OBSBOT Tiny 4K AI Powered PTZ Webcam
4K webcams are starting to become a mainstream thing now with competitors popping up with all the new models taking on companies like Logitech. Prices for “true 4K” options are still a little high compared to what some consumers are used to, but the features you get quickly balance things out for some of these models. Models like the OBSBOT Tiny 4Kan AI-driven PTZ webcam that can track the subject in front of it, zoom in and out, and a number of other useful functions.
This webcam is more than just an everyday webcam. It’s a feature-packed miniature robo-cam that we’ve best described as being between 1/3 and half the size of a general soda can. For what it is, it’s quite small.
It has a dual-axis gimbal allowing it to cover X and Y directions to track its subject(s), without even having to install any software (for the general function). Although you need to install software to get the most out of the camera.
Not only can it follow you, but you can also control the use of hand gestures to let it know who it’s following as well as zoom in and out.
You can mount it on a desktop as is, on a flat surface. Or you can choose to use a tripod of your choice or the included magnetic stand to place it on top of a monitor/laptop screen.
The bottom of the camera has a simple tripod thread in the center, and the rest is magnetic. Thus, it can easily attach and detach from its support or possibly mount it magnetically on something else.
It connects to your PC or Mac via a USB-C connection on the back. There is also a DC input when you only have access to a USB 2.0 port. However, as long as you’re using a USB 3.0 or newer port (USB-A or USB-C), it will get both power and data through the single USB connection.
It comes with the USB-C to USB-C cable as well as a small USB-C to USB-A adapter. There’s also the AC cable if you need it, which would plug into a wall adapter (not included). Beyond that, nothing but software is required to make it work.
You also get a nice semi-hard case in which the camera can be stored along with its accessories. Allowing you to easily store it when not in use (if not statically attached to a system) or travel with it to a new location.
Any modern Windows or Mac environment can manage the webcam and its software. OBSBOT TinyCam software is used to select targets, set defaults, etc. Although during most of our testing we ignored the software to see how functional it was without it and it worked just fine.
In fact, the demo that’s in the second half of the unboxing video below (after this review’s conclusion) was shot with the camera just plugged in, fresh out of the box. Nothing has been installed yet.
Right off the bat, you can use gesture controls and tracking. We hooked it up to a laptop and set it to [email protected] and booted up. Everything worked great and it looked and sounded great.
It has a dual microphone design that highlights sound within 3 meters of the camera. In doing so, it seems to do a good job of isolating background noise since we tried to add common background noises (i.e., HVAC, fridge, etc.). We even had someone walking around rubbing their feet a bit (intentionally) in the background during the video below and he never caught it in the video.
Of course, it’s not going to compete with a high-end 4K camera. It’s just a webcam after all. However, for being a webcam, it still works well enough with video and audio.
Auto-framing and auto-focus do a decent job of keeping what’s important in the shot (you), and its tracking offers two different modes, including margin (when you’re sitting nearby) and movement when you’re in the background taking a walk, dancing, or anything else where you want your whole body to be in the mix.
Gestures are fantastic as long as you know how to use them properly. Instructions walk you through this and the camera responds every time. It really helps to control it when there is no one else to use the software. A simple gesture will tell him to zoom in or out or start following you or even someone else if he raises his hand with the right gesture.
Then you have the privacy features that are easy to work with. You can manually tilt the camera down with your hand. If you do this, it will automatically shut down and disable video and audio. It will also turn off after 30 seconds with nothing to follow, which will put it to sleep.
Using this camera would be great for meetings, school, or when trying to share something you’ve been practicing for the dance team. Again, it won’t compare to a high-end 4K video camera, but for a webcam it still packs a punch. The only thing you need to plan ahead is what kind of lighting you have.
So you won’t be shooting professional videos with it, but it will probably go beyond any other task you need it for. Maybe have a video chat in the kitchen as you walk around the room preparing your meal. Not only does it look good, but it’s a lot of fun to use. So watch the video below and watch the demonstration near the end. You might be surprised.
The company also has a more expensive option it’s working on that does even more (for more professional shots), but it looks like it’s “coming soon.”
*Average price is based on when this item was published
- Size (without stand): 89.4mm x 58mm x 58mm
- Size (with stand): 142mm x 58mm x 58mm
- Weight (without stand): 147 g
- Weight (with stand): 176 g
- Maximum video resolution: [email protected], 1080p/60fps, MJPEG, H264
- Supported resolutions: 3840×2160, 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×360
- Supported frame rate:
- MJPEG: 3840×[email protected][30 24 20 15]1920×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15]1280×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15],960×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15]640×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15]
- YUV: 3840×[email protected]1920×[email protected]1280×[email protected][10 5]960×[email protected][15 10 5]640×[email protected][30 24 20 15 10 5]
- H264: 3840×[email protected][30 24 20 15]1920×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15]1280×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15]960×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15]640×[email protected][60 30 24 20 15]
- Zoom: 4x
- Focus Type: AF/MF
- HDR: Yes
- Field of View (D): 86 degrees
- Built-in audio: two built-in omnidirectional microphones with noise reduction
- Gimbal Installation: Not Removable
- Controllable range (degrees): Pan: +/-150?Incline: +/-45
- Structurally possible range (degrees): Pan: +/-160? Tilt: +/-90
- Maximum control speed (degrees): 120/s
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