Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam review: A solid no-frills option

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Papalook Hdr 2k Streaming WebcamSource: Windows Central

There are dozens of webcams out there, and we round them all up on our best PC webcams article over here. We all know the major brands like LG and Razer, but there are a wealth of lesser-known companies making cheaper alternatives.

Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam, as I explore getting back into video game streaming. It’s a pretty decent product overall, but weak software and configurability make it tough to recommend.

Papalook Webcam Review

Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam

Bottom line: This webcam is a big boost from standard laptop cams you often see, but weak configurability and awful software make this hard to recommend versus some of the bigger players.

The Good

  • Decent video quality
  • Lightweight attractive design
  • Privacy cover, bundled tripod, and good construction

The Bad

  • Software and configurability is awful
  • Listed “60 FPS” mode doesn’t work

Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam: Price and availability

Papalook Hdr 2k Streaming Webcam

Source: Windows Central

The Papalook PA930 is available exclusively from Amazon for $70. Given its specs, it’s a pretty good price, and seems to be well stocked without going out of sale. The problem is, the listed 60 FPS feature doesn’t work, and it has no real software to back it up. This is about as no-frills as you can get, but for decent-quality HDR camming, it’s not bad.

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Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam: What’s good

The Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam is a very no-frills USB cam, ideal for elevating your conferencing situation above the weak webcams we often find ensconced in the bezel on our laptops.

It sports a dense, high-quality construction, complete with integrated microphones and an attractive fabric-style finish. It has a standard screw mount for tripods, and even comes with a telescopic tripod of its own bundled into the box. It also has a privacy cover, as well as a hook clip for mounting on monitors and other types of edges.

The picture quality isn’t awful by any means, providing a sharp 2K image at a decent wide angle. A button on the top of the cam lets you switch to a 1080P mode, which limits the field of view and brings the subject a bit closer in.

Papalook Camera Sample

Source: Windows Central 2K camera sample.

The webcam struggles a bit with low light, producing a grainy image, but it’s more than passable for general use. You may want something a bit more expensive if you’re planning to stream video games or produce high-end YouTube videos, but as a conferencing solution, it’s not bad.

The problem is, it’s marketed as an option for game streamers, and I don’t think that’s accurate.

Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam: What you won’t like

Papalook Hdr 2k Streaming Webcam

Source: Windows Central

The Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam has a mode button on the top, which the website claims switches the view from 2K at 30 FPS, to 1080p at 60 FPS. It also claims it can do 720p and other modes. The problem is, the mode button doesn’t actually work, and 30 FPS is a stretch too.

Papalook’s own software says that the output is about 18-20 FPS. Using the frame rate counter in the Xbox Game Bar also corroborates the frame rate. Switching from 2K to 1080p has no effect on the FPS whatsoever, and trying to force a 60 FPS mode using an external software suite like Streamlabs OBS doesn’t give you 60 FPS either. Straight up, this webcam is effectively offering false advertising. It’s weird because the webcam even says “60 FPS” right on the lens, so it’s not like it’s a website/listing error. I’m not sure Papalook knows what 60 FPS means.

The software Papalook asks you to download is also awful, and doesn’t really seem to do anything besides let you take “photographs” using the camera. It’s a far cry from what you get with Razer and LG, and others whom Papalook is effectively competing against. This is about as barebones as you can get.

The microphones are barely passable in regular use too, although they’re probably better than the integrated one on most laptops.

Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam: Competition

Papalook Hdr 2k Streaming Webcam

Source: Windows Central

Honestly, you should probably skip this webcam. The established brands provide a far better experience for what is ultimately just a slightly higher spend. Our picks on our best PC webcams list give you a look at some of the better options. Streamers will probably want something like the Avermedia Livecam or the Razer Kiyo, while for high-end stuff, you’ll probably want the Logitech Brio. And then, there’s always the Logitech C series, which remain the best-in-class option for most scenarios.

Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam: Should you buy it?

Papalook Hdr 2k Streaming Webcam

Source: Windows Central

While this webcam is by no means terrible, it’s odd how some of its advertised features straight up just don’t work. The picture quality is decent enough for most user scenarios, but you can spend a little bit more on a C922 from Logitech, and get the 60 FPS option this webcam claims, but doesn’t actually support.

You should buy this if …

  • You want 2K quality for a relatively low price
  • You like the design of the webcam

You shouldn’t buy this if …

  • You want 60 FPS video
  • You want configuration software features

Papalook might one day emerge as a decent webcam brand. The design and construction of the PA930 is solid enough, and the image quality at 2K is quite good. It’s just odd that some of the listed features don’t work as advertised.

out of 5

Even without the 60 FPS, this is one of the few 2K resolution HDR-lighting cams you can get at this price on the market, which makes me feel a tad forgiving.

Papalook Webcam Review

Papalook PA930 HDR 2K webcam

Bottom line: Despite certain advertised features being AWOL, this decent HDR 2K webcam is a pretty decent option for its price point.

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