Logitech Brio 4K Pro webcam review: Can a webcam be too good?

Quick verdict: The Logitech Brio 4K Pro outputs an impressive image but its 4K resolution and high price are more than you need for video conferencing.

Pros

  • Great in any lighting situation
  • Impressive list of specs
  • Compatible with Windows Hello
Cons

  • Plastic privacy flap and mount feel like afterthoughts
  • 4K and high frame rates are unnecessary
  • Expensive

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Logitech Brio 4K Pro webcam

Originally launching back in 2017, the Logitech Brio 4K Pro webcam remains Logitech's most expensive and technologically advanced webcam in its consumer line-up. It boasts 4K resolution, a wide field of view, HDR and higher frame rates at lower resolutions. It's an impressive device but it's held back by some disappointing hardware choices and unnecessary specs.


Design

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

The Brio's dark, stadium shaped metal body and glass front makes it feel like a premium product. To me, it's the perfect style of external webcam design. It's conservative and minimal, seamlessly blending into a computer set-up without drawing attention to itself.

While most of Logitech's other webcams have a single USB cable soldered to the device, the Brio has a USB C port on the rear. This allows you to swap out the included 2.2 metre long USB C - USB A cable should you need more range or need to switch to USB C - USB A. As someone who likes to put webcams in all sorts of random places I appreciate the options this port unlocks and it's something I wish we'd see in more webcams.

The Brio comes with a clip-on style mount, which allows the webcam to perch atop your computer monitor or stand upright on a table. If you tear the clip off you'll also find a 1/4 inch screw hole so you can attach it to other things such as tripods and light stands. When I say tear off I really do mean tear. The thing is pretty dang hard to get on and off.

While it comes attached to the screw mount, the clip itself doesn't have a screw thread on top. It's just a nub that pops into place with 2 little plastic notches. This means that if you do try to screw the clip on or off like I did you risk breaking that plastic nub.

Other Logitech cameras like the C925e and C922 both feature clips where the screw mount is built into the base so it's a bit disappointing to see this higher-end camera with such an inelegant design.

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

The plastic mount removed, revealing the Brio's tripod thread. Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

In the box you'll also find a little privacy flap for your camera lens should you want to protect your modesty while the camera is not in use. It's a welcome addition but the implementation here does feel a little like an afterthought rather than a cohesive part of the camera.

Both the flap and the mount are cheap looking plastic that are at odds with the impressive metal and glass design of the camera body itself. As I set this camera up and placed the plastic privacy flap atop the Brio like a little hat, I was reminded of me at my year 12 ball. I picked out an absolute belter of a suit but I foolishly paired it with old dress shoes from Vinnies and a $30 grey fedora. Sometimes you should aim to nail the whole ensemble.

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

The Brio and its lovely plastic fedora. Image: Tobias Venus/Finder


Features

Specs-wise the Logitech Brio is a serious webcam for serious video calls. It sports a 4K sensor, dual omnidirectional mics with noise cancelling, HDR and Logitech's auto exposure technology, RealLight 3. It can also do 60 frames per second at 1080p and even 90 fps if you crank the resolution down to 720p.

It's an impressive list of features for a webcam, but at the end of the day most of them won't actually make it to the other end of a video call.

Unless you're using this to film post-edited content the 4K or high frame rates simply won't be needed at all because most video conferencing software maxes out at 1080p 30fps. Often they're broadcasting even lower resolutions depending on bandwidth.

Still, if you're keen to make the most out of this camera you'll want to download either the Logitech Brio settings software or Logitech Capture. The former lets you adjust the basic settings such as field of view, exposure and white balance. Logitech Capture allows you to do all of that but can also add graphics, switch between other sources like your screen and record directly to your computer.

I go through Logitech capture with the Logitech Streamcam (another Logitech webcam worth looking at), in the video below.


Performance

Video quality

The Brio's 4K, 13 megapixel sensor does seem to capture a bit more detail than its cheaper 1080p counterparts even when it's not recording or broadcasting in 4K. It's easier to make out small text that would otherwise be blurry and fine textures are a little easier to distinguish.

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

It's this higher resolution sensor that allows you to switch between fields of view (FOV) as well. The Brio has quite a wide field of view at 90 degrees (most of the other Logitech cams are 78 degrees), which means it can capture a lot of the space directly in front of it. It's a pretty awesome tool to capture a whole room or multiple people at once.

By using Logitech's camera settings software or Logitech Capture you are able to narrow the FOV to either 65 or 75 degrees, with 65 being the sweet spot for focussing on an individual.

There's a downside with picking this option though. This isn't physically switching to a different lens like you would on an iPhone. Narrowing the field of view is achieved via digital zoom. This means when you use the camera in that sweet spot you're effectively cutting off half of what the camera is capturing so you're getting a 1080p image anyway.

It's certainly not a deal breaker, everything is still clear enough, but the quality drop between 90 and 65 degrees is fairly noticeable. It's a shame Logitech's messaging around this product would have you believe the FOV options are of equal quality. I'd consider this a 90 degree camera with 2 preset digital zoom options.

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

The Brio's picture quality overall though is really impressive and a large part of that is thanks to Logitech's RealLight 3 and HDR tech. It's immediately noticeable when you put an image from this camera next to one from a cheaper webcam. Bright highlights that are usually blown out on other webcams retain their detail and take way more light before they start clipping into pure bright white.

Similarly in dark spaces this webcam does an incredible job of picking up detail where other webcams can't. It does still get very grainy as it tries to compensate for the lack of exposure but even in scenarios with just a sliver of light I was able to make out objects and faces.

Overall I'd say the tech driving the Brio works really well and you're able to get a decent image out of this webcam no matter the environment you're working in.

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

The Brio (second from the left) retaining way more detail in my face thanks to HDR. Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

One part of the camera I was less impressed by was the auto focus. I often found it would just not be interested in hunting for the focus point at all, especially if I was putting something closer to the lens. When it did finally catch on it would autofocus with a very noticeable lens shift. It seemed like the lens was "clunking" into place every time it shifted focus. This becomes even more pronounced when you're using it in the zoomed 65 degree FOV mode.

Windows Hello

My favourite addition beyond the imagery is the inclusion of its optical and infrared sensors, enabling compatibility with Windows Hello. This allows you to log in with the unique shape and features of your face. It has been a long time since I've used Windows Hello properly, as the low resolution camera of my old laptop was pretty rubbish at recognising me but I was really impressed with the Brio's speed at logging me in. A quick glance at the webcam would usually be enough to bypass my PC's security screen. As much as I like the Brio's video capabilities, it's really this feature that has me thinking I'll keep it attached to my PC long after this review is done.

Microphone

The Brio comes with 2 omnidirectional, stereo, noise cancelling microphones which sounds impressive on paper... but not in action. I was really hoping the noise cancelling on this webcam would help it stand out as a decent all-in-one solution. However, in noisier rooms it comes on a little too strong and often makes it sound like the speaker is taking a bath.

Once you combine this with video conferencing tools (which often come with their own noise cancelling) you end up with a pretty unappealing sound.


Should you buy the Logitech Brio 4K Pro?

Logitech Brio 4k Pro review

Image: Tobias Venus/Finder

  • Buy it if you want a webcam that performs well in any light and has Windows Hello support.
  • Don't buy it if you want an affordable all-in-one webcam for video calls.

It's hard to recommend the Brio 4K Pro to most people when a webcam at half the price will perform similarly for video calls. The 4K sensor and HDR do make the image out of this a bit better than most other webcams on the market, but a lot of the detail is lost on video conferences anyway. If you've got the cash and are keen on getting the best picture quality available in a webcam the Brio is a decent choice. Still, the mount, privacy flap and some of the camera features themselves aren't up to snuff for a product with such a premium price tag.

I'd suggest looking into a decent 1080p webcam first and saving some money.

For more options, check out our round-up of the best webcams.


Pricing and availability

Price

$349

Where to buy


Specifications

Specs

Cable Length
2.2
Depth
27
Height
27
Weight
63
Width
102

Features

Field Of View
65°, 78°, and 90°
Lighting Technology
Rightlight 3 with HDR
Mounting Options
Mounting Clip
Recording Format
4K/30fps
1080p/30 or 60 fps
720p/30, 60, or 90 fps
Supported Connections
USB-A plug-and-Play USB-C
Zoom Mode
5x

Images: Tobias Venus

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