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OBSBOT Tiny 2 Lite reviewed: highlighting the speed of progress

An integrated stand lets it sit comfortably most anywhere and it can also mount on a tripod
2 minute read
An integrated stand lets it sit comfortably most anywhere and it can also mount on a tripod

The new OBSBOT Tiny 2 Lite is a 4K tracking webcam that shows just how much tech can be crammed into small, affordable packages nowadays.

Back in 2019, one of the products of the year as far as the august TIME Magazine was concerned was the new OBSBOT Tail, a 4K PTZ camera that used AI to track your movements, cost $589, and was roughly the size of a pint glass.

Fast forward five years and OBSBOT has just released the Tiny 2 Lite. It too is a 4K PTZ camera that uses AI to automatically track your movements, only now it costs $179 and is the size of a shot glass. A generous shot glass, but a shot glass all the same.

That sound you can hear outside the window, ladies and gentlemen, is the speed of progress whooshing past up the street.

obsbot tail and tiny

What a difference five years makes: The Tail (left) vs the Tiny (right)

I’ve been using the Tiny 2 Lite for over a month now — mostly for Zoom calls —  and it’s been flawless. The picture quality, based around a 1/2'' CMOS sensor which seems to adapt well to changing light conditions, certainly better than the inbuilt camera in my M1 iMac does, is excellent; the sound quality from the dual-omnidirectional microphones is superb, with audio adjustable noise cancellation and human voice augmentation tech giving everything a suitable boost; and the tracking works really well, even following me around the room while I feed a cat to stop him interrupting a meeting with his persistent meowing*.

To put some figures on its tinyness, it weighs just 91.4 grams (3.22 oz) and is a mere 48 x 46 x 64 mm (1.89 x 1.81 x 2.52 inches). The camera that is, not the cat.

OBSBOT says that the Tiny 2 Lite is equipped with enhanced Auto Tracking with Auto Zoom, and a 2-axis gimbal and Deep Learning Neural Network Algorithm guarantee fluid movement. It works well, and the software also supports hand tracking and bodypart tracking functions. Gesture control lets you turn the tracking on and off, as well as zoom in and out to a user-selectable degree, while there’s also a remote whose receiver simply plugs into a USB port and lets you control the camera from a distance. Advanced Phase Detection Auto Focus technology ensures swift and precise focusing no matter what you do.

All in all, unless you go out of shot or into its blind spot, it’s going to remain firmly fixated on you unless you wave and inadvertently turn the AI tracking off (and yes, I’ve done that more than once). For conference calls it's good and a real step up from any integrated camera; for presenting tasks and streaming it's going to be extremely useful.

There’s a pretty fully featured console that lets you adjust multiple parameters on the fly, and you can quickly switch between Standard Mode and Motion Mode tracking mode. Standard Mode probably gives you a bit of lag when it comes to tracking, while Motion Mode is rapid and responsive, if a little bit hyperactive and distracting for some more sedate use cases.

The console also lets you fine-tune plenty of factors governing your appearance. A Beauty Mode instantly smooths skin and brightens eyes and has numerous customisable sliders, while varying degrees of make-up can even be applied. A lot of this can be fairly subtle and even things like virtually applied lipstick track well, especially if you step down to HD.

tiny lite 2 mugshot

Saner effects are available...

On the connectivity front, Tiny 2 Lite supports the OSC protocol, Stream Deck, and SDK, while a custom plugin makes Tiny 2 Lite compatible with Stream Deck+, allowing direct control through dials and seamless integration with other live streaming setups. 

Sticking with Zoom to date means I haven’t driven its capabilities very hard really, but I’m confident it could handle pretty much anything I throw at it now or in the future. And that’s progress too; you could buy this for simple webcam uses now knowing that if you were planning on any more complex streaming down the line you're not going to need to reinvest.

Now, if they can just get the AI to track cats...

*This is a learned behaviour and happens whenever I'm on a call. Trust me, he's not starving.

Tags: Technology Webcam OBSBOT