Logitech’s brought out a new 4K webcam called the Brio, and it goes for about $200. It’s quite a step up from the ~$100 former top-of-the-line Logitech C930e that I’ve been using for a couple of years. Here’s some sample comparison photos:
Bright Light Comparison Photos
My back wall is painted chroma key blue, and in these shots I’ve got a CowboyStudio light kit turned on in front of me.
The new Brio 4K captures good details, whereas the C930e blows out all the details in a smear of white. The Brio also has the same wide field of view (seems even a little wider) than the C930e, too – much wider than normal webcams.
Medium Light Comparison Photos
In this set, I have the room lights off, and only one of the CowboyStudio lights on, further away from me:
Again, the C930e just can’t deal with head-on lights. If the room isn’t lit perfectly evenly, it has a really hard time with highlights.
The Brio has it much easier, but note how much the background paint changes in color. It’s all over the place with the Brio.
Low Light Comparison Photos
In this set, the CowboyStudio lights are completely off, and the only light is the overhead ceiling fan light.
The Brio 4K manages to capture more details, but notice how the color’s just gone from the background wall.
For comparison, here’s the low-light setup using an iPhone 7 Plus:
So in summary, the Brio gets way more detail in medium & strong light, but when it comes to low light, it’s still bested by a camera phone.
The medium & bright light results are so good, though, that I’d strongly recommend the Logitech Brio. (Strongly enough that we just got ’em for the company staff, too.) Shipping dates are already slipping on it – I bet enough people like me were frustrated with the crappy-cameraphone performance of all the other webcams out there.
About My Office Video Setup
If you read this far, you’re probably interested in the other gear I use these days:
The Focusrite Scarlett lets you plug pro microphones into your computer with USB. For a microphone, I use this, but fair warning, it ain’t cheap:
The ElectroVoice RE20 lets me get right up on top of it without a noise filter, and the bass sounds fantastic. Really gives you a lot more presence than the cheesy microphones that come built into webcams & computers.
Cowboy Studio lighting kit is a great price for 3 lights, tripods, and umbrellas. They’re not spectacularly robust, but I don’t take them out of the house, so it’s not a big deal. I put one on either side of my desk, and then when I’m doing green-screen techniques, I use one to light up the wall and reduce shadows. This is important though:
LimoStudio 85W CFL bulbs – the bulbs included with the Cowboy Studio kit are alright, but in my new condo, I’ve got one wall of windows in my office. Despite thick blinds, I couldn’t light my office evenly, and these monster bulbs make all the difference. They don’t get hot when they’re on, either.
I put these over the lights to make it easier on my eyes:
Interesting. I wonder if this is why some of the shows on TV seem brighter and more vivid. I suspect they’re all moving to 4K cameras.
Yeah, everything’s moving to bigger sensors.
Yeah there was about the Marvel movies not having a true black, instead a dark gray (grey) – https://sploid.gizmodo.com/why-do-all-marvel-movies-look-kind-of-bad-1789290660 – that described something similar.
Brent are you using that just for streamed content or for recorded content edited later. Most of the people I have seen talking about 4k cameras are more excited about it for down sampling to 1080 with more control of color correction and digital manipulation.
Lol ure tarded if u dont know how cameras work u have to calibrate the image…. any camera can handle tons of light.
Heh – that’s only true if the image never changes. In a live webcast, where I hold up different pages and props with different colors…yeah. Not so much.
would you recommend the Logitech Brio over something like a GoPro Hero as a webcam? Or what would your choice be for optimal webcam?
Alexander – that’s a great question. I personally use the Brio even though I’ve got GoPros and HDMI/USB3 gear for two reasons: the Brio is simpler, and it has a nice monitor-friendly attachment. The GoPros are a little harder to attach to a monitor.
What is your setup for using other cameras as webcams? How can you attach a GoPro to a monitor?
David – I’ve blogged about that over here: http://ozarme.wpengine.com/2015/04/how-to-use-a-gopro-as-a-web-camera-skype/