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The Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra is the coolest webcam of CES 2023

CNN Underscored will be bringing you the best of CES 2023 all week. Be sure to check out our CES 2023 coverage hub for hands-on previews of the biggest tech this year straight from the show floor.

I’ve reviewed a lot of webcams, so it’s rare for one to make a strong first impression on me. But the second I sat in front of the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra at CES 2023, I could have easily been fooled into thinking I was being captured by a pricey DSLR camera.

Available now for $300, the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra builds on our current high-end webcam pick with an even larger sensor that promises to be the biggest ever in a webcam. That means even more detail and better color. Here’s why it may be the new webcam to beat for serious content creators and broadcasters.

Launch date: Available now on Razer.com
Product: Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra
Price: $300
Why it’s worth your attention: The Kiyo Pro Ultra builds on one of our best webcam picks with an even better sensor that brings it closer in quality to a true dedicated camera. While $300 for a webcam isn’t cheap, it’s much more affordable — and simpler to set up — than getting a fancy DSLR and the gear needed to connect it to your computer.

Razor Kiyo Ultra 2

Mike Andronico/CNN Underscored

As soon as I settled in for a demo with Kiyo Pro Ultra, I could tell this wasn’t an ordinary webcam. Where even the sharpest webcams produce an overall sterile image, the Kiyo Pro Ultra created a striking cinematic bokeh effect that made me look like I was sitting in front of a professional camera. I could make out every strand of my beard in vivid detail, and the camera managed to keep my face in focus as I moved around, all while blurring out the crowd of fellow CES attendees behind me.

This is all made possible thanks to the camera’s Sony Starvis 2 sensor, which Razer says is the largest in a webcam. According to the company, the camera captures almost four times the light of other webcams, which means much more overall clarity and detail. Thanks to the powerful processor inside, you’ll be able to capture true 4K video at 30 frames per second, or 1080p video at a smoother 60 fps.

Razor Kiyo Ultra 1

Mike Andronico/CNN Underscored

Just like the previous Kiyo Pro, the Ultra is plug-and-play via USB-C, allowing you to enjoy its great picture quality with minimal fuss. That’s a whole lot easier — and cheaper — than picking up a DSLR like the $550 Canon EOS Rebel T7 and getting an adapter such as the Elgato Cam Link 4K to get it working with your PC.

And while the Kiyo Pro Ultra works great out of the box, those who like to tinker with every possible setting will be able to do so via the Razer Synapse app. Here, you can manually adjust things like focus, exposure and lighting type; adjust the resolution and frame rate; and toggle HDR for extra-vivid images.

All of this power comes at the expense of size; the Pro Ultra is just about the biggest webcam I’ve seen, even larger than the already-chunky Kiyo Pro. However, it’s pretty sleek for how big it is, and I appreciate the new physical shutter that lets you completely block out the camera with a quick twist of the lens. Like with the previous model, there’s also a separate cap that you can use to cover the webcam and keep the lens safe while you’re traveling.

Razor Kiyo Ultra 3

Mike Andronico/CNN Underscored

If you’re looking to step up your YouTube videos or Twitch streams with DSLR-like picture quality without paying DSLR prices, the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra belongs on your radar. A $300 webcam is certainly an investment, but it’s also much cheaper and easier than trying to get a proper professional camera working on your PC — and your viewers may not even notice the difference. The Pro Ultra is available now, and we’ll be putting it through its paces for a full review as soon as we can.

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