Lumina webcam review: A sleek 4K upgrade
“The Lumina webcam is a sleek, compact webcam with excellent 4K image quality.”
Beautiful design and color options
Small and light
Crisp and well-balanced image quality
Companion app still in beta
Important Mac apps are not fully compatible
The Lumina Webcam is an original and stylish webcam with AI-powered features meant to bring a DSLR experience to the home or office.
While many computer built-in webcams are infamous for being grainy and dim, the Lumina excels at boosting webcam quality to 4K even at its most basic settings.
At $250 (currently $200), it’s quite pricey and some of the bonus features feel half-baked. But this little webcam just might have the polish and image quality to make up for it.
Amazon and other online retailers are inundated with webcams, but many of them look very similar. Bulky and ugly are the name of the game.
But the Lumina webcam breaks the mould. This compact and beautiful device would pair perfectly with a MacBook or a modern Windows laptop. This is especially true of the rThe ose gold model I reviewed, which really stands out from the standard lackluster webcams you can buy. Other color options include silver, atomic gray and gold.
The matte finish has just enough shine, and the two “Lumina” logos on each side do not get in the way. Then there’s the lens, on the left side, electric lighting and speakers on either side.
The Lumina’s design is overall minimalist at 3.5 ounces (100 grams) and 22 x 22 x 70 millimeters. It has a compact, curved rectangular shape and is made of aerospace-grade aluminum. Its black computer stand matches well with my rugged all-black laptop. You can easily replace the accessory with a tripod mount, but this feature is not included.
The supplied cord is USB-C, but the webcam also supports USB 2.0. The feature is definitely ideal when the webcam is plugged directly into your machine. I happen to have a USB hub and wireless mouse that take up a lot of my limited I/O space, so there were a lot of plugging and unplugging needed to use this device. For me it wasn’t too much of a hassle, but it’s something to keep in mind if you use your webcam frequently. Be prepared to have a dedicated port for your Lumina or unplug other devices to make room for your webcam.
The Lumina comes with a magnetic privacy cover that matches the look of the body and is intended to flip back when not in use and flip forward over the lens to hide the lens. camera if needed. This makes it quite inconspicuous, but I consider it an accessory that can always be misplaced if not handled properly.
The Lumina also includes a color card with a QR code on it in the box. The idea? You purchase a Lumina webcam, then place an onboarding call to have an official representative walk you through setting up and calibrating your camera. It doesn’t seem very useful, and it wasn’t currently available anyway.
The Lumina camera features a 4K 5-element f/2.0 glass lens with a 24.84mm² sensor and a customizable field of view between 65 degrees and 95 degrees. Some of the features highlighted by Lumina include active color grading and “adjustable AI cameraman”.
Many of these features are accessible within the Lumina app; however, as I said, I was unable to test the active color calibration. Typically, you hold the color map in the app preview window to automatically adjust to aspects like skin tone, lighting, texture, etc., to achieve a ideal video shooting.
The AI Cameraman includes some configurations in the advanced settings that control the AI tracking feature on the Lumina webcam. Options include zoom, speed, x-offset, and y-offset. Another cool advanced feature is the curve lift, which really brings out the detail in very textured hair.
Two camera settings are available, the Lumina Raw and the Lumina Plus. The Lumina Plus camera requires a product key to unlock during software installation, but once accessed you can switch between the two cameras, in addition to your standard computer camera, at will. The Lumina Plus camera is the full-featured setting, giving you access to image enhancements, zoom, and more.
The Lumina Raw setting is just what it sounds like. The lens itself and nothing more. The addition of the Raw setting is nice, especially when trying to figure out just how good this camera really is, outside of all the software editing and optimization.
You can also play around with the Lumina app settings privately, using the retractable open preview option, or live over a video chat in your app of choice.
While the Lumina webcam supports both Windows and Mac, there are many varied application compatibilities between the two cameras and the two operating systems.
For example, the list of apps compatible with the Lumina Raw camera includes Zoom, Google Meet, OBS, Webex by Cisco, Skype, Discord, Microsoft Teams, Slack, FaceTime, QuickTime Player, Photo Booth, iMovie, Ecamm Live, mmhmm, Loom , Riverside.fm, WhatsApp, BlueJeans and StreamYard. That’s a solid amount of apps, and these are all available for Mac and Windows.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Lumina Plus, things get much more complicated. The Lumina Plus camera for Mac is compatible with Zoom, Google Meet, OBS, Cisco Webex, Skype, Ecamm Live, mmhmm, Riverside.fm, BlueJeans and StreamYard. There are a few notable holes here, including Teams, Discord, Slack, and FaceTime.
Lumina Plus has better compatibility for Windows apps, but as it stands, it lacks far too many important apps on the Mac side.
Despite the nuances between camera settings and operating systems, video quality is where the Lumina webcam shines. I tested the webcam connected to a Panasonic Toughbook Windows laptop. Although it’s only HD resolution, it offers solid image quality for an internal webcam of this type.
However, once I started testing the Lumina webcam, I really started to see the differences. I particularly noted the halo effect I got from my ring light, which is apparent in the image on my HD web camera.
With the Lumina webcam, my screenshots are much more consistent no matter how I switched the camera from Raw to Plus or changed the settings. Below I’ve included an image where I’ve adjusted zoom and blur, and another where I’ve played with blue and red lighting, as well as saturation, and there’s nothing to indicate that I have additional insight into the background.
Similar to a DSLR camera, the Lumina Raw camera has the most basic settings, while the Lumina Plus camera already has some tweaks added to create typical ideal settings without calibration. Anyway, the Lumina webcam performed at a high level of quality and left me very impressed.
During my consultation, I was recommended some hue and saturation adjustments, in addition to the curve lift function, instead of the AI calibration, to highlight my skin tone and the texture of my hair.
With a few tweaks, I was able to get a really clear and complementary image. Don’t get me wrong – right out of the box, the Lumina camera looks great. But with a little time, you can really take the imagery to another level that is well personalized for your particular face.
The Lumina camera goes in the direction of many gadgets, blending high-tech features with a sleek and stylish design. It’s great that the camera quality stands out well, even before considering the app. Often these features can be overlooked by those who are not keen. However, taking advantage of all the settings and services offered by Lumina with its webcam can only improve the user experience.
Are there alternatives?
the Logitech Brio would be a decent alternative as a popular and well-reviewed 4K webcam in the industry. It is also priced at $200; however, it’s been on the market long enough to start seeing discounts. the Logitech C920x Pro HD The webcam is not 4K, but is priced affordably at $70 and is also highly recommended.
How long will it last?
The Lumina webcam comes with a 14-day observation period, during which it can be exchanged or returned, and also has a one-year warranty, under which the brand will support you in the event of a incident within reason. Its aluminum construction must be durable enough to withstand a long service life of several years. A benefit of its beta status is that the developers are constantly working on the software and trying to get feedback. Users are encouraged to reach out.
Should I buy it?
At $250, the Lumina webcam is definitely a splurge. The webcam is currently marketed at a sale price of $199but it’s unclear how long the sale will last.
I say buy it if you have a solid goal, such as consistent streaming or remote work that requires you to play your absolute A-game all the time. The video quality alone is enough to say yes, but only as long as the price keeps up with the competition.