Brio 500 Webcam
If you’re using a webcam, chances are it’s come from the likes of Logitech, who have an excellent pedigree with video conferencing gear. Logitech’s Brio 500 Webcam was launched in September offering a hybrid option for those working from home, who also want to use their equipment after finishing work for the day.
The webcam is priced at $199.95 RRP and offers a sensor with 1080p resolution with auto-light correction and comes with an innovative mount that lets you point the webcam down at your desk to show off notes, illustrations or whatever you need, even letting you flip the image automatically.
The webcam also looks great with that cylinder design which sits fairly unobtrusively on top of your display.
I’ve been using the Brio 500 Webcam for a couple of weeks now, and here’s how it went.
Setup is easy. Simply plug the camera in and Windows 11 immediately recognised it. You can also head to www.logitech.com/tune to download the Tune software for Mac or Windows to access more tuning and features. You can also plug it in to Chrome OS devices and use it as a camera, but there’s no Logi Tune software for Chrome OS, so you don’t quite get as many features.
The Brio 500 Webcam only comes with a USB-C connector, so if you don’t have a USB-C port you’ll need an adapter – though you’ll have to ensure you’re plugging it into a USB-A port with sufficient speed to accept the higher quality video.
Setup is easy, Windows auto discovered and installed the camera and once I downloaded the Tune software a prompt to update the firmware popped up, and 2-3 minutes later the camera was updated and off we went.
Design and Hardware
The Logitech Brio 500 has a low-profile barrel design that doesn’t stick out when mounted on top of your display. The camera is available in three colours: Graphite, Off-White and Rose. The Graphite model that Logitech sent over for review is not a solid black, but has flecks of grey throughout which looks great.
Internally, the Brio 500 uses a 4MP sensor offering 1080p resolution video at 30fps or up to 60fps if you drop to 720p resolution. The video captures in 16:9 aspect ratio so it’s a fairly wide depth of field, though you can customise that in the settings. It’s a decent resolution, though a 60fps option on the 1080p capture would offer more utility for smoother video, but it looks great, even in low-light thanks to the .
There’s an indicator LED on-board which sits Yellow when in stand-by and White when active. For the privacy conscious though you can easily and quickly shut it off with a physical shutter that is activated by a twist on the end of the camera making it easy to control who can see you at any time.
There’s dual mics on board for stereo audio capture and it’s effective up to 1.2m. It’s not the greatest audio quality as you can see from the above test, so if you have another mic you’ll likely find that will capture better quality.
The bracket itself attaches to most flat monitors with ease, but has a sticker to ensure it stays in place if you have a thicker, or curved monitor like mine. There’s a circular socket to mount the camera, with a lever arch that allows you to move the camera up and down for the ‘Show Mode’ that lets you point it down at your desk for Show Mode – more on that later.
The circular mount allows you to swivel the camera left and right – however it can be a little easy to do this and does it itself if you’re stretching the cable out to the PC from your monitor like mine.
I would like to see a standard ¼”-20 tripod screw on the base of the camera for more versatile mounting, but it works decently enough.
The Brio 500 is chock full of features and adjustments available in the Tune software, though if you want to just plug it in, then Windows and MacOS will just discover it as a camera and you’re off and racing. The Logitech Tune software does add access to more configuration settings, as well as Show Mode.
The ability to tilt the camera forward on the mount triggers Show Mode if you have it enabled in the Tune software. Once enabled it will automatically flip the camera orientation so that people can see any notes or images you want to highlight.
Using the Tune software you can also change the zoom, to more tightly focus on the work down below.
Another feature is RightSight which will automatically lock onto your face and attempt to keep it in frame. Once enabled in the Logi Tune software the camera will automatically zoom in as required. This feature works quite well, especially if you want to stand up and present on camera, even tracking you if you walk around. You can of course choose to leave it turned off and use one of the preset zoom settings which offer three Fields of View: 65° 78° and 90°.
The Tune software will also automatically adjust for Focus, Exposure, White Balance and even add in High Dynamic Range (HDR), though you can turn these features off. There’s also options to change the Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness manually.
Should you buy it?
The Logitech Brio 500 Webcam is a great update for anyone using an older webcam or older laptop with an internal webcam that can’t be upgraded.
The quality update to 1080p is great and perfect for Zoom, Teams or Meet meetings, or you can opt for smoother video at the lesser 720p/60fps option. While the microphone isn’t the greatest, it does offer a lot of utility in a pinch if you just need to be heard.
Feature wise, Show Mode is an excellent option if you’re often needing to show off hand-written notes or drawings. Also Real Sight is a decent option if you want to move around a bit without having to move the camera itself.
The $199.95 price tag is similar to the Logitech C922 which competes at this price, though it offers more in terms of zoom, field of view and also adds in great features like Show Mode and Right Sight.
Overall, the Brio 500 Webcam is a great workhorse for punching up the quality of your video meetings and is definitely a great choice.