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Logitech has made webcams for a long time. This has made it one of the go-to companies for the growing content-creator market. But while webcams like the C922 are great, Logitech always built its cameras as general-purpose devices. That left Twitch streamers and YouTube stars to repurpose these home-office tools for their own purposes. But now Logitech is courting content creators, and it has built a new product specifically for them called Streamcam.
Logitech Streamcam is launching this month for $170. And it really does feel like it was designed with vloggers and livestreamers in mind. Its marquee feature is its capability to capture at 60 frames per second and full 1080P HD simultaneously. To achieve that high-data throughput, it uses a USB type-C connection. It can also swivel to record in landscape or portrait mode, and its Logitech Capture software supports capturing natively in either orientation.
But are all these features worth it, and does it have any shortcomings? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
What you’ll like
Logitech Streamcam looks great at 1080p60
Logitech’s Streamcam marketing centers on its 1080p60 recording, and that is justified. At 1080p60, the image looks crisp and smooth without compression. That quality is due to the bandwidth of Streamcam’s USB type-C connection.
Other cameras, like the Razer Kiyo and Logitech C922, record at 720p60, but they both have to compress the video at that framerate. Where Kiyo looks smudgy and blurry at 60FPS, Streamcam maintains its quality.
Compression isn’t the only enemy of high framerate video. Light is also a major concern. A 60Hz shutter is open for half the time as a 30Hz shutter, and that means it has less time to capture light. To overcome this physical hurdle, Logitech gave Streamcam a large image sensor. This enables it to capture enough light to open its shutter 60 times every second. It also has the added benefit of a shallower depth of field, which creates a subtle and attractive bokeh effect.
When it comes to color, Streamcam hews toward natural, accurate tones. This should make it an ideal camera for fashion and makeup bloggers. If it’s important that red looks red, Streamcam is great at picking that up.
Capture software is simple and powerful
You can use Streamcam with any capture software. It has full compatibility with XSplit and OBS. Logitech, however, has also created its own Logitech Capture application.
This software unlocks Streamcam features like auto-framing and stabilization. Auto-framing zooms in to put your face in the middle of the frame no matter where you’re sitting. Stabilization zooms in so it can compensate out any bumps or vibrations.
Logitech Capture is also how you can tell the camera you’re recording a vertical, portrait video. This means you can turn Streamcam on its side and record without having to do a 90-degree turn later in editing software.
I also appreciate Capture’s decent auto-exposure setting, which works fine. I won’t ever use it, but it’s decent enough for people who are too afraid to fidget in the property options.
But the best part of Logitech Capture is that it outputs as a separate video-capture device. This means you can open Capture and set up Streamcam how you want, and then you can add Capture as a camera in OBS or XSplit. This enables you to get all of the extra options in those third-party tools as well.
While Logitech is making Streamcam for content creators, it still works great for communications in a pinch. Like other webcams, Streamcam has a built in microphone, and this one is really nice.
You probably won’t want to use Streamcam’s mic for creating video. It would work for that in a pinch, but Logitech also makes Blue Microphones like the Yeti X. You should get one of those instead.
But if all you have is Streamcam, you’d be able to upload a vlog if you have to. And it’s going to work great for conferencing into web meetings or video-calling family. The mic is loud and clear, so anyone you communicate with should have no issues understanding you.
What you won’t like
I would describe the Streamcam as “specific.” It delivers an excellent image, but you have to dial the settings in to exactly what the camera wants. There’s a very small window where the saturation and contrast look acceptable. If you get out of that sweet spot, I’ve found that it can make my skin look blotchy and red.
A big part of this is due to it favoring accurate colors. Once everything is locked in, that natural look is great. But if you deviate from that at all, the image tends to go downhill quickly.
You need a USB type-C or an adapter for USB 3.1
Connectivity may also cause some problems. Streamcam uses USB type-C. That’s the tiny oval-style port that you might find on most modern Android smartphones or the Nintendo Switch. If you have a computer with a USB type-C port or a Thunderbolt port, Streamcam will just work.
If you just have the more traditional, larger type-A ports, it will only work with USB 3.1. And in that case, you’ll need to buy an adapter separately. Just make sure that your PC supports USB 3.1 first. If you’ve purchased or upgraded your PC in the last few years, you probably do have USB 3.1. Just check with your motherboard manufacturer to make sure.
Logitech Streamcam is exactly the kind of device you should grab if you’re just getting started as a content creator. At $170, it’s not exactly hyperaffordable, but it’s a fraction of the cost of getting a DSLR camera set up as your primary webcam. It’s also a fraction of the headaches to set up and operate.
Streamcam’s strengths are its accurate colors and 1080p60 capture rate. And those qualities make it best suited to vlog-style channels. I’m imagining that creators who make makeup tutorial videos will love this.
It’s also great for game-related videos, but I think its 1080p60 capture is less necessary when it’s just a tiny box off in the corner of some gameplay. I did find that it was more difficult to get the Streamcam to look good compared to Razer’s Kiyo. So I might still favor the Kiyo just for livestreaming game content.
But as long as you’re willing to get the Streamcam set up right, it delivers high-quality video you can build a YouTube or Twitch channel on.
Logitech Streamcam is available now for $170. Logitech provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for the purpose of this review.
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