Recently, we have witnessed numerous intelligent products – audio, watch, etc. Jabra revolutionized the space with its new intelligent Al-enabled Panacast 20. The first consumer-focused webcam from Jabra is significantly more affordable than the conference room-focused other PanaCast devices. However, the webcam is still the same, low quality. Read our JABRA PANACAST 20 Review.
Build and features
The PanaCast 20 looks like a pillbox that feels solid and is made out of metal. This is the first webcam with a unique design and metal casing that also works as a heat sink for the camera. It holds a 4k lens and microphone pinholes on the left and right. There is another pinhole for the third mic on the top of the textured chassis. It has a small sliding switch on the bottom edge that works as a privacy cover. The webcam comes with a USB-C port that faces down on the bottom panel, near the back.
The flat design camera has a monitor clip, and a square metal arm that flips down from the bottom of the chassis. The metal clip lets you fix the webcam on any screen. However, the arm doesn’t rotate farther back, and the front lip is relatively shallow and wide, so the webcam feels less stable on thicker monitors.
PanaCast 20 comes with a zip-up case that securely holds the webcam and the USB cable, which is pretty long, around 1 meter.
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Jabra PanaCast 20 webcam has a 13MP, 1/3.2-inch sensor, and a 117-degree, f/2.25 lens. It relies on three MEMS microphones for audio capture. The USB Type C cable plays a dual role – powering up the device and data transfer. The single cable draws the power from a USB 3 or USB 2 port plus captures the video and audio. The Jabra Direct software is available for macOS and Windows; you can easily install the software on your PC and the device as per your preferences. The software lets you choose auto-to manual zoom and framing features. It also enables you to update its firmware. The app is intuitive, designed for multipurpose use, and works with most Jabra devices.
However, despite a live preview feature, you can’t use the software to record or stream anything from the camera. It’s mostly just for keeping the camera up to date, toggling the Intelligent Zoom feature, setting the field of view, and tweaking the exposure and white balance settings before you use the camera with dedicated video conferencing, recording, or streaming software.
Though you get a 4k webcam, you won’t be able to utilize the resolution. The typical video calling apps support up to 1080p. The camera lets you adjust the field of view, and the Intelligent Zoom feature crops digitally in up to 3x, offering a minimum 720p resolution. The camera has a wide sight range that keeps you always on the spot. The camera automatically tracks your face, keeping you in the frame. You can also manually control the camera in the Jabra Direct app for any pan, tilt, or zoom controls in your software of choice to manually frame your shots.
The 4K camera captures reasonably sharp images and videos with good lighting. While using the 4k, it captures plenty of detail. However, moderate noise appears. Although, in the well-lit environment, we didn’t notice any noise. The Intelligent Zoom feature works reasonably well; however, if you are using the webcam in a large room or with multiple objects, it can gets confused a bit and takes a few moments to zoom in, but after that, it cropped and panned the frame smoothly and slowly.
The three mics work perfectly fine; it was able to reduce noise and capture my voice. However, it wasn’t spotless and was a bit fuzzy when tested in a small room. While using the PanaCast in a hall, we noticed a bit of echo; using the mic setting, we reduced the echo.
The Jabra PanaCast 20 webcam is good enough to attend any video call/meeting/conference as it can reduce the noise and automatically focuses on you. Though you won’t be able to use 4k resolution with most meeting apps, it will capture clean video. Overall it’s a perfect device for handling video calls for just one person or an entire conference room, but available at a higher price point.
Al-powered 4K Ultra-HD video; Intelligent Zoom; Intelligent Lighting Optimisation; Intuitive Picture-in-Picture mode
PROS: Solid build; Wide-angle 4K camera; Face tracking: MEMS Microphones; Privacy shutters