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Hands-on review - Razer Kiyo broadcasting camera

06 Jun 2020

The world of live streaming has come of age with many people working from home. So we checked out Razer’s latest camera offering.

Razer is careful to call the unit a Broadcast Camera and not a webcam. It’s part of a line of products designed for Broadcasters whether they are in gaming or other live streaming pursuits.

The set up was straightforward; it requires no power and plugs directly into a standard USB-A port.

In my instance, I plugged it into my external monitor, which was then connected to my laptop over USB-C although it could be plugged directly into your computer.

You can use the l-shaped joint to hang it on the top of your monitor, laptop or TV. It also supports sitting it on a desk or screwing a tripod into the bottom of it. The tripod is not included as most people won’t use it that way. This tripod screw hole is a standard fitting size.

The cable was a perfect length at 1.5 metres and braided for protection.

It works on both Windows and Mac operating systems, although the packaging only describes Windows support.

With a 4 Megapixel resolution, it sounds similar to my laptop. Although the results were not even comparable, the Kiyo felt like it was many time better both in terms of clarity and detail.

At 1080p, you can achieve up to 30 frames per second or up to 60FPS at lower video resolutions. You can customize these image or video quality settings.

It includes autofocus, which I found to be quite fast.

The light is a ring around the camera, which is easily operated with a quick twist of the lens. I found it to be super bright, although you can choose from a few different brightness levels.

Initially, I didn’t realize a microphone was built in, but once discovered I found it picked up my voice very well.

It supports both the Open Broadcaster and XSplit video recording software, which is used a lot by those who want to broadcast their gaming endeavours. However, those tools can be used for presentations or other recording purposes.

Everything can be customized in Razer’s Synapse 3 App (Windows only). This includes full customization by toggling between Auto and Manual Focus and adjusting Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and White Balance. You can also choose between different image presets. Create multiple profiles and save different looks.

I had thought the camera on my laptop was great, but I was wrong. I now realize that nothing can beat a dedicated external camera, and the Razer Kiyo is flawless.

For $229 it’s well worth getting.