My Hands-On Review of the AI-Powered OBSBOT Tail Air Camera

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Imagine having your very own camera operator for your YouTube videos, podcast recordings, and live streams – except it’s AI! I recently got my hands on the OBSBOT Tail Air camera, and from the moment I unboxed it, I had one burning question: is it good enough to replace a regular camera for talking head YouTube videos? Does it truly live up to the hype? I put it to the test to find out!

Some product links in this post are affiliate links, and I will be compensated when you purchase by clicking our links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Putting the Tail Air to the Test

A couple weeks ago, I published a video on my channel that was recorded entirely with the OBSBOT Tail Air. I wanted to directly compare the video quality to what I get from my usual setup – a Canon M50 Mark II with a Sigma 16mm lens. The goal was to see if any of my viewers would notice a difference and mention it in the comments. Spoiler alert: you all helped me test this without even realizing it!

Key Features and Connectivity

The Tail Air boasts some impressive specs, including the ability to stream and record in 4K and 1080p. It connects wirelessly to the companion app and your computer, allowing you to adjust settings, change the frame size, zoom in and out, and more – all from your phone. No more fiddling with the camera itself! As someone who loves a “set it and forget it” setup, this is a huge plus.

But the real star of the show is the human tracking feature. The OBSBOT Tail Air uses AI to follow you around, eliminating the need for a dedicated camera operator. Through simple hand gestures, you can control when the camera tracks you and when it doesn’t. It’s like having your own robotic cameraman!

Related: Is AI for Video Creation ACTUALLY Useful?

Recording and Connecting

The Tail Air has a built-in micro SD card slot for recording directly to the device when it’s not connected to a computer. It also features a USB-C port for charging and a micro HDMI port, which I used to connect it to my Cam Link for recording. With this setup, I was able to record using Ecamm Live directly into my computer.

Full disclosure: OBSBOT did send me the Tail Air camera to test, along with a USB-C to Ethernet adapter (which I didn’t end up using since I connected via Wi-Fi). However, they aren’t paying me to give a certain opinion – they simply wanted me to try it out and share my honest thoughts with you all.

Image Quality Comparison

Now, let’s get to the big question: how does the image quality from the OBSBOT Tail Air compare to my regular setup? I connected both cameras to my computer simultaneously using the Cam Link for my main camera and an Elgato Stream Deck for the Tail Air. This allowed me to see them side-by-side for a direct comparison.

One thing I noticed is that the Tail Air tended to focus more on the background than on my face, even with the face autofocus setting enabled. It did track me well as I moved around, but the focus wasn’t as crisp as I’d like. To be fair, it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison, as my Canon M50 Mark II with the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 lens is going to give a much nicer blurred background effect than the Tail Air can achieve.

In the video I posted using the Tail Air, my face was in focus, but so was everything behind me. Nothing was super crisp. But impressively, nobody seemed to notice a difference! Not a single comment mentioned the video quality being better or worse than my usual videos. I didn’t use any of the fancy tracking or zooming features the Tail Air offers in that video – just a straight on, stationary shot. Any zooming was done in post-production.

Related: YouTube Studio Camera Setup for Talking Head Videos & Podcasts

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

So, is the OBSBOT Tail Air a worthwhile investment? If you’re looking for a camera to track you as you move around a space, especially while live streaming, and you want the ability to easily connect multiple cameras and control them via an app, then absolutely! The Tail Air is incredibly easy to set up and use, and the AI tracking works impressively well. At around $500, it’s not cheap, but for the right use case, it could be a game-changer.

However, if you primarily create stationary talking head videos like I do, you may not need all the bells and whistles the Tail Air offers. A simpler camera setup will likely suffice.

The OBSBOT Tail Air was sent to me by the brand. If you want to try it for yourself, you can visit the OBSBOT website here. Enter the code: MeredithMarsh at checkout for a 5% discount!

One thing to keep in mind is that there are many factors beyond just the camera that impact video quality on YouTube. Lighting, audio, your encoding settings, and more all play a role. No matter what camera you use, there are always tweaks you can make to improve your video quality. Be sure to check out my Crush on Camera series for tips!

Overall, I’m impressed with the OBSBOT Tail Air and think it could be a fantastic tool for the right creator. It may not fully replace a traditional camera setup for all situations, but its AI tracking and ease of use open up a world of possibilities. I look forward to seeing how other creators put it to use in their content!