PolyStudio P5 Webcam: Hands-on
We’ve had our fair share of webcams over the years, each one a little different from the rest. While the last few models I’ve tested have been mid-range to high-end, the PolyStudio P5 aims a little lower.
Poly, formerly known as Plantronics, offers a complete line of headsets, speakerphones, and other conferencing needs. In an era 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 takes things up a notch with the built-in camera used on your computer or laptop. Not only does it have a much better video experience, but its audio is also great.
Key Features of Studio P5
- 1080p (Full HD), 720P (HD) compatible
- 4x Zoom / Autofocus with EPTZ
- 80° DFOV
- Low light quality and true color images
- Customizable controls via polyLens Desktop
- A unidirectional microphone is suitable for personal workplaces.
- Integrated privacy shutter
- Adjustable monitor clamp
- The tripod is ready.
- USB-A port for built-in wireless headset adapter
- 2-year limited warranty
A removable monitor clamp and USB cable are included in the box with the Studio P5. Small in stature, the camera has tripod support; Simply remove the monitor clamp and you’ll be able to thread it onto your favorite tripod.
The monitor clip has a reasonably stiff hinge that allows for a range of vertical angles. Moreover, the camera can also rotate freely on the clip.
Around the back is a USB-A port tucked into the body. Remove the shell and you can insert a wireless adapter for a headset or speakerphone and essentially share the same PC port.
While Studio 5 works just fine, the PolyLens app expands capabilities and provides more granular control. Use it to adjust settings for contrast, backlight compensation, sharpness and other preferences.
In addition to these options, the app is also how you’ll manage firmware updates, get product support, and more. There are even some health and wellness items to help keep you physically and mentally fit.
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 plug-and-play (USB 2.0) compatible for anything that uses UVC/UAC standards.
While my needs don’t require anything high-end with 4K video or auto-tracking, I can appreciate when users do. My work life is more convenient and the Poly Studio P5 works well for that purpose. 1080p is just fine for my needs.
The 80-degree fixed field of view is enough to lift 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. It provides a fairly bright image with low noise even without adjusting the backlight brightness.
One of the reasons I like this unit is that it’s much better at capturing audio from the built-in microphone. The directional mic does a great job of picking me up on Google Dove calls, Zoom, and other services.
I also like the physical privacy shutter in that I can quickly identify if it’s active or not. When activated you will see a nice red circle where your lens is. Just rotate it and it moves to reveal the camera.
The Poly Studio P5 is designed for businesses and individual users alike and is well priced for both settings. I love the portability and flexibility of this camera as it improves not only the image quality but also the sound. Speaking of which, if you have a favorite headset or speakerphone, you can turn off the USB-A port.
Thanks to the monitor clip and tripod support and generally small footprint, this is the kind of camera I’d pack for a business trip. Whether calling loved ones back home or hopping on a group chat, the Studio P5 is a good option to have around.
And as great as all 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 it for around $80. You can also buy it through Amazon where it currently retails for the same price.