Poly Studio P5 Bundles Professional Webcam Properties [Review]
In the very open field of videoconferencing tools generated by the pandemic, the Poly Studio P5 Professional Webcam should be at the top of your candidate list for home or office use.
This plug-and-play USB 2.0 camera comes with an integrated Type-A cable, privacy shutter, and adjustable monitor clamp that doubles as a desktop base. The removable upper lens barrel is tripod ready.
Its cover hides an integrated USB-A port to connect a wireless adapter for headphones or other accessories. An impressive cylindrical eye-shaped design has a rotating band around the front edge to open or close the lens to prevent accidental viewing, which is a handy feature.
As you turn the dial clockwise, a three-part red cover closes the lens chamber. Turning the dial counter-clockwise removes the lens cover. Additionally, an LED at the top of the lens barrel changes color from red to green as an additional safety indicator.
Poly Studio P5 professional webcam (Image credit: Poly)
The Poly Studio P5 is one of the most intriguing video conferencing tools offered by the manufacturer formerly known as Polycom/Plantronics. It has a solid feature set for an attractive price of $78.95.
Flexible use cases
You can use the P5 as a desktop webcam or add it to a laptop without a built-in camera. Even better, you can plug this webcam into a laptop with an existing camera and quickly select the Poly camera.
I especially like how easy it is to move this webcam from computer to computer without installing or reconfiguring anything. This capability comes in handy in your home or business office has multiple computers.
Even with the first connections, just plug in the USB cable and select the Poly camera in the conferencing application you are using. No driver download is required.
Poly provides a free downloadable Poly Lens desktop app for custom orders. The app offers unique tools to adjust camera settings and other features.
Desktop apps are available for Windows and Apple computers. However, unless you have specific needs involving network devices or special configurations, computer applications are not required.
Poly’s 1080p (Full HD) / 720P (HD) compatible hardware delivers 30 FPS (frames per second) with 80 degree diagonal field of view (DFOV) performance. It has a host of built-in features that automatically improve video performance.
For example, autofocus with 4x zoom/EPTZ is included, as is a unique directional microphone optimized for personal workspaces. It provides a frequency response of 50 Hz to 16 kHz.
I had no issues using the Poly P5 in a variety of lighting conditions. The camera lens automatically adjusts to low or bright lighting environments.
Low-light quality and true-color image technology are certified by Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The P5 is compatible with all applications that support USB/UVC standards.
Wide range of compatibility
The system requirements listed on the P5 spec sheet are as follows:
- Windows version 8.1, 10 or later
- Mac OS X version 10.7 or later
- USB 2.0 socket
But you’re also in luck if you have Linux or Chromebook computers, although there’s nothing in Poly’s documentation to indicate that the P5 is compatible with either operating system. The company’s download servers also don’t refer to a desktop app or camera drivers for Linux or ChromeOS devices.
Since I use all these configurations, I was hoping for a single video conferencing solution. Chromebook cameras are notorious for their low quality vidcams.
To my surprise, the P5 did not disappoint. I plugged the USB cable into the Linux and Chromebook computers expecting to see no second camera available. As with Windows and Mac gear, the webcam turned on instantly with no configuration needed – and performance was better than what it replaced.
Since I have no use for the desktop app’s video tool to tune the P5, I was ahead on all counts.
The P5 is an almost perfect solution to meet your personal and professional needs. Although it has a few issues, none of them are serious enough to become a deal breaker.
For example, the built-in microphone is mediocre in its sound production. Despite the directional microphone, the audio output is louder and muffled than I prefer.
The audio issue is minor, provided your computer has a pluggable or built-in microphone. If not, the P5’s undercover spare port comes in handy as a workaround.
Another example is the four foot USB cable. If you connect the P5 to a laptop, you will have no problem reaching the port. However, a desktop console that is not close to the monitor can cause a plug-in problem.
This situation has a relatively simple solution: just get a USB extension cable to add length.
Poly Studio P5 Dimensions, Weight, Warranty
Camera body only:
- 1.5W x 1.3H x 2.4D (inches)
- 37.7W x 34H x 62D (MM)
- 2.4oz / 68g
Camera with monitor clip:
- 2.4D x 1.7H x 2.7D (inches)
- 60W x 43H x 68D (MM)
- 3.3oz / 98g
- A two-year limited warranty is included.
In most cases, the Poly Studio P5 professional webcam can outperform your built-in computer camera, and it works out of the box with no configuration required.
This handy device, with its free desktop apps, offers enhancement capabilities. Together, they give you what their name implies: premium performance. Just add a better microphone if you do video presentations for work.
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