Creating engagement through interactions with students will keep the class more interesting for both parties.
As a result, if you need the best auto tracking camera for classes, you should buy one that meets fundamental quality standards.
As we all know, due to the pandemic, home learning has been on the rise.
Whether you use the camera for online classes or something else, quality should never be an afterthought. Consider it a goal rather than a bonus.
In this post, we’ve compiled a list of high-quality PTZ cameras at various price points. Please take a look at them below.
The benefits of an auto-tracking camera in a classroom
1. No operator needed
The use of a PTZ camera in any setting negates the need for a human cameraman. All the work which includes panning, tilting, and zooming occurs automatically because the unit is controlled by an AI algorithm.
2. No multi-camera setup needed
Another benefit of a PTZ camera is it can replace a setup comprised of several devices. It rotates and tilts consistently to follow the speaker’s movements, which then creates dynamic footage despite the work being managed by a single camera unit. This is also what separates them from static webcams. An online classroom is supposed to be fun. By letting students view the area from various angles, they will be more engaged and receptive to your teaching.
3. High quality stream
PTZ cameras are not only designed with flexibility in mind, but they also have quality to match. Those packing remarkable sensors can record high-res. A high-end PTZ camera can be observed through the amount of detail it can reproduce and how well it deals with poor lighting. Most likely, it also offers cool features like wide viewing angle, presets, noise reduction, and brilliant zoom capabilities.
Best Auto Tracking Camera for Classes
The manufacturer is definitely style conscious when developing this camera unit because it looks nifty on the outside. Beyond the marvelous façade, you’d see a plethora of great features. That’s expected from a device that costs almost $700. The 1/2.7 inch HD CMOS sensor records intensively detailed 1080p videos at 60fps with superb color reproduction. Meanwhile, the 60.7 degree FOV lets you capture more of a scene. And this performance is enhanced with 20X + 16X zoom to provide optimum magnification. Overall, this camera won’t disappoint if you’re all for quality. Apart from the cool form factor, it blends advanced technologies to produce satisfying videos and still. 2D and 3D digital noise reduction are on board as well. With these, problems like footage looking salt-peppery will be solved easily. The spatial noise reduction also improves the quality of low light pics by miles. Another way that this unit assures top-notch quality is by incorporating H.265, H.264, MJPEG video compression standards. Proper encoding is necessary to broadcast a live stream with the lowest-latency possible. And this product handles this aspect nicely. The range of movement is wide, too. It can perform a horizontal pan of 170° and pivot upwards / downwards between -30 and 90 degrees.
Distance learning requires a camera that can take sharp videos. This one is quite a steal for the price point. It comes with a HD lens and boasts an ability to pan more snappily than other PTZ models. The agile movement doesn’t impair its recording performance, which is good. It also adds 3X optical zoom into the set of features. While this is nothing write home about, the fast-working auto focus makes up for it. That’s decent enough to close in on the action and provide a smooth video experience. Meanwhile, the quality is adjustable between 720p 60/50 and 1080p 60/50/30/25. The package also includes a free remote control for wireless monitoring. In addition to this, it also supports RS485 or RS232C serial data transmission. The dual option gives redundancy in terms of control operation and ground potential since both are pretty different. You can even connect several cameras and utilize the zoom and tilt functions for the setup. Other important specs you should know are adjustable brightness of 0.5Lux and 0.1Lux, pan range of -30 to 90 degrees.
This is also fitting for teachers who want to host online classes. It records videos in 1080p, which is adequate for the majority of online learning needs. As you can see, this swiveling camera also includes a remote control for a quick setup from a distance. Just press any of the numbers on the remote to activate the preloaded preset. When it comes to streaming capabilities, the multi-platform support really comes in handy. You can invite students to meet via Skype or Zoom. The device also spoils users with a handful of acquisition parameters which can optimize video quality, such compression methods and frame rates. To maintain the best streaming experience, your connection shouldn’t drop below 2Mbps. What about the wide pan angle? You can count on its flexible rotation through 350 degrees and tilt up to 90 degrees. Besides the aforementioned features, this PTZ cam also offers 3X optical zoom, 64 presets, and USB2.0 video output. And it should work with devices running Mac, Windows XP, and Android.
Price-wise, this product is on the higher end of the scale, so it’s reasonable to hope for top-of-the-line features. To start with, this camera supports NDI open protocol which accommodates real-time transfer of video / audio signals with low-latency over standard networks. For live video production, the IP standard makes a big difference especially when we factor in frame accuracy. It’s also worth-noting that this unit offers a 1/2.9 inch CMOS SENSOR and PoE. For those unaware, PoE simplifies the way the camera is installed and takes a charge. All it takes is a single ethernet cable to carry out multiple tasks, including streaming and powering. It films in 1080p at 60fps, coupled with 20X zoom to give you freedom in capturing exquisite portraits. There’s no loss in video quality even when it’s recorded from hundreds of feet away. Another notable feature is low light correction that ensures stable performance in low or overexposed lighting. And for video encoding, it relies on H.264 And H.265 compression formats. This powerful combo provides speedy video delivery and lower bandwith usage ratio. As icing on the cake, the camera is also filled with presets which amount to 255 in total.
This is another high-end offering on this list. While the price might be a little too steep for some, remember that PTZ cameras are made to cater to different buying segments. This is clearly aimed at pro users or corporations. If you can afford one, getting it as a personal possession is awesome, too. It’s definitely worth it with all the extravagant features. Apart from a 4K (2160p) Ultra HD resolution @60fps, the camera also facilities concurrent streaming from 4 different sources, including USB 3.0, HDMI, 3G-SDI, and LAN. Convenience and ease of use are things this camera unit excels at. And ee can thank the PoE integration for that, which enables efficiency in power and data transfer through one network cable. This technology takes charge of multiple tasks at once, which means there’s no need for dedicated power outlets. The fact that the unit operates under NewTek NDI further proves that it wants to level up efficiency. NDI gives room for several video systems to establish a connection through IP. This then leads to a number of great perks, such low latency, reduced bandwith usage, and high quality streaming. To control the camera remotely, you can use the infrared remote, or it can also be done through the web portal.
If you want a PTZ camera other than a black variant, this would be nice for a change. Buy it to record lectures or teach live classes. As with some products in this rundown, the VIKERY cam also supports 3 video outputs, namely USB 2.0, 3G-SDI, and HDMI. It also has a respectable resolution which can take crystal clear videos. On top of that, colors are rendered with high fidelity. The camera unit is suitable for any shooting situation. The 1/2.9′ progressive CMOS sensor delivers detailed footage in an area measuring 195 sq m. Another prominent feature is 20X optical zoom, which can provide a zoomed-in close up view of the speaker. Its head moves freely in the range of -172 to 172 degrees. It can also tilt between -40 and 85 degrees. With this, you can live stream from home on a device based on Linux, Mac OSX, or Windows 7/8/10. Some of the elements are configurable, like the resolution and compression format. Meanwhile, the setup is fairly simple because it works in a plug-and-play fashion through USB, HDMI, or SDI. If you’re wondering whether it supports RS485 or RS232, yes, both connection protocols are used along with other industry standards like PELCO-D/P.
A 1080p resolution for an auto tracking camera is decent to record live videos. Mind you, this resoltion has become a staple in many products, including this iTOPVIS camera. It utilizes 1/2.8′ SONY IMX323 CMOS sensor to bolster image quality and presents the color gamut closer to what our eyes see. You can use this cam for different applications, not just online teaching. The specs are also above moderate to tackle most commercial needs. For indoor use, it sustains top-notch footage in an area of up to 60 sq m. Pan, tilt, and zoom functions are also enhanced to ensure smooth motion while the unit is focusing on an object. As for remote controlling, you can either use the IR remote that comes with the package or takes advantage of the RS485 or RS232 connection. And then, it works with a variety of general protocols, such as PELCO-P and VISCA. Is the setup complicated? Nope, it’s quite the opposite, actually. Since it operates in a plug-and-play manner, you can pair it just by plugging it into a computer, a notebook, or a Smart TV via the provided USB 2.0 cable. It’s compatible with a host of telecommunications apps, such as Facebook Messenger, Webex, Zoom, etc.
What to look for
1. Zoom function
This is a feature that many products boast because powerful zoom function enables crisp up-close shots. The level of magnification usually goes hand-in-hand with price. So if you desire a PTZ cam with a high optical zoom, you’ll need to splurge more. This type of zoom doesn’t alter the number of pixels in a picture, which makes it able to retain quality at all focal lengths.
2. Field of view
The area we can observe through a PTZ cam’s lens is called field a view. This photography term is abbreviated as FOV and is expressed in degrees. Provided that it measures the visual area at any given time, it’s only logical that we’d prefer a wider FOV since it means that the camera can see more of the world.
Camera resolution will always matter because nobody wants pixelated footage while streaming their online classes. With that in mind, you should consider a camera with at least 1080p resolution. This way, students can see your face clearly regardless of the distance.
The gradual shift from face-to-face teaching to online education requires some getting used to. There are a lot of changes in how we share information and plan classes. It’s like a new job that demands our full attention especially pertaining to resources we’ll need to make it a success. In setting up an online classs, proper equipment is highly necessary. Apart from a laptop and a speedy internet connection, you’ll also need a PTZ camera to broadcast your teaching sessions. Don’t worry, we’ve provided a few suggestions in this article if you’re perplexed about the best auto tracking camera for classes.