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Logitech's new Brio 500 webcam is smarter and cheaper than the competition

Autoframing via an ultra-wide lens, Show Mode for top-down demos, and a $129 price tag, just in time for the hybrid era of work.
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Written by June Wan, Technology Editor on
Logitech Brio 500 Series Webcam
June Wan/ZDNET

Logitech is no stranger to making high-quality computer peripherals, whether it's for work or play. As the question lingers on about whether the future of work lies within the four walls of corporate buildings, at home, or a bit of both, Logitech believes its latest product, the $129 Brio 500 Series webcam, will meet the collaborative needs of business professionals and consumers.

I've been testing the newest entry in Logitech's growing line of Brio webcams over the past week and will reserve my final judgment (and rating) for some time later. What's certain to me is that it's an impressive computer-top camera, with several smart features that are clearly becoming a commonality in this new wave of hybrid webcams. 

More: The 10 best webcams you can buy today

Let's get the basics out of the way first. Setting up the webcam is as easy as connecting the included USB-C cable to your Mac or Windows device and turning on your collaboration service of choice (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc.). The camera itself is guarded with a pink, black, or white protective case -- because personalization comes before anything else -- along with a magnetic clip mount to station it above your laptop lid or monitor. I tested the mount on my MacBook Pro and half-inch-thick monitor with no problems. 

The mount is sturdy and very smartly built. By using a magnetic base, you can swivel the camera component of the setup to find your sweet spot, detach it and mount it onto a tripod instead, and even tilt the webcam downward to simulate a top-down recording. More on that later. There's also a privacy cover that can be manually set by twisting the right-side knob of the webcam.

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June Wan/ZDNET

The Brio 500 Series records at 1080p resolution with up to a 90-degree field-of-view (FOV), which is a step-down from the older Brio Ultra HD Pro that shot in 4K. Then again, the new webcam is cheaper at $129 (versus $199) and most users should suffice with its 1080p output. I switched over from the excellent Insta360 Link and found Logitech's video quality just as good.

More: Insta360 Link review: This 4K webcam means business 

The key selling feature of the new Brio 500 series webcams is the LogiTune companion software (I know, another dedicated software for Logitech's products) and all the AI features that it introduces. First is RightSight, which leverages the webcam's 90-degree ultra-wide lens to intelligently follow you (or the speaker on camera) as you walk around the frame. It's very similar to Apple's Center Stage feature on iPads, iPhones, and now Macs, thanks to Continuity Camera

Then there's Show Mode. When toggled on, the camera output will automatically flip itself when the webcam is tilted downward. The result is a mirrored top-down shot that opens up the opportunity for business users, educators, and even designers to showcase products, written notes, and more (see example below).

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June Wan/ZDNET

The Brio 500 series includes the 500 (for consumers) and 505 (for enterprise). The latter supports Logitech Sync so that IT admins can push out firmware updates to the masses and also troubleshoot problems remotely. The best part is that both models cost the same. Pricing for the Brio 500 series is $129 which is rather modest compared to the $200-$300 options that dominate the professional webcam market. For less money, you're getting similar AI features like auto-framing and Show Mode, and a 1080p webcam that just gets the job done.

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