With so many business meetings happening remotely, it’s become evident that video camera quality is important. But, what are the differences between the good and not-so-good cameras? We talked with our vendor partner at Lumens to get the inside scoop on why their cameras are your best option.
A quick internet search for “webcam” will yield a multitude of results and opinions. It can be difficult to know whether one is better or worse than the next. So, let’s review what you can expect from a performance standpoint.
If you’re looking for basic, that’s pretty much what you’ll get from the inexpensive, online store models. These cameras are going to deliver poor image and sound quality (like blurry subjects and muffled voices), as well as offer a very limited warranty (typically 90 days to one year).
For videoconferencing in a professional environment, whether that’s at home or in the office, you’ll definitely want to elevate above a low-end camera. How participants are seen and heard on the receiving side of a call affects the overall meeting experience. Enter the Lumens line of cameras. Here are the benefits you’ll see broken down by camera type:
• Fixed Lens Webcam > premium HD video quality, color balancing and reproduction, 90-degree field of view with no distortion, dual microphones, tripod or clip mount
• Auto Framing Webcam > 4K HD video technology, 120-degree wide angle view, fast focus even with movement, human voice capture up to 5 meters, tripod or clip mount
• PTZ Camera > full Pan/Tilt/Zoom functions with preset positions, Zoom certified, USB plug and play, panoramic viewing angle, wall or ceiling mount
As with any equipment purchase where there is wide range in quality, there’s also a wide range of price points.
While the initial cash outlay will be nominal (usually $30-$40) with an entry-level camera, be sure to consider the unforeseen costs that may present themselves. Replacing a broken unit or needing additional accessories, for example, will obviously add to the total financial expense. However, there is also the unquantifiable impact of a negative customer impression if images and sound are distorted, missed and/or inoperable during a meeting because of poor camera quality.
For higher performing units, you can plan to spend around $130 for the Lumens fixed-lens, personal webcam all the way to $1,280 for their premier PTZ model. While the latter might sound like a sizable investment for a camera, keep in mind that these are primarily used in large spaces (like board, conference, training and classrooms) which means the per person cost is actually quite inexpensive.
Pay close attention to what the manufacturer is known for – many of the brands you’ll find in the retail arena are not authorities in camera manufacturing. Lumens, on the other hand, is an optics company. They’ve been at it for 22+ years. That means you’ll get the benefit of their expertise regardless of the model you choose.
Selecting the right camera(s) is just one part of creating an integrated workplace. If you’re looking to upgrade your equipment from a few new Lumens units to an entirely redesigned conference room or office space, reach out. Immedia is ready to help!
Source: Chris Skaggs – Zone Manager West, Lumens Integration