectional microphones. This results in excellent audio quality to complement the unparalleled image it delivers. The Logitech Brio currently retails for about $140.

Pros

  • Displays super-detailed image
  • Affordable (relatively) 4K video
  • Good low-light performance

Cons

  • Mounting the webcam can be fiddly
  • Build quality is average

If you’re constantly streaming video, perhaps you should consider a Stream deck. Even if you’re a non-gamer, you may benefit from one.

2. Dell UltraSharp

This webcam from Dell doesn’t beat around the bush – all you need to know about it is right there in its name. The UltraSharp delivers 4K @ 30 fps video capture resolution that is top-notch. It also supports 1080p and 720p at 60, 30, or 24 fps if you need it.

4k Webcam Dell Ultrasharp Camera
Image source: Amazon

What sets this webcam apart from some of the others on this list is the inclusion of easy-to-use software. Inside the app, you’ll be able to fine-tune your image and enable a slew of extra features, like changing the field of view and resolution.

Furthermore, you’re able to manually tweak things like saturation, sharpness, brightness, and more. Of course, you can always leave everything on auto-pilot and let the UltraSharp do the hard work for you! The Dell UltraSharp is a strong competitor for the very best 4K webcams on the market; however, there is one fairly significant oversight. There is no built-in microphone – an egregious omission considering the $199 price tag.

Pros

  • Premium build quality
  • The software allows for fine tweaking image

Cons

  • No built-in microphone
  • Tends to get hot

Insta360 is a Chinese-based brand that has made a name for itself with action cameras and, you guessed it, 360-degree cameras. Its 4K webcam, the Link, boasts impressive 4K video capture. However, the Link has some extra bells and whistles that sets it apart from the rest.

4k Webcam Insta360 Link

The Link’s lens isn’t stationary. Instead, the Link’s lens is combined with a 3-axis gimbal. Combined with a very capable AI tracking algorithm, the Link’s lens rotates and moves to follow you. Furthermore, the Link has automatic zooming and focusing, ensuring you’re always in frame. This is perfect for people giving presentations or content creators who move around a lot. The Link is like having your own personal cameraman.

The Link webcam also supports hand gestures. This way, if you’re standing up delivering a presentation or trying your hand at the newest TikTok dance craze, you can use these gestures to issue commands to the camera. This includes basics like zoom in and out, as well as “whiteboard mode.” The fact that the Link also captures video in 4K is just the cherry on top. If this sounds like a bunch of premium features, it’s because the Insta360 Link is very much a premium product. Be prepared to shell out $299 to get your hands on one.

Pros

  • Excellent tracking and gesture control
  • Whiteboard mode automatically zooms and focuses on writing

Cons

  • Only digital zoom
  • Expensive

Tip: flying off somewhere for a little getaway soon? Find out how to use your own headphones for in-flight entertainment.

4. Jabra Panacast 20

The Jabra Panacast 20 has all of the advanced features that you’ve come to expect from a 4K webcam. Crystal clear pictures combined with three microphones for impressive audio are combined with software that enables users to fine-tune the settings. The thing that sets the Panacast 20 apart is that it has been designed with conference calls in mind. The Panacast 20 is equipped with a wide-angle lens. This enables users to capture an entire room of people, which is great for businesses.

4k Webcam Jabra Panacast20
Image source: Amazon

Reviews of the Panacast 20 suggest that the 4K resolution isn’t as clear as some of the others on the list. That being said, if you’re looking for a webcam that is capable of capturing entire conference rooms, the Panacast 20 is the only one designed for that specific purpose. Because the device is aimed at businesses more than individual users, Jabra hasn’t shied away from a hefty price tag. At the time of writing, the Panacast 20 retails for about $329.

Pros

  • Wide angle captures large conference rooms
  • Multiple mics capable of picking up voices regardless of the person’s distance from the camera

Cons

  • 4K image quality isn’t as good as others
  • Aimed at businesses as opposed to individual users

5. Osbot Tiny 4K

Did the idea of the Insta360 Link’s auto tracking and panning appeal to you, but you can’t justify the price? Let us introduce you to the Osbot Tiny 4K. Like the Link, the Osbot Tiny 4K tracks a user’s movements and automatically adjusts the camera in real time. Furthermore, the Tiny 4K has three different tracking algorithms to choose from to suit your needs. Headroom mode is ideal for users who are seated, Standard mode keeps the camera framed on your upper body, and Motion mode captures your entire body, perfect for dancing or fitness instruction.

4k Webcam Osbot Tiny4k
Image source: Amazon

As expected, the Osbot Tiny 4K offers video capture in 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at 60 fps. It is also accompanied by robust software, enabling you to customize the camera’s settings. In addition, like the Insta360 Link, the Tiny 4K also supports hand gesture controls. As mentioned above, the Osbot Tiny 4K is cheaper than the Insta360 Link. However, you aren’t getting these features at bargain basement prices. The Osbot Tiny 4K still comes in at $215.

Pros

  • AI tracking to ensure the subject is in frame
  • More affordable than the Insta360 Link

Cons

  • Hand gesture control can be finicky
  • Software UI is functional but not intuitive

6. Poly Studio P15

The Poly Studio P15 isn’t just a webcam. It’s a “personal video bar.” Marketing jargon aside, the Poly Studio P15 aims to roll all of your video conferencing needs into one device. Webcam? Check. Microphone? Check. Speakers? Check. The result is a truly massive device, measuring a whopping 17 inches wide and weighing almost two pounds. With today’s laptops being smaller and lighter, one would imagine that it would be difficult to attach this beast of a webcam securely. Consequently, you may only want to use this with a proper monitor even though Poly insists that the P15 has universal compatibility.

4k Webcam Poly Studio P15
Image source: Amazon

In addition to 4K video capture, the Poly Studio boasts multiple microphones. It also comes equipped with advanced audio screening, capable of eliminating unwanted background noises on the fly. The P15 also has an impressive speaker, pretty much a given considering its size. At the time of writing, the Poly Studio P15 is the second most expensive 4K webcam on this list, commanding nearly $310.

Pros

  • All-in-one design
  • Microphone array ensures excellent audio quality

Cons

  • Large, unwieldy footprint
  • Less practical due to weight

If you’re constantly interacting with people online, get up to speed on how much bandwidth video calling uses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which platforms support 4K video?

The majority of the most popular video-conferencing apps, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, only support 1080p. The reason comes down to bandwidth. 4K video streaming takes a lot and not everyone has access to the data and speeds necessary to support it. It’s safe to say that at some point down the track, 4K video conferencing will become more commonplace across all apps and platforms.

Do I really need a 4K webcam?

Whether or not a 4K webcam is right for you is going to depend on a few factors. First, you need to consider what you’ll be using your webcam for. It’s important to remember that even though a 4K webcam can capture finer, more detailed video, it doesn’t necessarily mean the audience on the other end is actually going to see that detail.

Because a 4K image can be downscaled, it is not necessary for your audience to have a 4K monitor or TV. That being said, a 4K resolution is difficult to see on a smaller, lower-resolution screen, as a smaller screen packs the individual lines that make up an image closer together. This limits the amount of detail you’re able to see. If your audience is going to be watching your video on a TV or high-resolution monitor, you may want to invest in a 4K webcam due to the clearer picture it can provide.

The answer also depends on the user and what they are using their webcam for. If you’re a content creator on YouTube or Twitch, you’ll probably want to consider investing in a 4K webcam. On the other hand, if you’re using a webcam for Zoom meetings or video chat, a 4K webcam is probably overkill.

How can I make my existing non-4K webcam look better?

First of all, if you’re still using a janky webcam from the mid-2000s, it’s time for an upgrade. There are a number of very capable 1080p webcams on the market, and you can easily snap one up for around $50.

One of the easiest ways to improve the quality of your existing webcam is to invest in proper lighting. Many of your run-of-the-mill webcams aren’t capable of dealing with low-light conditions, so turn on a lamp or open the curtains. If that’s not possible, consider picking up a ring light. Ring lights are designed to provide soft, direct light on the subject to help minimize shadows and ensure you’re evenly lit.

Image credit: Unsplash

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