With laptops ubiquitous and desktop monitors often coming with one built in, the idea of buying a stand-alone webcam became unusual, even rustic. Then the Covid pandemic struck and everyone started working from home, creating a surprise demand for higher-quality portable cameras that don't break the bank and just work. The webcam, writes Sam Byford, is the gadget of the year.
The first sign something was up was the March-April run on external webcams, where they became impossible to find online without jacked-up prices at a time when most brick-and-mortar retailers were closed. Logitech told The Verge it was ramping up production to meet demand and reporting gray market resellers who'd been selling products on for profit. The situation settled down as the year went on, and it's easier to get hold of one today, but my guess is you might see a bunch more videoconferencing products announced at CES next month than normal.
The Logitech C920 [Amazon], pictured here, is the one to get.