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OBSBOT Tiny PTZ webcam review
The OBSBOT Tiny is a great and unique camera giving you much more flexibility to move around during zoom calls. How useful it will be to you will depend on the person.
- The AI PTZ feature is really useful and a functionality unmatched by other brands
- Overall camera performance won’t be much better than cheaper cameras
Founded in April 2016, OBSBOT, an artificial intelligence camera brand of REMO TECH, develops a variety of AI-powered cameras with various features that set the brand apart from all other webcam options in the market.
The OBSBOT Tiny is their most famous camera, which has full PTZ functionality and can use AI to automatically track your face during calls, giving you the flexibility to move around.
- Maximum video resolution: 1080p / 30 fps, MJPEG, H264
- Supported resolutions: 1920 × 1080, 1280 × 720, 960 × 540, 640 × 360
- Digital zoom: 2x
- Field of view: 90 °
- Integrated audio: Two integrated omnidirectional microphones with noise cancellation
- Maximum control speed: 120 ° / s
- PTZ controllable range: Pan: ± 150 °, Tilt: ± 45 °
- Size (without rim): 89.4mm x 58mm x 58mm
- Weight (without mount): 146g
As you would expect from a PTZ camera, the overall design is a bit different from normal web cameras. It’s physically a lot bigger than the other options I’ve used, but its design means it can easily sit on your design or any other flat surface.
You then have a monitor clamp that magnetically attaches to the camera and provides a secure mounting position for thinner laptops or monitors.
There is also a 1 / 4-20 threaded insert directly on the bottom of the camera if you want to use it with a tripod or other compatible mount.
The camera has a USB-C port and a DC power port, I’m not sure what the need for the DC port is because USB provides power to the camera.
OBSBOT app and hand gestures
The camera has various hand gesture options, which means you don’t actually need an app to control it.
Using a flat palm facing the camera will initiate AI face tracking and the camera will follow you. Then create an L shape with your index finger and your thumb will zoom twice
However, with the OBSBOT app, you take control of the camera through your PC, including changing image settings and updating the firmware. Using the app also means that you don’t have to do any weird hand gestures while in front of the camera, if people aren’t familiar with the OBSBOT, it seems a little weird that you are initiating gestures. L-shaped hand to everyone.
The performances are good; the overall picture quality is significantly better than the built-in webcam on a laptop and also superior to affordable webcams such as Creative Live! Cam Sync 1080p V2.
I tend to keep my desk dimly lit to avoid monitor glare, and I found the camera to perform well in this scenario. Like many webcams, it will likely be difficult in darker environments, but I can’t imagine a lot of work from home scenarios where this would be a problem.
While I’m more than happy with the camera’s performance for my personal use, it’s basically the same kind of quality you’ll find on other mid-range webcams at a much lower price point. Webcams, in general, have pretty poor sensors compared to actual phones or cameras.
OBSBOT claims the camera also provides AI auto exposure and white balance which should make it outperform other cameras, however, I don’t have any other decent quality webcams to compare .
PTZ is great, it just gives you a little more flexibility with where you sit and your overall movement during calls. I’m not ADHD or anything, I move around a lot and get distracted by things on calls, and it just helps me stay focused, for better or for worse.
PTZ isn’t super-fast, you can’t run around your room and it follows you, but most of the small movements will follow each other easily.
The built-in microphone is good, but it won’t compete with a dedicated mic, and if you’re going to the detriment of a PTZ webcam, I don’t see why you wouldn’t use a good quality microphone as well.
Prices and alternative options
The OBSBOT Tiny is available for £ 179 on Amazon, but there is also a £ 20 discount voucher that brings it down to £ 159.
What is interesting is the total absence of comparable products at this price point. There are some PTZ conference room cameras. However, the latter being aimed at businesses, the price is much higher.
However, if you want to upgrade your laptop’s built-in webcam, there are plenty of options, some of which will offer higher picture quality and better low-light performance.
OSBOT has its own cool alternative options, there is OSBOT Meet which offers built-in AI blur, which offers superior performance over software options.
There is also OBSBOT Tail which is more oriented towards moving vlogging but which would also work as a webcam.
Then they launch the OBSBOT Tiny 4K, which dramatically improves picture quality and includes things like HDR.
A few years ago, I might have considered an AI auto-tracking PTZ webcam to be something very specialized, but times have changed.
With many people now working from home full time and Zoom meetings being the norm, many people will find this useful.
With the PTZ function, you have much more flexibility with your zoom meetings; you don’t have to sit in a physical location.
PTZ functionality is offered at a higher price; something like the Razer Kiyo Streamer would deliver similar if not better picture quality at a much lower price. Or the Logitech Brio Ultra offers significantly better quality at the same price (but no PTZ).
Overall, I like that the OBSBOT Tiny is a unique camera and its features are really useful for a lot of people.
Last updated on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API