Razer’s Kiyo Pro Is a Webcam Designed to Make You Look Good in Bad Light

Illustration for article titled Razer's Kiyo Pro Is a Webcam Designed to Make You Look Good in Bad Light

Photo: Sam Rutherford

Webcams are a hot commodity these days, and if your laptop’s built-in cam isn’t doing you any favors, Razer’s new Kiyo Pro promises to make you look good even in bad lighting.

The $200 Kiyo Pro is taking aim at popular premium webcams like Logitech’s Brio and SteamCam, among others, but also has a few major upgrades from Razer’s older webcam.

The biggest change is that unlike the standard $100 Kiyo, the Kiyo Pro doesn’t feature a built-in ring light. Instead, Razer upgraded the Kiyo Pro with a larger 1/2.8-inch full HD CMOS Sony Starvis backside illuminated sensor, which has been tweaked to deliver improved image quality even in harsh conditions like low light or a backlit background. The end goal for the Kiyo Pro is to deliver solid image quality without the need for additional lighting.

Advertisement

The Kiyo Pro connects to your computer via USB-C to USB-A cord.

The Kiyo Pro connects to your computer via USB-C to USB-A cord.
Photo: Sam Rutherford

The Kiyo Pro can capture video at up to 1080p/60 fps or 1080p/30fps with HDR for improved color and exposure. The webcam also offers three fields of view: 80 degrees, 90, degrees, or 103 degrees. And for audio, the Kiyo Pro also comes with a 16-bit stereo mic with an omni-directional polar pattern, which seems fine for general use, but isn’t really meant to replace a high-quality external stand mic.

While I haven’t had a chance to fully test out the Kiyo Pro just yet, I do have to say I like its design. It’s simple and surprisingly understated in a way that should work for both gamers and folks who work from home, and it comes with a detachable stand that can be used to prop up the Kiyo Pro on a desk or on the back of a monitor. I also appreciate that Razer included two tripod mounts for additional flexibility: one on the bottom of the camera itself, and another on the bottom of the detachable stand.

There’s one tripod thread on the bottom of the camera itself, and another on the bottom of the Kiyo Pro’s included stand.

There’s one tripod thread on the bottom of the camera itself, and another on the bottom of the Kiyo Pro’s included stand.
Photo: Sam Rutherford

Advertisement

Razer even throws in a plastic lens cover, which is nice, but I have to admit, it seems a bit like an afterthought. Unlike privacy shutters, which are becoming increasingly common on new laptops, the Kiyo Pro’s cover is closer to what you’d get on a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and when you remove it, there isn’t really anywhere to store it, so it ends up being extra clutter on your desk. I wish Razer had made the cover so that it flipped up or behind the camera when not in use.

Video from the Kiyo did look to be slightly sharper and more colorful in my early testing than the Logitech Brio I’ve been using for the last year. Razer said it specifically designed the Kiyo Pro to handle more gamer-style environments, including setups with RGB lighting, but I haven’t been able to compare quality across a number of different lighting conditions just yet.

Advertisement

Since people probably won’t move their webcams around a lot, I think it would have been nice if the Kiyo Pro’s lens cover had a way of attaching to the webcam, instead of being two separate pieces.

Since people probably won’t move their webcams around a lot, I think it would have been nice if the Kiyo Pro’s lens cover had a way of attaching to the webcam, instead of being two separate pieces.
Photo: Sam Rutherford

Logitech still dominates when it comes to higher-end webcams, but it’s good to see a competitive alternative from Razer. Many jobs are expected to transition permanently to partial remote work post-pandemic, so it’s probably time for a lot of people to start considering upgrading from the panic placeholder gadgets they bought last year.

Advertisement

The Razer Kiyo Pro is available online today direct from Razer for $200, with additional availability from third-party retailers sometime before the end of Q1.

Connect a Nice Camera to Your Computer With an El Gato Cam Link for $107

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

El Gato Cam Link 4K | $107 | Amazon

Look, let’s get something straight. Webcams? They’re fine. If you want to stream and broadcast your beautiful face, a good webcam will certainly do in a pinch. But there’s no substitute for a very nice, professional camera. Whether you have a DSLR or something especially fancy, you’ll usually get better video quality by plugging that in rather than using a webcam. If you’re looking to upgrade your setup, you might want to pick up an El Gato Cam Link 4K, which is currently $107 on Amazon. This simple tech tool allows you to connect any camera to your computer and broadcast in 4K at 30 frames per second (or 1080p at 60fps). It’s a simple “plug and produce” option that’ll really make your face shine through in full detail.


Here’s How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto (Getty Images)

It’s happened to the best of us during this period of extended working from home: You’re minding your own business when suddenly a Zoom room full of your colleagues and/or business partners gets a non-consensual eyeful of unsecured loin. Accident or not, that’s really fucked up. It’s even possible that the incident could lead to professional or personal consequences.

Advertisement

We here at Gizmodo have been discussing this very same problem for no reason in particular at all or anything, why do you ask? And we’ve come up with some tips on how to avoid using Zoom to sexually harass every single person you work with. Please read and consider:

Consider avoiding having your junk out in the first place

Yes, this one is a little out of left field, but hear me out. You can’t expose your genitals to a room full of colleagues—some of whom you may have known and respected for decades!—if you take steps to ensure your genitals aren’t visible to anyone at all.

Advertisement

Clothing designers have known the risks of accidental genital exposure for years, and they’ve designed several innovative technologies to prevent it from happening. For example, they’ve invented pants, which are a sort of leg tube system that adjoins at the top and typically shield the crotch from visibility. They might set you back a bit; expect to pay at least $20 for a good set of pants. The good news is you can buy them pretty much anywhere. (You should probably own several, as the pants system isn’t necessarily foolproof with extended wear and tear.) With properly sized pants secured to your waist, your coworkers won’t be able to see your genitals no matter what you do, other than taking off your pants.

Make sure you don’t confuse pants with “chaps,” which leave the hog and entourage exposed, or buy any models of pants labeled “crotchless,” which is a big red flag. Advanced pants users may also want to consider underwear, an accessory worn under the pants that provides an additional layer of opacity in the case of pants failure. Other options include shorts, skirts, and dresses.

Wear the pants properly

Make sure the pants are affixed as shown in the second image, not the first.

Incorrect pants-wearing:

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom

Photo: Tom McKay/Gizmodo

Advertisement

Correct pants-wearing:

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom

Photo: Tom McKay/Gizmodo

Advertisement

Consider exposing your genitals only outside of work hours and while not on a video meeting

In the past few decades, most employers have actually implemented policies mandating non-exposure to genitalia in the workplace (in many cases, they may even have obligations under federal law to do so).

Advertisement

An employer obviously can’t control what you do in your off time, and when you’re not on Zoom call, they won’t be able to tell if your genitalia is exposed. But better safe than sorry: Only expose yourself on your own time and while not actively on a video call.

Make sure not to hang any photos of your naked body on the wall behind you

Look, no one’s judging you for having six-foot prints of yourself sunbathing at a nudist colony near Saint-Tropez, or hanging them on the wall in your home office—except for me and all of your coworkers. Consider taking them down or at least face the camera away from them.

Advertisement

Similarly, if you have naked images of yourself on in My Documents or whatever, it may be a good idea not to use Zoom’s Screen Share feature.

Make sure you’re not currently transmitting video or audio of yourself to coworkers over Zoom

If you find yourself in a Zoom call with colleagues and want to avoid forcing them to gawk at your genitals, here’s a handy list of things to consider.

Advertisement

Zoom doesn’t just let you watch other people’s cameras; it actually shows you what you’re currently transmitting from your camera. Check the example in the image below on the left. You should make a mental note of what area in your home is visible to any colleagues on the call and avoid exposing any part of your naked body (particularly the reproductive or excretory systems) in that field of vision.

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom

Screenshot: Tom McKay/Gizmodo

Advertisement

Note that while the lower half of your body may technically not be visible on the camera, don’t get overconfident. There’s always the possibility you could stand up or the camera could shift.

Additionally, while it’s a bit outside the scope of this article, you should consider covering other parts of your body as well. This is a no-no:

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom

Screenshot: Tom McKay/Gizmodo

Advertisement

If at some point during the call you need to expose your naughty bits for any reason, Zoom actually has built-in functionality to prevent the matter from escalating to HR. The “stop video” button, as shown in the screenshot below, terminates the video connection between you and your colleagues. (If you find yourself in a situation where your colleagues may overhear weird flesh-slapping or grunting noises while your genitals are exposed or otherwise being manipulated, consider hitting “end audio” as well.) Remember that hitting the “Join Audio” or “Start Video” buttons will reconnect whether you’re decent or not.

The “End” button stops the call entirely, serving much the same function.

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom

Screenshot: Tom McKay/Gizmodo

Advertisement

Make sure you’re not simply muting your speaker audio before whipping anything private out. That could run the risk of, say, an entire Zoom call of colleagues yelling at you to “Cover that shit up!” or “For the love of Christ and all that is holy, stop touching that!” to no avail.

That’s it: Follow these steps and you shouldn’t have any “Zoom dick” incidents, barring a freak incident such as tornado whipping through your house and ripping off your clothes, a member of antifa suddenly pantsing you, or all of your teammates obtaining and wearing X-Ray glasses simultaneously. Feel free to trade tips in the comments below.

Advertisement