There was a time when people barely bought webcams. Whenever we needed to make videocalls, we just used the cameras on our laptops, tablets, and phones. They worked well enough. Of course, that sentiment changed with the rise of work-from-home setups, which emphasized the need for a quality webcam to make you look good on those ubiquitous video meetings. The Microsoft Modern Webcam is built exactly for that purpose.
A part of the outfit’s new line of computer accessories, it’s a webcam that, the outfit claims, is optimized for Microsoft Teams, the outfit’s proprietary enterprise communication platform. You know, that software where you can chat and videoconference with your co-workers, whether you’re working at the company building downtown or remotely inside your own homes.
The Microsoft Modern Webcam is clad in a compact enclosure measuring 2 x 1.4 x 2.9 inches (height x width x depth) that looks a lot smaller than most webcams we’ve seen over the years. It has a versatile mount that allows you to secure it on top of the monitors and laptops, as well as set it down on a flat surface and, when used with an adapter, mount it to a tripod. The camera shoots in 1080p at 30 fps with a 78 degree field of view, HDR for excellent color reproduction, and the outfit’s True Look technology, which provides facial retouching, fixed light adjustment, and autofocus on the fly, ensuring it captures the best-looking picture at all times. Other features include automatic adjustments for exposure, white balance, and anti-flicker.
We’re particularly intrigued with the fixed light adjustment as lighting has always been one of the big issues with traditional webcams, which is why Razer’s newest model came with a lens that automatically adjusted its aperture to allow more light as needed. Hopefully, it illuminates scenes well enough to eliminate the need for additional lighting.
The Microsoft Modern Webcam has a built-in privacy shutter that allows you to cover up the lens at any time, so you can eliminate those worries of anyone snooping in during your private moments. Plus, there’s a LED indicator that lets you see at a glance whether the webcam is actually running or not, just in case you’d rather not put on the shutter every time you’re done with a call. While the webcam is certified for Microsoft Teams, it should also work seamlessly with other videoconferencing apps, from Zoom and Skype to Google Meet and Zoho Meeting. Sadly, it doesn’t support Windows Hello face authentication, although most newer laptops already do, so it shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
Aside from the webcam, the outfit also announced a USB-C speaker and a pair of headsets (one wireless and one wired), all of them geared towards videoconferencing (and, if we had to guess, optimized for Microsoft Teams). They join a keyboard and a wireless mouse, both of which have previously been released under the Microsoft Modern branding.
The Microsoft Modern Webcam will be available for purchase starting in June. Price is $69.99.