Razer’s new 4K webcam, the $299.99 Kiyo Pro Ultra, is available starting today from Razer’s site and at its retail stores. Razer promises DSLR-like video quality with its 1/1.2-inch Sony Starvis 2 sensor, which it claims is the largest ever in a webcam. This webcam offers an f/1.7 aperture that should allow for natural-looking bokeh and hopefully solid low-light performance, too.
Like many webcams these days, the Kiyo Pro Ultra was made to tempt creators away from buying a pricey DSLR camera. The Pro Ultra even looks like a DSLR lens, a design it shares with 2021’s Kiyo Pro, a promising but slightly underwhelming 1080p 60fps webcam. It’s kind of hard to distinguish from that older model, though Razer gave the Pro Ultra a twist-to-close privacy shutter.
Razer says the Pro Ultra beats the Logitech Brio and the newer Elgato Facecam Pro by delivering uncompressed 4K video at 24fps or 1440p/30fps, and it can capture 1080p at 60fps or 30fps with HDR. (The Facecam Pro can capture uncompressed 1080p / 60fps footage). If compression doesn’t matter as much to you, the Elgato Facecam Pro beats it in one major way: being able to capture in 4K at a faster 60 frames per second. However, the Kiyo Pro Ultra has an omnidirectional microphone, whereas Elgato’s has no mic.
The Kiyo Pro Ultra is a plug-and-play device, but to customize its many features, you’ll need to use the Synapse companion app for PC. There, you can do things like tweak the digital zoom and turn on its new AI face-tracking feature, as well as customize shutter speed, exposure, and how responsive it is to snapping around the frame to find you. The Kiyo Pro Ultra features onboard memory, so it can remember your settings even if you plug it into a different computer.
Companies love comparing their webcams to DSLRs, though video quality is only one aspect of a great webcam. Others include mic quality, reliability, how useful the companion software is, and other features, like face tracking. The Kiyo Pro didn’t quite hit the mark at $200 (it costs around $100 these days), so I’m curious if its 4K upgrade will feel worth the money.