That most people will work from home has suddenly gone from being a vision of the future to becoming a concrete reality. This means that when you have meetings with colleagues, you do not just have to arrange pastry. You must also have hardware.
The Logitech StreamCam is an alternative to the built-in camera in the laptop. As the name suggests, Logitech caters to streamers and YouTubers, among others. But it can also be used by those who “only” should be able to be seen and heard in video meetings.
StreamCam is a small, discreet, rather cube-shaped plastic unit in gray or white. A camera lens is the only characteristic. When the camera is on, a white LED also lights up.
Installation is relatively simple. Plug the camera cable into a USB-C port and it will be recognized automatically. However, a restart is required before all the functions run and you get the full image quality. For most people, the physical mounting is about clicking the camera into place in a holder that fits all flat screens. You also get a holder that fits standard camera tripods.
“Remember to remove the laundry – the surroundings come into the picture.”
Logitech StreamCam covers a diagonal image angle of 78 degrees. This corresponds to a 28 mm wide-angle optics in the analog 35 mm film world. It is an excellent image angle for the home office, where you avoid the image being distorted too much, which will happen on a camera with a 90 degree image angle or higher. Without being reduced to just a talking face in the crowd at the joint meeting. It also means that you have to remember to remove the dirty clothes and the dead flowers in the corners – because the surroundings come into the picture!
StreamCam records in 1080p 16: 9 widescreen format, but it is pointed out in the material from Logitech that the camera can also record in 1920p vertical format. It can (you just have to turn the camera 90 degrees), and for some it will be a sales parameter. But remember, if high-definition video had been a good idea to begin with, cinemas would be high-rise buildings.
The camera works seamlessly with Skype, Zoom and other video services, but the Logitech Capture software, which can be downloaded for free, adds a number of additional features such as panning / zooming that accompanies your face. It looks smart and action-packed, but it is not a given that the other meeting participants appreciate the distracting effect when the picture follows you instead of being calm.
With Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), the Logitech StreamCam is significantly more fine-grained than the typical laptop webcam that is 720p or lower. What really matters more is the light sensitivity. The optics in StreamCam have an aperture of f / 2.0. It’s pretty good and means you do not have to wear a spotlight to get a healthy and natural complexion. The camera is also less sensitive to disturbing light from windows.
The trees do not grow into the sky (as they rarely do at this price). You have to do without 4K resolution, which you get on Logitech’s more expensive webcams. You also do not get HDR and variable image angle. But these are features that are irrelevant when it comes to participating as an individual in a meeting. And 4K video with 30 Hz frame rate places great demands on the internet connection – both your own and the other participants’.
The Logitech StreamCam is an affordable webcam, which will be a dramatic upgrade from the built-in laptop camera. And it transforms you into a human being of flesh and blood instead of an indistinct shadow on the screen. The image quality is excellent, even if you have to do without the professional functions that you do not need otherwise.
If you dream of replacing your home office with a glamorous career flowing, the 60 Hz frame rate will be a great help. And the Logitech Capture software can make you your own amateur video producer.