Longtime accessory manufacturer Kensington today released the Professional Video Conferencing Solution, including camera and light stands, an LED ring light with webcam mount to make you look your best, and three different 1080p webcams. In addition, they’ve released an app allowing users fine control over their video feeds.
COVID-19 has made working from home and having online conferences commonplace, and we’ve all had our share of looking bad on a Zoom call. Perhaps you’re using your MacBook’s built-in webcam so everyone on the call gets a good look up your nose. Maybe you’re in a dark room with bad lighting and it looks like you’re calling from a closet.
In this review, I look at the A1010 Telescoping Desk Stand, the W1050 1080p Fixed Focus Webcam, and the L1000 Bicolor Ring Light with Webcam Mount. Pricing for all of the hardware can be found on the Kensington website.
Kensington L1000 Bicolor Ring Light with Webcam Mount
Many home workers let their computer screen or ambient light in a room act as their only lighting. That’s why people can seem washed out or pale in fluorescent lighting. Sometimes they set up next to a bright window, causing their faces to be shadowed.
The L1000 Bicolor Ring Light varies from the warm tones of sunrise/sunset to the cooler tones of bright daylight. It is 10.23″ in diameter and contains 96 LEDs. A switch on the USB-A cable turns the light on and off, switches between “colors” and adjusts brightness. The light is a key component of the Kensington Professional Video Conferencing Solution.
With my 2021 MacBook Pro, I had to use a multiple port USB-C hub to plug everything into the computer. Given the industry-wide move to USB-C devices, it perplexes me why these new devices are still using USB-A connectors.
In use, I found the Bicolor Ring Light to be easy to adjust to varying light conditions. For mid-day I used warmer tones to give my skin a more healthy look; in the evening the daylight tone worked better.
Kill The Glare
I wear glasses that have an anti-glare coating on them. I’ve found other video lights to be almost unusable with these glasses because I get a “purple” reflection. The Bicolor Ring Light surrounds my face with a more even lighting, eliminating the purple reflection.
There’s a standard screw mount in the center of the light that facilitates mounting a webcam. I used both the Kensington W1050 Fixed Focus Webcam and an iPhone on a Glif mount with equal success.
You need to purchase a mount on which to place the light. Any one of the stands introduced today by Kensington works, or you may wish to use an existing tripod.
Kensington W1050 1080p Fixed Focus Webcam
The company announced three webcams today: the W1050 1080p Fixed Focus Webcam reviewed here, the W2000 1080p Auto Focus Webcam, and the W2050 Pro 1080p Auto Focus Webcam. This part of the Kensington Professional Video Conferencing Solution is extremely well designed.
The difference between the models? The W1050 provides a fixed focus so you needn’t worry about whether or not your camera is in focus. It has a 95° diagonal field of view and two omnidirectional stereo mics as well.
The W2000 is an autofocus design with a narrow 75° diagonal field of view, perfect for a single user. It does not appear to offer stereo mics, but does provide an omnidirectional sound pattern. Finally, the W2050 gives a wide 93° field of view, two stereo mics, and autofocus.
Much Better Than Any Webcam From Logitech!
I was pleasantly surprised using the W1050. Other than the built-in cameras of many of Apple’s devices, I’ve almost never been happy with a third-party webcam. I’ve pretty much given up on Logitech’s webcams, which never seem to work properly with Macs.
The W1050 was immediately recognized by my MacBook Pro and every app I tried it with. The images were clear and clean, and sound quality was excellent. I’m don’t care for the folding mount on the bottom of these cameras, but it works for minor adjustments.
Kensington A1010 Telescoping Desk Stand
The last piece of the pro conferencing puzzle is a way to hold the light and camera securely. You want them in a place where directly across from the face of the person on the call or conference. Kensington delivered three new stands: the A1010 Telescoping Desk Stand, a simple vertical stand on a weighted circular base that can be moved up or down between 11.8 and 16 inches (300 – 470mm). The A1000 Telescoping C-Clamp replaces the base for a clamp that attaches to a desk or table. The A1020 Boom Arm has a clamp on the bottom and a bendable, adjustable arm.
I really wish I had chosen to review the A1020 Boom Arm, which offers the most flexibility in placement. However, the A1010 still worked very well. I set it up in such a way as to put the camera and light at nose level. The combination provided perfect lighting as well as keeping the common laptop “nose cam” effect at bay.
The combo allowed me to resolve some long-standing issues with using a green screen background. In the past, I’ve had some green fringing around my head due to improper lighting. The L1000 Bicolor Ring Light provided a great way to illuminate my head with bright and even light. While I still needed to use other lights to even out the lighting on the green screen, the L1000 provided the key lighting needed to make even an old blogger like myself look good!
The final piece of the Pro Video Conferencing Solution is Kensington Konnect, a Mac and Windows app that works with the other Kensington hardware as a tool for fine adjustment of color, tint, exposure, white balance, gamma and a variety of other settings.
Once you’ve found the perfect combination of settings to make you look your best in Kensington Konnect, you can save that combo as a profile for future use. Of course, once you’re set up, you then connect to your favorite conferencing app like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and so on.
The Bottom Line
Kensington is a respected manufacturer of all sorts of computer accessories. With the Professional Video Conferencing Solution, the company offers one-stop shopping for the hardware and software needed to make work-at-home employees look their best during conferences.
Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today