I love my Logitech C920. Considered by many to be the go-to webcam for entry-level streamers, it delivers a lot of bang for your buck. However, its limitations became more obvious with time and knowledge. The camera needs a lot of light in order to squeeze out the most optimal image. Even with my studio lights, the picture still comes out a bit grainy when using my full-screen intermission scene on stream. The camera caps out at 1080p 30fps, which may be a hinderance for streamers or video creators in need of more visual fidelity. Also, when compared to higher-end DSLR cameras, the difference in quality is undeniable.
As much as I would love to upgrade to a DSLR setup, it’s quite the expensive path almost any way you slice it. Between the DSLR camera itself, an Elgato Cam Link or an equivalent signal adapter, a wall adapter for the camera, and a tripod or other mounting solution, the cost is orders of magnitude above any webcam. Add in additional lenses, and the sticker shock stings even more. Despite my desire to improve my image quality, I can’t justify spending upwards of $1,000 on a complete DSLR rig at this point in my streaming career.
By happenstance, I got the opportunity to test out the Logitech BRIO 4K Webcam. It became immediately apparent that this is the middle step I’ve been looking for.
The BRIO is Logitech’s most premium webcam to-date. At its ceiling, it can capture footage at a 4K resolution and at 30 frames per second. It can also do 1080p at 60 fps; something that the C920 is incapable of doing. Housed in a casing that’s a bit larger than a C920, it can still clip comfortably on most monitors. This one also features a detachable USB 3.0 cable, making it a bit easier to move or stow away.
At more than double the price, it’s almost a given that the BRIO would be better than a C920. But how much better? I put the two cameras to the test.
The first test I did was a direct side-by-side comparison. Both cameras are in 1080p, using default settings, and with the same lighting. Immediately, the difference is staggering. My C920 looks washed out, while the BRIO provides colour that is more vibrant and accurate.
After that, I did a test of the two cameras at full-width, flipping between the two. Again, the C920 looks incredibly washed out compared to the BRIO. Also, you can see more of the details in view, such as the details in my face and how I’m using black duct tape to hold my busted headset together. In retrospect, you could always see the tape, but it’s even more apparent with the BRIO. Note to self: get new headphones.
One more test between the two cameras. This time, it’s in my 720p streaming layout with all of the same colour correction settings. There were no noticeable differences in CPU performance, and the BRIO is still a cut above. However, the colour correction settings I use for the C920 make the BRIO look a bit more yellow than I would like. Nothing that I couldn’t adjust for next time.
The Logitech BRIO is a cut above the C920 and could very well could be the best webcam on the market. I love the way it outputs video while also supporting 1080p 60 fps. It’s going to look great on my stream and even better if/when I finally get around to creating original content for YouTube. Right after the testing was over, I purchased one for myself.
Even though I jumped at the first opportunity to grab this camera, the BRIO won’t be for everyone. For those just starting out, the Logitech C920 is still the best place to start. The image quality is good enough with some colour correction and it won’t hurt your bank account too much if fall out of streaming. If you’ve got the funds and the reasoning to justify a full DSLR rig, the BRIO can’t match that in terms of image quality or flexibility. But if you need a middle step with improved image quality without the hefty expenses of a high-end camera rig, the BRIO is a great option.
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