Lights, Camera, Action! The Razer Kiyo: a streamer’s webcam

There are numerous factors which can impact the quality of a camera on stream; multiple settings in streaming software, processor limitations, internet bandwidth, the quality of the camera in use and most importantly (in my estimation), lighting. After using the popular Logitech C920 webcam for an extended period of time, I opted to purchase the Razer Kiyo as soon it was released in order to upgrade the quality of my streams. Although I do not currently use a camera while streaming on Twitch, I used the Razer Kiyo for several months for streaming and regularly use it for video conferencing and content creation. The Razer Kiyo is a fantastic option for content creators looking to upgrade their camera quality, however it cannot be expected to be the “end all, be all” of lighting sources for a streamer looking to leverage a green screen.

As mentioned previously, lighting is perhaps the single most important determining factor when it comes to camera quality on stream. Nothing beats natural light, however for many streamers leveraging this daily for extended streams is not a viable option. The previously mentioned Logitech C920 does an admirable job of capturing very high quality video for live streaming, however in order for the focal point of the video to look good, you must have a considerable amount of light. This has resulted in many gamers and streamers leveraging ring lights and other creative sources to provide a consistent and reliable light on their person.  

Here the primary light source is natural lighting. The backlight of the Kiyo helps correct any shadows/unevenness

The Razer Kiyo’s built in light proves exemplary when used for live streaming and can be adjusted and/or turned off if the ambient light in your designated streaming space is sufficient. The ability to lessen, increase or turn off the light entirely means the Kiyo is essentially “plug and play” and can prove immediately impactful in multiple environments. When used at night with only my two monitors as additional light sources (and no green screen in use), the quality of light is truly remarkable. Additionally, when streaming during the day (as I’ve my computer facing a window) the light ring on the Kiyo can be adjusted to compensate for lighting unevenness. Finally, the Kiyo is relatively unobtrusive and given it’s compact size is a fantastic option for consolidating hardware around your streaming setup.

To the uninitiated, if you’re looking to leverage a green screen while streaming the single most important piece of equipment needed is (you probably guessed by now) consistent lighting. The surface of the green screen needs to be lit evenly and wholly and it would be unrealistic to expect a device the size of a webcam to be able to lit the entire surface of a large green screen consistently. That being said, there have been a handful of times where I was able to zoom in slightly with the Razer Kiyo and leverage a green screen effectively. While additional lighting is still needed to chroma key a background out efficiently, the Razer Kiyo is a tremendous complimentary direct light source for streamers who leverage a green screen.

Here the Kiyo (along with dual monitors) is being used as the only light in a pitch black room. Perfect for streamers going deep into the night

The Razer Kiyo is a fantastic webcam for streamers/content creators looking to improve the quality of their productions.The Kiyo maintains 720p resolution at 60 frames per second and 1080p at 30fps and more importantly, eliminates the single biggest hurdle adversely impacting quality camera shots-lighting. While it is by no means the only light source necessary for extremely high quality camera shots, the fact the Razer Kiyo comes with a light when competing webcams cost around the same price and don’t come with a light makes the Kiyo the most attractive webcam for streamers and content creators of all ilks.

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