In the past, webcams were used by those business folk who like to have constant meetings to argue the same boring questions only to end with the same answers. But since the popularity of streaming has skyrocketed and streaming platforms have popped up everywhere, the everyday gamer has all flocked to sites like Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook gaming to try their luck at being the next DrDisrespect or “insert popular streamer name here”. Damn, I think I am giving away my age here. Apex Interactive and Razer sent us the Razer Kiyo Pro. Arriving at the perfect time, I finally have fibre, which means, it’s stream time. So I took the Razer Kiyo Pro for a spin…
The Razer Kiyo Pro follows its very successful predecessor in general design, minus the obvious ring light. The first impression when I took the Razer Kiyo Pro out of its box was how heavy it is. Naturally, this gives the feeling of quality which we have grown to know with Razer and their premium range of products. The lack of ring light around the outside of the Razer Kiyo Pro makes it look a lot more unobtrusive although it is fairly large and tough to miss when placed on top of your monitor. The mounting options are endless and you have the option to either mount it to your desk, place it on top of your monitor or use a tripod, the Razer Kiyo Pro is capable of all of them. If you are planning to not use the Razer Kiyo Pro, Razer even supplies a privacy cover that can be placed over the camera for those moments you don’t want to share with an audience.
Razer has also made sure the Kiyo Pro is nearly indestructible, nearly, don’t go smash it with a hammer to prove me wrong, please. Razer has fitted the Kiyo Pro with Gorilla Glass 3, the lens is both damage- and scratch-resistant. The dimensions of the Razer Kiyo Pro are rather bulky and as I mentioned earlier it is bulky on the top of your monitor but thanks to the sleek design and all-black appearance, it looks really classy when added to nearly every setup.
Supported resolution: 1080p at 60 fps / 1080p at 30 fps with HDR enabled
The diagonal field of view: Adjustable between 80°, 90°, and 103°
Focus type: AF and MF
Lens type: Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Built-in mic: Stereo
Dimensions: 21.5 x 18 x 11.5 cm
Connection type: USB 3.0
Cable length: 1.5m long braided cable
Video & Audio Quality & Software
A large drawcard towards the Razer Kiyo Pro is the fact that it is capable of doing 1080p recording at 60fps while not sacrificing image sharpness. Compared to its predecessor which was only capable of doing 720p at 60fps while going to 1080p would only give you 30fps. The Razer Kiyo Pro does have another improvement that comes in the way of HDR recording, this does however only happen at 30fps, but hey, HDR for the win! My previous experience with webcams has always been the ones built into laptops. Compared to the webcam fitted to some of the priciest laptops we have ever reviewed, the Razer Kiyo Pro simply smashes it out of the park.
The biggest difference that I saw moving from my budget webcam to the Razer Kiyo Pro is the low light ability! When using my budget webcam, I had to ensure that I had the room lights on at all times otherwise I would get lost and the camera would constantly be adjusting the focus to try and brighten me up and compensate. Switching over to the Razer Kiyo Pro, even with the main lights off, using only a side lamp and the shine from the monitor the Kiyo Pro is able to effortlessly increase the ambient lighting and even cancel out the change of lighting coming from the monitor. This is achieved without even using the Synapse software which is wonderful for those looking for a powerful and capable webcam that can be used as a plug-and-play device.
Razer only recommends that you connect the Kiyo Pro via USB3.0 to ensure no compression or creates stuttering during streaming if your rig is not quite as beefy. Installing the Synapse software gives you a large number of extra options. Such as three options for FOV (Field of View). Narrow( 80′), Medium (90′) and Wide being 103′. This can easily be changed via Synapse and gives users some flexibility depending on what they want or need to achieve. Using the Wide option, while sitting only about 1.2m away from the Kiyo Pro, when folding my arms open would see it capture my hands on both hands in the same shot which says a lot for the FOV, or it means I have rather short arms…
Unlike many other software programs that are used by peripherals, barring one or two, are generally terrible. The Razer Synapse software is one of the exceptions. Synapse gives you the ability to adjust the basics, such as brightness, contrast, saturation, and white balance. Click on the advanced settings and you have even more to tinker with. Sharpness, gain, Powerline frequency, aperture, and even tilt, to name but a few. While playing around with the Razer Kiyo Pro, which meant spending significant amounts of time looking at myself on a screen, I did notice one slight chink in the Kiyo Pro’s armour. When I was moving around in my chair and leaning in or laying back in my chair the focus adjustment that the Kiyo Pro had to make was apparent. If you are sitting still and not moving in and out too much you might not even notice it but in extreme movement situations, you can see it adjusting its focus. You can get past this hurdle if you use manual focus but if you are changing your stream from static actions to more moving actions then you might need to stick to the autofocus.
The microphone is something that I happened to test without meaning to. I use a very respectable brand of headset with a magnificent microphone that comes along with it. When jumping into a discord chat with friends they often comment that my voice almost sounds too crisp and in their ear. After connecting the Razer Kiyo Pro I didn’t think to ensure my input device did not default to the Kiyo Pro and proceeded to join on my friends. They immediately commented on the change in microphone quality and said it sounds very natural, apart from the ambient noise that was now being picked up such as keyboard chatter. From this, it is evident that the Kiyo Pro microphone will be able to double as a microphone for those office meetings via Zoom or Teams. For streamers, it will suffice but a noise-canceling microphone will be the better option.
The Razer Kiyo Pro is a worthy upgrade from the standard Kiyo thanks to the ability to record at 1080p and 60fps, and the added HDR makes it a no-brainer for streamers who are looking to elevate their video quality. Effortlessly achieving what it claims to do gives even more confidence in the Kiyo Pro. If you have a setup that is more towards the entry-level side you might need to consider setting resolutions to 720p to avoid stuttering but beefier rigs won’t struggle to achieve a solid 1080p at 60fps. All of this great hardware and software all packed into a device that will look as comfortable in an office space mounted to an office monitor, as well as mounted to a monster gaming rig, makes the Razer Kiyo Pro one of the ultimate do-it-all webcams, well, at least in our opinion.
9/10 stars only due to the rather hefty price tag.
Special thanks to Apex Interactive for the reviewed product