Kensington W2050 Pro Webcam Review

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Kensington W2050 Pro Webcam

Kensington has dropped a webcam in the Kensington W2050 Pro 1080p Autofocus Webcam that they market as being optimized for conferencing, but can we use it as a viable streaming webcam too? Webcams are an interesting market right now, because they can be marketed to different user bases; content creators and people who use them to teleconference. It’s hard to market to both, because trying to balance price and quality is a tough thing. The best webcams are not cheap. The cheapest webcams are not good. 

The Kensington W2050 Pro 1080p Autofocus Webcam supports 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, has a stereo microphone and a sliding privacy cover. The webcam mount is standard—if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. It does have a ¼” thread on the bottom to allow it to be mounted to a wall mount or tripod. The USB cable is not removable, which to me is an issue with many modern webcams. A removable USB cable allows the user to swap out a longer cable if needed or replace it if it gets damaged. If a non-removable USB cable gets damaged, the whole webcam is essentially trash. 

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Another thing that webcams can and should do away with is the built-in microphone. I have yet to meet a person who has used the microphone on a webcam. Removing this feature can allow for a lot of different improvements, including a smaller overall webcam, a cheaper webcam or fit in a bigger sensor, improving the picture of the camera, with the cost being offset somewhat by losing the mics.  

“The Kensington W2050 Pro 1080p Autofocus Webcam supports 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, has a stereo microphone and a sliding privacy cover.”

The Kensington W2050 Pro also has supporting software, Kensington Konnect, which is a control hub for Kensington’s cameras. You can do your usual controls (brightness, contrast etc) here as well as a few advanced features (exposure, white balance, gamma, etc.) and a series of filters, which are really just presets of the settings you have. There is nothing special there. The sharpness setting is not like that of the higher end webcams in that it doesn’t sharpen or soften facial features, but essentially the focus of the camera. Turning sharpness down even a little makes you quite blurry. Any settings that you change can be saved locally or via the cloud to be reloaded when you reconnect the camera. 

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Speaking of blurry, the need for autofocus is not really there. Only the best autofocus, found in high-end DSLR/mirrorless cameras, gives you a smooth experience. The rest have that searching, breathing function as it tries to lock into your face. Kensington’s autofocus isn’t particularly great as it never seemed to land on the sharpest image of me. You can, however, turn off autofocus and set it manually. It takes some doing to get it just where you want it to be, but the depth of field on the Kensington W2050 Pro is good enough that moving around in your chair, even sliding forwards or backwards a bit, will keep you in focus. 

“…the depth of field on the Kensington W2050 Pro is good enough that moving around in your chair, even sliding forwards or backwards a bit, will keep you in focus.”

The default quality of the W2050 Pro is kind of flat. The colour accuracy is pretty good, though. I liked my skin tone and the colours of the lights in the background—which some cameras tend to get wrong—were well represented on screen. It didn’t take a lot of colour correction to get it to a decent place. My tip to anyone who may want to use this for streaming: skip using Kensington Konnect and do your colour correction using the filters in OBS. It’s easier to fine tune your settings with their filters. If you are using it for teleconferencing, I don’t suspect that the colour correction will be such a big deal for you. 

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You will find some digital noise in the picture. It is not perfectly clear, but looks just fine when not in full screen, which teleconference professionals will likely never come across and most streamers don’t particularly need. A face cam on top of game video or a half-size camera on an intermission screen is sufficient. Creators doing more ‘Just Chatting’ than anything else may want to hold out for a more powerful camera

The Kensington W2050 Pro will run you $89.99, but it seems to vary. It sits between $75 and $89.99 depending on where you look. As of this writing, Amazon.com had a $40 off coupon. The regular price is already pretty decent value, but under $50 is a flat out steal. Comparison shop and you will find a price for this camera that is more than worth adding it to your setup. 

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE
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