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Obsbot Tiny 4K review: AI-enabled video calling

This ingenious webcam offers all the features and quality most people will ever desire – for a price

IT Pro Recommended
A photograph of the Obsbot Tiny 4K
Price
£206 exc VAT
  • Clever AI-powered tracking
  • Crisp image quality
  • Smart mounting options
  • Expensive

Shenzhen-based Obsbot describes the Tiny 4K as an “AI-powered PTZ 4K webcam”, and unusually, it actually delivers on the AI promise. Combined with the pan, tilt and zoom features that PTZ is short for, it removes many annoyances associated with video calls

Take something as simple as your position within the frame. Similarly to Apple’s Center Stage feature, the Tiny 4K is clever enough to follow you as you move around. It doesn’t do it using digital zoom, but by rotating itself on its gimbal so that you can still enjoy a crisp 4K resolution. The only time you lose that is if you zoom in, as this is a digital effect, not an optical one.

You can also set a zoom preset that means – with a gesture – you can tell the camera to crop to your head and shoulders during a call. Repeat the gesture and it cancels the zoom and returns to the full view. We found it works best when there’s a relatively clear background behind your hand, and it may take a few practice goes before it becomes second nature, but it’s a nice feature. And if for some reason it doesn’t work, you can jump into the app to manually change the zoom (and pan and tilt).

This would all be for nought if the image quality was mediocre, but the Tiny 4K produces a well-balanced and detailed image. There’s little noise, even in low light, and the colours are excellent. The auto focus works well – if you hold something up to the camera, say – and while we’re not wholly convinced by the HDR feature, it gives a lift in tougher lighting conditions.

Obsbot builds a dual microphone into the base of the camera, which will cut out some background noise through, you guessed it, AI. And one of the nicest features is its privacy mode, where the camera points directly downwards on command. 

There are a couple of rough edges. The software is cluttered with options once you head into the settings, and could prove confusing at first glance. The unit is also best attached to a monitor rather than a laptop, because the stand is only properly secure once you remove a tape over the adhesive. 

Again, though, Obsbot shows its smarts by using a magnetic base. So you can permanently attach the stand to your monitor, and then temporarily remove the Tiny 4K to sit in a freeform position on your desk, say. Or attach it to a tripod using the screw slot on its underside. In fact, the only real downside to this webcam is its price, which is sturdy at almost £250. You can save around £100 by choosing the 1080p version instead, but that will lead to blurrier zoomed-in images. Personally though, we would advise swallowing the extra cost.

Obsbot Tiny 4K specifications

Camera

4K Sony 1/2.8in sensor, 4K/30fps, 1,080p/60fps, 86° field of view, 4 x digital zoom, HDR   

Microphones

Dual mic array

Speakers

N/A

Connectivity

USB-C  

Additional features

2-axis gimbal (300° pan, 180° tilt) 

Dimensions

58 x 58 x 89mm (WDH)   

Weight

147g 

Warranty

1yr limited warranty

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