ANYONE who went through the recent period of hybrid work would have realised the importance of having a decent webcam. As someone who was acutely aware of the inadequacies of my own (rather outdated) webcam, I had always planned on eventually getting a better, higher resolution device. And so when Jabra offered a chance at testing out its PanaCast 20 webcam, I immediately agreed.
The device is a solid, premium webcam, with 4K Ultra-HD resolution, and an Intelligent Zoom feature that keeps you constantly in frame. Right from the start, I was impressed by the design. The PanaCast 20 came in a hard case that allows you to safely carry it anywhere. It is also surprisingly heavy, a nice change from the flimsy, mostly plastic webcam that I had been using previously.
Setting it up is relatively easy; just open the hinge that lies at the bottom of the oval body, and set it over your screen. I did note that it balanced a lot more securely on my PC monitor, with minimal adjustments needed. When it came to my laptop, it took me a few attempts to get it settled in a position that I was happy with, but once there, it never budged.
Getting it to work is essentially ‘plug and play’. It is also certified for most UC platforms, and worked very well for both Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
One thing that impressed me the most was its Intelligent Zoom. The feature uses artificial intelligence to detect your movements, and has the camera follow you around in order to keep you in the centre of the frame.
I admit the first time this happened, it surprised me. I leaned over to grab something and the camera picked it up and followed my movements. I can see this as an extremely helpful feature for anyone giving a presentation where they have to stand up and move around, while the camera tracks them. And, from personal experience, it is also a fun feature to show off during video conferencing calls with family or friends!
Another useful feature that will come in handy during video calls is the Picture-in-Picture mode, which enables users to set a close-up as their main image, while they can continue to present in a smaller window.
As for the quality of the images, I can attest that the webcam was indeed able to deliver on its 4K promise during video calls in the daytime. At night, in a room with some shadows, I noticed that the image was slightly ‘pixellated’, but that was probably due to the fact that the camera was focused on lighting up the normally dark areas of the background.
The only downside that I noticed was that the device did feel noticeably hot after use. However, it did not cause any lasting damage to the screens on which it was balanced. However, if that is a major concern for you, you might want to consider setting it upon your table, or on an alternate surface.
Aside from that, the PanaCast 20 is a wonderful option for those looking to upgrade their existing webcams, and an excellent device to utilise in the workspace, hybrid or otherwise.
The Jabra PanaCast 20 retails for RM2,075. For more information, visit the Jabra Malaysia website.