Although you might associate webcams with video calls, they are also an important part of the picture if you want to stream video content to YouTube or Twitch. Razer’s Kiyo Pro Ultra ($299.99), an update to the already excellent Razer Kiyo Pro, is particularly well suited for streaming thanks to high-detail 4K capture, multiple recording modes, and a large sensor that excels in low-light settings. If you’re serious about creating social content, the Kiyo Pro Ultra should be at the top of your list and earns our Editors’ Choice award. If you aren’t a streamer, you can save money with the 2K Dell Pro Webcam ($134.99), which isn’t nearly as sharp and doesn’t perform as well in low light, but still adds a professional look to your video calls.
A Big, Bright Lens
At 3.0 by 2.4 inches (WD), the cylindrical Kiyo Pro Ultra is huge for a webcam, eclipsing even the Kiyo Pro (2.7 by 1.9 inches) in size. The Dell Pro Webcam, for comparison, is quite a bit longer, but less wide at 3.5 by 1.7 inches.
It looks and feels like a wide-angle lens for a mirrorless camera, complete with a ridged ring that runs along the outside. Instead of controlling focus when you turn the ring, it opens and closes the internal, iris-style privacy cover. Curiously, the box also includes a black rubber cap if you want extra protection. Neither disables the audio, but the cap at least muffles it some if that’s a concern. Both the Kiyo Pro and the Dell Pro Webcam have removable privacy covers, too, but nothing so fancy as a mechanical iris.
Razer claims the Kiyo Pro Ultra’s sensor is larger than on any other webcam. It measures 1/1.2 inches, which is close in size to that of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 1/1.3-inch sensor. Pairing this big sensor with a fast f/1.7 aperture allows far more light into the camera, which is essential for low-light performance. A clear shield on the front provides protection, while a matte black plastic ring holds the two microphones and a status LED. A USB-C port sits on the back for use with the included 5-foot, fabric-wrapped USB-A-to-USB-C cable.
A wide, square monitor clip screws into the bottom of the camera. The clip has a generous front lip and a wide flip-down foot, both of which feature a grippy rubber coating to ensure stability on your monitor or laptop screen. If you close the clip, you can use its screw mount to attach the camera to a tripod.
Same Synapse Software
Like nearly every Razer peripheral, you can use the Razer Synapse software to adjust the Kiyo Pro Ultra. Just note that the latest version, 3.0, works only on Windows 10 and 11 devices, not Macs or Chromebooks.
The application has a bit more bloat than other webcam control apps, but it offers plenty of options. For instance, you can set picture quality (1080p60, 1440p30, and 4K30); switch between autofocus and auto-exposure with a variety of different metering and tracking options; manually set the focus and exposure; toggle HDR (with modes for dark or bright rooms), lens distortion compensation, low light compensation, and both 2D and 3D noise reduction; and tweak brightness, contrast, saturation, and white balance with a variety of presets. There’s a lot to work with even before you start capturing.
Fantastic Picture Quality, Modest Microphones
We’ve tested plenty of 4K webcams and the Kiyo Pro Ultra’s picture quality plainly stands out, particularly against the maximum 1080p resolution of the Kiyo Pro. I look incredibly sharp in well-lit test captures; individual hairs on my head and beard appear crisp and detailed.
In a first for the webcams I’ve tested, the Kiyo Pro Ultra’s wide-open f/1.7 lens actually softens the background enough to produce natural bokeh (background blur). The narrow focus plane helps you stand out from your background, though this means you can’t easily show off what’s behind you. If your content requires you to constantly move around or highlight items in the recording space, you have to focus manually via the Synapse software. Whether that’s annoying or ideal depends on what type of content you want to make.
In terms of coverage, the Kiyo Pro Ultra has a narrower field of view than the Kiyo Pro (82 degrees compared with 103 degrees). However, that’s still more than sufficient for head-and-shoulders shots.
Meanwhile, its 1/1.2-inch Sony Starvis 2 sensor shines in low-light settings, surpassing the Kiyo Pro’s picture quality in the same conditions. In tests, I still look clear in a dimly lit room with only accent lighting and a monitor, and my hair retains plenty of fine detail. The background looks noisier in this light, but my face remains sharp. The camera’s optional noise reduction feature doesn’t soften details, either. We typically recommend getting a small key light to reduce noise, but this webcam still impresses without one.
There are a few quirks and limitations with the camera. For example, you can’t digitally zoom from the Razer Synapse software in 4K or 1440p modes regardless of whether lens distortion is enabled. The good news is that this limitation doesn’t prevent you from zooming and cropping via third-party capture software, which you should probably use anyway in your workflow for proper framing.
It’s also a bit disappointing that Razer Synapse doesn’t have any face-tracking or auto-framing features, because the camera’s ample resolution would be ideal for panning and zooming while you move around a room. Since this camera is more suitable for content creators than office workers, Razer likely assumes that most users want to frame their shots themselves.
Otherwise, the HDR feature occasionally caused some test videos to look wonky, especially in low-light environments. Fortunately, the camera offers proper exposure in non-HDR mode, so this is barely a loss.
The mics are the webcam’s weakest link. They sound good enough for video calls, but not quite suitable for serious recording or streaming. In testing, recordings were clean enough, but suffered from a bit of echo and lack of detail. The microphones aren’t bad; they just don’t match the picture quality here. As always, we recommend using a USB microphone or a headset to elevate your audio.
A Webcam for Serious Content Creators
The Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra offers the best picture quality of any webcam we’ve tested. It’s pricey at $299.99, but it still earns our Editors’ Choice award for its combination of excellent 4K video and superb low-light performance, which easily surpass the Razer Kiyo Pro. Content creators need not look elsewhere, though the significantly less expensive Dell Pro Webcam has clearer mics and works well for professional video calls.