Jabra PanaCast 20 review

Jabra PanaCast 20 is the personal PanaCast for video conferencing. Unlike it’s biger siblings this one is agile and small enough so you can take it with you when leaving the (home) office. Thanks to Jabra, I was able to put this camera to a test run.

First, some tech specs

  • 4K video ( 13 MPix) @ 30 fps
  • Field of View: Horizontal: 90°, Vertical: 75°, Diagonal: 117°
  • Portable & lightweight size
  • Intelligent Zoom feature (or control zoom & panning manually)
  • Automatic light adjustment
  • Picture in Picture mode: shows the whole room + you larger in the center
  • Built-in privacy cover
  • Build quality is solid
  • Microsoft Teams certified

Overall – looking at specs it is quite a lot of tech in small package. To see full tech specs go to Jabra’s PDF.

The PanaCast 20 was easy to set up. Just open the box, check a couple of points from the inner cover and open the carrying case.

This carrying case is actually a very good one. I took this one with me for travels – it is small and lightweight and yet protects the expensive ( > 300€) camera well without being an overkill.

When setting up the camera I chose it to be on top of my monitor. Using the built-in functionality it was easy to set up & adjusted in a proper way – wheter on my home monitor or on top of Surface Pro 7. Because of the adjustment it can fit in a variety of monitors. And you can also attach it more fixed using the standard mount.

When comparing to Logitech Brio it is a clear winner when it comes to portability.

I also had the luck to compare PanaCast 20 to Poly P15. P15 is not a portable but larger personal videobar but this comparison just emphasizes how small PanaCast 20 is in physical size.

My Experiences

Before diving to my experiences I want to say that make sure you install Jabra Direct. It will allow you to configure, update and control the camera.

You can use it to set Intelligent zoom on or off – I left it on, but some people may not want the zooming happen. And you can also set and control the picture-in-picture mode. And in case you want to manage the zoom and panning by yourself it also happens via this app.

When opening Image Quality you can control the camera on image-wise.

Using Jabra Direct you can also turn on microphones (3) on or off in the camera. On default these are off.

Overall, I am very happy with PanaCast 20. It has a good picture quality, the AI works well and the portability size and case makes it easy for me to take it along to the road. The PanaCast 20 doesn’t have the near 180 degree angle like it’s siblings do but it is still wide enough to work in various meeting rooms on the go. Using Picture-in-Picture it is possible to bring out the whole room to frame while also showing the active speaker.

What I am not impressed are it’s microphones. They don’t compare to Logitech Brio nor Poly P15. I had turned them on deliberately to test them out and the feedback I got is that the audio wasn’t very high quality. In sense it is surprising because Jabra is known for it’s audio. But since PanaCast 20 is a small device the microphones can not be placed too far away from each other. So I suppose it is not a surprise microphones are off by default.

It is recommended to have a good Teams Certified headset or Jabra Speak 750 to be used along with this. Thinking about traveling items it would be easy to pick up Jabra Speak 750 and PanaCast 20 to go with me if I had a hunch that I would need to set up a hybrid workshop / meeting room on the road. However if I were in the meeting room with just Jabra PanaCast 20 I would turn on it’s mics rather than trying to work out the room audio with laptop’s mics.

Picture quality is quite good. I have been switching between cameras (Poly P15, Logitech Brio and Jabra PanaCast 20) and managing in the low-light is similar between P15 & Jabra. When compared to Surface Pro 7 internal camera it was clear to see how PanaCast 20 was superb to that. I attended Microsoft Build UK and joined a few meetings from the hotel room – which had quite a poor lighting conditions. In that real-world test I was happy that I had taken this one with me, because it was able to make it decent out of poor.

As can be seen in this snippet from my Build / Mesh for Teams blog post the end result was quite decent for those poor lighting conditions. I didn’t have a portable ring light or anything with me, and the lighting & room turned to reddish hue quite badly. So I have to say PanaCast 20 did a pretty ok job there turning darkness and mixed lighting to decent light.
The picture is actually a snip from Build’s on-demand recording so the pixel amount is not a huge one..

Picture in Jabra PanaCast 20 is very sharp – unlike you might think from that experience.

This is Jabra PanaCast 20 in Teams meeting (my view).

Compared to Logitech Brio Sream in the same lighting conditions

And finally Poly P15

Out of these it can be seen that Logitech Brio manages the lighting the best in brightness but looses some details compared to other two.

When I turn on my Elgato key lights (for example when presenting or attending a meeting) the situation looks following

Jabra PanaCast 20
Logitech Brio
Poly P15

With key lights on Jabra PanaCast 20 has the best picture quality while Poly P15 manages to get a really good skin color. Logitech Brio is having too much brightness – it is possible to adjust it but didn’t want to do that for this test.

Conclusion

For it’s size Jabra PanaCast 20 is a really good camera. Wide angle, intelligent zoom and portability make it an excellent device. Price tag is higher than most webcams have – with the price it is possible to create instant hybrid meeting rooms on the go when needed (on camera-wise). The build quality is really good and it’s carrying case also a quality one. It doens’t take much space (or add weight) in the computer bag either.

I can recommend this to people who want to have more camera than what laptops generally provide – and especially if you travel & need to set up occasional hybrid meeting rooms. The wider field of view typically helps in meeting rooms – and you can bring in everyone to the screen with picture-in-picture.Since PanaCast 20 is a very light and small camera, it is really easy to take with you when traveling or switching the meeting room.

For me it is also meaningful that Jabra PanaCast 20 is Microsoft Teams certified because I use Microsoft Teams all the time.

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