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Razer Kiyo Broadcasting Camera with Illumination Review
Review By @ 09:18pm 10/06/20

Product: Razer Kiyo Broadcasting Camera with Illumination
Type: Webcam
Price: ~ $185 AUD
Availability: Out Now

We’re somewhat belated on our review of Razer’s portable webcam streaming solution, Razer Kiyo, but you see, there’s a fork in the road that gave us the chance to look beyond its intended use as a streaming device for the avid or up and coming content creator, and that’s in how it also functions from both a personal and professional perspective. As the device’s name suggests, the Kiyo comes with an adjustable “multi-step ring light” and is mountable on your laptop screen or monitor, but also features the ability to utilise a mounting screw and mono or tripod setups, giving placement of your mug a freedom baked in webcams simply can’t.

In addition to the above, the Kiyo also streams in 720p at 60fps, which makes this near two year-old device still essential. And that fork in the road? Well, upon the work from home (WFH) mandate of the past few months, having the Kiyo on-hand has made our Zoom, Webex, Teams, Hangouts (et al) meetings better than ever, while also amplifying connections with family and friends. Whether it’s been in remote meetings from a business perspective, or just hanging with a core group to chat or even do silly trivia or the like, Kiyo has helped us remain super-connected. And while we’ll cover this off in a separate review, utilising Kiyo in tandem with the Razer Seiren X Condenser Streaming Microphone, has just made everything that much easier.

"While the Kiyo can’t get you coffee or lunch, or do your make-up, it does offer up an excellent lighting solution with mobility and a robust design, and all at an affordable price..."

Where the Kiyo also amplifies (heh) is in its budget approach to looking good. Now, that’s not to say this is a ‘budget’ device, rather the Kiyo offers up a near (home) studio quality for the would-be streamers out there working off a budget. A lot of the bigger Twitch, Mixer and YouTube cats have professional lighting, green screens and, in some (unnecessary cases), their own on-site PAs. While the Kiyo can’t get you coffee or lunch, or do your make-up, it does offer up an excellent lighting solution with mobility and a robust design, and all at an affordable price.

Tech Talk

With the Kiyo, Razer has managed to pack a lot of function into a small space. You can take stills with it, stream and chat, and with the right third-party software you can double it as a camera, though it isn’t wholly designed for that. It also has a built-in microphone, however, this addition isn’t optimal. Using a laptop built-in mic, or a standalone mic such as a Blue Yeti or, even better, Razer’s own Seiren X (review incoming), is the best way you can make the most of your setup.

Where it falls short, no pun intended, is in the relatively short cord length. When using the Kiyo with my monopod, I still couldn’t set it very far away. It wasn’t necessarily needed from a testing point of view, or for my own personal and professional usage, but having the extra length could help someone else’s requirements. That said, the device’s portability gives it a massiv tick, meaning you can take it with you for group streaming events, harkening back to the days of BYOC, sans massive computers, LAN-based games, and the truly geektacular lugging rights applicable to all of that.

Ah, the good old days.
  • Desktop streaming camera with multi-step ring light
  • High fps HD Video (720p 60fps/1080p 30fps)
  • Compatible with Open Broadcaster Software and Xsplit
  • Connection type: USB2.0
  • Image resolution: 4 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 1080p @ 30FPS / 720p @ 60FPS / 480p @ 30FPS / 360p @ 30FPS
  • Video encoding: YUY2/MJPEG or H.264
  • Still Image Resolution: 2688x1520
  • Image Quality Settings Customisation: Yes
  • Diagonal Field of View (FOV): 81.6 °
  • Focus Type: Auto
  • Mounting Options: L-shape joint and Tripod (not included)
  • Cable Length: 1.5 meters braided cable
  • Illumination: 12 white LEDs
  • Color Temperature: 5600K “daylight”
  • LED Diffuser: Milky White
  • Buttons: 12 step ring dial
  • Brightness: 10 Lux @ 1m
  • Audio Codec: 16bit 48KHz
  • Polar patterns: Omnidirectional
  • Sensitivity: -38dB
  • PC with a free USB port
  • Windows® 7 (or higher)
There’s not a lot left to really reveal other than the cam’s light is a huge bonus and in testing it within a dark room, or dimly lit spaces, it remained functional and illuminating. 1080p at 30fps was a decent option, but the best output is 720p at 60fps. I mean, an ailing elderly burden on the other end of your video call isn’t going to care about the quality of your end of the stream, but in your PIP display, at least you can gawk at yourself in glorious higher resolution and frame stability, while nodding away and saying “that’s nice, Nanna”.

Just remember when it is you’re streaming to your growing audience, or learning the fate of your nan’s budgies. You don’t want to get either of them mixed up. But at least you’ll look good doing it if you do. Highly recommended kit.
What we liked
Light, durable and packing a lot of great technology
Affordable entry point for would-be streamers
1080p or 720p streaming between 30fps and 60fps depending on your needs
An excellent built-in illumination wheel
mono and tripod mountable
What we didn't like
Built-in mic is serviceable, but not ideal
A short cord might not work in all situations
No real software to be able to craft ideal settings, saved for immediate use
Chroma support to play with the lighting ala LIFX-type colours is a missed opportunity
We gave it:
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