Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ webcam review: A smart tracking webcam for professionals

The Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ is an innovative webcam designed to meet the increasingly demanding needs of the hybrid workforce. Where you could once get away with a crummy laptop webcam for your work calls, now your picture quality should be as professional as you are.

Carefully crafted and capable of delivering 4K video streaming, the Tiny 4K PTZ has an ace up its sleeve in the form of motorized tracking. From left to right, up and down, the Tiny 4K can follow you around the room, ensuring you stay properly centered throughout your call, class or video.

This technology comes at a cost and, at £269, the Tiny 4K is far from a budget option. For demanding users who need a smart, capable camera for business presentations, the Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ might be well worth the investment.

Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ webcam review: What do you get for your money?

The Tiny 4K will set you back £269 and for that you get the Tiny 4K webcam, monitor stand, USB-C cable, USB-C to Type-A adapter and USB-A to DC secondary power cable for use with older USB 2.0 ports. Everything is then carefully packaged in a personalized transport vase.

A quick glance will tell you that the Tiny 4K isn’t your typical webcam. It has a sturdy construction with the lens mounted via a vertical pivot on a raised arm and this arm, in turn, is attached to a thick rotating base. On the back, you’ll find a USB-C port and a DC power input (required only for devices with older USB 2.0 ports). An LED light runs across the front of the device, flanked by a pair of omnidirectional microphones.

A standard 1/4″ thread allows the camera to be attached to any standard tripod or mount, while the included monitor mount allows it to be attached to most standard monitors or laptops. The monitor mount itself even folds down for compact storage, comes with a self-adhesive strip for more permanent installations, and the camera is held in place with magnets.

The camera offers 150 degree swivel adjustment, 45 degree tilt, and can be pointed down to provide privacy when not in use. Video streaming is available in 4K at 30fps or 1080p at up to 60fps and the lens has a reasonably wide-angle 86-degree field of view.

The Tiny 4K is plug-and-play for Windows and Mac systems and can even track without the need for additional software. However, to get the most out of the camera, it needs to be paired with Obsbot’s TinyCam app. Available for Windows and macOS, the app lets you manually control camera position and focus, adjust tracking behavior, and toggle settings for HDR and face-priority auto exposure. .

Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ webcam review: What do we like?

First of all, the image quality of the Tiny 4K is excellent. 4K video streams are packed with detail, and colors and contrast are pleasing and natural. TinyCam’s face-priority autoexposure is also very effective, maintaining proper lighting on my face even in strong backlight conditions.

Like all webcams, the Tiny 4K certainly benefits from use in a well-lit room and the image softens in darker environments, but it does a respectable job of managing image noise. There’s also a decent amount of dynamic range for a webcam. For higher contrast environments there is an HDR mode, but I found it tended to oversaturate colours.

The main feature of the Tiny 4K is, of course, its tracking capability and I’m happy to report that it doesn’t disappoint. During my testing, I found it did a great job of keeping my face constantly centered in the frame. Movements are natural and unobtrusive, gliding smoothly to follow you around the room. And, because the Tiny 4K physically repositions the camera using motors, rather than digitally cropping and tracking you – a feature you may find on other conference cameras – it maintains full resolution at all times. moment.

Tracking can be started or stopped from the TinyCam app or with a raised hand gesture and you can also preset up to three different static camera angles for quick switching. This setup is great for work calls where you don’t want to keep watching to check your frame. However, it should really come into its own for hosting online classes or presentations, or any situation where you need to move or tilt the camera from one position to another.

The Tiny 4K’s two omnidirectional microphones also do a respectable job. In some cases I noticed just a touch of bottom hiss but overall the pickups sound warm and clear.

Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ webcam review: how could it be better?

While the TinyCam app offers a lot of control over the behavior of the Tiny 4K, it doesn’t have any kind of manual camera control. To Obsbot’s credit, I’ve found the camera’s automatic settings for exposure and white balance to be very reliable, but if you’re looking to lock in specific values ​​or force frame rates or specific resolutions, you will need to rely on third-party software. like OBS Studio.

The Tiny 4K’s gesture controls, while a nice idea in theory, can also be a bit inconsistent. A raised open palm should start and stop face tracking while extending your thumb and index finger in an L shape to initiate digital zoom. While the gestures work most of the time, they can be a bit finicky and being left holding an L to the camera during a work call isn’t necessarily the best look.

Finally, while it certainly brings some unique features to the table, there’s no getting around the Tiny 4K’s not-so-small asking price. At £269, it’s one of the most expensive webcams we’ve reviewed, and if you can live without Obsbot’s tracking technology, you can get comparable video quality for less.

Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ Webcam Review: Should You Buy It?

The Obsbot Tiny 4K PTZ is definitely not for everyone. If you’re just looking for a high-quality camera for business calls and video chats, there are plenty of traditional options available for much less.

However, for those who regularly host presentations, online classes, or stream any type of content that includes movement, the Tiny 4K could be a game-changer. Although I would have liked to see more camera control in the TinyCam app, the Obsbot Tiny 4K is a solid all-rounder, and its tracking and preset position switching options set it above the crowd.

If you need the kind of features that Obsbot offers, the only real question is whether you should go for this 4K unit. With the majority of video calling platforms still in Full HD resolution, for many applications Obsbot’s tiny, more affordable 1080p PTZ webcam might just be the most economical option.

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