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Hands-on: Poly Studio P5 Webcam

We’ve received our fair share of webcams over the years, each a little different from rest. While the last few models I’ve tested have been along the mid-level to high end, the Poly Studio P5 aims a little lower.

Poly, formerly known as Plantronics, offers a full suite of headsets, speakerphones, and other conferencing needs. In the age of remote working and virtual meetings, its products and services cater to a wide range of consumer and professional users.

The Poly Studio P5 ($79) is a small but impressive webcam that steps things up from the built-in camera you’ve been using on your PC or laptop. Not only does it have a more well-rounded video experience, its audio is rather compelling, too.

Studio P5 Key Features

  • 1080p (Full HD), 720P (HD) Compatible
  • Auto focus with 4x zoom / EPTZ
  • 80° DFOV
  • Low light quality & true color images
  • Custom controls through Poly Lens Desktop
  • Single directional microphone optimized for personal workspaces
  • Integrated privacy shutter
  • Adjustable monitor clamp
  • Tripod ready
  • USB-A port built-in for wireless headset adapter
  • 2-year limited warranty

Design

Included in the box with the Studio P5 is a removable monitor clamp and USB cable. Small in stature, the camera does have support for tripods; simply unsnap the monitor clamp and you’ll be able to thread it onto your preferred tripod.

The monitor clip has a reasonably stiff hinge which allows for a range of vertical angles. Moreover, the camera can rotate freely on the clip as well.

Around back is a USB-A port that’s tucked inside the body. Remove the shell and you can insert a wireless adapter for a headset or speakerphone and basically share the same PC port.

Poly Lens App

While the Studio 5 works just fine out of the box, the Poly Lens app extends the capabilities and provides more granular control. Use it to adjust settings for contrast, back light compensation, sharpness, and other preferences.

In addition to these options, the app is also how you’d manage firmware updates, get product assistance, and more. There’s even some health and wellness stuff to help keep you physically and mentally sound.

Compatibility

The Poly Studio P5 works with Microsoft Windows (8.1+) as well as Mac OS X (10.7+). Certified for Microsoft Teams and Zoom video conferencing, it also works with Chromebooks, Bluejeans, Google Meet, and other tools. It’s also plug and play (USB 2.0) compatible for anything that utilizes UVC/UAC standards.

Usage

While my needs don’t require something high-end with 4K video or auto-tracking, I can appreciate when users do. My work life is more simple and to that end the Poly Studio P5 works well. For my needs 1080p is quite alright.

The 80-degree fixed field of view is more than sufficient to pick me up at my desk and capture the space around me. I’ve found that the camera is better for low-light situations than the webcam that’s built into my Chromebook. Even without having to adjust for backlight brightness it delivers a fairly bright image with little noise.

One of the reasons I like this unit is because it’s much better at grabbing audio than the built-in microphone. The directional mic does a fantastic job of picking me up in Google Duo calls, Zoom, and other services.

I also like the physical privacy shutter in that I can quickly identify whether it’s active or not. When enabled you’ll see a nice red circle over the place where your lens is. Simply rotate it and it moves to reveal the camera.

Parting Thoughts

The Poly Studio P5 is designed for businesses and individual users alike and reasonably priced for both settings. I like the portability and flexibility of this camera as it not only improves the image quality but the sound, too. Speaking of which, if you have a favorite headset or speakerphone, you can piggyback off the USB-A port.

Thanks to the monitor clip and tripod support and generally small footprint this is the sort of camera I’d pack for a business trip. Whether giving my loved ones a call back home or hopping on a group chat, the Studio P5 is a good option to have around.

And as great as all of these things are, I love that the camera is backed by a two-year warranty.

Learn more about the Poly Studio P5 at the manufacturer’s website where you can order one for about $80. You can also purchase it through Amazon as well where it currently retails for the same price.

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