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One of the key tools for game streamers and content creators is a camera. And webcam manufacturers are finally starting to respond to the needs of that audience. That includes the recent, fantastic Razer Kiyo Pro, but it also includes two relatively recent webcams from AVerMedia.
The Live Stream Cam 513 (PW513) and the 1080p60 Wide Angle Webcam (PW315) from AVerMedia are both excellent. They deliver in terms of a quality image — and the PW315 is also an excellent value. Both are available now, with the PW513 retailing for $250 and the PW315 selling for $120. That is compared to $200 for the Razer Kiyo Pro or $180 for the Logitech Brio.
I appreciate AVerMedia’s efforts here with the PW513 and PW315 because the company focused on what I want most from a USB webcam, and that’s getting nice-looking footage without requiring a lot of fiddling. With just a few minor adjustments to white balance, sharpness, and exposure, you can get a great image out of both devices.
Now, I prefer the look of the 1080p PW315 versus the PW513, and I think that’s good news for livestreamers and content creators. You probably don’t need 4K — and if you do, a webcam is probably not going to cut it. But if you’re a window in the corner of a gameplay Twitch channel, 1080p is still overkill. And the 315 does what is important in providing a clear image with easy-to-dial-in contrast and brightness. And it does so without requiring you to lower the shutter speed to the point that you get juddering and ghosting.
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The 513 is similar, but it seemed to require a bit more light, and therefore required higher gain, which produced a noisier image in similar lighting.
The PW315 is a great deal
If you are looking for the value option, it’s hard to beat the PW315. I still prefer the Kiyo Pro, but it’s almost twice the price. And, of course, you could always go the route of getting an Elgato Gaming Cam Link and a used GoPro. But I don’t actually want to deal with that kind of setup — so I get if you prefer a fire-and-forget solution as well.
But the 315 does come with some sacrifices. It has a built-in cable, so you cannot easily replace it if it breaks. It also uses a fixed lens, which means that you will have to digitally crop if you want something other than its wide 95-degree field-of-view.
The Kiyo Pro has a replaceable cable, and it can adjust its lens to do a wide-angle or narrow-angle FOV. And the Kiyo Pro simply looks sharper than either of the AVerMedia cams. On top of that, I’ve found it easier to get great results from the Razer — although I would not call the 315 or 513 challenging to work with.
But the reality is that the 315 is very close to the Kiyo Pro — especially at a glance. Sure, I can see more detail in my hair with the Razer, but — in motion — I doubt most people would notice that. And the 315 and 513 both have better autofocus than the Kiyo Pro. That’s not something I use much, but if it’s something you care about, definitely grab the 315 instead.
I’m going to keep using the Kiyo Pro, but I might throw the 315 into my setup as a wide-angle second cam for certain livestreams. And if you ask me what you should get, I might recommend the 315 first — especially if you’re a creator who is not yet making money from your content.
This is good work from AVer.
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