The streaming industry is booming and much of the growth is thanks to the new wave of streamers who are expanding their content beyond gaming. The Logitech StreamCam ($169.99) combines HD clarity, ease of use and intuitive design in a compact package that makes it one of the best webcams for a new generation of influencers.
Musicians, artists and streamers in the Just Chatting Twitch category will find a lot to love in the StreamCam. The camera's fantastic automated framing and focus makes it a strong entry-level shooter for any entertainer requiring a full-screen stream.
Resolution: 1920 x 1080p (fullHD)
Field of View: 78-degrees
Image stabilization? Yes
Size: 5.4 x 5.4 x 3.2 inches
Weight: 0.7 pounds
But for gamers, this might be too steep of an investment. The StreamCam is one of the most expensive streaming cams on the market and is confined to USB Type-C devices. Plus, $170 is a lot to pay when your selfie box is only a small fraction of your streaming setup. However, if you want a high-quality camera that does all the heavy lifting for you, the StreamCam is a solid choice.
At 5.3 ounces, 2.6 x 2.3 x 1.9 inches, the StreamCam is seriously compact. The frame is squared and comes in either white or graphite plastic. Both models feature a heather gray canvas surrounding the lens and a Logitech logo to the left of the lens. Each side of the camera has a bump that slides it into the mount in either landscape or portrait mode.
Unlike its big brother, the Brio 4K Pro, the StreamCam features a sturdy plastic mount, which latched securely to both my MacBook Pro and BenQ XL2420TE monitor. No matter the position, angle or tilt, the cam didn't budge even when I shook my laptop and my desk. The clip portion of the mount can be removed and replaced with a tripod, which comes with the StreamCam Plus, but not the base model.
The only major flaw is the cable. It's a 5-foot inline that can't be removed, so if you were hoping to swap it for a shorter or longer cable, you're out of luck. It's also only available in USB Type-C. You can use an adapter to connect it to a USB Type-A 2.0 or 3.0 port, but doing so will cap your FPS to 30 from 60, which eliminates one of the major advantages the StreamCam has over the competition.
Picture and sound
For such a tiny device, the StreamCam shoots great video. Logitech's Capture software was good enough that I didn't need to do any additional tweaking. All the built-in auto-adjust features kept me well-lit and in the frame as I moved my head around and waved my fingers across my face. It isn't 4K, but the 1080p resolution is really all you need when streaming.
The StreamCam delivered crisp, clear footage of my face when I used it in the sunbathed study hall of my local library. It also worked in a darkened room in my apartment, lit only by my desktop monitor and the white LEDs off my keyboard.
The built-in microphone isn't great, but still quite serviceable. If you're a musician, you may want to invest in a mixer and mic setup, but for gamers, high-fidelity voice quality isn't a priority. The popular video-game streamer Tyler1 has been a steadfast fan of the Logitech G430 for years, despite breaking several of them over the course of his career.
While Capture isn't as robust as OBS or XSplit, it has a lot of quick, easy presets that makes streaming accessible to everybody. Underneath the streaming window are such typical settings as photo, record and stop, as well as volume settings for the mic.
Users can also adjust the video aspect ratio or pixel quality along with five FPS settings from 24 to 60. There's also a variety of layouts ranging from split-screen to the traditional corner box.
New streamers with green screens can toggle the Chroma key to blend themselves into the background and selfie-minded streamers can play around with text overlays, filters (fisheye, black and white, etc.) or they can flip the source around or tag on a Logitech watermark if they're feeling the brand loyalty.
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Notice your frame rates dropping? With one click, you can tell the camera to prioritize frames over image quality, which it does very well..
Capture even has a Dark Mode for fellow night owls out there.
The Logitech StreamCam is designed for a broad range of streamers. And while this jack-of-all-trades approach is typically a bad idea, in the StreamCam's case, it works.
However, at $170, it's one of the most expensive devices in its class and useless for any setup that doesn't have a USB-C port (unless you want to use a dongle). If either of these things is an issue, you might be better served with the Razer Kiyo.
Otherwise, the StreamCam is a fantastic, albeit expensive, steppingstone for budding musicians, entertainers and personalities who are starting their livestream careers but can't afford to invest in big-league equipment like a mirrorless or DSLR. For gamers, it's a high-end device that will provide a consistent, 60 fps stream in vibrant detail.
And in this new era of streaming where gamers are also hosting cooking streams and political commentators make the odd foray into video games, the StreamCam's flexibility is clutch.