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Creative Project Watcher hands-on: Twice the cameras

Creative Project Watcher hands-on: Twice the cameras

Creative Project Watcher

Creative's Project Watcher surprisingly has nothing to do with audio. Instead it's two cameras that work as one, combining two video streams into one. I got my hands on a prototype of Project Watcher, and it works as advertised. You can switch between either cameras, or combine both for picture-in-picture (PiP) or picture-by-picture. One camera works as your main camera. The other can be used to get another view of your face, show your keyboard, or desktop, or even as a macro camera.

Quick specs

  • Sony Starvis IMX415 1/2.8″ 8.4MP CMOS sensor (up to 4K single camera)
  • Camera 01: 52°, 66°, 72°, and 88° FOV, microphone
  • Camera 02: Autofocus with 2.75X optical zoom, macro shots from up to 5cm away
  • IR controller

The best thing about Project Watcher is that you don't need to use software such as OBS Studio to configure your setup. You don't need to download any drivers, either, as it will work fine on your PC or Mac. The cameras come with a remote that allows you to control both of them. You can zoom, rotate the camera's feed orientation, turn on PiP, and toggling the autofocus for the macro camera. It's super simple to use, and this is coming from someone who has spent time trying to figure out how to configure OBS Studio for live streaming.

Creative Project Watcher
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Design-wise, both camera units are much larger than your normal webcams. That's due to the hardware inside. They feature standard 1/4″-20 mounts that work with standard camera tripods. While the first camera unit (Camera 01) is more of a generic webcam with digital zoom, Camera 02 features a 2.75X optical zoom that's capable of taking macro shots up to as close as 5cm. It's capable of very good close-ups, and if you're going to be presenting on stream, it works really well.

Creative Project Watcher
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Otherwise, you can just leave the camera hovering over your keyboard for live streaming games, or have it set up over your chopping board or stove if you're planning a cooking demo. The secondary camera is capable of covering an area larger than an A2-sized document. In normal lighting, the cameras produce excellent image quality, and of course, you can use a light such as the Zhiyun Fiveray M40 if it's too dark.

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You'll need to get your own stand — Creative told me it isn't planning on shipping one with the cameras. That may change, as the Singapore-based company is planning to launch Project Watcher as a crowdfunding project. More details and pricing for the Creative Project Watcher will be available soon. You can check out the teaser site here.

Note: Prototype unit of Project Watcher was provided by Creative.

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