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What to Look for in a Video Conference Camera

When it comes to choosing the best video conferencing camera, it’s important to think beyond the immediate need. Deciding on which camera is best for video conferencing can be influenced by a range of factors.

How do I Choose a Conference Camera?

Choosing the right video conference camera for your situation doesn’t have to be overly complicated. The needs of every meeting room and user will be different and while you can choose a camera for video conferencing relatively quickly, you may not end up with the best video conferencing solution.

So what do you need to consider when looking to invest in a high quality video conferencing camera?

Camera Connectivity

The connectivity offered by your prospective video conferencing equipment is possibly one of the most important factors to consider, afterall if you can’t connect to it, how can you use it?

There are two connection types to consider here, wireless and wired. While it might seem tempting to choose a wireless solution so that users aren’t having to plug in a cable, you might also want to think about how your users will connect to the wireless camera.

It’s easy to get the wireless settings right on one computer, but what if people are using different computers to connect? Settings differences could mean connecting to a wireless solution becomes difficult, wasting valuable meeting time and making the conference call less productive.

Of course, video conference equipment with a cable does mean having a wire on display, but the payoff here is that (if the camera is Plug & Play) users can simply plug in a cable and use the camera to get on with their meeting.

It’s also worth considering any other connectivity that you may require, such as a microphone input or output for separate speakers. Of course this will depend on any existing video conference installations you have in place, but considering your existing equipment will ensure a smooth integration.

Audio capability

While your focus might be on the video element of your conferencing system, neglecting the audio aspect of your video conferencing setup could be costly. You might not realise this immediately, but once your new equipment is installed and in use the lack of audio capability with most video conference cameras for meeting rooms becomes apparent.

So what are the solutions here? You can consider purchasing separate microphones and speakers to be placed on the meeting room table (in which case, make sure your camera has a mic input and line out). Alternatively, using all in one video conferencing equipment can provide a great solution.

All in One Video Conferencing Bars

All in one video conferencing sound bars provide a quick and easy to implement solution to all of your video conference needs, meaning you don’t have to set up individual elements separately. Video conferencing sound bars such as the JPL Agora and JPL Spitfire not only include up to 4 duplexed microphones, picking up sound for up to 10 metres, but also include 2 high power speakers so everyone can hear the call clearly.

Lens type

The quality of the lens on your next video conferencing camera is one of those things that probably doesn’t jump to mind when considering your video conference setup. In terms of the video quality however it can make a real difference in the quality of the video.

You want to look for conference room cameras with high quality glass lenses as these will reduce optical distortion, not all glass lenses are created equal. Cameras which use lenses from renowned manufacturers like Sony (including JPL’s video conferencing range) will provide an image which is more true-to-life than cameras which use cheaper lenses.

Camera tech spec and features

More often than not, it’s easy to associate brand recognition with quality, but knowing what to look for in a video conferencing camera should mean putting any pre-existing brand knowledge to one side.

What you really need to consider is the technical specification and features offered by the equipment you’re investing in. Reputable video conferencing manufacturers will make a datasheet available and taking the time to review these can provide a real insight into what you’re actually getting for your money.

Details like the resolution of the camera, minimum light levels, AI zoom among others can help you to compare and understand how cameras may perform in low light levels for example.

Adaptability (will it grow with your business)

The focus so far has been on the technical considerations of your next video conferencing camera, but you also need to consider your business needs too.
If you’re a small business investing in technology for the long term, considering how you expect your business to grow and use technology over the coming years is important. You don’t want to have to refresh your video conference capability in a few years because of a lack of foresight.

Planning ahead might take a little time now, but you may already have the information you need at hand, forecasts and business plans will help you understand your future technology requirements.

Which platforms will you use?

With such an array of platforms available under the Unified Communications banner, knowing which platforms you use now and intend to use should also influence your choice of video conferencing camera.

Look for a video conference camera which is compatible with a broad range of software and operating systems. This means you’ll be able to use your equipment with more platforms, getting more use and value from your conference setup.

JPL cameras are compatible with a broad range of communications platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and RingCentral among others.

Speak to an Expert

If you’re struggling to decide on the right solution for your business, don’t be afraid to speak to an expert who knows what’s what. The JPL sales team are always on hand to support you in making the best decision for your business and are able to answer any questions you may have.

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