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Webcams came back to prominence over the course of the pandemic, but the problem with the market remained; after a point, most webcams are quite similar.
Enter Obsbot, a new name in the industry offering a decidedly unique line of webcams, combining the power of new technologies like AI with videography. Filling the gap in the market between general consumer webcams and professional conferencing equipment, the Obsbot Tiny 4K is the smaller 4K edition of the company’s flagship Obsbot Tail, cramming much of the same technology from the latter into a smaller package.
Tiny is in the name, and it certainly is the game – although this model isn’t quite as small as some of the best webcams on the market. The Obsbot is 3.5in / 89.4mm high (5.5in / 142mm with mount) and has a 2-axis PTZ gimbal that allows motorized tracking and a 150-degree rotation range, 45-degree horizontal adjustment at 120 degrees per second.
In terms of quality, the Obsbot Tiny 4K has a lot to offer. The dynamic range is great and the face priority autoexposure adds a lot of finesse to the resulting video. However, you’ll be served best in a well-lit environment, as we’ve come to expect from most webcams, as the Tiny 4K didn’t perform as well in dimmer settings.
Nevertheless, the tracking technology on this neatly designed webcam is really impressive, with smooth but quick focus on the subject, while also allowing you to use gestures to zoom in and refocus the camera. The ability to use hand signals in this way is a good idea, but in practice it proved rather inconvenient, especially if the camera was already battling a low-light setting.
The Obsbot isn’t the most affordable webcam on the market, but if you’re a maker who wants a hassle-free experience with your camera, a student who needs something that will enhance your work (and game), or you need a webcam that If you’re speeding through presentations in corporate environments, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better smart webcam than the Obsbot.
Obsbot Tiny 4K price and availability
These are the specs for the Obsbot Tiny 4K:
Connection type: USB-C
Photo resolution: up to 8 megapixels
Video resolution: [email protected]/[email protected]
Microphone: Omnidirectional with noise cancellation
Image quality settings adjustment: Yes
Diagonal Field of View (FOV): 86°
Focus type: Automatic or manual
Mounting options: Foldable clip or tripod
Cable length: 1.5m cable
The Obsbot Tiny 4K is available for $269.00 (£229.00, AU$449.00) on the Obsbot.com (opens in new tab) store, and is also available on Amazon. All prices listed here exclude VAT, so please check the adjusted price for your region.
This makes the Obsbot a very expensive option for most – even more so than some of the best webcams we’ve tested, but that’s largely due to its 4K capabilities and other value-adding features. It’s not a totally unreasonable price for the quality, but it’s certainly not budget-friendly. The non-4K Obsbot Tiny model retails for $199.00 (£169.00, AU$329.00).
If you want to go all out, there’s also a combo pack that comes with the Obsbot Tiny remote, a USB-A to USB-C data power cable with an on/off switch, and an extendable tripod, which will set you back $259, 00 (£309.00, AU$564.00). In our experience with the Obsbot Tiny 4K, we didn’t feel like we would have missed much without these accessories aside from the tripod, but you can easily find a compatible alternative online.
All Obsbot Tiny 4K packs come with a neat carrying case for your mount, webcam and cables, which is great if you want the freedom to travel and stream.
Obsbot Tiny 4K Design
It’s the looks of the Obsbot Tiny 4K webcam that will initially grab your attention. It is stylish, simple and slim, with a matte black housing and a rounded design. Standing at a neat 3.5in / 89.4mm high, the webcam is lightweight and small enough to be portable.
For thinner screens and laptops, the rounded base will be a little too clunky, but the folding clip, which comes with pre-attached glue, should hold it securely on a thicker monitor – yet it’s not as sturdy as other webcam clips we have seen. If you prefer to use a different mount for the Tiny 4K, you can easily swap it out; the clip snaps magnetically to the bottom of the base, where there is also a UNC ¼-20 interface. The Tiny 4K can also be mounted upside down and flip its output natively.
Above the base is a small screen through which colored lights indicate the webcam’s status: green when active; blue when initializing or registering a gesture.
Then we come to the fun part of the Tiny 4K – the 2-axis PTZ gimbal and the rounded lens. Obsbot has done well to cross the line between stylish, futuristic design and simplicity, and the gimbal and lens are the perfect example of this. There’s no built-in lens cap, but that’s because the webcam can be put into privacy mode by holding the lens toward the base for a few seconds.
The webcam comes with two cables: a 1.5m USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-A to DC power cable, plus a USB-C female to USB-A male adapter .
Obsbot Tiny 4K Features
Object tracking is one of the main selling points of the Tiny 4K and we were pleased with how well it works. You can choose between Full Body and Headroom mode in the companion app; the former offers faster motor movement, while the latter specifically offers a larger field of view around the face.
In either mode, you can’t frolic around the room and expect to be followed perfectly. However, for its intended use in presentations or while streaming, it works very well, with the motors offering smooth and relatively fast movements that really impressed us during testing.
All of this brings us to one of the more notable inclusions of the Obsbot Tiny 4K: gesture control. We have quite mixed feelings about this technology as it seems to work really well until it just… doesn’t. If there’s interference in the background, the camera seems to struggle to identify your hand – which is a bit of a problem if, as was the case in our tests, your home office is in a room with a busy background.
Overall, the Tiny 4K’s face-priority autoexposure performed well, balancing our image well with our ambient light levels. The face priority feature is OK, but in the same vein as gesture controls, sometimes the camera just seems to drift and blur, especially in low light.
One of our favorite features was arguably the simplest: Privacy Mode. Just flip the lens face down on the gimbal and after a few seconds all audio and video feeds will be interrupted. The webcam also enters a sleep zone after a period of inactivity, with three options available: 3 seconds, 2 minutes or 10 minutes.
Obsbot Tiny 4K Performance
The Obsbot Tiny 4K has a 1.2/8-inch sensor with a beautiful 3840 x 2160 image resolution and can record 4K video at 30 fps or 1080p at 6 fps, both of which deliver clear and smooth images.
One of the main benefits of 4K is the clarity of the zoom, and this is put to good use in the Obsbot – the device’s 4K digital zoom provides a strong and clear image, which is great for getting up close and personal with your audience.
The webcam delivers a great plug-and-play experience, but also comes with a companion application for those who want to make some adjustments; in general, however, the webcam pretty much does it all for you. It is compatible with Windows 7, 8 10 or later, macOS 10.13 or later, and 7th Gen Intel Core i5 or later.
The Obsbot Tiny 4K Firmware application is simple enough to use, and while it isn’t the prettiest UI out there, it offers a good amount of control. This includes manual gimbal controls, toggling HDR, face-priority autofocus and white balance, as well as the default brightness, saturation, sharpness and contrast settings.
For such an advanced camera, we would have liked to see a bit more of the firmware — specific frame rate or resolution adjustments, for example — but there are, of course, third-party options.
That said, if you work in low-light environments or have pale skin, you may want to turn off the white balance and play with the colors. The Tiny 4K, like many webcams, leans on the cool side, which is great for brightening up your surroundings, but not so much for displaying true-to-life tones.
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With its 86-degree field of view, the Tiny 4K offers excellent framing combined with object tracking, keeping you comfortably in the front and center, with plenty of room around you. This, like the gesture controls, also means you may not want to use the Tiny 4K in a busier or more in-situ home office like we did in testing.
We weren’t impressed with the microphones, but that’s part of the course with webcams. They do a pretty good job with mostly clear audio, the occasional background noise and a faint hissing sound. For the best audio quality, we always recommend using a headset microphone, a dedicated XLR, or one of the best USB microphones through built-in microphones.
Obsbot Tiny 4K Scorecard
|Design||The standout aspect of the Tiny 4K is its beautiful design, which we can’t really fault.||5/5|
|Performance||Overall, the Tiny 4K’s performance is great, but it’s a bit let down by the firmware.||4.5/5|
|Functions||The features sound great, but in practice are quite demanding to work well.||4/5|
|Vaue||For what it offers, the Tiny 4K is reasonably priced, but for the general consumer it’s just too much.||4/5|