Gaming isn’t just about your own enjoyment anymore. These days, swarms of gamers record and upload footage of their virtual adventures, and many even stream it live for others to enjoy in real-time, using services like YouTube and Twitch. Gamers aren’t only playing for fun, but also becoming content broadcasters at the same time (many even make money off said content on the side). It is this phenomenon and market that Logitech is targeting with its new webcam.
Logitech calls its new C922 Pro Stream Webcam a tool designed for serious streamers. With the capability to record and stream live 1080p video at 30 frames per second or 720p video at 60 fps, the C922 comes bundled with dynamic background replacement software (Personify ChromaCam) that lets users change their scenery (imagine a green screen) while broadcasting, whether it’s live to an audience or one-on-one chat in Skype or Google Hangouts. And for gamers, it works with XSplit’s software for broadcasting gaming sessions to Twitch, YouTube, and others.
“With the C922 Pro Stream Webcam, we are taking game casting to the next level so you can easily broadcast your gameplay like a pro, better engage with your community, and stand out from the crowd,” said Guillaume Bourelly, portfolio and product manager of webcams at Logitech, in a statement.
Design wise, the C922 looks similar to the older C920 except for some minor cosmetic changes. But it improves on its predecessor with the aforementioned faster 60 fps frame rate that allows for smoother action during streams, albeit at 720p. It uses a lens with an f/2.8 aperture and 78-degree field of view, and has dual stereo mics with noise cancellation (both features also in the C920). With both mics being omnidirectional, it doesn’t matter where you sit in front of your screen – your viewers will be able to hear you loud and clear.
If you don’t care about the advanced features, it’s ready to use with either a Mac or PC, out of the box. Like the C920, the new webcam either clips onto the top of a laptop, or screwed onto a tripod via the mount at the bottom of the webcam; Logitech includes a mini tripod with the camera.
We connected the C922 to a Mac running an older version of OS X (10.8) and a Windows 10 PC, and both systems recognized the webcam instantly, without the need for extra software downloads. We used the C922 with FaceTime and Skype (some software restrict you to 720p, while others let you adjust to 1080p), and the webcam provides sharper, higher quality video capture (although saturation leans a bit toward red) than the built-in webcams (the C922 won’t work with the Skype Preview for Windows 10 at this time). We didn’t notice any issues with lag, although in one instance, there was some delay that we attribute to poor network quality. Note that the webcam supports H.264 compression, but only with Skype.
The C922 has what Logitech refers to as automatic light correction, so you can use it in low-light situations. While you’ll get a better quality picture in bright conditions, performance is decent in low light, which is good news for gamers who enjoy playing in the dark (although we found the built-in camera to perform better in this situation, due to the bright light emitting from the laptop display).
If you want to add some pizzazz to your video calls, you can use the ChromaCam software to remove the background (sorry Mac users, it’s Windows only, although Logitech says Mac support will come in the future). It works in conjunction with Xsplit, OBS, Twitch, Google Hangouts, or Skype applications (in the camera settings, you’ll see an option for the C922 with ChromaCam).
In the ChromaCam panel, you can pick from the few trippy background options, a green screen effect where the subject in front of the camera is cut out from the background, or add your own background image. The green screen works better if you have good lighting and don’t have a complicated background. In our test ChromaCam had some trouble cutting out a cluttered backdrop while maintaining the subject’s shape and form. (ChromaCam works with any webcam and is not a C922 exclusive, but it’s bundled with the C922.)
Logitech teamed up with XSplit and worked closely with the live streaming service to integrate C922 support into the XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster software (Windows only). Gamers can not only stream their gaming sessions to, say, Twitch, but also overlay a webcam video of themselves in real-time (this is where the ChromaCam’s green screen effect comes in handy), images, etc., over the game while they play. XSplit Broadcaster is like a virtual recording studio, and you could even set up multiple webcams, should you choose; in the camera settings, you can pick the resolution and frame rate. We were able to connect the C922 and ChromaCam with both XSplit Broadcaster and Gamecaster without issue, although we weren’t able to test this fully at press time. To get you started, Logitech is including three months of XSplit Premium for free with the C922.
The C922 is available today for $100 via Logitech’s website.
Les Shu contributed to this article.