with T3's best video conference cameras of 2022 guide, you'll find a carefully curated list that features some of the top solutions for high-quality conference calling. Whatever happens with Covid, we all know working remotely is here to stay. If you are in a home office, small satellite office, or a conference room a continent away, you need to stay in touch. And the best way to do that is through video conferencing through apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or others.
We’ve all seen the consequences of using the camera built into your laptop. Video where you can barely be seen and struggle to be heard. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. A decent video conferencing camera lets you be seen and speak clearly, even in a crowd of co-workers struggling to get a word in.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, we’ve picked the best webcams for home workers. These conference cameras are a step up from them, however, offering better video, sound and overall performance. And, when working remotely, being able to see and hear your colleagues while still being involved is worth a lot.
These conference cameras offer better video quality than your average consumer webcams, with cameras designed for office and low-light situations. They show a wider view, so a small group of your co-workers can be on the same call. These high-end conference webcams use multiple microphones and techniques like beamforming to pick out the sound of your voice, so you can speak even when others are speaking without fear of drowning all in feedback.
Best video conference cameras to buy
Poly (formerly Polycom) describes the Studio P15 as a personal video bar, and that’s an apt description. This conferencing camera isn’t designed specifically to go in a conference room, but instead to sit on top of your monitor, replacing your cheap webcam with a high-end camera, speakers, and noise-canceling microphone setup.
The combination works extremely well. The quality of the video and audio is impressive, which means it can also double as a music speaker. The captured video is sharp and clear, and the auto face tracking works very well.
It isn’t as small as a regular webcam, though, so it won’t work with smaller monitors or laptops using the included clip-style stand. Instead, a tripod-style socket on the base provides an easy way to mount it.
Overall, the Studio P15 is impressive. It is missing the higher-end features of some of the other models (such as HDMI pass-through, cable security, and a stand-alone mode that doesn’t require a computer), but for most home workers or small offices, it will do pretty much everything they might need.
Read the full Poly Studio P15 review.
Why have one camera when you can have three? That seems to be the approach of the Jabra Panacast 50, which looks like a soundbar that’s been attacked by a 1970s robot. Three cameras mean that the Panacast can see a full 180-degree field of view, which it then combines into a single 1080P video image. Alternatively, it can use the three cameras to track you and zoom in on your face as you move around the office.
The video and audio quality of the Panacast 50 are excellent, although this camera only outputs a 1080P image. In the wide-angle view, this is letterboxed into a 1080P image that lacks the detail of 4K cameras. However, most people don’t use 4K for video conferencing as it uses an awful lot of bandwidth, so it is an acceptable compromise.
There are a couple of other odd choices, here. There is no included remote control and it comes with a wall-mount instead of a table mount. An optional remote is available, but it is kind of essential for these devices, so it is an odd omission. Most people want a table mount to start, as you usually want to test the device out before you screw it permanently into the wall. Again, this is available as an extra-cost option.
Read the full Jabra Panacast 50 review.
The Logitech Rally Bar Mini offers a lot of features for its considerable price. It has excellent video and sound quality from the large, loud speakers, so it should be at home in all but the largest conference rooms and offices.
The camera on the Rally Bar Mini pans and tilts, and an AI camera tracks you and moves the camera automatically, so you can move around the office or conference room and still be seen and heard.
The system can also be expanded so that no computer is required. With an optional touch-screen controller it can work with Microsoft Teams directly, so you can have meetings without the distracting laptops. Additional microphones are also available, but the built-in ones do an excellent job of picking up sound from around the small office already.
Read the full Logitech Rally Bar Mini review.
If you simply want a better webcam than the one built into your laptop, the Konftel CAM20 offers that, capturing pin-sharp 4K video with excellent color and detail. In addition to offering excellent video quality, the CAM20 comes with a remote control that allows you to pan, tilt and zoom without touching your laptop.
Combine this with the wide 123-degree angle of view, and you’ve got a great way to show yourself or the things around you. You can save presets to the remote, so you could, for instance, switch from you to a view of a product you are presenting or another speaker quickly and smoothly
Konftel also offers a package with a USB hub and a Bluetooth speakerphone that expands it into a more fully-featured video conferencing system. So, if you want to start off small and low-cost, but with the option to upgrade later, it’s a great pick.
Read our full Konftel CAM20 review.
This Strigiforme-inspired camera is designed to sit in the middle of a table or room, providing a 360-degree view, while picking out the person speaking with eight microphones. If you don’t want to show the whole room, the view of the Meeting Owl Pro can automatically zoom in to show just one or two people. It connects to a computer over Wi-Fi and can work with any standard video conferencing app.
The Meeting Owl Pro comes with a 6.5-foot USB cable, but the premium pack version adds a 16-foot USB cable, so the camera can be well away from the power socket. You can also connect and control the camera over WiFi, so the person making the connection can be across the room.
The Dell UltraSharp Webcam is one of the best webcams on the market, with a solid build with a handy magnetic mount system. The large sensor and lens array creates a crisp, detailed image with natural-looking color and well controlled noise. AI tracking also helps you stay in the frame, and it works with all video conferencing apps without needing drivers installed. There is no sound, though: this camera lacks microphones and speakers.
Make sure you check our Dell discount codes to bag a great deal.
The big brother of the Logitech Rally Bar Mini, the Rally Bar is bigger, pricier and more complex. It also adds larger speakers and more microphones that help it pick out speech in larger rooms. The lens is also better, with a 15x zoom that allows you to zoom in on one person from a distance. In addition, you can also add up to three external microphones that can be spread around the room. This larger version supports two external displays, one of which shows the view from the camera.
Like the Mini version, it can be used as a USB device, or turned into a standalone system with the addition of the Tap device.
The Kandao Meeting is another video conferencing system that combines two into one: the image from two wide-angle cameras is stitched together inside the device to provide a full 360-degree view of the conference room. In addition, eight microphones around the edge of the device pick up voices from all angles, ensuring that everyone gets heard.
The camera has three modes to present the video. In discussion mode, the Kandao presents a whole 360-degree view of the room on the top of the transmitted image, plus up to four close-up videos of the speakers, with the person speaking highlighted. In Presentation mode, the camera will detect the speaker and use facial recognition to zoom in on them. In Global mode, the camera shows the entire 360-degree view in two halves. That’s a sophisticated selection of modes for different types of meetings.
In addition, the Kandao Meeting camera offers a pop-up camera mount. When it is not in use, pushing the cameras down into the camera body turns the device off, so it can’t be used to listen in. When the meeting starts, pressing the camera mount again makes it pop up, ready for use.
The business version of Microsoft’s own webcam offers a decent range of features for an affordable price. You get decent video quality and a microphone that picks up decent sound. There is no 4K video, though, and there are no face tracking or other features that help keep you in the frame. It’s a bare bones option, but one that is portable and low cost.
Facebook might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of video conferencing, but the Portal+ is a surprisingly capable video conferencing device. It offers a good quality camera and a 14-inch screen in one package, so you don’t need a laptop or PC in the conference room to make it work. The camera also automatically pans and tilts to track the speaker using facial recognition to track you as you pace around the room.
The downside? This device only works with Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook. So, there is no support for Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom or any of the other commonly used video