Jabra PanaCast 50 and 20 video call cameras pack serious smarts

Jabra may be best known for their audio headsets, but its new PanaCast cameras aim to elevate the webcam as video calls remain the new-normal. The Jabra PanaCast 20 personal camera and PanaCast 50 intelligent video bar both combine high-resolution cameras with features like person-tracking audio and even the ability to simultaneously stream two videos at once.

Designed for individual use, the PanaCast 20 looks the most like a traditional webcam. However beyond the 4K Ultra HD sensor with HDR support there's a surprising degree of onboard processing that works with platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other video calling systems.

For example, the onboard Edge AI processing can deliver intelligent zoom, so that you're always centered in the frame. It's also responsible for automatic lighting correction, and powering the picture-in-picture system which can embed a second video stream within your main picture. There's also a built-in lens cover.

More advanced – and designed for larger spaces and more participants – the Jabra PanaCast 50 packs three 13-megapixel cameras in total, combined into an intelligent array with a 180-degree field of view. It gets Edge processing too, with nine processors and two Edge AI processors, that are used to manage how both the cameras and the microphones work.

If you're on your own in the room, for instance, the PanaCast 50 can automatically crop in the video to center you in the frame appropriately. Meanwhile, the eight beamforming microphones promise noise-reduction and intelligent audio zoom to pick up your voice alone.

Should you have more people with you, however, the picture will automatically be zoomed and cropped to get them all in the frame. For sound, there are four drivers – two 50 mm woofers and two 20 mm tweeters.

Interestingly, there's also the ability to deliver two video streams at once. Jabra suggests that could be used for presentations, keeping the room's occupants in shot but also supplying a second stream of an area of interest in the room, such as a model or product. There's also whiteboard sharing, which allows content on a whiteboard to be captured, enhanced in real-time, and then streamed along with the regular video.

If desired, PanaCast 50 can even perform an anonymized count of how many people are in the room. That can be used to flag warnings if people are too close according to pandemic guidelines, or to allow IT administrators to better understand over time how meeting rooms are being utilized. It's all installed with a choice of VESA wall, table, or screen mounts, and works with Teams, Teams Rooms, Zoom, Zoom Rooms, and other video calling platforms.

The Jabra PanaCast 20 will go on sale from August 1, priced at $299. The PanaCast 50, meanwhile, will arrive from June 15, priced at $1,195.