The global pandemic changed a lot of things, but the biggest change we witnessed was in the way we work.
Hybrid and remote work is becoming the new norm. In fact, hybrid work is not just an employee perk anymore but an employee expectation.
According to Gartner’s report, by the end of 2023, 39% of global knowledge workers will be engaged in hybrid work, and 9% will work remotely.
If you’re a small business that employs or manages a hybrid and remote workforce, you must be spending a lot of time on virtual meetings and online discussions.
Thus, investing in video conferencing equipment is crucial to enable effective collaboration regardless of an employee’s location.
I will now share some of the best video conferencing cameras that will help you and your team interact seamlessly and boost productivity.
What is Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing is the digital equivalent of an in-person meeting. The meeting is held online using audio and video tools that help your team participate, regardless of their geographical location.
Video conferencing helps you connect with your team members, prospects, and customers whom you can’t meet in person.
Benefits of Video Conferencing Tools
According to Edelman Data x Intelligence research, 73% of employees want to work in a hybrid/flexible workspace. Employers, therefore, need to adapt to these changing trends to retain competent workers by investing in collaboration tools.
These technologies include collaboration tools, productivity software, and video conferencing equipment. Here are some of the major benefits that these businesses noticed.
Eliminates geographical barriers
The right video conferencing equipment lets you conduct a virtual meeting with your team members and clients without any geographical barriers. You can connect with anyone from any timezone or country.
These tools are much cheaper and more efficient than traveling to another state or country for a face-to-face discussion.
Allows you to build a deeper connection
Video conferencing helps you connect better with your team. It is much more personal and engaging than a phone call or an email conversation.
Good quality video conferencing camera and microphone can help you detect body language, facial expressions, and voice intonations during the conversation.
These cues help you understand the other person better and build a deeper connection.
Helps save time and money in the long run
Once you invest in good-quality video conferencing equipment, you save time and money in the long run because you are now open to hiring beyond your national boundaries, where you can find talented resources at lower wages.
You or your team members don’t have to travel to a specific country or city for a meeting. It can all happen right from your bedroom. This way, you save up on your traveling costs and, of course, your precious time.
Boosts team’s productivity
Using video conferencing can boost your team’s efficiency by reducing time wasted traveling between meetings, going to conference rooms, or commuting to meet clients.
Let’s now look at some of the best video conference tools.
Huddly IQ is an AI-powered video conferencing camera that comes with a wide-angle 150º video, an embedded microphone array, powerful analytics API, and modern AI features for smarter videos and better meetings.
|Huddly IQ Full HD 1080p USB Video Conferencing Camera with 150-Degree View and AI Capabilities||$298.96||Buy on Amazon|
Automated User Experience
IQ enhances the user experience with automated framing. You no longer need to control the camera. IQ’s neural engine allows it to see, understand, and respond to the room’s environment in real time.
150° Wide Field of View and Embedded Microphone
Huddle IQ comes with a 150° wide-angle field of view and a software-enhanced embedded microphone array that makes everyone seen and heard in the meeting.
Genius Framing and Powerful Analytics
IQ’s Genius Framing automatically frames the speaker so you can focus on what really matters.
With Huddly InSights API, you can collect high-quality analytics data about how your meeting spaces are being used.
Best for: Small spaces and medium meeting rooms
AVer’s CAM340+ is a portable, lightweight, plug-n-play video conferencing camera that helps you get a modern video communication experience in your meetings and conferences.
|AVer CAM340+ Conference Camera with Microphone, Black (COMMIC34PLUS)||$389.99||Buy on Amazon|
120° Wide Field of View
AVer’s CAM340+ features an extra-wide field of view perfect for the huddle and conference rooms. The wide angle ensures that everyone in the room is seen on the screen without any distortion.
Ultra HD Resolution
CAM340+ comes with Sony Sensor 4k Ultra HD Resolution, giving you a meeting experience in 4k at 30fps. The camera features a 4X steady zoom that automatically frames the speaker.
The camera combines multi-lens glass and high-quality sensors to display sharp and accurate colors giving you an enhanced visual experience.
Super Audio Quality
This video conferencing camera comes with a uni-directional microphone that easily picks up any conversations in your huddle rooms. It cancels the noise to deliver a crisp audio experience to the listeners.
Best for: Huddle rooms and conference rooms
Poly Studio R30
Poly Studio R30 is a smart video conferencing equipment that comes with a wide-angle view, AI-powered smart camera technology, powerful speakers, and plug-n-play features.
|Plantronics Poly Polycom Studio R30 4K Video Conference System – Camera, Mic, and Speaker Bar for…||$675.99||Buy on Amazon|
Exceptional Video and Audio Experience
Poly Studio R30 comes with a 4k resolution camera that comes with a wide 120° field of view that ensures everyone can be seen in the frame.
The camera comes with an in-built microphone array and noise-cancellation technology – Acoustic Fence and NoiseblockAI – to deliver crisp and clear audio.
This combination makes it a perfect video conferencing equipment for a small business or a home office.
AI-Powered Camera Technology
Poly DirectorAI technology precisely captures the speaker with automatic tracking and features professional-quality group framing.
The camera switches between individual mode and group mode automatically to deliver a top-quality video calling experience.
Easy, Flexible Set Up
The camera features an easy-to-mount design that you can place on any PC or TV and start your meeting right away. You just have to plug in the adapters, and you’re ready to start your meeting.
If you want more flexibility, you can even add a wall mount or a standard tripod mount to your set-up.
Best for: Small conference spaces
Logitech BCC950 lets small businesses like you run your video conferences anywhere, anytime. BCC950 is an all-in-one video conferencing equipment that comes with an HD camera, built-in speakerphone, and plug-n-play webcam.
|Logitech webcams Conference Cam BCC950,1080p||$156.90||Buy on Amazon|
Unique Extended Stem Design
BCC950 comes with a robust base that lets you keep it wherever you want. But the unique extended stem design lets you maintain eye-level contact with your team members and clients during the meeting.
All-in-One Video Conferencing System
BCC950 collects and delivers crisp audio from a full duplex speakerphone and HD video from a motorised camera.
You also get a remote control that lets you change the camera settings from 3m away. That being said, you always have the mute button right next to you.
This makes BCC950 a perfect video conferencing equipment for a quick meeting of a small team of up to 4 people in one room. Just plug and play.
Compatible with Most Video Conferencing Apps
As a small business, you must be using web conferencing tools like Skype, Google Meet, or Zoom. BCC950 is compatible with all of these and other popular web conferencing tools.
Best for: Private offices and home offices
NexiGo Meeting 360
The NexiGo Meeting 360 features dual 195° lenses that capture a 360° panoramic view of the entire meeting room so that nobody is left unseen.
|NexiGo Meeting 360 (Gen 2), 8K Captured AI-Powered Framing & Speaker Tracking, Plug & Play, 1080p HD…||$594.99||Buy on Amazon|
The camera captures at 8k resolution and delivers sharp, crisp split images at 1080p quality. The camera also auto-adjusts the exposure and skin tones so that everyone in the frame looks their best.
NexiGo Meeting 360 comes with 8 omnidirectional microphones that can pick up clear audio from up to 18ft away. The full-duplex 10W speakers deliver crystal-clear audio for an authentic face-to-face meeting experience.
Powerful Display Abilities
The camera comes with sophisticated AI tracking that recognises and focuses on the speaker. This helps you hold a natural one-to-one conversation with the speaker.
You can easily switch between 5 display modes – Discussion, Presentation 1, Presentation 2, Global, and Patrol.
Easy Set-Up and Wide Compatibility
The NexiGo Meeting 360 is simple to set up and use. Just plug it into your laptop or PC, and you’re good to go. The pop-up camera design is sleek and helps in protecting the camera lens too.
This camera is compatible with a wide range of virtual meeting conference software such as GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex, and more.
Best for: Large meeting rooms and round table conferences
If you are looking for a simple, low-budget video conferencing camera that follows you, then Logitech’s MeetUp perfectly fits the bill.
|Logitech MeetUp and Expansion Mic HD Video and Audio Conferencing System for Small Meeting Rooms -…||$1,079.23||Buy on Amazon|
MeetUp comes in a standard soundbar-like design that you can simply put on a tabletop or mount on a wall/TV. The wide 120° field of view, pan/tilt lens and integrated audio ensure that everyone at the table is clearly seen and heard.
Incredible Audio and Visual Experience
MeetUp comes with RightSound™ technology that center-aligns the voice and video to make the conversation seem natural and one-to-one.
It also features a beamforming mic array to capture speech more clearly while suppressing noise. The mic array auto-levels louder and softer voices for the listener as well.
With RightSight™ computer vision, MeetUp automatically pans/tilts the camera position and zoom-in/zoom-out to find and frame every speaker in the room.
Manage with Logitech Sync Device Management
With Logitech Sync, you can manage and monitor all your meeting room devices from one single platform. You also get insightful analytics about how optimally your rooms are being used.
Best for: Small conference rooms
Lifesize Icon 300
Lifesize Icon 300 is a huddle room video conferencing camera system that combines a huddle room camera with a full video processing system to give you an all-in-one solution for your video conferencing needs.
|Lifesize Icon 300 – Phone HD||$1,499.00||Buy on Amazon|
Some of the salient features of Lifesize Icon 300 are:
- Simple plug-n-play functionality
- Various tabletop/wall mounting options are available
- Wide 120° field of view
- Full duplex speakers for natural conversations
- Supports any display with HDMI input supporting 1080p or 4Kp30 (UHD) video modes
This could be a good choice if you have a small team (3-4 people) and are looking for something low-budget. However, some of the aforementioned cameras provide much more functionalities and features than Lifesize Icon 300.
Best for: Huddle rooms (3-6 people)
Meeting Owl 3
Owl Labs’ Meeting Owl 3 is not your everyday video conferencing equipment. It boasts a unique design and camera lens that resembles an owl. Even their on-off sound is similar to an owl’s hoot.
|Meeting Owl 3 (Next Gen) 360-Degree, 1080p HD Smart Video Conference Camera, Microphone, and Speaker…||$999.00||Buy on Amazon|
Collaborate better with 360° Field of View
Meeting Owl 3 creates an immersive hybrid meeting experience in any space with its intelligent 360° camera, mic, and speaker that combine with Owl Intelligent System (OIS) to deliver the best video conferencing experience.
The video is captured in 1080p, and the OIS automatically captures the speaker to facilitate a more natural one-on-one communication.
If you want to use Meeting Owl 3 in a larger space, then add an extended mic or combine two Meeting Owls. It is also compatible with Owl Labs’ Whiteboard Owl and Meeting HQ.
Meeting Owl 3 comes with the latest OIS that allows faster tracking, wifi-enabled software updates, and virtual enhancements.
Easy Set-Up and Wide Compatibility
Owl Labs claim that you can go from unboxing to your first meeting within 7 minutes. The device is compatible with various digital workspace tools such as Google Workspace, Slack, and Skiff.
Best for: Medium to large conference rooms (3 to 8 people)
Kandao Meeting Pro
Kandao Meeting Pro is an AI-powered video conferencing equipment that comes with a powerful 360° lens, hi-fi speakers, omni-directional microphones, and runs on Android OS.
|KanDao Meeting Pro Video Conference Room Camera System – 8K Capture 1080P HD 360° Conference…||$749.16||Buy on Amazon|
Robust Video and Audio Features
Kandao Meeting Pro’s 360° camera gives you various display modes – lock, presentation, global, patrol, and custom modes. You can connect this camera to any monitor using an HDMI cable.
The 1080P HD output delivers a sharp and clear image, reduces distortion, and gives you a superb meeting experience.
The device comes with a powerful audio system – 8 premium microphones and a 360° powerful HiFi speaker. This captures the audio from up to 18ft and delivers crystal-clear audio to all the people attending the meeting.
Keeps Your Online Meetings Secure
By collecting API data, storing files in the cloud, and changing IP addresses, the KanDao conference camera always protects your data and prevents information leakage.
Thus, you can even share confidential information without any concerns.
Built-in Android System
Download popular video conferencing software with WiFi or ethernet using the convenience of built-in Android OS.
This meeting camera is compatible with Zoom, Skype, etc. and all other major web-based video conferencing platforms, making it easy to connect and use.
Best for: Medium and large conference rooms (8 to 12 people)
Toucan 360 is a complete all-in-one video conferencing system that comes with a detachable 360° conference camera, 8 premium-grade microphones with real-time echo cancellation, a 5W speaker for clear audio, and a simple plug-n-play feature.
|TOUCAN 360 Video Conference Room Camera System with Omnidirectional Microphone, 360 Degree Camera…||$499.99||Buy on Amazon|
All-in-One Video Conferencing Equipment
You do not need any extra software to use Toucan 360, just connect with the USB cable, and you’re ready to start your meeting. It’s a powerful 4-in-1 camera set-up that captures every corner of the room.
The system’s AI-powered voice tracking automatically tracks and focuses on the speaker, whether it’s one or two speakers.
Easy Touch Panel
The camera features an easy touch panel that lets you turn the power on/off, toggle Bluetooth, adjust volume, zoom in/out, and switch between different view modes – Panorama, Split, Focus, and Grid.
Crisp Audio Quality
Toucan 360 comes with 8 noise-canceling microphones that capture voice from every part of the room. The 5W speaker fine-tunes the captured audio and delivers excellent audio output.
Best for: Large meeting rooms
As the hybrid model and remote working gain popularity, the demand for video conferencing equipment is just going to soar.
As a small business, you need to avoid frequent purchases, and thus you should invest in a robust video conferencing camera for the conference room.
I recommend Meeting Owl 3 or Kadao Meeting Pro as you will get a heavy-built design with premium features. These are the best video conferencing equipment for long-term ROI.
However, if you do not have that kind of budget currently, you can opt for Logitech BCC950. You will get a decent meeting experience with your small team.
What’s next? Check out some virtual office solutions.