If a year of fuzzy lockdown video calls has left you wanting to upgrade your PC's webcam, Razer have just announced a new premium USB3 model with all the bells and whistles you could possibly ask for. Dubbed the Kiyo Pro, this webcam has an adaptive light sensor to keep it running at high resolutions and frame rates even in low lighting conditions, and combines a large 1/2.8 CMOS sensor with Sony's back-illuminated pixel tech Stravis to deliver uncompressed 1080p 60fps video, as well as 1080p 30fps video with HDR. It also has a wide-angle lens, giving you a range of FOV choices, as well as multiple mounting options so you can stick it on your monitor or use it with a tripod.
The choice of CMOS sensor is quite unusual for a gaming webcam. You normally only see them on digital cameras and the like, but the larger lens does bring some important benefits. It allows more light in, for starters, leading to a crisper, more defined image, and combining it with Sony's Stravis tech (which is often used in surveillance cameras thanks to its ability to pick up visible and near-infrared light regions) should mean you still get smooth, clear video footage even if your room's lighting is a bit dark and dingy, or you're a budding streamer and don't want to break the bank on expensive lights. The glass front, meanwhile, is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, making it extra resistant against bumps and scratches.
The Kiyo Pro is capable of producing uncompressed 1920x1080 video at 60fps, putting it up there with the very best webcams out there like Logitech's Streamcam, but I'm particularly intrigued by its built-in HDR feature. This only captures at 30fps, admittedly, but Razer say it can also correct under or over exposed areas on the fly, which eliminates the pesky problem of silhouetting if your light source is behind you. It also produces more vibrant colours and even lighting, which I can't help but feel has been designed solely with the idea of making sure your PC's RGB lighting bits and bobs can be shown off in all their rainbow-tastic glory without getting lost or blown out on-camera. Who could possibly say?
You can also choose from three different fields of view depending on how many people you need to fit in front of the Kiyo Pro: 80 degrees, 90 degrees or 103 degrees. Razer say the latter is designed for group calls, while the tighter 80 degree FOV is aimed at the usual tight, single-person headshots. It even has a built-in omni-directional microphone so it can pick up voices from multiple different angles, too.
Of course, at £200 / $200, it's pretty darn pricey, but with several high-end gaming webcams such as Logitech's C922 Pro HD still difficult to get hold of, Razer's Kiyo Pro could be just the ticket if you're after a do-it-all webcam for games and Zoom chats. It's available now from Razer's Store, and will be out before the end of March at other retailers.