The camera is the most important part of a video conferencing system because it will allow remote participants to see everyone in the room. The right camera at the proper height, distance, and viewing angle can significantly improve your meeting experience.
Selecting the right professional conference camera for your meeting room can be a daunting task. There are many things to consider before making this type of purchase, and it is important that you do not rush into anything. In order to help you make an informed decision, we have compiled 8 tips on how to select the right conference camera for your needs.
-What is your meeting room size?
The size of your meeting room will be the deciding factor in what camera you should use. Your best bet is to get a PTZ camera for large rooms (Medium Room, Large Room, Board Room) or fixed lens cameras for smaller ones (Huddle Room). PTZ cameras can provide a stronghold on the room with their wide, clear view, so selecting the proper optical zoom range is key.
(5x, 10x, 12x, 20x and 30x are all available at varying distances from the camera to the object.)
Check https://www.cave-tek.com/support/distance-calculator/ to know how to choose the best ptz camera for your room.
-Why should you use a professional camera?
Professional conference cameras are a great asset to meeting organizers, providing the opportunity to capture high-quality images for the video conference, or for publication after it has occurred.
The professional camera provides a better image over the built-in webcam or low-cost conference cameras. The high-quality optical module captures sharp images of the entire room without distortion. The advanced image processing provides auto-focus, white balance, noise reduction, and backlight compensation for better color representation in low light conditions.
The professional PTZ camera offers the flexibility to put it in faraway places and use the remote control of the PTZ lens to provide a wide-angle view and focus on participants.
-How many participants ? ( Wide Angle Lens)
This is another important factor that should be considered. You will want to consider a camera with a wide field of view if more people are in the room during your video conference because it would allow them all to see each other and what’s going on, while still maintaining good quality for everyone involved. If you need to include many participants in a close area, consider using a wide-angle lens camera.
Conversely, you may not need as large of a FOV or resolution if there are few participants present so they can get better audio clarity from those who speak up most often.
-Do you want a camera that can pan, tilt and zoom?
If you want remote participants to see all angles of your meeting room then the PTZ camera will work best with its ability to pan across 360 degrees while also tilting up/down and zooming in/out.
Fixed lens cameras cannot do this because they can only utilize digital zoom, which isn’t as good quality in the large meeting room (and is blurry); however, a 4K lens camera might be an acceptable option for a small meeting room.
All-in-one conference cameras can include both fixed lenses and PTZ capabilities, and they include the microphone and speaker to reduce the installation effort. For small rooms, this may be an excellent option.
-What is the Auto Tracking Camera?
The Auto-Tracking Camera can move up and down, zoom in and out, rotate, pan right or left. It adjusts its direction on its own accord so anyone who needs visibility into a specific section may do so seamlessly. In a typical meeting space without an auto-tracking camera, a dedicated operator has to have the ability to move around the meeting room and maintain focus on specific sections. It’s for this reason that auto-tracking cameras have gained popularity with conference rooms recently.
There are different types of auto-tracking technology, auto-framing, auto-tracking, and auto zooming.
Auto-Framing: This will adjust the field of view to maintain focus on a particular person’s face who speaks up often or has been recently talking; this can be useful in large meeting spaces when there are many participants that need visibility.
Auto-tracking: Auto-tracking camera technology is a type of camera that can move and track by itself. This means that if you want to see what’s going on in another part of the room, the camera will automatically go to it without needing someone to do it for you. There are three different types of tracking methods for conferencing cameras: infrared, camera-based, and AI-based. IR tracking systems use sensors to identify the location and orientation of a presenter. Camera-based approaches to meeting room cameras are based on input from the image, either in the form of movement or people shape analysis. Some are using AI techniques to more accurately track presenters, with the ability to adjust for different locations or complex backgrounds.
Auto Zooming: works with tracking camera(s) that follow one single person continuously, so that person’s face is always in the center of a frame. This can be helpful when remote participants are looking to see what you’re doing or what other people at your meeting are up to.
-What kind of video conference solution are you going to use with the camera?
When choosing a meeting room camera, you’ll want to consider the video conferencing solution that will be used with it. For hardware-based conference systems, look for a video interface like an HDMI input or an HD-SDI output.
If the video conference system is a cloud product like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, Zoom then you will want to make sure that the camera has USB capability for your convenience.
-BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) / BYOM (Bring Your Own Meeting) integration?
As cloud-based video conference services like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams become popular, you need to consider providing people with their own devices (BYOD) in order to quickly initiate a call on the professional meeting room equipment. There are two ways of BYOD integration, one is to integrate the microphone, speaker and camera into a single USB connection to the laptop, another way is to use the wireless BYOM solution (Barco ClickShare) to link the meeting room video conference system via wireless.
-What is the proper angle and height for the camera installation?
When positioning a camera in a meeting room setting, it’s best to place it at eye level. This provides the most natural orientation for face-to-face collaboration. The meeting performance may be compromised if the camera is positioned high or low relative to attendees. When you cannot place the camera at eye level, choose a motorized pan-tilt camera (PTZ camera) to adjust the correct viewing angle.
There are also different types of mounting kits, ceiling mount, wall mount, tripod, and table-top mount. The mounting kit should be appropriate for the meeting space and any obstructions, such as ceiling fans or speakers that may make it difficult to install a camera with an angled surface. The wall mounts are generally more popular because they can be installed higher on walls where there is no furniture blocking the view of participants in conference rooms; however, if your video conferencing system does not allow 360 degree viewing angles then you will need a tripod or desktop mount to position the camera at eye level.
CAVE-TEK is the leading innovator of professional visual and audio solutions for emerging collaboration technology. CAVE-TEK provides a complete range of innovative camera products that are tailored to meet the needs of today’s demanding environments. From conference rooms, classrooms, and auditoriums to boardrooms, training centers, and more – our solutions provide both high-definition video and integrated sound in an easy-to-use package that integrates seamlessly with your existing A/V system. Visit www.cave-tek.com to learn more details.
Choosing the right camera for your meeting or conference room can be a difficult process. When you’re trying to decide which one is best, it’s important to consider how you’ll use it and what type of video conferencing solution will work with it. There are many different types of cameras available on the market now that all have their own unique features- so take some time before settling on just one! We hope these 8 tips were helpful in helping you select an appropriate professional conference camera for your needs.