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Best Web Cameras for Families
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With Skype, Facebook Chat and the many other video calling services out there, having a good web cam is becoming more and more essential for keeping in touch with your loved ones near and far. While most of the latest laptops come with built-in cameras, they aren’t adjustable and usually offer only basic video quality. For more flexibility and crystal-clear video calls, here are our recommendations for great family-friendly web cams.
Best for Beginners: Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000
$18.25 from amazon.com
If you’re looking for a basic web cam, Microsoft’s LifeCam VX-5000 is a good place to start. Its most distinguishing feature is its flexible base, which makes it easy to use with laptops, flat screens, traditional monitors or wherever you’ll be video calling from. There’s also an integrated microphone so no additional hardware is needed.
Best for Widescreen Monitors: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
$27.99 from amazon.com
This Microsoft version is a step up from the LifeCam in the previous slide. What’s different about the HD-3000 version is not only the high-definition video quality; this web cam also offers widescreen capability. With most new computers now featuring widescreen monitors, this web cam will ensure that your picture will come in crystal clear without any pixilation.
Best for Macs and PCs: Macally ICECAM2
$23.96 from amazon.com
This Macally model comes with an adjustable focus lens to ensure clear broadcasting for any video calls. Thanks to a spring-loaded clamp, this web cam can clip onto any laptop or flat monitored screen for easy maneuvering. It’s designed for computers that come with high speed USB 2.0 ports for faster data transfer, and unlike many other web cams, this model works with both Macs and PCs. (Not every Apple laptop is compatible so make sure to check before purchasing.)
Best Bang for Your Buck: Logitech Webcam C210
$24.48 from amazon.com
For only $25, this Logitech web cam is a fantastic deal for the quality of device you get. It comes with software that enables one-click video calling for super easy use. Even better, the Logitech offers auto light correction, so if your kids are in a dark room or sitting by a window, they’ll always look clear to grandma and grandpa on the other end.
Best for Tweens: Logitech C270 HD
$38.99 from amazon.com
Perfect for the tween in your life, this Logitech C270 comes in three fun patterns (like this floral motif) and provides high-definition widescreen video. The camera also takes still photos, and the included software allows for one-click video uploading to Facebook and YouTube for immediate broadcasting of those wacky videos and photos.
Best for Special Video Effects: Logitech HD Pro C910
$59.92 from amazon.com
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 checks in at a higher price point, but you’re also getting cooler features. In addition to high definition picture, this web cam also comes with a Carl Zeiss lens for auto light correction, autofocus, crystal clear picture and 10 megapixel photos (that’s better than some actual cameras on the market!). This version also comes with fun video effects that you can add to your screen to put some zing into your videos.
Best for Skype: FaceVsion TouchCam N1 HD
$79.15 from amazon.com
If your primary means of video calling is Skype, you should check out FaceVsion’s TouchCam N1 HD VideoCam, the first Skype-certified HD camera. Although it works with many other messaging systems like Yahoo, AIM, MSN Messenger and Google Talk, it is configured to work best and most clearly on a Skype two-way call. The 78 degree wide-angle lens will capture everything —even your kids’ reenactment of their school play for the grandparents.
Best for Home Office Use: Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF
$91.36 from amazon.com
If you use video calling for your business or very frequently in your home life, Logitech’s QuickCam Orbit AF is the cream of the crop. The hefty price tag means you’re getting the highest-quality optics, light and sound technology to deliver crisp video quality with razor-sharp focus. What’s even cooler: the camera has “motorized tracking,” which means that it’ll follow your movements wherever you are—no need to constantly adjust the camera.