Video conferencing has become the new normal in the pandemic world we live in. The way in which we conduct business today certainly has undergone some changes especially when you compare how we typically interacted just a short time ago.
The pandemic quickly required many of us to work remotely which underscored the need for tools to help everyone stay connected. Video conferencing, which was rising in popularity in the pre-pandemic landscape, got a huge boost which saw the use of video increase to unprecedented levels.
What we saw at the onset of the pandemic was businesses and individuals scrambling to obtain communication equipment that would allow them to stay connected with customers and teammates alike. One of those high demand items was, and still is, video conferencing devices.
In today’s blog, I’m going to discuss a high quality webcam offered by Jabra that delivers lifelike video and surprisingly good audio quality.
I’m referring to the new Jabra PanaCast 20 webcam.
But, before I jump into the details, I’d like to let you know that we created a video on this. I know there are a lot of people who prefer to consume their content via video rather than reading it. If you’re one of those people, then make sure to check out our video review of the Jabra PanaCast 20 below.
Jabra Panacast 20 video review
For everyone else, the clock’s ticking, so let’s get started.
When using a video camera, I feel safe in saying that we all want to look our best. After all, people are looking at us and because of that we don’t want to look pixelated, grainy or out of focus. In order to give yourself the best image possible, it’s important to invest in a decent camera.
Yes, there are a ton inexpensive, ok, cheap cameras out there, but when it comes to video, you get what you pay for in most cases. If you care about how you look on camera, then again, spend a little more so you’ll look your best.
The Jabra PanaCast 20 is one of the cameras that you should consider investing in. It won’t break most people’s bank accounts, but admittedly it does cost more than those cheap, no name online cameras. But, in my opinion, the PanaCast 20 is well worth the investment. Here’s why I say that.
The Jabra PanaCast 20 is easy to use because it’s plug and play. Take it out of the box, plug it in, and in a matter of minutes, you’re up and running. Everyone likes things to be simple, and it doesn’t get much simpler than this. Nothing complicated, and no downloads required.
One of the most important aspects of any webcam is picture quality. After all, we are talking about video here. The PanaCast 20 delivers a sharp and crisp image thanks to the 4K resolution. And this compact webcam operates at 30 frames per second for lifelike, full motion video. When you plug one of these into your computer you can expect to look your best.
The PanaCast 20 has a cool feature where the camera tracks you. So, if you’re a presenter, for example, and you’re standing up and moving, the camera will follow you.
This is a great feature because it helps to keep you in view instead of disappearing from it. And, isn’t the idea behind video to be seen and heard, not just heard? This isn’t a feature that’s commonly found on a webcam, and to me, it’s more than something cool, it’s actually useful.
One thing that can occupy someone’s mind while on a video call is making sure they remain centered. You not only want the best possible image quality, but you also need to be in the center of the picture. The Jabra PanaCast 20 does that for you automatically.
Through the use of AI, the PanaCast 20 automatically keeps you centered, even if you find yourself moving a bit. This may seem like a small detail, but in truth, small details, like this, can make a big difference when it comes to maintaining a consistently good look.
Not only does the PanaCast 20 keep you centered, but through the use of AI, it also analyzes your room lighting. We all work in different places, and those places vary in the amount and type of available light. The PanaCast 20 automatically adjusts your image based on the light in your room to help keep you looking sharp.
One more great feature that’s standard on the PanaCast 20 is picture-in-picture. This feature allows you to share a close up shot with your viewers, while it places you in a small presentation box so you can narrate, or comment on what it is you’re sharing.
This feature is similar to screen sharing but it’s resident to the PanaCast 20 which makes it universally usable with all UC platforms.
Generally speaking, the sound quality you get from many webcams isn’t something you’re going to be writing home to Mom about. I was a bit surprised to hear how well the audio quality was on the PanaCast 20.
Jabra engineered 3 Digital MEMS microphones into the PanaCast 20 which produces surprisingly good audio quality. This is something you don’t typically get in a webcam, especially those in the sub $100 range.
We did test the PanaCast 20 sound quality in our review video and compared it to the built-in Laptop microphone, a Jabra Speak 710 speakerphone, and to a
Jabra Evolve2 40 headset. In my opinion, I’d rank the sound quality in this order:
- Jabra Evolve2 40 headset sounded the best to me
- Jabra Speak 710 speakerphone the second best
- Jabra PanaCast 20 was third best
- Finally, the Laptop microphone which didn’t sound all that great.
It’s understandable that the Jabra headset, and speakerphone would sound better than the PanaCast 20. Those devices are audio only devices with audio being their primary focus.
The PanaCast 20, on the other hand, is a dual purpose audio/video device with video being its core purpose. And the laptop, well, we all know what you get when you count on one of those.
Overall though, the PanaCast 20 sounded decent enough to use on your business calls, and that’s something you can’t say about many other webcams.
In order to personalize, update and manage your PanaCast 20, it’s recommended that everyone download the Jabra Direct software. This software not only allows for personalization of your webcam, but if you also use Jabra headsets in your workplace, it updates and customizes those too. Something to consider if you want to get the most out of your Jabra devices.
Jabra has set the price for the PanaCast 20 at $329.00. And though this is more than those no name, online webcams, I believe this is one of those cases where you get what you pay for.
Yes, the PanaCast 20 costs more than many other webcams, but this is a high quality device that’s packed full of great features. And these are features you won’t find on those lesser priced models.
Even better, the PanaCast 20 is backed by two highly reputable companies; Jabra and Headset Advisor. That too isn’t something you get when you deploy cheap webcams.
- Easy setup - plug and play and portable
- Low profile - small footprint
- Crystal clear video thanks for that HD 4k resolution
- Image tracking feature keeps you in the frame
- Intelligent Zoom to keep you centered, and looking good
- Picture-in-Picture gives you presentation options
- Audio quality straight out of the camera is decent
- Price - though more than other webcams, this is still a very good value when you consider all the great features included with the PanaCast 20.
Would I recommend this webcam? Absolutely! I think the PanaCast 20 is a high quality, easy to use, fully featured webcam that’s worth the investment. And it is an investment when you stop to consider that you’re investing in yourself.
How you look, how you sound, and how easily you can share. How much is looking good, sounding good, and the ability to share while on important calls?
Need group conferencing?
If you need more than personal video conferencing, you may want to check out the big Brother (or Sister) of the PanaCast 20. Here’s a link to the Jabra PanaCast 50.