5 Best Free Webcam Software in 2022 [Windows]
If you regularly use your computer’s webcam to record videos, live stream, or video chat with others, you may struggle to obtain the picture quality and streaming speed you need. You may also wish to apply video effects and filters in real-time, similar to ones you can utilize in video editing software.
Thankfully, the best free webcam software makes it easy to enhance your video streaming quality while also allowing you to apply filters, stickers, and fun effects to liven up your video calls. They’re also compatible with most streaming services like Facebook Live and YouTube live.
Read on to learn the top five free webcam software available for Windows devices.
- YouCam - Best Overall
- Windows Camera - Simplest Software
- NVIDIA Broadcast - Best AI-Enhanced Software
- Logitech Capture - Best All-In-One Software
- Webcam Toy - Best Browser-Based
Top 3 Free Webcam Software Snapshot
3. NVIDIA Broadcast - Best AI-Enhanced Software
NVIDIA Broadcast is an AI-powered software that can enhance your streaming video quality – as long as you have an RTX graphics card. More Info >
What is Webcam Software?
If you already use your computer’s built-in webcam for video chats with your coworkers or live streams to Twitch, you may also be wondering why you would need webcam software. While external webcam software isn’t necessary to operate your webcam, it can provide several benefits to improve your video-capturing experience.
The best webcam software lets you add titles and images to your webcam feed, allowing you to create a more professional, engaging video for business conferences or casual streams. These programs also include video effect filters that you can use to enhance your video quality and appearance.
Best of all, the most intuitive webcam software make automatic adjustments to your video calls and streams. As a result, you won’t need to waste time messing around with their controls while you’re in a conference with a coworker or streaming to your fans. Instead, you can simply trust these programs to do the work for you.
There are numerous webcam software programs available that provide all the features you need without a hefty price tag. Read more below for the summary of our top recommendations.
5 Best Free Webcam Software
1. YouCam - Best Overall
Overall Rating: 5/5
- Hundreds of animated emojis, beautifying tools, and filters
- Compatibility with popular streaming services
- Smart face login and log-out features
If you’re looking for the best all-around webcam software, we highly recommend YouCam.
YouCam is a free webcam software for Windows that includes various tools, features, and fun effects to use with your webcam. The software is also compatible with your favorite streaming services, such as Twitch, Facebook Live, and YouTube Live, making it an excellent tool to add to your streaming arsenal.
YouCam makes it easy to enhance your video quality, even if you have a low-resolution camera. The software uses TrueTheater™ technology to automatically adjust lighting and sharpness, creating a higher-quality video image. On top of these essential effects, YouCam also includes hundreds of fun animated emojis and filters you can add to your feed for more engaging webcam recording sessions.
Best of all, YouCam is incredibly user-friendly, even if you have no experience using webcam software. The software features clearly labeled tools and an easy-to-navigate interface. If you ever have any questions about using a specific effect, you can find free tutorials on the YouCam learning website.
Download YouCam for free today to begin using these impressive features in your next webcam session.
2. Windows Camera - Simplest Software
Overall Rating: 4/5
- User-friendly interface
- Helpful camera resolution and quality features
- Automatic stitching and backup
Windows Camera is a camera software compatible with Windows devices, including PCs and tablets. This software lets you take photos and videos using your device’s webcam, making it easy to snap quick photos while at work or during a gaming session.
This software is an excellent addition to your arsenal if you plan to take photos and videos on your laptop or tablet. Windows Camera can allow you to stitch video clips automatically, use photo timers, back up your photos to OneDrive, scan documents, and even utilize digital video stabilization features.
While Windows Camera can allow you to take high-quality photos and record videos with your webcam, it does not have any live streaming capabilities. As a result, this camera app won’t improve your video quality while video conferencing or live streaming video.
3. NVIDIA Broadcast - Best AI-Enhanced Software
Image from XOER
Overall Rating: 4/5
- Camera, microphone, and speaker quality enhancements
- AI-powered automatic visual adjustments
- Virtual background effects
NVIDIA Broadcast is a powerful tool that can allow you to step up your video streaming and conferencing game. This program includes tools to enhance your video, microphone, and speaker quality, allowing you to create an all-around first-rate experience for viewers and coworkers.
In terms of webcam tools, NVIDIA includes several impressive options to enhance your video quality and engagement. For example, you can automatically remove visual noise, seamlessly apply virtual backgrounds, automatically frame yourself as you move throughout the camera’s range, and more.
However, one of NVIDIA Broadcast’s most significant downsides is its compatibility. You must have an RTX graphics card to operate this program on your computer. These cards can be pricey, so adding NVIDIA Broadcast to your toolset may get expensive if you don’t already have one.
4. Logitech Capture - Best All-In-One Software
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
Overall Rating: 4/5
- Multi-source recording
- Studio-style controls
- Camera customization
Logitech Capture is a free webcam software you can use alongside a Logitech webcam. This software allows you to make live adjustments to your video feed, making it ideal for live streaming and video conferencing. However, it also includes editing features and tools akin to video editing software, providing an all-in-one video-capturing experience.
This program allows you to record multiple sources, enabling picture-in-picture or side-by-side displays. You can efficiently utilize Logitech Capture as your camera source while streaming to Youtube, Twitch, and Facebook Live via OBS Studio. In addition, you can apply live text overlays while streaming, then add studio-style effects after you finish recording.
However, Logitech Capture’s capabilities are limited in live streaming features and effects. You’ll also need to use this program alongside a Logitech webcam.
5. Webcam Toy - Best Browser-Based
Image from Chrome Extensions
Compatibility: Online browsers
Overall Rating: 3/5
- 80+ fun photo effects
- Simple interface
- Browser-based compatibility
Webcam Toy is a simple, user-friendly webcam software that allows you to edit photos you’ve taken with your computer’s webcam. This program is browser-based, so you won’t need to download any software to utilize its features. Instead, you’ll simply need to allow the website to use your computer’s camera, then begin snapping and editing photos instantly.
Webcam Toy includes over 80 filters and effects that you can apply to your webcam photos. You can add retro filters, change the coloring and lighting, create a vintage appearance, make collages of four images, and more. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to streamline your photo-capturing process.
While WebCam Toy features an extensive range of photo effects, it does not have any video or live-streaming features. As a result, this webcam software will only suit your needs if you limit your webcam use to capture images.
Best Webcam Software Comparison Chart
Easy to Learn
Animated Emojis and Text
Beauty Touch Up Tools
Other Key Features
Compatibility with popular streaming services; video effect filters; face login; business presentation recording;
|OS||Windows||Windows||Windows||Windows and Mac||Online browsers|
|Easy to Learn||Yes||Yes||Semi||Yes||Yes|
|Animated Emojis and Text||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Beauty Touch Up Tools||Yes||No||Some||No||No|
|Other Key Features||Compatibility with popular streaming services; video effect filters; face login; business presentation recording;||Automatic video stitching; video timer; automatic backup to OneDrive; video quality optimization; scanning features||Artificial intelligence tools; background removal; visual noise removal; automatic framing||Multi-source recording; camera customization; auto-focus; live text overlays||80+ fun photo effects|
How to Use a Webcam Software
The best webcam software are incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate, making them accessible even if you’ve never used a webcam program before. If you’re wondering how to use YouCam to take photos and videos with your webcam, you can follow these steps:
- Click Start in the bottom left corner of your screen, then select YouCam in the menu.
- In the software, you will see various buttons and tools. Click the Snapshot button to capture a photo with your webcam.
- If you’d like to record a video through YouCam, click Capture. Once you’re finished recording, click Stop.
- If you’d like to use YouCam as a screen recorder, click the Desktop icon.
Specify whether you would like the program to capture the entire screen or a fixed area.
Alternatively, if you’d like to use YouCam with a video call program like Skype or YouTube Live, you can follow these steps:
- Begin a new video call in your desired program, such as Skype, Zoom, Facebook Live, etc.
- Access your settings for the video conferencing program.
- Select CyberLink YouCam 9 as your webcam in the drop-down menu rather than your computer’s built-in webcam.
- Save your changes.
- Open YouCam and select any effects or features you would like to apply to your camera feed. Your video will reflect these changes within your streaming software.
YouCam’s intuitive interface makes it easy to become familiar with its tools and feel confident using its features to your fullest advantage.
Best Webcam Software for Free
Your computer’s built-in webcam software probably does not contain all the features you need to optimize your photos, videos, and streams. Instead, utilizing a high-quality webcam software for streaming and video conferencing can allow you to enhance your video quality and make your videos look more engaging and professional.
While all of the software on our list include high-tech features that can improve your camera quality, our top choice overall is YouCam. YouCam features a range of live video effects that you can apply to your webcam videos while streaming or video chatting. You can use this free software to enhance your appearance, improve your video quality, use fun animated emojis, add animated text, and more.
Download YouCam today to try these game-changing webcam features for yourself.
Webcam Software FAQ
1. What Features Should I Look For in a Webcam Software?
The top ten features you should look for are:
- A user-friendly interface
- Real-time video effects
- Animated, fun text tools
- Makeup and beautifying effects
- Compatibility with most webcams
- Automatic brightness, contrast, and noise reduction adjustments
- Face login
- Picture-in-picture and side-by-side display options
- Frames and stickers
- Animated emojis
If you’re looking for a software that checks all of these boxes, we recommend YouCam.
2. Do I Need Software for Webcams?
You do not need to download external software to operate your computer’s webcam. However, utilizing webcam software can allow you to improve your webcam’s features and complete a range of other functions.
First, webcam software can allow you to make real-time adjustments to your video feed while streaming or conferencing with others. These effects are beneficial if you’re trying to increase your user engagement on streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live. Using webcam software tools can make your video feed more engaging and exciting, bringing in more viewers.
Additionally, the best webcam software can make your video feed look more professional while conferencing for work. You can add beautifying effects to touch up your appearance, brighten up the video quality, add text with your name and work title, and more.
These programs can also be helpful for photo and video capturing. If you take a lot of images using your webcam, you can use webcam software to improve your image quality and apply filters and effects to enhance your photos.
Best of all, the webcam programs on our list are all free to download. As a result, there’s no real reason not to use these programs to your advantage.
3. What Is the Best Webcam?
While most modern laptops come with a built-in camera, in many cases, this camera is relatively low-quality with a poor frame rate. If you use your webcam frequently, you may want to invest in an external webcam that provides better quality and speed.
The top five webcams are:
- Logitech C922
- Poly Studio P5
- Logitech Brio
- Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
- Razer Kiyo Pro
4. How Do I Use a DSLR as a Webcam?
If you’d rather not use your computer’s built-in webcam, you can also use a DSLR camera as a webcam.
DSLR cameras typically offer much better resolution and video quality than built-in webcams.
Additionally, if you already have a DSLR on hand, you won’t need to waste money purchasing a webcam as well.
Thankfully, using a DSLR as a webcam isn’t too complicated. Many DSLR cameras come with free software that you can use to transform your camera into a webcam.
However, if you do not have this software, you can instead use a video capture device to connect your camera to your computer.
Here are the steps to follow to use your DSLR as a webcam with a video capture device:
- Connect your DSLR to your computer using a USB cable, HDMI cable, or via a video capture device.
- Open your desired webcam or streaming program and navigate its settings.
- Select your DSLR as your camera in the settings.
Need more assistance? Check out How to Use DSLR as a Webcam.