Good webcams are crucial in an office environment – whether that’s your home office or an open-plan row of desks for an entire department. It’s a bad look to be stuck with a pixelated face or off-color tint during a Zoom meeting, and there are plenty of webcams that improve on the middling built-in offerings found in the average laptop.
Logitech's Logi Brio 505 is a capable upgrade, with a simple USB-C connection, Full HD picture, built-in stereo microphone, and integrated privacy shutter. That’s not to mention its host of useful smart features, including a variety of zoom, viewing angle, and autofocus options to customize the image you put out to your colleagues or customers.
The Brio 505 is essentially identical to the 500 model, but comes with a detachable cable and a three-year warranty – unlike the fixed cable and one-year warranty of the 500. There’s also a Brio Stream model that outputs in 4K with improved noise canceling, for about double the price, but the average employee should find the Brio 505 works fine for their needs.
Field of view: 90°/78°/65°
Frame rate: 30fps/60fps
Digital zoom: 4x Digital zoom
Inbuilt microphone: Stereo mic
Privacy cover: Yes
Connection: USB-C to USB-C
The Logitech Brio 505 feels tailor-made for a workspace – whether a home office or more corporate setting. Its RightSight technology automatically frames you in the center of the image, with a capable autofocus which means you’ll never be staring at fuzzy faces in an important meeting.
While you’ll get the best results using it as a solo operator, the 505’s adjustable field of view – going up to a 90-degree angle – means you can fit in a few colleagues in a squeeze, and even change the viewing angle on the fly. You can turn off the automatic picture modes to get a fixed angle and focus distance, if you want more of a controlled image, but most users should be happy with an algorithm doing the work.
You’ll get a basic stereo microphone built into the webcam itself. It sounds crisper than the average laptop mic, and comes through clearly on calls – a perfectly capable workhorse for daily meetings. Logitech’s audio tech also highlights nearby voices and filters out background noise; it’s no replacement for a sound-proof room, but will help in the midst of an open-plan office. Just be mindful that getting a dedicated microphone will be a better shout for streamers and those seeking a more premium setup.
One neat feature is Logitech’s Show Mode, which inverts the camera when tilted downwards, allowing colleagues on the call to read notes, sketches or diagrams you’ve been doing on your desk.
Build and handling
The Logitech Brio 505 is a sleek device, with a basic gray palette that will help it blend in with the casing of most monitors. Its longer than some cheap webcams, given its ultra-wide viewing angle and embedded microphones, and you’ll find an indicator on the front that lights up when the camera is in use.
A sleek dial on the right-hand side of the Brio 505 controls a privacy shutter, which covers the camera when you want to be offscreen – a neat feature that should help workers feel more at ease throughout the day.
The USB-C connection is very straightforward, though you’ll want to make sure you have a compatible port on your computer, or an adapter handy. With a 1.5m cable, too, you shouldn’t have a problem reaching the relevant ports.
Getting the 505 in the right position can be a bit tricky – between a screen clamp and an adhesive sticker it will attach securely enough, but the magnetic base of the camera itself can see the Brio 505 pop out of place when you attempt a minor adjustment, or to make use of the webcam’s Show Mode feature. But once in place, the software should do the rest.
The Brio 505 creates an adept, colorful picture – better than the built-in webcam in your average PC, and certainly superior to the built-in 720p lens in this reviewer’s Macbook Air. There are a host of quite drastic filters, alongside more precise settings for brightness, contrast, sharpness, and the like – but, in general, we found the default presets perfectly fine. For best results, we recommend a well-lit room.
During meetings, the 505 offers a crisp 1080p resolution, without judder, while the camera gently shifts its focus to follow the user’s body when you move out of view – you can also adjust the speed at which this happens. The overall experience is very sleek, with a smart 1-2 second delay to ensure the camera isn’t jumping about at every tilt of the head.
There is an option to record in 720p/60fps instead of the default 1080p/30fps; the 720p setting can cause some flicker, though we found it ceased when closing the companion Logi Tune software. We would steer clear of the HDR setting, though, as it does little to the picture – if anything, colors are more vibrant without it!
The Logitech Brio 505 is an accomplished piece of kit, with a capable Full HD picture and the software smarts to make the most of a workplace setting.
Some technical wrinkles around 720p video and HDR are disappointing, but also easily sidestepped (neither of these features is activated by default), and the smooth auto-framing more than makes up for it. For an all-in-one office webcam and microphone, the Brio 505 is a very capable choice. But if you’re after a webcam that outputs 1080p at the higher 60fps frame rate, you may want to check out the Elgato FaceCam instead.
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