Webcams are a hot item these days, and if your laptop’s built-in camera isn’t doing you any favors, Razer’s new Kiyo Pro promises to make you look good even in poor lighting.
The $ 200 Kiyo Pro targets popular premium webcams like Logitech’s Brio and SteamCam, among others, but it also has some major updates from Razer’s older webcam.
The biggest change is that, unlike the standard $ 100 Kiyo, the Kiyo Pro does not have a built-in light ring. Instead, Razer updated the Kiyo Pro with a larger 1 / 2.8-inch Full HD Sony Starvis CMOS rear-illuminated sensor, which has been adjusted to deliver improved image quality even in difficult conditions such as low light or a background. backlit. The ultimate goal of Kiyo Pro is to deliver solid image quality without the need for additional lighting.
The Kiyo Pro can capture video up to 1080p / 60fps or 1080p / 30fps with HDR to enhance color and exposure. The webcam also offers three fields of view: 80 degrees, 90 degrees, or 103 degrees. And for audio, the Kiyo Pro also comes with a 16-bit stereo mic with an omni-directional polar pattern, which seems fine for general use, but isn’t really meant to replace a high-quality external stand-up mic.
While I haven’t had a chance to fully test the Kiyo Pro yet, I must say that I like its design. It’s simple and surprisingly unobtrusive in a way that should work for gamers and home workers alike, and it comes with a detachable stand that can be used to hold the Kiyo Pro on a desk or on the back of a monitor. . I also appreciate that Razer has included two tripod mounts for flexibility: one at the bottom of the camera and one at the bottom of the detachable mount.
Razer even includes a plastic lens cover, which is nice, but I have to admit, it seems a bit like an afterthought. Unlike privacy shutters, which are becoming more and more common on new laptops, the Kiyo Pro’s cover is closer than what you’d get on a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and when you remove it, you don’t really there’s nowhere to store it, so it ends up being an added clutter on your desk. I wish Razer had made the cover so that it flips up or behind the camera when not in use.
The Kiyo video seemed to be a bit sharper and more colorful in my first tests than the Logitech Brio I’ve been using for the last year. Razer said it specifically designed the Kiyo Pro to handle more gamer-style environments, including RGB-lit setups, but I have not yet been able to compare the quality in several different lighting conditions.
Logitech still dominates when it comes to high-end webcams, but it’s good to see a competitive alternative from Razer. Many jobs are expected to go permanently to partial remote work after the pandemic, so it’s probably time that many people started considering upgrading from the panic placeholder devices they bought last year.
The Razer Kiyo Pro is available online today direct from Razer for $ 200, with additional availability from third-party retailers sometime before the end of the first quarter.