Not Your Average Webcam – BenQ IdeaCam S1 Pro Review

This camera was provided by BenQ for review. All the information below is based on my honest review as a result of my time with the BenQ IdeaCam S1 Pro.

Most people have one purpose for their webcam: to share their faces on video calls. That’s all webcams do, right? The BenQ IdeaCam S1 Pro begs to differ. 

BenQ is clearly trying to maximize what webcams can really do with this product and make it more adaptable than just being able to show your face. 

This will be an in-depth review of the BenQ IdeaCam S1 Pro so you can decide if it’s worth it. It does cost a pretty penny. 

Key Takeaways

  • This camera is ideal for those who do a lot of show-and-tell in video conferences or long-distance learning. 
  • The camera can go into a “workspace mode” that automatically displays and inverts your desk view making it easy to follow along. 
  • Handheld mode means you can share anything around you with ease. 
  • This camera pairs with a feature-packed Enspire web app from BenQ.

The IdeaCam S1 Pro Is A Little Different

The IdeaCam has an 8 MP sensor manufactured by Sony and can record at a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 at 30fps. This resolution is just under 4k, (which makes me wonder why they didn’t just go all the way to 4K).

The sensor is a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is more suitable for video conferencing in my opinion. That’s probably why they didn’t aim for the 4K resolution. 

BenQ Ideacam S1 Pro on Monitor

There are a handful of things that make the IdeaCam pretty unique. Here are the main features that make it way different from most cameras out there:

  • Hand Held Mode – The camera can easily be removed from the monitor mount for handheld shooting. It snaps back in the mount with a magnetic connection. This expands the function from just a webcam to a highly adaptable sharing camera. 
  • Desk View Mode – The camera can tilt all the way down to look at your desk. It has a tilt sensor so when the tilted position is active the image is inverted so viewers on the other end of the call shares the same perspective as you.
  • Macro Lens Included – The front face of the camera is magnetic and it accepts a magnetic macro lens attachment for detailed close-ups. 
  • Built-In Ring Light – The ring light is designed for use with the macro lens instead of anything else. 
  • Wireless Control Puck – Anyone familiar with BenQ products knows that BenQ loves wireless control pucks. The ScreenBar Halo has one too along with some BenQ monitors. Check out my dedicated review of the BenQ ScreenBar Halo. This puck only controls the BenQ Enspire web app.

Those are the major stand-out features of this camera. Because it can do all these things, I end up calling it a camera instead of a webcam. It has a removable lens! 

What’s In The Box

Here’s everything you get with the BenQ IdeaCam S1 Pro. Everything was packed very nicely and securely. 

  • IdeaCam S1 Pro
  • Monitor Mount
  • Magnetic 15X Macro Lens
  • Magnetic Privacy Shade
  • Enspire Control Puck
  • Enspire Control Puck Wireless Reciever
  • Enspire Control Puck AAA Batteries 


BenQ states their IdeaCam warranty here. Basically, you have a two-year warranty for the camera and a six-month warranty for the macro lens. You must be the original owner. 

My Experience With The IdeaCam

Build Quality

For a webcam at this price point, high-level build quality is expected. BenQ delivered pretty well in this area. 

The camera is a little loose on the included monitor mount. It tilts back and forth a little too much, but that’s not a big concern for something that is not prone to vibrations. 

The camera is pretty lightweight and even comes with a very nice braided nylon cable. You don’t typically see that on electronics these days. 

The Enspire control puck is heavy so it feels very planted on your desk. The battery compartment lid is magnetic so it’s super easy to install and remove. It also has a small spot for the USB receiver to live. 

The privacy shade has a nice soft material at the center to protect the camera’s front element. Nice touches, BenQ. 

Monitor Mounting 

Setting up the camera was too easy. 

I did have to remove my BenQ Screenbar from my monitor because it is just not compatible with the IdeaCam. They have similar mounting bases and those bases don’t do well stacked on top of each other. 

I was hoping that BenQ would make its monitor-mounted accessories stackable or compatible somehow. 

On the plus side, the monitor mount also has a threaded screw hole for mounting the camera with a tripod ¼-20 screw. 

The monitor stand is basically a lockable hinge. You seat one face on the top of your monitor and the other edge towards the back of the monitor. When you have two good points of contact, simply lock down the hinge with the small attached lever. 

Getting Connected

I plugged in the camera to my Windows 11 computer with the USB Type A cable and I was up and running pretty immediately after. I tested the camera using my Windows’ “Camera” app, and the Enspire Web App. 

To use the Enspire web app, you just have to make an account and grant it permission to access your camera and microphone. The Chrome browser worked perfectly the first time. They also claim to be compatible with Edge browsers. 

It’s important to know that the Enspire control puck only controls the Enspire web app. You can find the app here. The app has a good amount of capability and deserves a review of its own. 

Camera Functionality

The camera itself is pretty straightforward. It has two buttons on top, one is an on/off button for the ring light and the other button “freezes” the image. 

benq ideacam buttons

The latter freeze button is only functional with the Enspire web app. This is helpful if you are showing something on your desk and want to discuss a certain frame in more detail.

The front face of the camera is actually magnetic which is how the privacy shade and the 15X macro lens attach. It’s a very handy attachment method. 

Image Quality

Overall I was very impressed with the image quality of the IdeaCam. A nice high-resolution image was output very cleanly with proper lighting. It also has a pretty decent dynamic range. I never felt I was too dark or too bright against the windows behind my desk. 

I did notice that if you make little movements, the camera will be constantly adjusting focus which makes the image look a little jumpy. 

Also, when using the Enspire app, the AI noise reduction feature is activated. I noticed that this was a bit clunky. The noise in the background kept flickering and was almost a little distracting. 

If I used my Windows camera app instead, the noise was more present, but at least it was not constantly jumping around. 

Changing View Modes

To go from normal conference mode to handheld mode, you simply lift the camera off of the monitor stand. It is held on by a very light magnet, so it is very effortless to get on and off of the stand. 

BenQ Ideacam S1 Pro ring light on desk

For the camera to switch into desk-view or workspace mode, you tilt the camera 90 degrees downward while on the monitor mount. The tilt sensor is then activated and the image inverts automatically! 

benq ideacam tilt sensing
benq ideal cam image

You don’t have to use the Enspire application for this to work which is great! 

Macro Lens Feature

The magnetic macro lens is pretty great for those who really have the need to share small details in a video conference setting. 

I will say I have never needed a feature like this during a video conference. 

However, you basically have a low-powered microscope camera attached to your computer now which is super handy! Have trouble seeing something small? Go to your computer and just place it under your IdeaCam. 

Take a look at these images taken with the IdeaCam with the macro Lens. It’s pretty impressive. 

BenQ Ideacam S1 Pro macro lens sample image
This is a macro image of the included privacy shield. The soft fibers are part of the lens protective surface!
benq logo macro lens idealcam

Enspire Control Puck

As we mentioned earlier, this puck controls the Enspire App only. It is just a web application so once you make an account you are good to go. No program installation is needed! 

Be sure to use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge with this app and grant camera/microphone permissions. 

The control puck has a few different controls. On top, you have the following buttons:

  • Autofocus/Manual Focus Toggle
  • Mute Toggle
  • Freeze Image Button
  • Autofocus at Center Button
  • Capture Image Button

The outer ring of the control puck can be rotated to zoom in and out of the screen which is pretty nice. Zooming in is done electronically, not optically, so the image quality suffers as you zoom in. 

The Enspire App

You heard about this “Enspire” app for a while now, but we haven’t really talked about it. This is an app that is optional to use with your IdeaCam

You have a lot more features available to you if you use the app. Here is a quick list of what you can do with the app:

  • Zoom in and out
  • Rotate & flip your image
  • Keystone corrections
  • Measurements with the macro lens
  • Change camera resolutions
  • Record Videos & Take pictures
  • Scan documents
  • Read QR codes
  • Toggle Autofocus on and off
  • Mute/Unmute Microphone
  • Freeze camera image
  • Apply filters
  • Image corrections (contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness) 
  • Draw on the image and save those drawings. 
  • PIP presentation

Also, I found that many of these features (not all) worked with my integrated laptop camera too. So if any of these features catch your eye, take Enspire for a test run here

The only issue I had with the Enspire app is that the “AI noise reduction” feature just made the screen too jumpy.

Video Conferencing With Zoom

I mainly use Zoom for my video conferences, but it looks like most platforms work the same way with this webcam, at least if you are trying to use the Enspire application.  

Without using the Enspire application, you still get all the benefits of having a handheld capability, inverted workspace view when tilted, macro lens, autofocus, etc. 

If you want any of the features we highlighted in the Enspire app section, this is how you have to get connected if you are on a conference call. 

  • Open Enspire app
  • Turn off the camera in Zoom so Enspire can access it. 
  • Share screen on Zoom and choose the Enspire app window
  • Click back into the Enspire window to enable the control puck and click on various functions. 

One feature that I could not get to work on was the mute button when conferencing. This would have been a nice feature as I use that button the most. 

The mute button is on the control puck and the Enspire app. 

When pressed, it shows that the mic is muted on the Enspire app, but Zoom kept sharing my audio from the IdeaCam to the meeting. I’m not sure if I am doing something wrong or not, but I will be manually muting on Zoom until I figure it out. 

Overall Pros & Cons


  • Feature-rich, even without the paired Enspire app.
  • The image quality is very high, it blew my current laptop webcam out of the water.
  • Macro imaging, handheld mode, and workspace mode are all methods to take video collaboration to another level of sharing. 
  • The design is very clean and modern
  • The control puck is well-weighted and feels very high quality. 
  • Magnetic camera attachments make it easy to go from one mode to another


  • The control puck is useless without the third-party Enspire app, it would be nice if this was able to control Zoom or Meet functions.
  • The Enspire app can get clunky with video conferencing apps
  • Not compatible with BenQ light bars for mounting, though they are from the same company. 
  • The macro lens and privacy screens are separate parts that can go missing, would be nice if these were built into the camera somehow. 
  • Cable management is tricky for a camera that you want to hand handheld at times. You need cable Slack to move the camera around.


If you happen to video conference with a lot of show-and-tells or do some type of long-distance teaching, you really can’t beat the IdeaCam as a tool. 

This camera can literally be taken off of the mount and pointed wherever you want! That combined with the tilt-sensing workspace view makes it easy to share way more than a normal webcam would be able to.

Photo of author


I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!