Built-in Cameras are Counterproductive:

Educators & other professionals should consider upgrading for a more engaging experience.

This clip from LeGrand does a great job of comparing the difference between various cameras.

But in a world filled with Zoom classes, Google Meetings, and Microsoft Teams, these affordable little microphones and cameras have become real pain points! Issues with lens glare and white balance combined with a typically poor camera angle can make a meeting or classroom experience distracting and disengaging.

Oh, and the stock / integrated microphone? That’s usually positioned right next to your keyboard and built-in speakers (use headphones or earbuds instead), making audio quality inconsistent at best and feedback-inducing at worst.

What's wrong with the webcam my laptop came with?

Too often, manufacturers treat integrated cameras and microphones as an afterthought- something to cut corners on to keep the product’s cost low. It also has to do with size- people like thin laptops, but better webcams need space for a proper lens and sensor.

Prior to 2020 the average user wasn’t too concerned with the built in camera or microphone, anyway. With a casual video chat the limited capability was sufficient. We could appreciate the novelty of seeing / hearing far-away relatives and forgive the inconvenience when overall quality left something to be desired.


2012 Macbook Pro

Apple hasn’t updated its integrated laptop camera since 2012!

One of our recent projects involved a PTZ camera for a round table classroom.

What else is out there and why is it better?

Simple USB cameras that clip-on to the top of your device are often better webcams than the integrated ones. They will usually capture video in a higher quality and with better sensitivity to light. However, as shown in the above video, these only represent a modest improvement.

Enter Vaddio’s ConferenceSHOT AV, one of our favorite PTZ cameras. PTZ is short for “Pan, Tilt, & Zoom,” meaning it is able to freely rotate and look around a room, even zooming to view occupants who are farther away.

Apart from appreciating the dynamic functionality of a PTZ camera, we also love Vaddio’s microphones and other options that integrate seamlessly with this camera. It’s easier than ever to place microphones on desks (or hang them around the room) and tie them all into one system.

The goal of all of this technology is to bring us closer together when we can’t be, and to make remote collaboration, conversation, and education as productive and engaging as possible.

Want to learn more about what sort of cameras and collaboration systems are out there and how they work? Get in touch with us for more information, documentation, or a sales quote!

Published by Gil Mason-Butch on January 18, 2021