When hunting for the best conference room webcam, you're not looking for the same things as with the best webcams (opens in new tab) for home and remote working. Rather just pointing to a single person, this type of camera is designed to allow a whole room to participate. Using wide angle or 360º lenses with smart cameras and microphones, the best conference room webcam is able to connect an entire table of people.
With more and more people working remotely these days, the need for businesses to buy the best conference webcam is growing. These clever cameras allow you to home in on different people and select specific voices, without requiring people to use mics and headphones.
Features to look out for include automatic face detection and conference-grade microphones, and speakers with noise cancellation. That means you'll be able to follow everything people are saying, and even those sat furthest away from the camera won’t lose out.
Some cameras may use digital zoom and perspective correction to hone the footage, while, high-end PTZ cameras (opens in new tab) can track subjects using optical technology, which tends to have superior sharpness over other models.
When working on your conference room webcam setup, you'll also need to consider the sound and noise cancellation capabilities. Some larger rooms will call for multiple speakers in order to get the best experience.
If this all seems a little overwhelming, then skip to our section on what to look for in a conference room webcam. Otherwise, read on to discover the best conference webcam available today, for a range of budgets.
The best conference room webcam in 2022(opens in new tab)
A modern conference room can be a fairly lonely place – just you and the whiteboard. If that's typically you, then the Obsbot Tiny 4K is a fine choice. With its in-built mic and gesture-controlled subject tracking, has a lot in common with other devices on this list, but it's smaller and more portable. This webcam was conceived, at least in part, with vloggers in mind, so it can be set on a tripod, or clipped onto an open laptop.
We appreciate the dual microphone setup for noise cancelling, and the H.264 video stream with SVC via a USB Type-C cable. That means it’ll look good but not overly tax a modern laptop. It’s also a nice touch that the lens can be pointed straight down for privacy. All in all, this is a great choice for making a presentation to other conference participants via Zoom, Skype, Teams and the like
Read more: Obsbot Tiny 4K review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Want a full view of a room, such as when you’re streaming a physical meeting around a conference table? Then the Jabra Panacast 20 is our recommendation.
Its AI-powered zooming and panning means it automatically include everyone on the call, without the physical camera needing to move and distracting you. Plus, while most videoconferencing services don't yet support 4K, the high resolution on offer here means the camera can zoom in on someone (lossless up to 6x) and still produce a Full HD image.
The camera also uses AI to cleverly adjusts the lighting in dim and dark rooms. A triple-mic array means you get impressive sound quality, too. And overall this 4K webcam delivers some of the best video call quality we’ve ever seen. While this is an expensive purchase, the build quality is excellent, and you get USB-C connectivity too.
Read more: Jabra Panacast 20 webcam review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The eMeeting Capsule’s ability to physical change itself means it can accommodate dual functionality, helping it justify the price tag. The physical remote means it is easy to command without installing quirky software, while the built-in active face tracking does a good job of sharing video of multiple participants. We’d like it more if it could operate from USB power rather than the mains, but it is nevertheless an impressive contender.
Audio quality is indisputable, and comfortably in excess of the standard many experience from laptop speakers and microphones during impromptu conferences. It’s nice to know an extra microphone can be added, but we don’t imagine its needed often. The video, too, is well presented (we like the white edges and curves corners in the conference modes), though it has to be said we’d have preferred more detail in faces from the 360˚ mode. Sadly physics seems not to be a friend when the camera is pointing up, though the software does a decent job and the AI kept the right people on camera with latency of only a second or so.
Read our eMeet Meeting Capsule review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
With a built-in rechargeable battery and Bluetooth connectivity, the Logitech Connect's wireless connectivity makes sense in a lot of environments where fixing a camera might not. For example, many offices have more meeting rooms than they have conferencing cameras. Or you might want to take one to conduct a site meeting and share it live with the main office.
All but the most intensive meetings should cope with the 3 hours of video or 15 hours audio the battery will provide. (Don’t worry, though, Logitech still provides plugs). The remote control, when not serving as a magnetically attached lens cover, provides pan, tilt and zoom, though there are no auto-tracking features. And other advanced features include NFC and the ability to make friends with Chromebooks (opens in new tab) as well as Macs and PCs.
Overall, this is an elegant device that will not disappoint in rooms up to six people. However, if you appreciate Logitech’s tech but would like to save on wireless functionality, check the Logitech BCC950 below).
• See also Best Logitech webcams (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The Meeting Owl is the best conference room webcam on the market today, and you don't just have to take our word for it. This webcam has picked up several awards for its brilliant design, capped with a 360˚ camera and equipped with the software to identify team members who are talking and give them centre stage.
Along the top (unless disabled in the options) is a thin strip showing a perspective-corrected strip of the whole-room view. Both images are considerably more flattering than from a shorter camera, thanks to the device's 11 inch body height. And the sound is capably handled by the eight mics, which also help locate the subject, and boast a good pick-up range of 18ft (5.5m).
The ‘Pro’ is the latest version of the Meeting Owl, with a more powerful processor, better resolution and louder speakers. Camera lock is controlled via a phone app, and i you want to share the discussion points, the optional Whiteboard Owl accessory adds distortion-corrected view of the whiteboard. The view isn’t even blocked as the board is written on; the software applies partial transparency, and even offers a step-by-step playback.
On the downside the device requires an annual software subscription. But if you want the best conference room webcam there is, that's probably going to be a price worth paying.(opens in new tab)
The Rally camera is a Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) camera which uses Logitech’s RightSense technology to automatically frame every participant. This, they argue, is preferable to rapidly moving from one speaking participant to the next and lets you see non-verbal cues. The webcam boasts good-quality low-light and tone control technology which prioritizes faces; no bad thing when you’re under office lighting.
The camera is sold on its own, or as part of the Logitech Rally Plus system, which includes a display hub with a pair of stereo speakers and a smaller table hub to which you can connect microphones. These can be daisy-chained to accommodate 46 participants, balancing audio, so quieter voicers are still audible on the conference. To make setup easy, the cables and devices come stickered, although you can use a much longer Cat6A cable to connect the hubs if you choose.
See also Best Logitech webcams (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
This meeting camera has a built-in operating system based on Android, which can be very useful in simplifying the meeting process.
While the device itself is built to sit table-centre in a medium-sized meeting room (up to 18ft/5.5m sound pick up), what’s really handy is that it can connect, via HDMI, directly to a wall-mounted display. Using the remote, you can use the display’s menu screen to choose your preferred conferencing app. If it works on Android, it works here.
You can keep your apps up-to-date via the 802.11ac wi-fi or Ethernet and even attach peripherals via USB. The Meeting Pro will act as speaker and microphone, and sports echo and noise cancellation to keep your call clear.
It’s possible your colleagues might find the knowledge that there is 64Gb on-board recording space a little unsettling, but the ‘stop’ button is easy to find. The machine’s eight microphones help it do a good job of identifying the active speaker for the 1080p video output. The camera crunches through 8K worth of input from both cameras, which helps people look their best, with less distortion correction than many other conference room webcams.(opens in new tab)
Not every conference takes place in a huge conference room. If you're in a smaller space, Logitech’s BCC950 provides a good quality webcam and speakerphone base with the option to position the electronic eye that bit higher, if needed, by inserting the included extension pole.
This means its more likely your remote collaborators are looking you in the eye and getting to hear the discussion, which also benefits from Logitech’s proprietary noise cancelling system. This webcam connects via USB, and works with most platforms.
What we look for in Conference room webcams
• Camera resolution vs Video resolution
When you’re choosing the best conference room webcam, many seem to capture relatively high resolutions. This is because they have several cameras, or unusual lenses with large image sensors, but the image is cropped to fit a standard video shape. So it's best to think of the output resolution: what people will actually see.
• More microphones is good
By comparing sound from multiple microphones, systems can get a cleaner sound from people in different places in the room. Even all-in-one devices can use an array of internal microphones to identify where to point their camera. Do note, that some conference webcams expect you to use a separate microphone and speaker unit.
• Field of view
Depending on the kind of meeting you're planning, you need to decide how wide a field of view you want your camera to have. Something with a 180 degree perspective, such as the Panacast (number 3 on our list), is similar to placing a laptop at the end of a table. A 360-degree device like the Meeting Owl or Coolpo AI, however, can sit in the middle of a huddle, and let the remote guest feel like a part of the action.
• Weight doesn’t matter
You probably shouldn't be looking for the lightest device you can find. Because actually, if you’re going to rest something in the middle of a conferencing table, a bit of heft can be pretty helpful, especially as a counterbalance to a lens, which is usually at the top. Plus, if you’ve got colleagues who smash the table in anger or celebration, then a few extra ounces will definitely help!
• Height does matter
It’s well worth considering where the device’s camera will be compared to the participant’s eyeline. The lower the camera, the less flattering it can be, although ultimately you can always rest the device on a few books.
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