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Obsbot Tiny 4K webcam review: High-quality video with smart features

I don’t usually get to review a lot of webcams aside from the ones built into the laptops I review, but when Obsbot reached out with the opportunity to review the Tiny 4K camera, I was instantly interested. It’s a 4K camera with one very special hook – the ability to track you as you move around. There are other cameras that can do this digitally, but this one rotates physically to make sure you’re always in the frame.

It’s one of the most expensive webcams out there, but frankly, it’s hard to imagine buying anything else if you want the best webcam experience possible. I absolutely love using the Obsbot Tiny 4K, and if you have the money to spend on it, I absolutely recommend it. The image quality and the tracking features make it absolutely worth it, even if I would have liked to see Windows Hello integration.

    Obsbot Tiny 4K

    The Obsbot Tiny 4K webcam has a high-resolution sensor and AI that allows it to track you as you move around.

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Obsbot Tiny 4K: Pricing and availability

  • The Obsbot Tiny 4K is available on Amazon, or on Obsbot’s website
  • It costs $269, so it’s fairly pricy

The Obsbot Tiny 4K is a relatively new product, but it’s already available to buy, both on Obsbot’s own website and on Amazon. It costs a whopping $269, making it one of the most expensive webcams out there.

There’s also a slightly lesser version that leaves out 4K and features like auto focus and HDR, if you want something a bit cheaper.

Obsbot Tiny 4K: Specs

Camera 1/2.8″ 4K Sony Sensor, F2.2, 86˚FOV, auto focus, HDR, 4x zoom
Max video resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 30fps, 1920 x 1080 @ 60fps
Audio Dual omnidirectional microphones with noise cancellation
Gimbal 2-axis gimbal
Maximum controllable adjustment: -150˚ to +150˚ pan, -45˚ to +45˚tilt
Adjustment speed: 120˚/s (max)
Structurally possible adjustment (not controllable by software): -160˚ to +160˚ pan, -90˚ to +90˚tilt
Mounting system Magnetic mount included
Supports 1/4″ screw mounts
Power requirements USB 3.0 connection or USB 2.0 + DC in
System requirements Recommended for 4K/1080p@60fps:
Mac
: Macs with 8th-gen Intel Core i5 or higher
Windows: 7th-gen Intel Core i5 or higher, 8GB of RAM
Size (WxDxH) Without mount: 58 x 58 x 89.5 mm (2.28 x 2.28 x 3.52 in)
With magnetic mount: 58 x 58 x 142 mm (2.28 x 2.28 x 5.59 in)
Weight Without mount: 147 grams (0.32 lbs)
With magnetic mount: 176 grams (0.39 lbs)
Price $269

Design and packaging: It comes in a really nice box

  • The Obsbot Tiny 4K comes in a solid carrying case with a handle
  • The box includes a magnetic mount and all the cables you need

We don’t usually talk about packaging in reviews that much, but I wanted to briefly mention it here because the Obsbot Tiny 4K comes with a very nice carrying case in the box. When you open the package (after getting through a few layers of paper), you’re met with this hard case, complete with a carrying handle, and the camera and included accessories are all neatly stored inside.

Angled view of the Obsbot Tiny 4K carrying case

It’s really nice that you get this by default, and it makes it very easy to take the camera with you anywhere without fear of it breaking. It doesn’t justify the high price tag, but it drives home the point that it’s a high-end product, and it’s treated as such. You’re not paying for nothing. The package includes two cables – one USB-C to USB-C (plus a Type-C to Type-A adapter) for power and data, and a USB Type-A to DC in. This second cable is there for PCs that only have USB 2.0, since a single port isn’t enough to power the webcam. If you have a USB 3.0 port, you only need the first cable.

The camera itself has an unusual design, which is necessary to enable the smart tracking features it offers. It sits on a round base, and it can rotate almost all around. There’s an arm that raises the camera itself and gives it space to tilt up and down so it can follow you. The range of movement is wide enough that it can track just about anywhere you’d reasonably be. You can rotate and tilt the camera manually, or use the AI tracking feature. You can also tilt the camera down completely to turn it off altogether, which is a nice privacy safeguard.

Obsbot Tiny 4K webcam along with the included accessories and cables

On the front, the camera has a row of lights, which are used to indicate a few things. By default, a single green light is on, indicating the camera is turned on. When you enable tracking, you’ll see all three lights turn green. When you perform a gesture, blue lights to indicate the gesture is being recognized, and when the camera loses track of you, the light changes to yellow.

On the bottom, there’s a screw for 1/4″ mounts so you can attach the camera anywhere you want. However, the box also includes a magnetic mount which is a bit easier to work with. Just place the mount on your monitor and put the camera on top of it, and it’ll hold firmly in place. The magnet is very strong, so you can rest assured the camera won’t fall off.

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that the camera is quite heavy compared to other webcams. You’d probably expect that considering all the technology packed inside, but it’s something to note. If your laptop has a looser hinge, it might move due to the weight, though I’ve personally not experienced this with any of my laptops.

Image quality and tracking: It’s amazing if you want to move around

  • The tracking features are great if you move a lot in front of the camera
  • Image quality is far better than any laptop webcam out there

The selling point of this camera is evidently the smart tracking feature, so we’re going to start with that. The Obsbot Tiny 4K is an AI-powered webcam, and it actually doesn’t even need any special software for it to work. There is an Obsbot TinyCam app you can use for additional manual controls, but the smarts are all there without it.

When you first turn on the camera, it won’t track you right away. Instead, it uses gesture recognition to enable the feature. You can raise your hand with your palm facing the camera, and once the camera recognizes the gesture, it’ll start tracking you as you move. I’ve mentioned that the range of movement is pretty wide, but perhaps even more importantly, the camera is fast.

Obsbot Tiny 4K webcam pointing up with green lights indicating that tracking enabled

Other high-end cameras, like the Dell UltraSharp 4K, also have tracking, but it’s all software-based, and it can be pretty slow to respond to your movements. Plus, that camera often zooms in on random parts of the picture. The Obsbot Tiny 4K is responsive and works really well. It does need a relatively clear view of your face, but that’s not usually a problem.

It can become problematic when you use the other built-in feature: Zoom. If you gesture an L shape using your right hand next to your face, the camera will toggle zoom (4x zoom, by default), focusing on your face. If you’re close to the camera, this can be a problem, though, as your face might not fit comfortably in the frame, which in turn affects tracking. The camera sometimes can’t respond quickly enough if you move, or it may stop recognizing your face if you look away from it.

Close-up picture of a man sitting on a chair

Picture taken with 4x zoom enabled

It’s fair to say that if this happens to you, probably shouldn’t be zooming in the first place. You can always use the same gesture to revert the zoom level, but having the camera zoom in too close can also make it harder for gestures to be recognized consistently. Once you get the hang of it, you can definitely make it work, but it’s not but the tracking isn’t absolutely perfect.

I don’t have a ton of experience with high-end webcams, but I can certainly say that the image quality from the Obsbot Tiny 4K is great. I always look sharp and clear, and certainly better than any laptop webcam I’ve ever used, including the 1080p webcam on the Lenovo Yoga 6. It responds fairly well to uneven lighting, and there’s an HDR feature to help with that, though this requires the TinyCam software. I’ve found that HDR helps when I have light coming in from my window, but at night with indoor lighting, I prefer the image quality with HDR off.

Picture of a man sitting on a chair
Picture of a man sitting on a chair

The camera records at up to 4K resolution and 30 frames per second, or you can also record at 1080p and 60fps, if you prefer smoother video. Again, image quality is great overall, and while you’ll notice a bit more noise in dim lighting, it’s way better than any laptop webcam I’ve tried, so I always want to leave this camera plugged in, especially considering everything else it gives you.

The only thing I really wish this camera had at this price is Windows Hello facial recognition. If you look at other high-end webcams like the aforementioned Dell UltraSharp 4K or the Logitech Brio, they’re also pretty expensive, but they come with the benefit of adding Windows Hello facial recognition. While I’d say that’s not an essential feature, it certainly would make this high price tag easier to swallow.

Obsbot TinyCam software: More manual settings

  • The Obsbot TinyCam software gives you all kinds of manual settings for the webcam
  • It doesn’t get installed automatically, so you have to find it yourself

So far, we’ve mostly focused on what the camera can do by itself, but there are a few more features you can get with the Obsbot TinyCam software. The app is available for both Windows and macOS, and it gives you a slow of extra controls. As soon you as open the app, you get gimbal controls, so you can manually rotate and tilt the webcam yourself, as well as zoom controls.

Screenshot of Obsbot TinyCam software

Additionally, you can save up to three preset positions for the webcam, so if you don’t want to rely on tracking, but you want to have the camera ready for different positions, you can save them as presets and switch between them on the fly.

Clicking the gear icon on the side menu will also give you a bunch of more advanced settings. Here, you can turn off the gesture recognition, adjust the auto-sleep timer (the camera will go to sleep if not in use for a while), change the default zoom factor when you use the zoom gesture, enable HDR, and much more.

A couple of noteworthy features here include the tracking mode, with three options to choose from. The default tracking mode focuses on your face, but there’s also headroom mode, which tries to ensure there’s space above your head so it doesn’t get cut off, and motion mode to improve the effectiveness of tracking when you move around a lot.

Screenshot of ObsBot TonyCam software with tracking modes menu open

There’s also the video configuration window, which lets you adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and all kinds of image settings manually. You get plenty of control, which is great if you want to achieve a specific look with the webcam.

Screenshot of Obsbot TinyCam video configuration options

Another thing the app lets you do is update the firmware on the webcam, which might include fixes or new features in the future. All in all, the Obsbot TinyCam software is really useful if you want to get more out of the Tiny 4K, but frankly, I wouldn’t consider it essential for basic use. The image quality is great out of the box and the tracking features all work without it. Still, it probably would have made more sense for the software to install automatically, but instead, you have to go and look for it yourself, which is a bit of a bummer.

Should you buy the Obsbot Tiny 4K?

Overall, the Obsbot Tiny 4K is an absolutely fantastic webcam, and if you’re presenting content over the internet, it’s an easy recommendation. The tracking features work really well (and quickly), and the image quality is great. It’s definitely an upgrade, even over some of the best laptops out there today. However, you really need to make sure you need it, because it’s a very big investment.

You should buy the Obsbot Tony 4K if:

  • If you make online presentations that require you to move around
  • You want great image quality with no frills
  • You have the money to spend

You shouldn’t buy the Obsbot Tiny 4K if:

  • You want Windows Hello facial recognition
  • You just want a basic webcam that’s better than a laptop

I think the biggest thing that can push you away from this webcam is the lack of Windows Hello facial recognition, especially when you can find other high-end webcams that support it. Those webcams lack the great tracking this camera offers, though, so you have to choose your priorities.

The post Obsbot Tiny 4K webcam review: High-quality video with smart features appeared first on XDA.

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