Dell’s New Ultrasharp Webcam Can’t Beat Logitech’s Best

Over-engineered yet underwhelming

Key Takeaways

  • The Dell Ultrasharp webcam has a Sony Starvis image sensor and can capture 4K video.
  • Despite its specifications, the webcam’s image quality doesn’t beat the competition.
  • The camera’s luxurious and durable design is a problem in day-to-day use.
The Dell Ultrasharp 4K webcam.

Lifewire / Matthew S. Smith

There’s a new competitor in the webcam business.

Priced at $199.99, Dell’s Ultrasharp webcam hopes to compete with the best available, including Logitech’s popular Brio and Razer’s new Kiyo Pro. Dell’s takes a kitchen-sink approach. It serves up 4K resolution, AI auto-framing, and an IR camera, among other features. 

I compared the new Dell Ultrasharp webcam side-by-side with its competitors to see if a long list of features leads to real-world results. 

"The results of this comparison surprised me."

Deflating the hype 

Dell’s Ultrasharp webcam boasts a Sony Starvis image sensor designed to improve image quality for security cameras in low-light situations. Dell is not the first company to use it. Razer’s Kiyo Pro also has a Sony Starvis sensor. Dell’s webcam can handle 4K, however, while the Razer is limited to 1080p.

Both cameras must beat Logitech’s Brio, the champion of high-end webcams. The Brio can handle 4K, but doesn’t have a Sony Starvis sensor. You might think that puts Logitech at a disadvantage but, well—see for yourself. 

Webcam comparison. Razer Kiyo Pro, Dell Ultrasharp 4K, and Logitech Brio.

Lifewire / Matthew S. Smith

This shot was in front of a window providing natural light. The image from the Brio looks sharper and provides a more even, accurate skin tone across my face. It does oversaturate my red shirt, however. 

Dell’s Ultrasharp looks warm and pleasant but, should you zoom in, you’ll notice it captures less detail in my hair, glasses, and eyes. Razer’s Kiyo Pro looks almost as sharp as the Dell, but has trouble with color and looks dull.

This first comparison provides a wide-angle with even lighting. How do the webcams handle a darker, tighter shot?

Webcam comparison in darker light - Raxer Kiyo Pro, Dell Ultrasharp 4K, and Logitech Brio

Lifewire / Matthew S. Smith

Logitech again takes the lead. The Brio’s image is a tad less bright than the Dell, but sharper. The Dell continues to struggle with my skin tone, deciding on a look that’s too warm and rosy. Razer’s Kiyo Pro comes in last with a usable yet dark image that loses a lot of detail.

The results of this comparison surprised me. Dell and Razer emphasize the Sony Starvis sensor, which supposedly excels in poor or modest lighting, but the hype was hot air. The older Brio webcam captured the brightest, sharpest results. 

Too Much Luxury Can Be a Bad Thing


AI auto-framing, which came first to Anker’s Powerconf C300, is included in Dell’s webcam software. It automatically crops the camera so your face is kept in frame. The Dell Ultrasharp webcam also has an IR sensor that supports Windows Hello facial recognition login. Logitech’s Brio supports this, but Razer’s Kiyo Pro does not. 

Dell’s Ultrasharp webcam has a durable metal shell that feels expensive. It’s also bulky, which is a problem if you have anything near your monitor (like a lamp or shelves). Logitech’s Brio is the lightest and can perch on most laptops, while the heavier Dell and Razer webcams can cause smaller laptops to flip backwards.

"Dell’s Ultrasharp webcam doesn’t have its priorities straight."

Dell provides a standard folding mount to perch on a monitor and a screw mount you can attach to a camera tripod. Both connect to the camera with a satisfying magnetic snap. The Logitech and Razer cameras have a screw mount built-in, though, so there’s only one mount to keep track of, not two. 

I’m not a fan of Dell’s recessed USB-C connector. It worked with the included cable, but other cables might not fit. The one included with Razer’s Kiyo Pro was too thick, while another third-party USB-C cable was too wide. This problem is unique to the Dell webcam.

One feature the Dell Ultrasharp lacks is a microphone, as the company expects shoppers buying a premium webcam will already have a high-end mic. I do use a headset microphone more often than not, but a built-in microphone is great for more casual video calls. Ditching it entirely seems an odd choice.

Conclusion


Dell’s Ultrasharp webcam doesn’t have its priorities straight. It packs a Sony sensor and high-end features like an IR camera and AI auto-framing, yet fails to deliver on image quality. Logitech’s Brio, which is now four years old, beats the Dell and is often available for $20 to $40 less. That makes for an easy choice: just buy the Logitech.

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