Redragon’s engineers have a reputation among the Tom’s Hardware staff for being budget wizards, offering some of the best wireless mouse and best wireless keyboard options for cheap. But their summoning circle might have been somewhat incomplete with the Redragon GW800 Hitman webcam. At an asking price of $45, there’s definitely some confidence at play here in giving this camera a Razer-like name in “Hitman.” But despite a 1080p resolution, only about half of this assassin’s headshots turned out to be worth sharing.
There truly must have been dark magic at work here, because while this camera impresses in dim rooms, it suffers when brought into the light, making it hard for this discount shooter to compete with the best webcams like the 1080p Logitech c920, despite its lower cost.
Redragon GW800 Hitman
The Redragon HW800 Hitman’s black magic isn’t quite apparent in ideal lighting conditions,so it might not make the best first impression. While there’s very little grain apparent in the shots taken with the Redragon cam, my background appears darker than you’d expect, given that I have an open window right next to me, Additionally, my face appears like someone applied a smoothing brush to it in Photoshop. There’s also artifacting on my hair, teeth and fingers. Oddly enough, however, background elements seem to have deep, rich colors.
Meanwhile, the Logitech C920, which we consider the best webcam for most, shows my room properly lit and my face in full detail without any smoothing or artifacting. You lose out on some background image quality, but your background usually isn’t where you want people to focus when using a webcam.
Redragon GW800 Hitman
In lower light, with my curtains drawn and all external light sources turned off except for my computer monitor, the HW800 Hitman stood on more even ground with the Logitech C920. Most of the artifacting from the previous round of shots is gone, and a lot of detail has returned to my face. The background still has a cool, dim tone, but that’s reflective of what I was seeing in real life.
By contrast, in the images taken with the Logitech C920, my room looks far more well-lit than what I saw with my own eyes, and I lost some detail on my face. You can see the individual strands of my hair well enough (I miss haircuts), but blur wasn’t uncommon across the photos I took in the dim room.
The C920 also introduced grain across my background, which normally wouldn’t be too much of a problem if my face stood out more. With there also being lesser image quality on my face though, the background grain became far more noticeable. The shots I took with the C920 still weren’t bad, but they weren’t twice as good as the HW800 Hitman’s, like the price suggests.
Redragon GW800 Hitman
I also tested the Redragon GW800 Hitman in an overexposed environment, where I point my camera directly at my window. I don’t normally expect high quality photos here but, rather, use it as an opportunity to test the camera’s priorities when exposed to heavy light. What I got with the HW800 Hitman was almost the exact opposite of what I saw on the C920.
A lot of webcams tend to shroud my face in darkness in this test, as well as depict the world outside my window as a big white blur. The HW800 Hitman did only the former, while the C920 did only the latter.
Being able to render so much of my background when shooting out of a window is impressive; although, a filming environment like this would still be useless if you’re planning to telecommute or stream with the HW800 Hitman. The C920’s priorities are better-placed in this scenario; although, your coworkers might be curious why you’re streaming from what looks like the inside of a white void.
Build Quality of the Redragon GW800 Hitman
Build quality is where the Redragon GW800 Hitman impresses most, but its design has issues too.
The plastic casing feels lightweight, and there are some unnecessary additions to the visual design that impact what would otherwise be a sleek image. Still, its mount is plenty configurable, its cord is long and the faux wood paneling on its metal front plate does a great job of making it look more expensive than it actually is.
While the HW800 Hitman’s cord doesn’t quite reach the lengths of the Logitech C920, it does hit about 60 inches when pulled taut, which was more than enough for me to plug it into pretty much any port on my computer. That’s not a luxury I’ve had on every webcam I’ve reviewed, and it went a long way toward building some goodwill.
As for the camera itself, almost every aspect of its design comes across as professional, but there are a few superfluous design elements that don’t mesh with everything else. That logo’s a touch extreme for me, even if I do love the rectangular body and the faux wooden lining on the metal front plate.
There are also two LEDs in the bottom-right corner, one that’s on as long as the camera is plugged in (even when your computer is asleep) and one that only turns on when recording. I’m not sure the always-on LED is necessary, and I can see it getting annoying.
All of that could possibly be forgiven in light of the Hitman’s HW800 mobility, however. The camera itself can swivel a full 360 degrees and tilt up to 45 degrees downward. Combine that with the flexible monitor mount, and you can make for some pretty wacky shooting setups.
The monitor mount attaches snugly to the top of any monitor and also has a tripod screw slot on the bottom. Further, Redragon includes a small, foldable lip on the HW800 Hitman’s lower section that lets you easily stand the camera upright when folded completely outwards.
This makes shooting on a table or from your desk easy and can be a boon for streamers who want to show their hands or equipment when playing. You can achieve the same effect by buying a small webcam tripod, but it can be difficult to find one that’s tall enough for every desk.
Special Features on the Redragon GW800 Hitman
The Redragon GW800 Hitman lacks special features, instead focusing purely on its mount and 1080p resolution camera. It does include a built-in microphone, which performed about as well as what you’ll find on the Logitech C920. That’s not a ringing endorsement; the microphone is prone to picking up background noise, peaks easily and tends to produce fuzzy audio. That’s not uncommon, even for webcams above $100 price, but I’d recommend using a separate microphone with the HW800 Hitman (check out our best gaming microphones page for recommendations).
Video tended to produce the same kind of fidelity as in my above photos, but the framerate kept up with sudden movements and the artifacting was less noticeable in motion.
The HW800 Hitman also comes with a small microfiber cloth for cleaning its lens, which is a nice touch.
The Redragon GW800 Hitman promises a mostly sleek image, and, in many aspects, it delivers. Its picture quality in low light is arguably better than our leading 1080p webcam, the Logitech C920, and that’s not an easy task. It’s also easy to shoot from a variety of angles with the HW800 Hitman, thanks to a flexible mount and plenty of tilting and swivel options. Plus, it tends to have little grain on its shots, which is uncommon for its $45 price.
Still, image quality lacks under what I would normally consider ideal lighting conditions and is prone to artifacting and smoothed out texture. It also completely encases my face in shadow under heavy light, which points to a problem with environments that aren’t dark in general. This is to be expected from a budget camera, but it’s a shame that Redragon couldn’t live up to its budget wizard reputation.
The quality here is still better than what we’ve found on other 1080p webcams in this price range, including some that have made our best webcams list. Colors are richer than that of the Amcrest 1080p, and there’s no fish-eye effect, like what I found on the PQ Labs webcam. The Aukey 1080p webcam generally has higher fidelity than the HW800 Hitman but also has a wide angle that might show off too much background for some.
If you work from a somewhat dark room or just need a lot of potential shooting angles, the Redragon GW800 might be a solid choice for you. Just don’t expect it to feel like it cost $80.