Last year, I decided I needed to invest in a good webcam for all of the Zoom meetings, interviews, online hangouts and whatever other virtual events were going on — but mainly for video podcast interviews. I looked into a few different models, but ultimately picked the Razer Kiyo Pro.
There were a few reasons why I needed a better quality camera. For one, my PC monitor has no webcam built into it, so if I wanted to use my PC for any of these online events it would be “audio only” for me. Second, I used my new MacBook Pro for my first myVGBC Podcast episode, and I wasn’t too impressed with the video quality.
Sure, the built-in MacBook camera works great for a FaceTime call with family and friends, but once you start editing and posting it just doesn’t look so great. Also, my first podcast guest, Neil Jones, had a better camera and his superior image quality made me realize it was time to upgrade my setup.
I first started looking at the original Razer Kiyo, and the Kiyo Pro was released soon after I started my search. There were some other web cams but I decided on the Kiyo Pro after seeing Alannah Pearce’s test video where she compared it to her old cam. And now after using it for almost a year I can share my thoughts on the Kiyo Pro.
Razer Kiyo Pro Review
*The photos above were provided by Razer.
PC vs Mac
The Razer Kiyo Pro is simple to install. Once you plug it in with it’s included USB 3.0 cable you can instantly start using it. However, in order to change the settings and get an idea of what this camera can really do you’ll need to download the Razer Synapse App (PC only).
The Razer Synapse App has a few features which allow you to adjust different settings on the Kiyo Pro. The problem is that this app only works on PC right now, not on Apple products. That hasn’t really been a major setback for me, since I’ve only really used my PC to record video interviews. I do hope that Razer will bring the Synapse app to Mac in the future though, just to have that as another option.
Most video chats (Discord, Zoom) and other video apps (OBS) do have their own custom video settings — on both platforms. These just feature the basic settings and not everything the Kiyo Pro is capable of.
Let’s start off with the official Kiyo Pro Tech Specs from Razer.com before we jump into my thoughts:
The Razer Kiyo Pro has superior low light performance. This is a great camera for someone who doesn’t want to invest in studio-quality lighting. The camera’s adaptive light sensor allows for great quality video only using my desk lamp or natural lighting.
The Kiyo Pro features three different field of view options — Narrow, Medium and Wide. There’s not that big of a difference between the three, but it’s nice to be able to find the right FOV (field of view) for your video.
For those who aren’t great with custom settings there are a few presets to choose from — Cool, Vibrant, Warm, Default. There are also a few filters to choose from (Cool, Vibrant, Warm) or you can just go with your own custom settings.
The auto-focus feature is one of my favorites. There are two options — Passive and Responsive. It’s nice to have a camera that quickly picks up on your movements and refocuses when necessary. It’s also nice to be able to introduce new objects to the Kiyo Pro and have it quickly focus on them.
I’m a big fan of the Razer Kiyo Pro’s simple exterior design. The webcam feels powerful and rugged in your hands. It doesn’t feel like an inexpensive flimsy plastic webcam of the past. The casing is also pretty large. On my 24-inch PC monitor the size looks great, but on my 13-inch MacBook it looks too big.
The mount is strong and great, and can be used in many ways. I like that it clips onto screens without having to squeeze or scratch anything with its clever design. You don’t have to clip it to anything though, the webcam can stand on its own using the clip as a stand. For my current setup I can either mount the cam to my monitor or have it as a standalone camera on a shelf or my desk.
The privacy cap slides right on, but fits on tight enough that it feels safe. It also doubles as a protective shield for your screen and camera, saving it from dust, dirt and scratches — even though the cam features the extremely durable damage-resistant and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla® Glass 3.
I haven’t really used the built-in microphone on the Razer Kiyo Pro, because my Gaming PC has very loud fans. The mic has a background noise filter, which is a nice feature for light noise. The problem is when the mic is attempting to block my PC fans but also pick up my voice when I talk — it sounds choppy.
Even though I have a couple of nice USB mics, they also pick up the PC fan noise. I mostly have been using my Bluetooth Headset’s mic to chat on video calls. Although, I don’t use the Razer Kiyo Pro’s built-in microphone I am still happy that it is there. It’s great to have in case of an emergency.
I’m really happy I chose the Razer Kiyo Pro as my webcam for video calls and podcasting. It’s a great webcam for me and what I need. I haven’t really experimented much with using it for recording things other than myself though — but I plan to try it out.
It’s also a great streaming webcam if you’re interested in streaming. I recently purchased the Razer Ripsaw HD — not for streaming — to be able to capture more than thirty seconds of gameplay on Nintendo Switch. I’d say that paired with this webcam is a great starter kit for any new streamer.
If you’re willing to spend the extra money for a higher quality webcam, I think this is a great option. There are also tons of great budget webcams out there. If you’re looking for a Razer webcam on a budget they also have the older Original Kiyo and the new Kiyo X (both under $100).
The Razer Kiyo Pro is available for $199.99.
I know that’s pretty expensive, but I wanted to invest in something I could trust to last for a while. I’m sure there are many, cheaper webcams that will do the job. I’m also a fan of Razer products and their design.
*I purchased the Razer Kiyo Pro for myself last year, and I have really enjoyed it and wanted to share my experience as a review.