By : Theo @ Samma3a
Camera FOV: 78 degrees
Resolution: 1080p 30fps
Mic sensitivity: -34dB ± 2dB
Polar pattern: Cardioid
Frequency response: 150 Hz – 15 kHz
Since the Turret is an all-in-one system, practically all of the accessories and extra bells-n-whistles are built into the product itself. There are only the extra plastic ring-light filters that could really be considered as extras. Included are both an orange as well as a light-blue coloured filter should you need to warm up or cool the colour of the ring-light.
As an all-in-one system the Turret definitely doesn’t look or feel like a poorly-constructed and over-priced product. We’re getting lots of strong, sturdy metal which does give it some added heft.
The base seems wide enough to keep the whole structure securely planted on a desk or other flat surface.
The mostly-black colour scheme and a few gold-coloured accents looks quite attractive and I think totally appropriate for a more professional setting.
Being an all-inclusive system intended for amateur internet broadcasting, what you’re getting is both a webcam as well as a much better microphone system than what you’d normally get with the microphones that are built into many webcams.
Around the back is where we find the DC power input as well as a 3.5mm auxhilary output should you want to route the audio from the microphone to an external mixer or recorder. Above this is a Type-C port which will transfer the video and audio information to your connected PC. But, the Type-C port is also connected to the 2 full-sized USB ports above it, both of which can be used to connect other peripherals.
So, in addition to having a microphone and camera, the Turret can also act as a 2-port USB hub.
Flipping over to the lower portion of the front, here we’ve got various controls and switches. The bottom-most is a 3.5mm headphone output which also has a volume control knob just above it.
Just above the headphone volume control is a mixer knob which allows you to adjust the balance between the audio signal that has been processed by your PC and the signal coming from the microphone. This is primarly needed if you experience significant audio delay between the microphone and the video capturing, and it can also only be used when headphones are connected.
Moving further up we have the microphone and webcam switches which allow you to mute the mic and turn off the webcam.
And finally, the top-most knob is a dimmer-switch for the built-in LED ring light which allows you to control the brightness of the light, or to turn it off completely.
The upper-most portion of the entire contraption houses the 1080p Full-HD webcam and LED ring-light. The entire upper-post can rotate nearly completely around and there are also a few degrees of up and down adjustment as well.
The microphone is mounted on the end of a rather long adjustable arm and features both a shock protected mounting as well as a removable filter. There’s also a gain switch that allows you to adjust to lower the gain to -10dB in case the 0dB setting results in the audio being clipped.
Overall the Turret offers a somewhat simplistic design, and yet it’s still packed with quite a number of features, making it a pretty feature-rich product despite its relatively compact nature.
Unfortunately the Turret does not have any sort of high-adjustment, which will limit where you can place the device on your desk and may mean that you’d need to adjust the height of you chair.
Of course, a device’s amount and type of features is only half the story, what really matters is how they perform and of what use they are to the user.
Let’s start off with the camera. It’s pretty basic 1080p 30fps camera which does offer some decent auto-focusing speeds.
As far as the quality is concerned, well, it’s of course no match or substitute for a DSLR or you could argue even for a midrange mobile phone. The image is pretty soft and finding the sweet-spot between an underexposed or over-exposed image can be a little tricky.
The ring-light can give of a decent amount of brightness, but again, this is absolutely no substitute for separate, more diffused lighting. Using the ring-light in darker environments can either help or greatly complicate the exposure of the cam as it doesn’t diffuse quite enough. I find it’s best to stay away from the brightest setting in dark environments as you can blow out the highlights pretty quickly, especially if you’ve got a lighter skin-tone.
Moving onto the microphone – this one works pretty well. The pop-filter does a decent job and I find the mic overall does quite well at not picking up on background noises.
the shock mount is kinda OK, I guess, but doesn’t work as well as you would expect a shock mount to work. You can definitely still pick up on slight knocks such as bumping the table or even typing on a keyboard.
When it comes to the outright value of the Turret, it’s important to consider who it’s intended for.
The brand might be Marantz Professional, and it might look to some extent like a professional-grade product, but this is far from being a professional solution.
Instead, the Turret seems like a good, relatively affordable solution for someone, perhaps a teenager, who is looking to dip their toes into something like YouTube or Twitch streaming.
As I mentioned, the image quality from the camera is definitely not going to come close to that of even an entry-level DSLR, so the Turret really would not be appropriate if you plan on using it to showcase or review physical products.
But, for live-streaming while playing games or for just lifestyle or advice-vlog type of content then you really won’t need much more than the Turret to get yourself started. It literally is a plug-and-play product that will get you going in just a few minutes.
Once you start using the Turret and you find yourself really enjoying making whatever content it is that you’re making, then you’ll very likely find yourself wanting to upgrade your equipment fairly quickly, especially if image quality is important.
But, for the younger crowd who are just getting into the swing of things, the $300 price-tag of the Turret seems both reasonable and attainable, offering you a decent amount of features and in a relatively compact form.