Now, you don’t really need a 4K webcam, since Skype and most other online video conferencing services don’t support that high a resolution. But the Logitech Brio ($199) is there for the future, when 4K streaming will be the norm thanks to ultra-fast Internet connections. Logitech calls the Brio the ultimate webcam, and given its unparalleled resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), support for Windows Hello facial recognition login, and dual microphones, it’s hard to argue. We made it our top pick for a webcam because it is well worth the high price.
In the box, you get a 4.9-foot USB 3.0-USB-C cable, which is all you need for full 4K. Also included is a cloth carrying bag in case you want to take the webcam with you to enhance a remote system or a laptop’s inferior webcam. note that Windows 8 and 10 natively support USB 3.0, but Windows 7 does not. Windows 8 and 10 natively support USB 3.0, but Windows 7 does not. Therefore, if you are using Windows 7, you will need to download the drivers for your USB 3.0 hardware.
Logitech would like you to think that 4K is the main feature here, but in many ways, it is not. That’s because while the camera can record in Ultra HD, there are few video chat and conferencing apps that can take full advantage of it. For example, “Zoom” cannot handle 4K, and neither can “FaceTime. And even with Logitech’s own video capture app, the Mac Mini (Intel Core i7) could not smoothly record 4K video with its performance.
More important here is the Logitech Brio’s HDR feature. This helps balance shadows and highlights, effectively tackle the harsh light of nearby windows, and generally improve the video quality of the call; the three viewing angle options (90°, 78°, 65°) are also much appreciated, and the dual omni-directional microphones also help improve call quality. Unless you are already using an external microphone, you will probably find that this improves your audio over your computer’s built-in microphone.
Exposure is generally best around -5 or -6, with -5 being brighter but -6 being less blurry; -4 will not yield a usable image because the shutter speed is too slow and the frame rate is effectively reduced. The -7 is almost too dark except during the day when there is a large amount of studio lighting. Gain (light sensitivity) of 0 is best whenever possible to minimize image graininess. In some cases, however, it may be turned up a bit, to a maximum of 20.