Dell’s new mid-range webcam comes with high-end features
Dell expands its remote working options with the new low-cost Dell Pro Webcam: Model WB5023, which can shoot in 2K Quad HD (QHD) resolution.
At $135, the The Pro webcam is packed with features (opens in a new tab) which guarantees high-quality video and sound, so there’s a lot to cover here. The first is support for Digital Overlap High Dynamic Range (DOL-HDR), a technology developed by Sony. This feature allows the Pro webcam to take multiple images simultaneously and stack them to reduce distortion. Next is video noise reduction which dramatically reduces the amount of static present in a stream; which can be very useful for those late-night meetings.
Face detection auto exposure is also featured on Dell’s Pro webcam to focus on the user’s face while ensuring optimal lighting. Auto exposure takes into account the ambient light in a shot so your face is clearly visible. And the last notable software feature is AI auto-framing allowing the camera to follow you. As seen in the ad, this can be useful if there are objects behind that are part of your presentation.
Resolution and hardware
It is also worth pointing out that the resolution of the webcam can be adjusted. The previously mentioned 2K QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution is locked at 30 frames per second, but the frame rate can be improved, according to a Windows Central report (opens in a new tab). You can reduce the resolution to Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or Standard HD (1280 x 720 pixels) and get a maximum frame rate of 60 FPS. But if your connection is particularly bad, you can lower the frame rate to 24 FPS.
The software suite houses arguably the best features of the Pro Webcam, while on the hardware side the quality is more scattered. First the good: Dell’s Pro webcam comes with a built-in noise-cancelling microphone, blocking out outside sound to focus on the user’s voice. It’s something the higher resolution Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam lack.
However, the field of view (FOV) of the Pro Webcam is rather insufficient compared to the Ultrasharp. It only has two FOV configurations: 65 or 78 degrees. The Ultrasharp can go up to a full 90 degree view. If you don’t have much to show in your presentation, that’s probably not a big deal, but if you do, you’ll want to squeeze as much as you can into a shot on the new Pro webcam.
The other issue is that it uses a USB-A connection instead of a USB-C. This reduces the number of compatible devices you can use with Dell’s Pro Webcam. There are adapters you can use to compensate for the lack of capacity like the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock, but should you buy another device for something that should have been standard? At least it’s long, like according to The Verge, the USB-A cable is 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) long.
Reports are circulating that the new Pro webcam is currently available for purchase, but after checking Dell’s website, it is not listed there. In fact, we couldn’t find it anywhere. We’ve reached out to Dell and asked when the new camera will go on sale, and we’ll update the story if we get back to you. Still, despite the ambiguous availability, Dell’s new Pro webcam seems like a solid choice at a glance. Great resolution and tons of features, all at a reasonable price.
How does the Dell Pro webcam compare to the best webcams on the market? We’ll see once we receive the webcam for review.