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What should you look for in a conference camera?

Posted by Levi.davis on Sep 22, 2014 1:42:00 PM

Be confident in your choice of conference camera by using our helpful guide

One of the most common questions we receive here at Conference Room Systems is “Which camera would you recommend for my situation?” The answer to this question depends on the specific needs of each customer.

Some important factors to consider would include:

  • How far will my camera be from the subject?
  • How wide do I need the field of view?
  • Where will I be mounting this camera?
  • Do I need my camera to perform in low-light situations?
  • Is quality and clarity the most important factor?

To make the selection process easier, let’s just go through each of these questions and offer a few recommendations. My recommendations will be entirely based on the HuddleCamHD lineup of cameras. They are a brand currently producing high-quality models with extremely good value. Also, they offer a cameras suited to a variety of situations, making them perfect for comparison.

How far will my camera be from the subject?

This factor is very important in the selection process. You will want to find a camera that can display the entire presentation area, as well as pulling in close to a single subject. In the HuddleCamHD line, each camera model includes a number followed by the letter, “X”. This number refers to the maximum amount of optical zoom that the camera can perform.

For example, the HuddleCamHD 20X will have 20x optical zoom. This means that the camera is capable of displaying an image that feels 20 times closer to the subject without losing any quality. If you were using the HuddleCamHD 20X to view a subject 60 feet away, the camera would be capable of zooming in to appear that it was positioned only 3 feet away. This same basic logic can be used to select a camera ranging from 3x all the way to HuddleCamHD 30x optical zoom.

How wide do I need the field of view?

Field of view is also a crucial factor in the camera selection process. Field of view, or FOV, refers to the angle at which the camera’s lens is capable of capturing. If the camera has a 60 degree field of view, you can imagine a 60 degree angle extending from the camera’s lens outward. This number determines the width of the area being captured at any level of zoom. As a rule of thumb, we generally do not recommend a field of view over 90 degrees. Exceeding 90 degrees can cause the image to look warped and curved around the outside.

In the HuddleCamHD line of cameras, the field of view ranges from 45 to 90 degrees. In wide angle situations, such as a wide boardroom meeting area. The HuddleCamHD 3X Wide is an ideal candidate. It captures a wide 90 degree field of view while remaining crisp and accurate.

Where will I be mounting the camera?

The majority of conference cameras are mounted on the wall, above or beside a display. This allows for a natural, face-to-face interaction between participants on each side of the video conference. However, some situations benefit from using ceiling mounted cameras. For example, if there is a desire to have a camera that can be pointed at a presenter and then spin around to view the audience for questions, a ceiling mounted camera would be ideal.
If ceiling mounting is important, we recommend using a HuddleCamHD 3X or HuddleCamHD 10X. Both of those models come packaged with a ceiling mount and are capable of panning a full 360 degrees. They can also be tilted so the camera will point straight down, allowing them to be used as document cameras.

Do I need my camera to perform in low light situations?

While not a necessity, having a conference camera that will perform well in low-light situations can add a professional feeling to any presentation. It provides you with the flexibility to dim the lights and focus on a presentation without losing the presenter in the dark. The specification that defines how a camera will perform in low-light situations is lux. Lux is a measurement of how much light is required for the camera to register a change in color. The lower the number the less light needed to make that change.

If low-light situations are going to be a vital part of using your conference camera, we recommend the HuddleCamHD 12X. It is rated for 1 lux and our testing has only reinforced those numbers.

Is quality and clarity the most important factor?

Quality and clarity are generally the most important factor when selecting a conference camera. High-resolution, crisp, bright images make the first impression during professional video conferencing. Once a presentation is under way, the quality also determines how clear your information will look to those on the other end.

For the most professional video conferencing experience, we would recommend the HuddleCamHD 12X. We consider this camera to be the most exceptional unit currently available for web conferencing. It will display bright and crisp images in 1080p, while still being able to use the 12x optical zoom to pull in close to a subject. It also maintains a 72.5 FOV, making it the best all-around camera in the HuddleCamHD line.

 

If you would like to learn more about the HuddleCamHD line of cameras feel free to sign up for a HuddleCamHd webinar, hosted by Conference Room Systems every Friday at 12 PM EST.


Please sign me up for the webinar!

Topics: Video Conferencing, Web Video Conferencing, HuddleCamHD

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