Logitech has an excellent reputation for webcams, and the product that earned much of that appreciation, the C920, is still one of the biggest sellers today, even though it launched back in 2012.
There have been several makeovers, including the C922 and C920S, and the BRIO branding now represents the latest Logitech webcam products.
Given the unexpected surge in webcam sales caused by the global pandemic, Logitech has now introduced a new business-centric BRIO camera for those who want to look good on the go or in the office.
Is the C1000e the natural successor to the crown of best personal USB webcam, or is it just another incarnation of the BRIO range designed to take advantage of changing business practices?
Price and availability
The Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Pro Business Webcam (960-001107) tested here is a Chinese SKU that corresponds to the B2B BRIO in Europe and the USA.
A typical import price in Europe is € 239, but we found it for just £ 171.11 Here.
In the US, a very similar design, the 960-001105, costs $ 179 at most online retailers.
What is a C1000e?
Logitech C1000e specifications
Video Resolutions: 4K Ultra HD (4096 x 2160 pixels @ 30 fps), 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels @ 30 or 60 fps),
720p HD (1280 x 720 pixels @ 30, 60 or 90 fps)
USB: USB 2.0 port (USB 3.0 required for 4K)
Lens: Auto focus, 90, 78 and 65 degrees FOV (field of view)
Zoom: 5x digital zoom in full HD
Light setting: RightLight ™ 3 with HDR
Microphone: Built-in dual omni-directional noise-canceling microphones
Sensors: Infrared sensors (with Windows Hello)
Equipment: External privacy screen, soft carrying case
Assembly: Clip and tripod mount
Warranty: 3 year limited hardware warranty
Before we get into design, let’s talk about product confusion and naming conventions.
Logitech currently makes a number of business webcams that they market on its website, including the C505e, C920e Business Webcam, C925e Business Webcam, C930e Business Webcam, and what we’re discussing here, the Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Pro Business Webcam.
The tested product was developed for the Chinese market, comes in a simple box and is called the C1000e.
For the sake of our dubious sanity, we will call this C1000e from this point on, as ‘Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Pro Business Webcam’ seems too long for repeated typing and may confuse this product with Logitech sales packages from other regions.
Logitech has defined an essential structure for its webcams from the start and the C1000e does not deviate from this concept.
The C1000e is a diamond-shaped metal tube with a plastic cover, where the lens is covered with a protective glass surface. It’s simple, elegant, and feels precise.
But conversely, it comes with an adjustable clip that is made of plastic and isn’t as impressive as the camera mounted on it.
The clip can serve as a support foot to place the camera on a flat surface, or to hold the C1000e on the top edge of a monitor, provided the monitor is not very thin.
For those who don’t like either of these options, there is a third one in a threaded hole on the bottom of the camera, which is the same one used on most camera tripods. It could be a 1 / 4-20 UNC thread, but don’t hold onto it.
What we didn’t like about this connection is that the clip doesn’t have a screw thread, but instead uses a plastic knuckle that is pressed into the thread of the camera.
In order for this weird approach to work, notches are cut into the threaded insert to allow for some expansion.
We don’t know why the designers went for this concept, but adding a simple threaded bolt to the foot seems like a poor alternative, and it gave us a few head-scratching moments when we tried to unscrew the clip, and it didn’t turn at all. Logitech has to explain this bizarre use of a thread in its how-to to avoid people from breaking either piece trying to pull them apart.
In addition to the clip, a privacy screen is also supplied, which is made of flexible plastic and simply presses on the camera. Once there, it is foldable so that it can be retracted and extended quickly.
A small soft bag is included in the box to store small parts such as the crotch protector and the USB cable together with the camera, which is often left out of many similar products.
In addition to the well-made camera, Logitech also gives the buyer a high-quality USB cable with a length of 2.2 m. It’s Type-A on the computer side and Type-C on the C1000e.
We welcome the use of a standard connection as it can be easily replaced if it is misplaced or damaged.
In recent years, hardware manufacturers have become less dependent on operating systems in that they do not provide a suite of software applications to take advantage of their devices.
The C1000e is one of those that most people can use out of the box with no special drivers and tools required, or that’s the theory.
It should work with Windows, Mac OS, and Chromebook, as well as a wide variety of applications that support those operating systems, all without special drivers or tools.
However, on the support pages for the BRIO, we discovered some useful software extras that you can download to improve the experience, at least on Windows.
Our C1000e came with firmware 2.2 when the latest version is 2.6 so we installed that. We also installed the Logitech BRIO control application.
The control tool is particularly useful as many of the communication applications gave little or no control over the camera to adjust brightness, contrast, or focus.
There are some that do, but with this little application installed these tweaks can be done with applications that don’t have these controls.
It’s also worth noting that while the camera can capture 4K video, the choice of whether or not to have that quality is often not given to the user by an application. Zoom as an example chooses a maximum of 720p, although zoom support can increase it to 1080p.
Therefore, if you are using zoom, a camera of this high quality may be pointless.
It seems that in order to make their products as easy as possible for users, many conferencing software developers have foregone the ability to specify resolution, refresh, HDR, and many of the unique capabilities of the C1000e and other high-end solutions.
And we came across some apps that couldn’t manage these features properly.
Unsurprisingly, the only software tool we had the most problems with was Microsoft Teams. We cannot in good conscience blame Logitech here. Anyone with a knowledge of Windows has likely encountered a change that affects existing functionality and, on occasion, can never be fixed.
It seems that most Logitech webcams used to work just fine with Teams before software changes caused problems, and those problems are not limited to just that one webcam manufacturer.
What’s really frustrating about it is that, ironically, Microsoft’s built-in camera application in Windows 10 works just fine.
Our advice is that if you’re using Teams, avoid Logitech cameras, or ideally use something else.
And before buying a webcam, it is worth checking whether the hardware and conference platforms you choose work well together, as not all of them do.
But we should also mention that the camera is certified for Skype for Business and is one of the few that works with Microsoft Hello because it can recognize real people through pictures of them.
When comparing this option with the other webcams from Logitech’s stable, the C1000e differs through 4K Ultra HD 3840p / 30fps recording, 65 °, 78 ° and 90 ° fields of view, RightLight ™ 3 with HDR correction and 5x digital zoom. No other camera marketed for business has these features, although the new BRIO Stream camera appears to have them all and is almost identical in appearance to the C1000e.
We’re torn about this design on a few things, but most importantly that the build quality is inconsistent between the camera and its accessories.
Where the camera is excellently designed and very finely built, the retaining clip and privacy screen are not. These look like prime candidates to be broken or lost long before the camera has outlived its usefulness.
But the other problem here is 4K video conferencing and whether a company should encourage employees to use bandwidth and limited resources for it.
Each company or person has to decide for themselves, but an overbooked Internet connection could put additional strain on it and require more power from the host system in order to function smoothly.
Given the choice, we’d rather have a streamed 1080p meeting that was uninterrupted than one in 4K that stuttered repetitively.
This is not a criticism of this product, as with a good host PC and sufficient bandwidth, it will stream 4K wonderfully. However, anyone purchasing these for business use must be aware that the C1000e’s improved quality may have a downside.
However, the image quality from the camera is very impressive and there is a fantastic range of resolutions for both still and video recording.
What is missing here is more detailed support from the conference tools to get the most out of the capabilities of the C1000e. But that goes for any 4K webcam at this point.
With the possible exception of the new BRIO Stream, this is hands down the best webcam Logitech makes, but it also goes a step beyond what most users need.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/logitech-brio-ultra-hd-pro-business-webcam/