The pandemic may be easing in many places, and the best webcams may mostly be back in stock, but that’s not stopping Lenovo from releasing two new 1080p webcams to cash in on the work from home trend. Of course, with mainstays like the Logitech C920 easily available again, these cameras are going to need plenty of special features to compete. However, the Lenovo LC50 Monitor Webcam and MC50 Monitor Webcam are both so special that they’re unlikely to have very broad appeal.
Both of these webcams shoot at 1080p @ 30 fps, have a 4x digital zoom and come with two built-in noise cancelling microphones. They also both use autofocus and have a 90 degree field of view. But that’s all normal. It’s in how they’re built where you start to see just how these webcams stand out, both from each other and the competition.
First, both webcams have privacy shutters, a standard feature for Lenovo’s laptop webcams, but less common on standalone cameras. They also both have fairly generous tilt and swivel functionality. They tilt 30 degrees up and down and swivel 45 degrees side to side. They also each have lights that turn on when they’re recording (which Lenovo touts as a unique feature but is actually a fairly common inclusion). What’s special is in how these cameras physically attach to your monitor.
The LC50 connects to monitors magnetically, while the MC50 uses a special rail system that can be locked with an external key to keep your webcam from being stolen. But while these features provide extra utility, they also severely limit which monitors you can use these webcams with. Magnets definitely won’t attach to any of the monitors in my home office, and the MC50’s rail has to have a Lenovo monitor to attach to.
There’s also the question of how useful locking your webcam to your monitor is in preventing theft. I suppose stealing a whole monitor from the office might be more conspicuous than just stealing a webcam?
Regardless, it’s encouraging to see companies experimenting with a method of mounting external webcams that doesn’t require the typical, always clumsy feet method. Lenovo expects to launch the LC50 Monitor webcam for $79 starting this September, and the MC50 Monitor webcam for $99 sometime in Q3 of this year.