As millions of Americans have slowly adjusted to working from home full-time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a wealth of work-from-home (WFH) products and systems have flooded the CE market. While many high-priced systems make use of multiple cameras and fancy add-ons, most at-home workers simply need a high-quality camera and a good microphone to accomplish their daily tasks.
Thankfully, companies like Konftel have created products targeted at this core audience of WFH-ers, with options like the Cam10 occupying the base model slot. Beyond the Cam10, Konftel also offers integrators involved in WFH projects a number of other webcam and unified communications (UC) products, including the Cam20 which focuses on video quality with a 4K ultrawide camera, and the Cam50, which provides users with a range of pan and tilt options.
Features and Set Up
The Cam10 arrives in a small box with plenty of padding and houses the webcam, with no additional accessories outside of a small instructional pamphlet that describes some of the product’s features. Since the Cam10 is designed to be easy to install and set up, I expected getting things up and running would be easy, and I’m happy to report that’s exactly the case. All users need to do is plug the Cam10 into a USB port on their computer and the camera will be automatically set up and ready to go on both PC and Mac (tested on a custom-built PC and a 2016 Macbook Pro).
The webcam also comes with a clamp that runs along the bottom of the product, allowing it to grab onto a wide range of computer monitors. One thing to note: The monitor for my PC is thicker than many others, and I noticed the clamp on the Cam10 doesn’t play nicely with it, so the camera ends up resting on top of the monitor vs. being properly stabilized on it. This doesn’t impact the performance of the webcam on my system, thankfully, but your mileage may vary.
The Cam10 features a 1080p resolution camera that includes 4x digital zoom, although this feature is rarely used in practice. It also includes a wide 90-degree viewing angle that is considerably wider and fuller than a standard laptop webcam or smartphone front-facing camera, making it a great fit for use during multi-person meetings or presentations that require more greenscreen space. For privacy purposes, the camera also comes complete with a manual privacy slider that blocks the camera when not in use.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the Cam10 is its use of dual microphones, which the company says helps enhance audio and provide a fuller, clearer sound. The two microphones sit on either side of the camera lens and are equally spaced out so they cover multiple angles, which can be useful when recording with a coworker.
The webcam features a compact body styling with an all-black finish, allowing it to integrate into any home office with minimal distraction and without taking up much space when using a laptop or another device where the camera isn’t clamped onto a monitor. Like most modern webcams, the only light emitted from the device comes from the indicator light that stays solid while in use.
Performance and Final Thoughts
When it comes to the performance of the Cam10, there’s not a lot to dislike. After spending around 20 hours on various Zoom, Skype, Discord, and Teams video calls, the main comment I got from call participants was how good the video looked on their end. When I swapped between my old 720p Logitech webcam from 6 years ago and the Cam10, the difference was even more pronounced. With the Cam10, faces and background details look considerably crisper, and the lens seems to adjust to low light levels better than a standard laptop webcam.
The Cam10’s wider viewing angle is also pronounced, similar to the difference between 4:3 and 16:9 on a television. The image doesn’t feel stretched or distorted in any way, and the wider viewing angle is something I’ve found myself really appreciating when trying to demonstrate something with my hands while on-camera or when trying to show a physical document to someone.
I don’t have many complaints, but I will say that while Konftel touts the Cam10’s dual microphone set up as a meaningful improvement over standard laptop and budget webcam microphones, I can’t say my experience completely lines up. I do think the dual microphone design is marginally better than a laptop microphone, but to be honest I expected a more meaningful audio quality bump, especially to my speaking voice.
To be fair to Konftel, this is an issue with most unified communication systems that use integrated microphones instead of a dedicated cardioid mic. The audio quality is fine, just a little hollow sounding and can get a bit echoey depending on your location. I suggest integrators package the Cam10 with a similarly priced dedicated microphone.
That being said, I think the Cam10 is an ideal add-on for resimercial integrators who do a lot of WFH or learn-at-home installs, as its reasonable price point and solid list of features should satisfy practically any worker’s needs. The inclusion of a wide-angle 1080p resolution camera is a nice touch, and does help the Cam10 stand out from the overcrowded low-to-mid tier webcam market. I would have liked to see a more adjustable clamp on the bottom, and the microphones leave a bit to be desired, but overall it’s hard to fault what Konftel is offering to integrators at this price point.
CE Pro Verdict:
- Easy to set up and install
- Excellent wide-angle 1080p camera
- Dual microphone set up has niche uses
- Camera handles low-light conditions well
- The clamp at the bottom of the webcam may not sit properly on certain monitors
- Audio quality from the microphones is a bit hollow but effective
NOTE: MSRP for the Cam10 was not provided by Konftel, but street prices hover between $100 to $125 per Cam10.