Logitech Brio Stream Webcam Review | digital camera world
For many, the webcam tucked into the lid of their laptop will be enough for the occasional Zoom meeting or family FaceTime catch-up. But the resolution and overall video quality of these tiny cameras are often below average, falling short of what we’re used to from our smartphones.
And for those using a desktop computer with a monitor, chances are you don’t have a webcam at all, or at least not one at an appropriate height for all your Microsoft Teams meetings. A proper webcam, like this Logitech Brio Stream 4K edition, might be the answer.
As the name suggests, this is a high-end webcam capable of 4K resolution and with the promise of improved audio too.
Specifications Logitech Brio Stream
Resolution: Up to 4K
Field of view: Up to 90 degrees
Frame rate: Up to 60 fps
digital zoom: 5x
Built-in microphone: Yes, stereo, dual omnidirectional
Privacy cover: Yes
Link: USB-C to USB-A
Cable length: 2.2m
Weight: 63g (camera), 44g (clip)
Logitech wants you to believe that 4K is the biggest feature here, but in many ways, that’s not the case. That’s simply because, although the camera can record in Ultra HD, few video chat and conferencing apps can make the most of it. Zoom can’t handle 4K, for example, and neither can FaceTime. Additionally, we couldn’t record 4K video smoothly using Logitech’s own video capture app, as our Mac Mini (Intel Core i7) wasn’t up to snuff.
More important here are Logitech Brio’s HDR capabilities, which help balance out shadows and highlights, effectively combat harsh light from a nearby window, and generally improve the video quality of your call. . The three field-of-view options (90, 78, and 65 degrees) are also welcome, and the dual omnidirectional microphones also helped improve our call quality. Unless you’re already using an external mic, this will likely result in an audio improvement over your computer’s built-in mic.
The Logitech Brio Stream is compatible with Windows Hello, as it is smart enough to tell the difference between a person and a photo of them. As such, it can be used to unlock your Windows computer when it recognizes your face.
Finally, the Brio Stream lives up to its name thanks to the inclusion of a 12-month free premium trial of XSplit, the video streaming and recording app.
Logitech Brio vs. Brio Stream
The Brio Stream is almost identical to the standard Logitech Brio webcam, but there are some small differences in their capabilities. The Brio Stream only offers two video quality options: 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps. However, the standard Brio adds 30fps and 90fps options for 1080p, giving content creators more options should they need it.
Logitech also says that the Brio Stream is optimized to produce a consistent frame rate wherever possible, with the aim of keeping your live streams nice and smooth, and only the Brio Stream comes with the XSplit Premium License of 12 month.
Build and manipulate
The hardware quality of this webcam is really a game of two. The camera itself looks and feels good; well made and sleek enough to be left in plain view on a monitor. But the stand, and in particular the privacy cover, are less impressive.
The monitor mount offers a fair amount of vertical adjustment, as you’ll probably want the camera pointing down a bit if it’s sitting on a large screen. But it’s not particularly appealing, and while it allows the webcam to sit on monitors of varying thickness, it’s just a bit odd.
We can live with it, unlike the lens cover, which is a lot like an afterthought. Wrapping awkwardly and not too securely around the front of the webcam, it’s probably best to leave the removable cover in the box and never use it – unless company policy mandates a lid in place, of course. Useful, a bright LED signals when the camera is on and helps alleviate privacy concerns.
The camera has a USB-C port and is powered by an included USB-C to USB-A cable.
As we touched on earlier, 4K video quality is largely wasted here, given the lack of support from most video chat and conferencing platforms. And only those with sufficiently powerful computers will be able to record 4K videos properly. Instead, we were happy to stick with HD and enjoy the camera’s excellent HDR control, with the company’s RightLight 3 technology and smooth frame rate up to 90 fps.
The webcam is fully plug-and-play with Mac and PC, so there’s no need to install any software to make it work. However, it is worth installing Logitune for quick access to camera settings, and Logitech Capture if you plan to record a video using the webcam. These are both free for Mac and PC.
Logitech Brio stream: Verdict
Forking out £220 for a webcam is a big investment, especially when many of us already have a webcam in the lid of our laptop. However, for those who want the best quality for their calls, with the ability to record HD or (pending computing performance) 4K video, the Logitech Brio delivers.
Far from the questionable need for 4K streaming, the Brio won us over with its excellent HDR, smooth frame rate, ease of use and good audio quality. The hardware is generally good, although the monitor mount is a bit odd and the lens cover feels like a poorly executed afterthought. But the camera itself is good, and there’s even a tripod thread if you want to get creative with how it’s mounted.
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