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Logitech MX Brio - A More Natural Me

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Wed, 13 Mar 2024, 12:37PM

Logitech MX Brio - A More Natural Me

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Wed, 13 Mar 2024, 12:37PM

Logitech knows what it's doing when it comes to high-quality PC peripherals.

I've been using Logi mice and keyboards for years now and they still perform superbly, even after all this time.

So I was excited to try the latest edition to the Logitech Master Series, even if it meant looking into my own eyes for hours on end.

The MX Brio is a pretty solid piece of work, as webcams go. Although constructed in large part from recycled plastic, it has a classy, metallic look in either Pale Grey or Graphite and a genuine heft that gives you the confidence to use some of the special features I'll discuss shortly.

The mount is ultra-versatile, easily adjusted to provide a snug fit at the top of any screen, thick or thin. As an insurance policy, the supporting pad that holds everything in place is not just soft, it even has an adhesive backing if you wish to fix the MX Brio in place permanently. So far I've found it unnecessary to resort to the sticky pad - it's solid enough just like it is and besides, I wanted to try the camera on a few different devices.

There's another, even more innovative aspect to the way the mount works; the camera itself attaches to it magnetically. This allows you to easily swivel it in either direction or even take it off completely - perhaps if you want to show your viewers something specific that's not currently in shot. Obviously, it still needs to remain connected by its USB-C 3.0 cable but that cable is a generous 1.5m so it gives you a bit of freedom.

Then there's "Show Mode" - one last trick up the MX Brio mount's sleeve. This enables you to flip the camera forward a full 90 degrees to show your viewers your desktop (or benchtop or whatever top you're working on). When you flip the camera this way it automatically reorientates the shot (upside down) so anyone watching sees what you're doing from the same angle you do. You might be unboxing, sketching, assembling something or perhaps even cooking. Show Mode basically eliminates the need for a second camera shooting from above and means less editing too.

There's a satisfyingly physical privacy shutter which closes in a very cool letterbox style when you twist the lens. All in all, the MX Brio is a very well-built, nice-looking device.

So it's just as well what's inside delivers too. 

Logitech describes this as a 4K Ultra HD camera, an important and noticeable step up from the usually disappointing built-in cams on laptops, monitors and all-in-ones. These sub-par webcams usually top out at 1080p and even then perform badly in variable light conditions.

Conversely, the MX Brio shoots at the high frame rate of 60fps at 1080p and does a very satisfactory job of 4K at 30fps. You'll see the difference in fine detail right away in the video below - even though I've had to compress it somewhat to fit the formatting of this website, you'll still definitely get the idea. Unfortunately, those extra details will be the disturbing number of lines, blemishes and countless other asymmetries on my face... just think of it as a gory science experiment.

Actually, if I'm being totally honest, I don't mind the way I come across using the MX Brio - and it's mostly to do with the way the camera deals with light. Again, to quote Logitech, "AI face-based image enhancement keeps you looking sharp." As with most claims about AI, I have absolutely no idea what that's supposed to mean. What I do know is the MX Brio does a fantastic job of automatically adjusting to uneven lighting to come up with a really natural image.

Like most people who regularly post video online or attend a lot of virtual meetings, I've made it a habit to use extra lighting to ensure I don't appear as a backlit silhouette from the witness protection programme. I'm not saying the MX Brio eliminates the need for lights like these but if you're using them, you're far less likely to experience the washed-out, over-exposed effect you maybe prone to which is potentially even worse than the shadows you would have had if you'd left the lights off.

There are toggles for auto-exposure, auto white balance and auto-focus which seem to do a much better job than if I was tweaking those settings manually. That kind of fine-tuning is possible, although confusingly, the settings are accessed through a choice of three different Logitech apps.

This is my main gripe with an otherwise brilliant piece of tech; why are there three different apps that all do more or less the same thing? G Hub, Logi Options+ and LogiTune all seem to offer some fine-tuning controls - although the LogiTune app seems to present the most options in a more user-friendly way. I mean, you don't actually need any of them to get the camera working - you can just plug and play. But if you want to access firmware updates and make use of special features like Show Mode and RightSight, downloading the LogiTune app is definitely the way to go.

By the way, RightSight is Logitech's version of auto-framing - keeping the presenter in the middle of the shot utilising the MX Brio's digital crop and zoom functionality. This feature is itself tweakable - you can adjust the speed of the zoom and how tight you want to keep the shot.

While the MX Brio does a wonderful job of reducing image noise, it's designed to keep the noise you hear down as well. The dual beam-forming mic array uses AI to eliminate as many background sounds as possible, which is crucial if you're a work-from-homer like me. Unfortunately, while the mic is sensitive enough and does an acceptable job of clearly transmitting your voice to your audience, I've still found the end result a bit echoey - more like that of the built-in laptop mics we all know and loathe. If you're serious about decent sound on your online content I'd suggest adding a dedicated microphone to the mix - perhaps even something from Logitech's own Yeti range.

At NZ$359.95 the MX Brio is definitely not a cheap option but then, who wants a cheap-looking video? If you're passionate about your camera content and want to give it a more professional edge, you could do a lot worse than this.



Click here for more information and pricing on the Logitech MX Brio.


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