Software Brings Accurate Green Screening to Any Windows Webcam
When I reviewed the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam, I applauded its preloaded Personify Chromacam software, which lets you do green screening -- removing your torso from teh background behind you -- without a green screen. . Sure, it was fussy, but it worked. Now Chromacam is still a bit fussy, but you no longer need Logitech's $99 webcam to get it.
The company has released a $9.99 version of Chromacam that you can buy separately and use with your current webcam. It's available for download here, with a free 30 day trial before you have to plunk down the $10 license fee. Chromacam currently only works with Windows, though Personify is promising it will work with macOS "soon."
I downloaded the trial and grabbed a different Logitech camera, the C930e, which is aimed at enterprise users. The new version of the software doesn't include Logitech G-inspired backgrounds, but instead added a number of scenic locations, like London and Paris. I found the background replacement to be slightly less accurate in my initial impressions, but that could have been due to positioning or lighting.
In an email, Personify CEO Sanjay Patel wrote that the C922 "has a very good image sensor, and fast performance, which will enhance ChromaCam's ability to properly segment the user, particularly in low light. But generally, ChromaCam delivers the same functionality across all webcams."
Logitech, though, points out that there are two versions -- one specifically for the C922 and one for everyone else.
"While the version of ChromaCam that is available for any camera has similar features, the C922 provides a super high quality image that improves how ChromaCam works," Andrew Coondrad, technical marketing manager at Logitech, told me via email. "Because it uses a single image and an algorithm (compared to IR or 3D images for depth data), having a clear, high resolution image improves how the algorithm separates humans from the background. We believe the C922 will provide the best experience with ChromaCam when compared to other cameras.
In the meantime, this should give pause to anyone who was thinking of ponying up $100 for the C922. Now you can try the software for free on your existing webcam and see if it works to your satisfaction before making the plunge.
We reached out to both Logitech and to ask if there's any benefit to buying the C922, rather than purchasing Chromacam and using it with a less expensive camera such as Logitech's $60 C920. We'll update this post if and when we hear back.
Update 11/23, 1 p.m. ET: Added a statement from Personify CEO Sanjay Patel.
1:40 pm. ET: Added a statement from Logitech.