For years I’ve been using camcorders in my production environment, shooting videos live to disk. In the past, one could easily find reasonably priced camcorders and set up a mini studio with tools like OBS or Vmix.
But recently new affordable camcorders have become scarce. This is where PTZOptics sees an opportunity with their new Studio Pro camera. Designed specifically for streaming, this camera boasts features similar to a camcorder along with a ton of flexibility for powering and extracting video from it. See more in my video review.
The Studio Pro is priced at $699, and for that, you get a camera capable of 1080p at 60 frames per second max. It can also output a true 1080p at 30 frames per second, which eliminates the interlacing issues found on many consumer camcorders.
The camera’s design includes a handle, though it lacks image stabilization. It also features a stereo microphone and a cold shoe mount. One of the standout features is its versatility in video output. You can use HDMI, USB-C (which the computer recognizes as a regular webcam) or ethernet for various digital formats, including NDI HX3, SRT, RTMP, and RTSP. This means the camera can even stream directly to the Internet with no computer required.
For those looking to shoot vertical videos for platforms like YouTube shorts or Amazon live, the camera has a switch to enable vertical video mode. It has tripod mounts on the bottom and side to accommodate both horizontal and vertical formats.
Powering the camera offers equal flexibility. You can use USB-C, the provided 12-volt power adapter, or use Power over Ethernet (PoE). The advantage of PoE is the ability to manage video output, power input, and zoom controls with just one cable.
The camera’s 12x zoom is impressive, providing sharp details even when zoomed in fully. However, it lacks physical controls on the unit, relying on the provided remote control or software interfaces. The camera’s build is solid, with a metal casing that feels professional. It weighs about 1.5 pounds, making it suitable for field production work. However, it’s primarily designed for studio environments.
The image quality is decent. Whether zoomed in for detailed shots or zoomed out for medium close-ups, the camera captures clear and detailed visuals. However, there’s a slight rolling shutter effect with fast motions, making it less ideal for high-speed events like sports.
The on-camera microphone offers sufficient audio quality, suitable for capturing ambient sounds or dialogue in a pinch. But external microphones should be used for the best results.
For camera control, I found the web-based control panel to be the most convenient. It allows for granular image setting controls, streaming methods, and audio level adjustments. For those with multiple cameras, PTZOptics offers their free content management platform software compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Additionally, there are apps for iPhone and third-party options for Android.
The PTZOptics Studio Pro camera is a versatile tool for streamers. It combines the features found on their high-end pan, tilt, and zoom models but of course this one only has the zoom. With multiple output options, easy controls, and a design suited for both horizontal and vertical videos, it’s a good addition to any live streaming setup.
Disclosure: PTZ Optics provided the camera free of charge for this review. However they did not sponsor this video nor did they review or approve my video before it was uploaded.