Obsbot Tiny Review: Bringing A.I. Smarts to the Webcam

“The Obsbot Tiny is a singular webcam that would have benefitted from a bigger sensor.”


  • Topic monitoring works effectively
  • A.I.-driven pan, tilt, and zoom
  • Noise-cancelling microphones
  • Revolutionary gimbal design


  • Picture high quality suffers in low mild
  • Most decision of 1080p

Webcams have develop into an integral a part of our lives — particularly in the course of the previous 12 months and a half — permitting us to collaborate and talk from afar. Whereas most webcams attempt to differentiate when it comes to video and microphone high quality, Obsbot is taking a radically completely different strategy.

Counting on the tried and confirmed 1080p video commonplace, the $199 Obsbot Tiny is a private house webcam that infuses synthetic intelligence smarts, a twin axis gimbal, and subject-tracking capabilities into a very highly effective resolution that’s sometimes present in bigger, and oftentimes dearer, convention room merchandise.

It guarantees to be a sensible software for creators, with extra pure panning, tilting, and zooming capabilities that can make your movies seem dynamic.


Obsbot Tiny powered on with LED lighting

In an area the place most webcams haven’t modified a lot over time, Obsbot’s take is a shocking breath of contemporary air. As an alternative of counting on an unassuming single-piece enclosure that homes the picture sensor and microphones and a stand that clips to most displays, Obsbot as a substitute offers the standard design an excessive makeover. With the Obsbot Tiny, what you’re getting is a cross between a a standard webcam and a gimbal, like DJI’s Osmo collection.

At a look, the Obsbot’s design, whereas refreshing, could seem a bit overkill. Displays, in spite of everything, don’t want the stabilization mechanism of a gimbal, as they’re meant to be stationary items of technology, and most of the people aren’t conducting essential video calls from a loud practice or a turbulent airplane. Nevertheless, on this case, the gimbal isn’t designed for stabilized video feeds, however relatively for controlling the cam.

Introducing OBSBOT Tiny 4K

The Tiny depends on synthetic intelligence to drive the motor within the two-axis gimbal, permitting the cam to pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ). This makes it probably the most — if not essentially the most — compact PTZ desktop webcams available on the market at this time, and the function right here rivals a lot bulkier and costly videoconferencing tools present in workplace convention rooms.

In truth, this design makes the Obsbot Tiny resemble DJI’s Pocket 4K with its deal with chopped off. The Tiny comes with a magnetic base, permitting it to be hooked up to most metallic surfaces, and a magnetic mounting clamp so it might connect to laptops and displays with ease. Creators trying to make use of this on a tripod may rely the threads on the underside of the Tiny.

Obsbot Tiny on MacBook Pro

Like many trendy webcams, the Obsbot can document movies at FHD 1080p decision, however the draw back is that you just’re restricted to 30 frames per second — different fps codecs aren’t supported. Digital zoom is supported, and the utmost zoom is 2x, which supplies you some flexibility to pan and zoom for tighter photographs should you’re prepared to sacrifice some picture high quality within the course of.

The camera has omnidirectional microphones with noise cancellation technology, which labored surprisingly effectively once we examined the unit at house and in a extra quiet cafe in the course of the afternoon.

Magnetic mount for Obsbot Tiny.

The gimbal permits the cam to pan as much as 150 levels round and tilt up or down as much as 45 levels, including the pliability to get the proper shot should you’re a creator seeking to stream.

A single USB cable is all that’s wanted to attach your desktop or laptop. Obsbot additionally included a DC port in case your system doesn’t output sufficient energy to the Tiny. In our testing, we didn’t must resort to DC energy on quite a lot of laptops from Apple, HP, and Lenovo.

Efficiency and picture high quality

Obsbot Tiny looks like a webcam mounted to a chopped off gimbal.

It’s straightforward to get excited concerning the Obsbot Tiny’s superior capabilities in an area that has solely seen iterative enhancements, however you’ll have to essentially consider the way you’re conducting your video calls or streaming periods earlier than you spend money on the Tiny. Most individuals, for instance, might be sitting comparatively stationary at their desk throughout video calls, so the PTZ options received’t come into play in any respect.

If you happen to’re ready to transform your front room right into a Shark Tank-like stage, full with easels, a white board, and posters, then the Tiny will make sense. On this sense, the Tiny will make your own home presentation look extra like an Apple product announcement keynote, monitoring you and your motion throughout your own home “stage” to ship a extra dynamic video.

For its tiny dimension, the Obsbot Tiny works very well — the noise canceling omnidirectional microphone’s efficiency was stable. The occasion I used to be videoconferencing with famous that regardless of the background noise in a espresso store, my voice was clear and clear, and distractions had been minimized.

Video high quality, for essentially the most half, was proficient. At 1080p FHD, it was positively crisper and fewer grainy than the 720p HD camera on my 2016-era MacBook Professional. Normally, I discovered picture high quality to be about on par with what’s out there on Home windows laptops which have a 1080p webcam. That’s not precisely an enormous praise, as laptop webcams are infamous for poor high quality.

In comparison with a 4K webcam, like Dell’s UltraSharp webcam or Logitech’s extremely rated Brio, the Obsbot Tiny’s video high quality is certainly not as sharp. If you happen to’re utilizing the camera extra for video recording — relatively than streaming or videoconferencing — this shouldn’t be a giant challenge, as most calling providers cap the add decision to 1080p or much less.

Obsbot Tiny with magnetic mount clamp for monitors and laptops.

The most important downside with such a sophisticated webcam just like the Obsbot Tiny is that the picture sensor is small. Which means that the camera doesn’t seize as a lot mild as a bigger camera, like a DSLR or mirrorless camera. On this case, which means picture high quality shortly degrades in lower-light conditions, and also you’ll discover extra graininess in your movies should you’re doing video calls in darker rooms. In brightly lit environments with sufficient ambient lighting, this isn’t a priority, so workplace calls might be advantageous, however players and streamers who play in darker rooms could need to look elsewhere for a streaming resolution. 

As a result of lack of HDR video assist, should you’re sitting in entrance of a brilliant window, you’ll discover some blown-out highlights and darker areas within the body will lose a little bit of element Normally, white steadiness additionally suffers in difficult situations, and also you’ll discover pores and skin tones to be just a little off when the camera is concentrated in your face.

A.I. smarts

Obsbot Tiny with USB-C and DC port for power.

A number of the camera controls and settings might be manually tuned utilizing software program that may be put in in your PC. Nevertheless, should you’d relatively not man the camera your self, you may depend on synthetic intelligence to get the job achieved.

Like extra superior webcams, the Tiny can auto-track and auto-frame your topic, panning and tilting the camera to create a easy video feed with out uneven transitions. The function works very well, although it might take a number of seconds for the Obsbot Tiny to lock in and find the topic. If you happen to’re not jogging from one finish of the room to the opposite– suppose small, regular pacing on stage — then the camera will have the ability to monitor with out challenge. The camera did wrestle a bit with faster-moving topics, like a child operating throughout the room.

One other A.I.-controlled factor is gesture management. Slightly than navigate the software program or fiddle with the {hardware}, you may merely elevate your hand, palm-side out together with your fingers collectively, subsequent to your face, and the camera will lock in on the goal. The LED mild strip on the bottom of the Obsbot Tiny will flash and point out that it has locked on to you.

OBSBOT Tiny gesture management tutorial

As soon as the camera identifies whom to trace, it would use A.I. to pan and swivel the camera to wherever you might be within the room by utilizing the motors within the gimbal. In use, the motor isn’t loud in any respect, in order that was a pleasant function that minimized distracting background noise.

If you have to zoom, you may maintain your hand up subsequent to your face and use your pointer finger and thumb to type an “L” form. This can set off the camera to zoom in 2x for a tighter crop round your face.

If you happen to’re self recording a gross sales pitch or presentation, having a camera that may routinely pan, tilt, and zoom permits you to create a extra compelling video. The perfect half is you don’t even should have a cameraperson to do the work.

And although there isn’t a devoted privateness shutter on this camera, you may put the camera to sleep once you’re achieved. With this mode, the Obsbot Tiny goals the lens downward to offer you peace of thoughts that it isn’t recording when it shouldn’t be. The LED indicator strip will even point out if the camera is in document mode.

Our take

The Obsbot Tiny delivers loads of superior A.I.-powered options in a compelling {hardware} bundle. Obsbot’s Tiny webcam brings premium PTZ options extra generally discovered on bigger convention room video options to an inexpensive bundle for house use. It’s actually solely choice for somebody who wants that performance, although, because the picture high quality isn’t the very best.

Are there any options?

There are many succesful 1080p and 4K webcams. Cheap webcams begin at effectively underneath $100, however usually, you get what you pay for. At $199, the Obsbot Tiny competes towards extra premium webcams, like Logitech’s Brio.

The Brio prices the identical because the Tiny, however sacrifices the Obsbot’s extra superior A.I. capabilities in favor of extra superior picture high quality. This implies you’ll get higher 4K decision on the Brio — in comparison with 1080p — and HDR assist.

How lengthy will it final?

The Obsbot Tiny has a typical one-year restricted guarantee, however webcams are designed to final for a few years of use. Not like smartphones, a webcam isn’t a peripheral that’s designed for annual or biennial upgrades, and the Obsbot can probably final 5 years and even longer. Until the {hardware} breaks — given the gimbal mechanism, the Obsbot Tiny could also be extra vulnerable to failure than different competing webcams as a result of variety of transferring components — the system ought to final you for a few years to return.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, although it actually will depend on the options you want out of a webcam. If you happen to’re simply utilizing the Tiny for common video chats, then its superior options could also be overkill and also you’re higher off getting one thing with higher picture high quality. However should you’re recording a gross sales pitch or a presentation, having an A.I.-powered cameraman makes it a singular software.

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