Getting Started: Poly Studio P5 Webcam

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We’ve gotten our fair share of webcams over the years, each a little different from the rest. While the last models I tested were mid to high end, the Poly Studio P5 aims a bit lower.

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

The Poly Studio P5 ($79) is a small but impressive webcam that steps things up from the built-in camera you used to use on your PC or laptop. Not only does it provide a fuller video experience, but its sound is also quite compelling.

Studio P5 Key Features

  • Compatibility 1080p (Full HD), 720P (HD)
  • Autofocus with 4x zoom / EPTZ
  • DFOV 80°
  • Low-light quality and true color images
  • Custom orders via Poly Lens Desktop
  • Unidirectional microphone optimized for personal workspaces
  • Built-in privacy shutter
  • Adjustable monitor clamp
  • Tripod Ready
  • Built-in USB-A port for wireless headset adapter
  • 2 year limited warranty

Design

Included in the box with the Studio P5 is a detachable monitor clamp and USB cable. Small in size, the camera supports tripods; Simply detach the clamp from the monitor and you can thread it onto your favorite tripod.

The monitor clip has a reasonably stiff hinge that allows for a range of vertical angles. In addition, the camera can also rotate freely on the clip.

On the back is a USB-A port which is tucked away inside the body. Remove the shell and you can insert a wireless adapter for a headset or speaker and essentially share the same PC port.

Poly Lens app

While the Studio 5 works flawlessly, the Poly Lens app expands the capabilities and offers more granular control. Use it to adjust settings for contrast, backlight compensation, sharpness, and other preferences.

Along with these options, the app also lets you manage firmware updates, get product support, and more. There are even health and wellness tips to help you stay physically and mentally healthy.

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 is also plug and play (USB 2.0) compatible for anything using UVC/UAC standards.

Use

While my needs don’t call for something high-end with 4K video or auto-tracking, I can appreciate when users do. My professional life is simpler and to that end the Poly Studio P5 works well. For my purposes, 1080p is just fine.

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

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

I also like the physical privacy shutter in that I can quickly identify if it’s active or not. When activated, you’ll see a nice red circle where your goal is. Just rotate it and it moves to reveal the camera.

Parting Thoughts

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

Thanks to the monitor clip and tripod mount and overall small footprint, this is the kind of camera I pack for a business trip. Whether it’s calling my loved ones back home or engaging in a group chat, the Studio P5 is a great option to have on hand.

And as great as all that stuff is, I love that the camera is backed by a two-year warranty.

Learn more about the Poly Studio P5 on the manufacturer’s website where you can order one for around $80. You can also buy it through Amazon, where it currently sells for the same price.

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