When it comes to webcams for desktops, most of us likely want something that does one task, and one task only: capture a video image. We don’t care all that much about the image quality, although perhaps we don’t want the webcam to look all too clunky on top of our monitor. Today, Logitech announced BRIO – a 4K webcam for those of us who do care. The webcam is also known as the Logitech 4K Pro Webcam, and with it Logitech is stepping away from numbered product names for webcams such as the C920 or C930e, which didn’t give consumers much insight about the product.
What Can This Thing Do?
The Logitech 4K Pro Webcam comes with a 13-megapixel sensor that can stream, you guessed it, a 4K image, although you’ll be hard-pressed to find applications that support live 4K streaming for conferencing. Fortunately, the webcam comes with a heap of features beyond just a 4K resolution that make it interesting. For starters, aboard is a second infrared LED and sensor, which paired with the primary sensor and some software trickery makes the webcam Windows Hello certified, meaning you can use it for facial recognition as a login securely – the infrared sensor ensures that “hackers” won’t be able to login to your system by holding your family portraits in front of it. Allegedly, Microsoft even claims that the system is so accurate that identical twins won’t be able to log into each other’s systems.
Logitech Rightlight 3 and HDR ensure that the lighting will look notably better than most webcams in bright or high-contrast situations, and due to the large sensor, users can opt to adjust the viewing angle to 65-degree, 78-degree, and 90-degree fields of view. 4K streaming works at 30FPS, whereas the webcam can stream 1080p at 60FPS and even 720p at 90FPS. However, the 4K functionality only works when the webcam is plugged into a USB 3.0 port. It also comes with a 5x zoom feature with which it can stream a 1080p image zoomed in 5x without any upscaling.
Physically, the webcam comes not only with a standard adjustable clip you can use to place it atop your monitor, but also a tripod thread, privacy shutter, and a USB Type-C connector at the rear. Included with it is a USB Type-C to a USB 3.0 Type-A connector.
Is This The 4K Webcam You're Looking For?
If by now you’re asking yourself the above question, chances are that the 4K Pro Webcam is not for you. However, Logitech is targeting YouTube streamers that want an easy step up in video quality, as well as business users that need the additional security: the facial recognition may be highly valuable in certain branches and customs, and the background replacement or background blur may be useful in offices where sensitive information might be in sight. Currently, the background replacement feature isn’t quite 100%, but Logitech is working on improving it, and indicated that it's experimenting with the use of the IR sensor to improve the background/subject separation.
The Logitech 4K Pro Webcam is available immediately from Logitech directly if you absolutely have to have it today, and will be coming to e- and retailers over the coming weeks. Pricing sits at $199 in the U.S. and €239 in Europe.