Logitech Brio 4KOverall rating: Very good (1.2) With a very good 4K image quality and a strong microphone, the webcam from Logitech convinces in a detailed test.
ca. 119 euros
Strong 4K image 60 fps in Full HD Loud voice recording without noise Autofocus and lens coverage
However, you also get something: The webcam's image is absolutely top-notch, and the Brio 4K optionally transmits Full HD recordings with an extremely smooth 60 frames per second, or razor-sharp 4K resolution (3.840 x 2.160 pixels) with 30 frames per second. In addition to the high detail density at 4K, the data rate also turns out to be quite high – this may be too high for older internet lines. But in most cases, different resolutions can be selected or switched in the corresponding video telephony programs.
But not only the resolution alone contributes its part to the strong image. It's also the video quality in daylight and backlight that impresses and is among the best in the CHIP webcam best list. In low light, the quality decreases a bit, but the webcam still makes good video images.
The omni-directional stereo microphone also makes a great impression. The sound is generally well received in the test and spurious tones and noise are virtually inaudible. Ambient noise could be filtered out better, but voices are always transmitted clearly and distinctly.
The equipment is also worthy of a test winner and comes with autofocus, a viewing angle of 81 degrees and a cable that is over two meters long. A loose lens cover is also included, so you can protect yourself against unwanted spying – however, an LED also indicates when the camera is active. There is still one drawback: The webcam can only be tilted forwards, but not rotated or tilted. As a webcam with the best price-performance ratio. The Hama C-600 Pro can hold its own in the test thanks to the flexible stand.
Advantages Full HD resolution (1080p) Particularly flexible clamping foot Fair price-performance ratio Autofocus and fixed lens coverage
High-quality professional devices in the three-digit euro price range are in principle already too much of a good thing for digital conferences in the home office. The Hama C-600 Pro (see price comparison) offers a more than adequate overall package for around 60 euros and scores primarily with a good Full HD image and extensive features.
In addition to the great price-performance ratio, the flexibility is particularly noteworthy: The C-600 Pro can be tilted forward, tilted and also rotated 360 degrees. The camera can be adjusted to any sitting position. And thanks to the tripod thread on the clamp base, you can also mount the camera on a standard tripod. The webcam has an autofocus. The viewing angle range is limited to 78 degrees. Furthermore, there is an integrated lens cover and a 1.90 meter long USB cable is included.
In terms of image quality, the C-600 Pro performs well, daylight and backlight do not present it with any major challenges. Only in low-light conditions does the picture quality drop a bit, but it remains within a solid range. For video conferencing in general, the webcam with its Full HD resolution provides a good picture quality. To the 30 pictures per second a completely sufficient picture quality.
The situation is somewhat different with the sound, which is generally pleasing and also low-noise, but still has its pitfalls. Ambient noises are only insufficiently filtered out and voices were only recorded very quietly in the test and had to be amplified using software.
Price tip alternative of the webcams: AVerMedia
AVerMedia PW313 Live Streamer CAM 313
For under 50 euros, the Avermedia Live Streamer CAM 313 is a good deal. It is suitable for users who not only want a good picture, but also want to be heard well via the webcam's integrated microphone.
Advantages Good Full HD picture Can be rotated 360 degrees as well as tilted and swiveled Long connection cable Good microphone Favorable price
Disadvantages Limited to 30 FPS Records ambient noise loudly Somewhat dark with strong backlight
The webcam also does even better in terms of sound quality: voices are transmitted clearly and have a pleasant volume – even if the two mono microphones cannot prevent a slight, high-frequency undertone. But due to the otherwise very clear recording quality, this can be ignored. Less annoying is the fact that the Live Streamer CAM 313 filters out very little ambient noise.
The flexible adjustment options are great: You can rotate the webcam 360 degrees, tilt it forward and at least slightly adjust the tilt, if it should not be aligned quite level.
Beginner's tip of the webcams: Aukey
If you want to spend as little as possible on your home office webcam, the Aukey PC-LM1E and its good image quality is a good choice.
Apart from the sound, you get a well-suited webcam for average home office needs with the Aukey PC-LM1E (price comparison), which only costs around 30 Euros.
The Full HD picture is sharp, but all resolutions are rendered in a maximum of 30 frames per second. The camera performs particularly well in low light, but also in daylight and backlight – the PC-LM1E consistently delivers a good and sharp image and thus does justice to every video conference. The wide viewing angle of 87 degrees is also convincing. It's a pity that an autofocus was omitted.
The integration of a stereo microphone promises a lot, but unfortunately doesn't sound like it at all. The microphone ranks among the worst audio ratings in CHIP's best list. Reasons for this are interfering tones as well as increased noise. The voices are picked up rather quietly. Ambient noise is also suppressed more poorly than not. If you optimally align your workplace with the Aukey PC-LM1E, the general sound passes as acceptable.
Once again, the flexible clamp base is nice, as it allows the webcam to tilt forward and rotate 360 degrees – but it can't be tilted. In addition, a thread allows the camera to be mounted on a tripod for more freedom. There is no lens cover, but an LED indicates whether the camera is active. The USB cable is 1.80 meters long and firmly attached to the webcam.
How much money do I have to spend for a good webcam??
The price range for webcams is quite high. Especially large online retailers like Amazon have mass-produced devices for under 30 or even 20 Euros in their program. If you want a comprehensive overall package, the purchase price for this technology product will quickly reach triple digits.
The test of a total of 20 webcams shows how different models can turn out even within one price range. The prices range from 29 to over 200 euros. Generally, you can say that you get more equipment for more money, but you don't get a guarantee for a better picture or good sound. Manufacturers set very different priorities for their models.
For example, the focus is on the around 55 euros A simple HD webcam that also clearly reproduces your voice in home office meetings can already be found for a price starting at around 30 euros. About 40 to 50 euros are due for a corresponding Full HD camera. And for a streaming-ready 4K webcam with 60 fps, manufacturers like to see a three-digit sum – but for video calls alone, these are exaggerated high-end devices. Models with a good integrated microphone are available for less than 40 euros.
Webcams under test: How does the CHIP test center check the devices??
Picture quality (45 percent of the rating):
With a webcam, nothing is as important as its picture quality. For this reason, the CHIP testers place particular emphasis on this aspect and examine the recordings in the test lab for color depth, detail level and exposure. The resolution as well as the refresh rate are also included in the partial rating – the support of 60 fps in lower resolutions also contributes positively to this. In the CHIP test center, the experts also evaluate the webcams in a practical test in different light situations. For example, in the backlight test, a tester places himself in front of the webcam with a window in the back and evaluates whether or not the camera shows the face well and has good contrast. Problems with focusing and the control speed when reducing or increasing the distance to the lens are also included in the rating.
Sound (25 percent of the rating):
Since not everyone has a competent desktop microphone or headset, the integrated microphone of a webcam should at least ensure good intelligibility, especially for video conferencing. In addition to the subjective assessment of the general quality, the CHIP testers also look at noise or possible interference tones and check how well the models suppress ambient noise. If webcams record voices too quietly, there are deductions in the test. The sound quality of the microphone is tested as close to real life as possible in the CHIP test center. One tester speaks frontally in the direction of the webcam, but also sometimes moves to the side or turns his head a bit. The resulting sound is then checked for noise, interference and volume. We also tested how effectively the models filter out ambient noise: For this purpose, the testers create an open-plan office scenario that is as realistic as possible, for example, with the rustling of plastic bags, the murmuring of colleagues or the ringing of the telephone. This shows how effectively the webcam focuses on the user's voice by blocking out background noise as much as possible.
Equipment (30 percent of the rating):
In addition to image and sound quality, a good webcam should be as well-rounded as possible. Particular focus is placed on the flexibility of the stand or clamp: can the webcam be tilted forward?? By how many degrees it can be rotated? If necessary, it can also be tilted slightly to the side? The support of an optional tripod is an advantage here, extra points are given for special flexibility. The camera itself can also show what it can do here: The experts measure the angle of view, which can often deviate from the manufacturer's specifications. An autofocus and the type of microphone installed also play a role. The main interface as well as the length of the connection cable also influence the partial and thus the overall rating of the webcam.
Resolution and frame rate: How will my image be transmitted smoothly??
Video conferencing has become an indispensable part of everyday business life. Current notebooks almost always have an integrated camera, but many users still like to opt for an additional external webcam – because only mediocre quality cameras are often installed, especially in the low-priced laptop segment. In order for the external solution to be an improvement, the resolution and frame rate are the main points to consider.
The spectrum ranges from inexpensive models that don't even deliver HD quality to highly detailed and sharp 4K webcams. The choice should be based on the area of application: For video conferencing, you don't need more than HD or Full HD. It's not uncommon for large meetings, for example, to be limited to 720p resolution by vendors such as Microsoft – this is especially true in pandemic times to accommodate increased data traffic and counteract outages and delays ahead of time. Webcams that offer resolutions beyond the Full HD mark are unnecessary for this purpose
A high resolution transmits a clearer picture of you, but your Internet line has to deliver a correspondingly high performance. Even a low resolution of only 360p requires 1.000 kbit/s in the upstream. At 1.080p is already five times as high to ensure a smooth transmission – a speed test of the internet connection can provide first clues and information.
If, on the other hand, the webcam is to be used for online meetings with colleagues as well as for video recordings for YouTube or video streaming on Twitch, an HD image could be too blurry – here you should at least go for Full HD. Because on demand platforms such as YouTube are now increasingly spreading 4K content. But a good 4K webcam is priced significantly higher than a Full HD camera.
For the frame rate, you usually only have the choice between 30 and 60 fps ("frames per second"). With 60 fps, the image looks particularly fluid during movements, while 30 fps conserves the bandwidth of your Internet line. For video conferences, 30 frames per second are completely sufficient, especially as providers often do not allow higher frame rates here. To produce video. For streaming, it should be 60 fps. Gameplay material, for example on platforms such as Twitch or YouTube, is now predominantly recorded at 60 fps. In addition, face-cam recordings with a lower frame rate no longer seem quite up to date. High Internet bandwidth is required here, especially for streaming. Background effects from programs like Microsoft Teams or Zoom are also popular. In order for these to stand out as well as possible from the surroundings, a good resolution and a higher frame rate are useful in addition to the processing power of the system.
Which criteria do I have to consider when buying a webcam?
Sharp and smooth recordings are indeed a basic requirement for a good webcam, but for a satisfactory overall package, other features are also required. You should pay attention to the following features:
Full HD resolution and smooth 60 frames per second are only half the battle for a successful video image, as the sharpness must also be right. This regulates the focus, so ideally the image is always sharp, no matter the distance. But a wrong value can make you appear out of focus, for example if you are no longer in the optimal focus range due to movement. An autofocus feature enables the webcam to keep your face in focus by itself, for example. If you move around a lot in front of the camera, you should pay special attention to this feature. However, if you usually sit opposite your webcam at your desk, a fixed focus is sufficient. However, you then have to keep the distance specified by the webcam, which is less comfortable.
A security concern with webcams is being spied on unnoticed. Hackers can theoretically access unprotected cameras and thus observe residents. Covers for the lens are a remedy here. When buying a webcam, pay attention to whether a separate cover is included or if it is attached to the camera as a slider – foldable solutions are also available. Separate protection of course always carries the risk of being lost. Self-adhesive solutions are sometimes offered as an alternative or for retrofitting.
In addition to a cover, you can of course also simply pull the plug of the webcam. If this is too inconvenient for you or if you often do not think about it, there is also the convenient LED solution that warns you of surreptitious glances. Meanwhile, almost every webcam has a built-in LED light that lights up as soon as the webcam is used. So in case of doubt an unintentional foreign access can be indicated to you. A rather subtly shining light is recommended, which does not disturb or even dazzle you when used as specified.
Stand and tripod thread
If you often change your workplace or work device, a flexible stand can make your webcam life easier. Many models are rotatable, can be adjusted in the tilt and also fold forward. This makes the camera extremely adaptable. You are more flexible in choosing your sitting position in front of the camera. There are even high-end cameras that always align themselves automatically to you via tracking.
For even more flexibility there are also webcams with tripod thread. With such a compatible tripod you have more freedom to position the camera flexibly. You can use tripod mounts as well as flexible gooseneck tripods. The latter can be used especially flexibly due to their elongated and bendable shape and offer a maximum of free positioning of the webcam. What about the connections. The compatibility of the webcam important? Plug in. Let's go! Fortunately, most webcams take this to heart. Usually the camera is connected via USB. No additional programs or manual installations are required ("plug&play") Play") . Your operating system takes over all necessary processes automatically. After a short setup phase, the webcam is fully functional. For devices without a USB Type A port, such as a MacBook, there are suitable adapters for connecting the camera.
Especially if your device has Windows as operating system, the webcam should be set up without any problems and without compatibility restrictions. After all, Microsoft Windows is the most widespread operating system in the world. Accordingly many webcams support this software environment. But in individual cases, a high resolution can depend on the Windows version. For example, not be compatible with the older Windows 7. If you use a different operating system, such as macOS, ChromeOS or Linux, you should find out more in advance. As a rule, manufacturers provide information about supported operating systems and interfaces on their products and websites.
Which features can I do without in the home office??
Tracking technology, 4K resolution and other features sound great, but are less necessary for occasional meetings with friends and acquaintances. Purely for home office use, you can lower your demands on a webcam.
In times when relatively many people work in home offices and see a lot of each other virtually, providers like Microsoft or Zoom are keen to reduce their server loads and avoid outages. They achieve this by throttling the transmission quality obligatory. For example, in team conferences, the resolution is reduced to a maximum of 720p when a certain number of participants is reached or as required – even if you have a 4K webcam. And if your Internet line is quite slow, video calls may automatically throttle resolution and frame rate to adjust traffic to the lower bandwidth.
Especially with slow internet lines, a webcam that goes beyond HD resolution and 30 frames per second would basically be a waste of money. Because a simple but reliable home office webcam, which is already available for under 30 or around 40 euros, can deliver solid results.
If the webcam is to do its job reliably in darker environments, its handling of unusual lighting conditions is also important in addition to the resolution. In the CHIP test, this circumstance was explicitly tested and evaluated.
Video chat in the home office
Image: MarcosMartinezSanchez / Getty Images
What can I do if the webcam does not work??
It can happen that the webcam does not work, although it is plugged in and the PC is switched on. However, this is usually no reason to worry and you can save yourself a time-consuming driver reinstallation or even the purchase of a new webcam. Because in our experience, the solution is usually the simplest imaginable:
The old often tried and tested plug-in trick: simply plug the webcam into another USB port. As simple as it sounds, this has worked many times before. If you can't rule out a defective USB port, for example because you only have one available, connect another USB device to the affected port. If this device does not work either, there is probably a hardware defect in your PC or notebook.
To be on the safe side, you should also visit the manufacturer's website of your webcam and make sure that your PC or laptop meets the necessary requirements regarding connection and operating system. Usually you will also find suitable drivers for your webcam here. Updating the drivers or reinstalling them (including the hardware) can also help.
What are the most important questions about webcams?
Why should I tape off the webcam?
Like everything else on your PC, the webcam can be hacked with adequate effort. The attacker can tap the webcam's data without your knowledge. If you tape off the webcam, it's a simple physical obstacle that can't be overcome digitally. This protects you from attacks, but also saves you from embarrassing situations should a recording unknowingly run.
Which webcam is suitable for streaming?
To stream publicly in appealing quality, you need a webcam with at least 1080p resolution, 60 frames per second, and useful image enhancements like autofocus, an automatic white balance, or an image stabilizer. Also, it should be easy to adjust the position of the camera. But lighting is also relevant in the streaming setup.
How does the PC access the webcam??
Modern webcams can usually be installed on current operating systems simply by plug&play Play to be connected. You only have to connect the device to the PC and after a few seconds it is ready for use – programs for video calls or for recording automatically recognize the webcam, possibly the desired camera still has to be selected as image source in the program settings,
Which webcam is the best?
The Logitech Brio 4K proved to be the top recommendation in the test. It offers excellent image quality with appropriate microphones and strong equipment. These include 4K video recording, 60 frames per second in full HD, good voice clarity, and autofocus and lush viewing angles. Unfortunately the webcam is quite inflexible. Costs with about 200 euros also quite much.