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Cameras

CES 2019: Obsbot Tail keeps you in the shot with AI

This clever little three-axis camera makes it easy for vloggers to get the right shots with an auto director feature that tracks you as you move.

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The Obsbot Tail is a clever AI-powered camera that helps you shoot the perfect video. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

Sporting a three-axis gimbal and an AI-powered director, the Obsbot Tail makes it easy for you to shoot your own videos without needing another person to help out with the camera.

The clever AI always keeps you in frame, rotating the camera even as you move around. It also understands gestures, so you can easily start or stop a shoot with just your hands.

Resolution-wise, the Tail shoots 4K video up to HDR10 quality and takes 12-megapixel pictures. A glowing green light tells you when it is filming, and if you perform a gesture, it quickly switches to blue to let you know that it understands what you just gestured it to do.

The Tail is powered by a HiSilicon Hi3559A processor, while the camera has 3.5x optical zoom and 10 lenses inside. It can also do time lapse tracking shots.

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When not in use, the camera locks aways face down to protect the lens. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

I've had the chance to try out the Tail for a few days, and came away impressed. The build quality is excellent. Through the companion phone app, you can control the camera tracking speed, how many it tracks and can also add video effects to jazz up your shots. Battery life was also decent, with 150 minutes on paper, and I was about to leave it on tracking me (but not recording) for an hour or so without worrying it was going to die.

That said, the provided app was still in development. Some of the features felt buggy, such as actually trying to record video, which worked about half the time. As the Tail gets closer to its launch though, I'm told these should be fixed by then.

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The Tail uses USB Type-C to power it.

Aloysius Low/CNET

While it also seemed like I wasn't in focus for the shots based on what I could see from the app's live view interface, checking out the actual images recorded showed that I was. There's also no built-in microphone, but there's a 3.5mm audio out for you to plug in a microphone.

An car-like accessory will also be made available, which you can mount the Tail on, and it will then follow you around like a puppy while filming you. This could make for cool 360-degree panoramic shots as well.

The Obsbot Tail is debuting at CES, and plans to head to Kickstarter on Jan. 15, with an expected starting price of $450.

Quick specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 12-megapixel pictures, 3.5x zoom
  • Storage: micro-SD card
  • Battery: 150 minutes
  • Processor: HiSilicon Hi3559A

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