Webcams are a hot commodity these days, and if your laptop’s built-in camera does not give you any benefits, Razer’s new Kiyo Pro promises to look good even in low light.
The $ 200 Kiyo Pro is aimed at popular premium webcams such as Logitech’s Brio and SteamCam, but also has a few major upgrades from Razer’s older webcam.
The biggest change is that contrary to the standard $ 100 Kiyo, Kiyo Pro does not have a built-in ring light. Instead, the Razer Kiyo Pro upgraded with a larger 1 / 2.8-inch full HD CMOS Sony Starvis backlit sensor, which has been adjusted to provide improved image quality even in harsh conditions such as low light or backlit background. The goal for Kiyo Pro is to deliver solid image quality without the need for additional lighting.
Kiyo Pro can record video at up to 1080p / 60 fps or 1080p / 30fps with HDR for enhanced color and exposure. The webcam also has three fields of view: 80 degrees, 90, degrees or 103 degrees. And for sound, the Kiyo Pro also comes with a 16-bit stereo microphone with a directional polar pattern, which works well for general use, but is not really meant to replace a high-quality external tripod microphone.
Although I have not had a chance to test the Kiyo Pro completely yet, I must say that I like the design. It’s simple and surprisingly underrated in a way that should work for both players and people working from home, and it comes with a detachable stand that can be used to support the Kiyo Pro on a desk or on the back of a screen. I also appreciate that the Razer included two tripod mounts for extra flexibility: one on the bottom of the camera itself and another on the bottom of the detachable tripod.
Razer even throws in a plastic lens cover, which is nice, but I have to admit that it seems a bit like an afterthought. Unlike privacy shutters, which are becoming more common on new laptops, the Kiyo Pro cover is closer to what you would get on an SLR or mirrorless camera, and when you remove it, there is really no place to store it, so it ends up up to get extra clutter on your desktop. I wish Razer had made the cover so that it tilted up or behind the camera when not in use.
Video from Kiyo seemed to be a little sharper and more colorful in my early tests than the Logitech Brio I’ve used in the last year. Razer said that it specifically designed the Kiyo Pro to handle more gamer-style environments, including RGB lighting layouts, but I have not been able to compare quality across a variety of lighting conditions yet.
Logitech still dominates when it comes to advanced webcams, but it’s good to see a competitive alternative from Razer. Many jobs are expected to move permanently to partial external work after the pandemic, so it is probably time for many people to start considering upgrading from the panic holders they bought last year.
The Razer Kiyo Pro is available online today directly from Razer for $ 200, with additional availability from third-party retailers sometime before the end of Q1.