At last, Logitech has announced a new webcam that brings easy 1080p60 and 4K30 capture to PCs.
The consumer-oriented 4K Pro and the business-oriented Brio (yes, the consumer one has the “Pro” branding and the business one has the consumer-friendly “Brio” name; don’t ask us why) are identical USB webcams. Both webcams offer 4K video, dual microphones, and infrared sensing for $199. The only difference between the model names? The cable they come with; the camera end is USB Type-C, the other end varies.
Webcam technology has been stagnant for many, many years. A few integrated cameras have offered high resolution stills, especially those in tablets. But for the most part, they’ve been stuck at 1920×1080—at a measly 30 frames a second—with even five-year-old cameras being “state of the art.” This sorry state of affairs has existed even while small cameras themselves have become substantially better, thanks to the front and rear cameras installed into every smartphone.
Standalone webcams are also arguably more relevant than ever, thanks to the proliferation of video-game streaming. Many streamers like to appear on-screen, and, since most video gaming isn’t done on laptops, the integrated cameras that most laptops sport these days are irrelevant. Standalone cameras are where it’s at.
The Brio/4K Pro at last provide a solution for consumers looking for something better. One imagines the Brio/4K Pro will find significant interest among game streamers and pornographers alike. The infrared sensor means that the cameras also support Windows Hello facial recognition authentication. It can also be used for background deletion/replacement (virtual green screen), which is again popular among game streamers. The camera has an HDR mode, which should make for better-looking video conferencing, especially when you’re sitting in front of a window. The camera also has a physical privacy shutter.
The Brio is available now, whereas the 4K Pro is available to pre-order.