I got to try (thanks to Logitech) out their BRIO 505 webcam. This is a Logitech’s business-line Microsoft Teams certified FullHD webcam with an economic price-tag ($130). It comes with a nice built-in privacy shield and you can also use it as a document camera. Feature-wise I like 90/78/65 FoV and the AI zooming / tracking ability called RightSight. Since the cam is FullHD 1080p it has limits, but when doing a presentation it does it’s job very nicely. Included are also automatic light correction and dual-microphones. More tech specs can be found at Logitech product page.
In short: BRIO 505 is quite a good product for it’s price. There are couple of cons that I found out that bother me – so let’s get those over with first and then continue the review:
- BRIO 505 isn’t a very portable (as in traveling) camera in my opinion. It is larger in size and doesn’t come with a carrying case (comparing BRIO 505 to review on Jabra PanaCast 20 I did earlier. PanaCast 20 is like meant for traveling, of course the price tag is also a very different one than this BRIO.) . For office use, switching rooms and occasional visits home/office/customer BRIO 505 is ok. But if you would want to carry it in your bag daily or take it to travels, I would try to get a case for it for protection.
- The document camera feature is a great idea, but execution leaves room for improvement. You can tilt the camera forward to show a document placed on table/on your laptop. For weird reason the camera is attached to the base with a magnet. Normally it doesn’t have issues, but if you start to tilt the camera to point down and up you soon notice that it is released from the base. This can be an advantage in some cases: you want to highlight something in the room for online-attendees: just take the cam off the base and point where you need to). Using the built-in sticker to attach the cam base to your monitor makes it easy to take it off and put it back on for showing documents.
The most important parts: video and microphone quality are good. BRIO 505 is not a bad webcam, especially when you consider its price. It is a good camera that can outperform a lot of built-in laptop cams. I tested the cam when doing some webinars and events, and it worked really nicely (I also used my Elgato key lights). However when the lights are off, I noticed that the Surface Laptop Studio’s camera outperforms BRIO 505 in image quality and brightness. The difference isn’t that big, but it is there. But it isn’t a big surprise since new Surface Laptop’s have great built-in cameras.
When doing presentations, webinars and events with BRIO 505 and comparing that to Surface Laptop Studio and other cams I still have for testing I found out that BRIO 505 – while quite large on top of my laptop screen – gave a bit better angle to that how I look for participants. This is due to that the camera is bit higher than laptop’s own. The other feature I liked was the follow/track with RightSight.
Microphones are also doing a good job. It won’t be winning awards in hifi-magazines but BRIO 505 gets the job done loud and clear. Again – Microsoft Surface laptop models have such a good microphones/audio that replacing them with BRIO 505 doesn’t make much sense. If you don’t have a Surface laptop (or other that has a high quality mics in it ) then you got a good candidate with BRIO 505.
- Good value for the price
- Business line device (manage centrally with Logitech Sync)
- Built-in privacy shield
- Use LogiTune for settings
- Not travel-portable (unless you get a case for it or have a good way to carry it in your pack)
- Tilting the camera makes it often come off from the base (magnet)
- No Windows Hello support
BRIO 505 is surprisingly large device. It can be a con when connected to traveling or portability, but a pro when considering microphones / audio.
Overall – I don’t have much bad to say about BRIO 505. It cannot be compared to the cameras that are 2-3 times more expensive than it is. I used it with LogiDock (when I got the Dock for testing) and it was a good match there where LogiDock excelled with audio capabilities and BRIO 505 was used as a camera only. It also was easy to use with the LogiDock since you just plug BRIO 505 to the dock directly – and your desk can be clutter free (at least on this part).