one minute review
Webcams rose back into prominence over the course of the pandemic, but the problem with the market remained; after a point, most webcams are pretty 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. Obsbot Tiny 4K bridges the gap in the market between mainstream consumer webcams and professional conferencing equipment, it’s the smaller 4K edition of the company’s flagship Obsbot Tail, and integrates much of the same technology from the latter. in a smaller package.
Tiny is in the name, and it’s certainly the game, although this model isn’t as diminutive as some of the best webcams on the market. Standing 3.5 inches / 89.4 mm tall (5.5 inches / 142 mm with mount), the Obsbot has a 2-axis PTZ gimbal that enables motorized tracking and a 150-degree rotation range, horizontal adjustment from 45 degrees to 120 degrees per second.
In terms of quality, Obsbot Tiny 4K has a lot going for it. Its dynamic range is excellent and its face-priority autoexposure adds a lot of finesse to the resulting video. You’ll be better served in a well-lit environment though, as you’d expect from most webcams, because the Tiny 4K didn’t perform as well on dimmer settings.
However, the tracking technology in this carefully designed webcam is truly impressive, providing smooth yet rapid focus on your subject, while allowing the use of gestures to zoom and refocus the camera. The ability to use hand signals in this way is a nice idea, but in the real world it proved rather clunky, especially if the camera was already struggling with a low-light setting.
Obsbot isn’t the most affordable webcam on the market, but if you’re a creator who wants a hassle-free experience with your camera, a student who needs something to enhance your work (and play), or need a webcam that lets you surf without problems through presentations in business settings, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better smart webcam than the Obsbot.
Obsbot Tiny 4K price and availability
These are the specifications of the Obsbot Tiny 4K:
Connection type: USB-C
Image resolution: up to 8 megapixels
video resolution: 4K@30FPS /1080p@60FPS
Microphone: Omnidirectional with noise reduction
Customizing image quality settings: Yes
Diagonal Field of View (FOV): 86°
Focus Type: automatic or manual
Mounting Options: folding clip or tripod
Cable length: 1.5m cord
The Obsbot Tiny 4K is available for $269.00 (£229.00, AU$449.00) at the obsbot.com (opens in a new tab) store, and is also available on Amazon. All prices listed here are exclusive of taxes, so you’ll want to check the adjusted price for your region.
This makes the Obsbot a very expensive choice for most, even more so than some of the best webcams we’ve tested, but that’s largely due to its 4K capabilities, as well as its other value-added features. Not totally unreasonable price for its quality, but certainly not cheap. 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 were missing out on much without these accessories, barring the tripod, but you can easily find a compatible alternative online.
All Obsbot Tiny 4K packages come with a stylish carrying case for your mount, webcam, and cables, which is great if you want the freedom to travel and stream.
Obsbot Tiny Theme 4K
It’s the look of the Obsbot Tiny 4K Webcam that will initially catch your eye. It is elegant, simple and slim, with a matte black casing and a rounded design. With a neat 3.5 inches / 89.4mm height, the webcam is lightweight and small enough to be portable.
For thinner screens and laptops, the rounded base will be a bit clunky, but the folding clip, which comes with pre-attached adhesive, should keep it firmly attached to a thicker monitor; still, it’s not as sturdy as some other webcam clips we’ve seen. If you prefer to use a different support for the Tiny 4K, you can easily change it; the clip snaps magnetically to the bottom of the base, where there is also a ¼-20 UNC interface. The Tiny 4K can also be mounted upside down and switch its output natively.
On top of the base, there is a small screen through which colored lights show the status of the webcam: green when it is active; blue when initializing or registering a gesture.
Then we get to the fun part of the Tiny 4K: the 2-axis PTZ gimbal and rounded lens. Obsbot has done well to walk the line between sleek, futuristic design and simplicity, and the gimbal and lens are the perfect example of this. There’s no built-in lens cover, but that’s because the webcam can be forced into privacy mode by holding the lens towards 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.
Features of Obsbot Tiny 4K
Object tracking is one of the Tiny 4K’s key selling points, 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 offers a greater field of vision around the face specifically.
In either mode, you can’t just walk around the room and expect to be perfectly followed. However, for its intended use in presentations or during streaming, it works very well, with motors offering smooth and relatively fast movement that really impressed us during testing.
All of this brings us to one of Obsbot Tiny 4K’s most notable inclusions: gesture control. We have quite mixed feelings about this technology, as it seems to work very well until it just… doesn’t work. If there’s any background interference, the camera seems to struggle to identify your hand, which is a problem if, as was the case in our tests, your home office is in a room with a busy background.
Generally speaking, the Tiny 4K’s face-priority autoexposure worked well, ensuring our image was well balanced with the surrounding light levels. Face priority is fine, but similar to gesture control, the camera sometimes seems to drift and go out of focus, especially in low light.
Arguably one of our favorite features was the simplest: privacy mode. Simply turn the lens upside down on your gimbal and after a few seconds it will cut off all audio and video streams. The webcam will also enter a sleep zone after a period of inactivity, with three options available: 3 seconds, 2 minutes, or 10 minutes.
Obsbot Tiny 4K Performance
Obsbot Tiny 4K has a 1.2/8-inch sensor with a beautiful 3840 x 2160 image resolution and is capable of shooting 4K 30fps or 1080p 6fps video, both of which provide smooth and clear images.
One of the key benefits of 4K is the clarity of the zoom, and it’s put to good use at Obsbot: the device’s 4K digital zoom delivers a strong, clear image, which is great for getting up close and personal with your audience.
The webcam offers a great plug and play experience, but it also comes with a companion app for those who want to do some fine-tuning; In general, though, 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 Intel Core i5 7th generation or later.
the Obsbot Tiny 4K Firmware The app is simple enough to use and while it’s not the prettiest user interface out there, it does offer a good amount of control. This covers manual gimbal control, HDR toggling, face-priority autofocus, and white balance, as well as standard brightness, saturation, sharpness, and contrast settings.
For such a sophisticated camera we would have liked to see a bit more of the firmware, for example specific frame rate or resolution settings, but of course there are third-party options.
That said, if you’re working in dimly lit environments or have pale skin, you may want to turn white balance off and play with colors. The Tiny 4K, like many webcams, leans on the cool side, which is great for lighting your surroundings, but less so for rendering true tones.
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With its 86-degree field of view, the Tiny 4K offers excellent framing along with its object tracking, keeping you comfortably front and center, with plenty of room around you. This, like gesture control, also means you may not want to use the Tiny 4K in a busier home office or more on-site like we did during testing.
The microphones didn’t impress us, but that’s normal with webcams. They do a reasonably good job with mostly clear audio, save for the occasional pickup of background noise and a slight hiss. For the best audio quality, we always recommend using a headset microphone, a dedicated XLR, or one of the best usb microphones via built-in microphones.
Obsbot Tiny Dashboard 4K
|design||The highlight of the Tiny 4K is its beautiful design, which we really can’t fault.||5/5|
|performance||Overall, the Tiny 4K’s performance is excellent, but the firmware lets it down a bit.||4.5/5|
|features||The functions sound great, but in practice it takes quite a demanding job to work well.||4/5|
|Worth||For what it offers, the Tiny 4K is fairly well priced, but for the general consumer it’s too much.||4/5|