Logitech Announces BRIO Webcam: 4K and HDR

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2017 - 04:31 AM |
Tagged: logitech, webcam, brio, 4k, hdr

Today’s announcement of the Logitech BRIO rolls in many features that have been lacking in webcams. With it, you can record in 720p30, 720p60, 1080p30, 1080p60, and, the big reveal, 4K30. It is also capable of shooting in HDR using RightLight 3, although they don’t specify color space formats, so it’s unclear what you will be able to capture with video recording software.

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On top of these interesting video modes, the camera also supports infrared for Windows Hello “or other facial recognition software”. Unlike Intel’s RealSense, the webcam claims support for the relatively ancient Core 2 and higher, which sounds promising for AMD users. I’m curious what open-source developers will be able to accomplish, especially if it’s general enough to do background rejection (and so forth). Obviously, this is just my speculation -- Logitech hasn’t even hinted at this in their documentation.

As you would expect for a 4K sensor, Logitech is also advertising quite a bit of digital zoom. They claim up to 5X and FOVs user-configurable between 65 degrees and 90 degrees.

Finally, the price is $199 USD / $249 CDN and it ships today.

Source: Logitech

February 7, 2017 | 07:46 AM - Posted by encryptededdy (not verified)

although they don’t specify color space

I don't think they mean HDR video as in 10 bit HDR video - it just means that the sensor operates in a HDR frame combining mode such that you get a better image with strong backlighting / shadows etc., similar to how many phones have had HDR video capabilities for a few years now.

Also other publications are reporting you need Kaby Lake for the 4K mode in order to decode the H.265 coming off the camera in 4k mode (although don't quote me on that).

February 7, 2017 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

From their own support page:

"Because BRIO streams with HDR in real-time, you may experience video that is lighter or darker than expected in scenes with heavy contrast (ex. a lot of white or light colors and/or darker colors and tones). The camera may adjust the scene in a way to compensate for the contrast extremes which can cause the entire scene to become lighter or darker."

This leads me to believe that it is not a separate HDR metadata stream like HLG/HDR10/DV, but the camera is simply operating like the HDR mode of any other camera by combining multiple exposures into a single scene. dat buzzword.

February 7, 2017 | 03:29 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

That's what it sounded like, since (apart from their fact sheet headline) they only mention HDR in the context of RightLight 3.

As for Kaby Lake, it doesn't say that anywhere in their fact sheet. Unless the other publications had one-on-one time, which would make sense, they might just be assuming based on H.265 playback hardware. I don't see why they wouldn't use discrete GPUs if available.

February 8, 2017 | 08:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I read through the support section for this device and it claims to use HEVC for its 4K stream, but offers no additional details about profiles or bitrates. If I had to guess, it's probably 8-bit HEVC which is supported by many hardware and hybrid solutions going back to Haswell, Fiji, and Maxwell.

February 7, 2017 | 10:50 AM - Posted by PCPerFan (not verified)

Good to see 4k webcams rolling out even if this one is quite pricey.

February 8, 2017 | 12:04 AM - Posted by razor512

Seems really overpriced, especially considering the cost of smartphones.
For example, if we look at the camera on the galaxy note 7, it cost $11.55 according to IHS, and that camera can not only do 4K 30FPS, but it can also do 240FPS at 720p, and offers decent overall quality.
If we look at teardowns the current 1080p webcams such as the c920, you essentially have the sensor and lens assembly, along with a IC that processes the data from the sensor, and offers USB support.

With the lower complexity of that, why is it that we have $200 smartphones from companies like ZTE that can capture 4K video, along with having a 5.5 inch 1080p IPS display, 32GB RAM, and all of the other specs needed for a smartphone, but a company making a USB webcam feels that they need to charge $200?

I took a screenshot of the google cached page since they recently updated the page to remove pricing.

http://i.imgur.com/QKpfeAI.png
(current version of the page is http://electronics360.globalspec.com/article/7713/teardown-samsung-galax...