Dell is expanding its remote work options with the new, modestly priced Dell Pro Webcam: Model WB5023, which can shoot in 2K Quad HD (QHD) resolution.
At $135, the Pro Webcam comes packed with features that ensures high-quality video and audio, so there’s a lot to cover here. First is support for Digital Overlap High Dynamic Range (DOL-HDR), a technology developed by Sony. The feature allows the Pro Webcam to take multiple frames simultaneously and stack them to reduce distortion. Next is Video Noise Reduction which greatly reduces the amount of static present in a stream; which can be pretty useful for those night time meetings.
Facial Detection Auto Exposure is also present on Dell’s Pro Webcam to focus on a user’s face while also ensuring optimal lighting. Auto Exposure takes into account the ambient light in a shot so your face can be seen clearly. And the final notable software feature is AI Auto Framing allowing the camera to follow you around. As seen in the announcement, this can be useful if there are objects behind that are a part of your presentation.
Resolution and hardware
It’s also worth pointing out the Webcam’s resolution can be adjusted. The 2K QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution mentioned earlier is locked at 30 frames per second, but the frame rate can be improved, according to a report by Windows Central. You can lower the resolution down to either Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or regular HD (1280 x 720 pixels) and get a max frame rate of 60 FPS. But if your connection is particularly bad, you can lower the frame rate down to 24 FPS.
The software suite arguably houses the Pro Webcam’s best features, whereas on the hardware side, the quality is more scattered. First the good: Dell’s Pro Webcam comes with a built-in noise reducing microphone, blocking outside sound in order to focus on a user’s voice. This is something that the higher resolution Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam lacks.
However the Pro Webcam’s field of view (FOV) is rather lacking 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 a lot to show in your presentation, this probably isn’t a big deal, but if you do, you’ll have to cram as much as you can in a shot on the new Pro Webcam.
The other issue is it uses a USB-A connection instead of a USB-C. This narrows down the amount of capable devices that you can use with Dell’s Pro Webcam. There are adapters that you can use to make up for the lack of capability such as the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock, but should you have to buy another device for something that should have been standard? At least it's long, as according to The Verge, the USB-A cable has a length of 4.9 feet (1.5 meters).
Reports are going around stating the new Pro Webcam is currently available for purchase, but after checking Dell’s website, it’s not on there. In fact, we couldn’t find it anywhere. We reached out to Dell and asked when the new camera would go on sale, and we'll update the story if we hear back. Still, despite the ambiguous availability, Dell’s new Pro Webcam appears to be a solid pick at a glance. Great resolution and tons of features, all at a decently priced package.
Update 8-23-2022: Dell got back to us. The Pro Webcam – WB5023 is now available for purchase on their website."
How well will the Dell Pro Webcam stack up against the best webcams on the market? We'll see once we get the webcam in for review.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.