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Buying Guide: Comparing Field of View When Buying a Conference Room Video Camera

Posted by Ryan Pinke on

Think back to that geometry class you took, saying to yourself … "I'll never use this stuff, this is a waste of my time".  I was right there with you, wondering how in the world things like Isosceles triangles and quadrangles and length times width would have any bearing on my life.

Well, here it comes, Field of View or Field of Vision (FOV) is a perfect example of needing to know a little geometry so you don't waste money on the wrong camera. In this guide, we're going to provide a little breakdown of the popular FOV angles for conference room video cameras. 

What is Field of View (FOV) anyway?

In a classic definition, the FOV is what you can see without turning your head, it includes direct sight (what you see ahead of you) and your peripheral vision. For conference room video cameras, it's the specification for "what you see" through the camera lens and is measured in Degrees - what that means, we have single starting point (the camera) and the view radiates out, getting wider (visualize an upside-down triangle). Looking at our conference room cameras, the FOV ranges from 54 degrees to 360 degrees. From a buying perspective, bigger is not necessarily better, it's just different. Different rooms and uses required different cameras, which is why there is so much variance when it comes to FOV.

Comparing FOV for Conference Room Cameras

For our comparison, we are going to look directly at how wide the view will be, one foot away from the camera.  In that way, it's easy to compare the cameras (and look at a couple different uses) - because then you just multiple the 1 foot number by how many feet you need to consider.

FOV: 57 degrees

As you can see, 57 degree FOV gives you about a 1 to 1 relationship (approximately). At one foot away from the camera, the FOV is 1.1 feet. At 10 feet it equals 11 feet across.

Perfect camera for long, narrow rooms, or in multi-camera setups.

Click here to see all our cameras that fit within this range.

FOV: 72.5 degrees

A 72.5 degree FOV, at one foot away from the camera, the FOV is 1.4 feet. At 10 feet it equals 14 feet across.

Most of our conference room cameras fit within this range - from a low of 67 degree to a high of 82 degree. 

Click here to see all our cameras that fit within this range.

FOV: 90 degrees

At 90 degree FOV, you will get 2 feet for every 1 foot of distance from the camera.  In this case, 10 feet will provide 20 feet of width.

What you will notice is the majority of professional/business grade video conferencing are within this (and the previous) category.  This allows you to have a "standard" camera for the majority of your conferencing and meeting rooms.

Click here to see all our cameras that fit within this range.

FOV: 108 degrees

At 108 degree FOV, we start to get into cameras which are considered "wide angle".  Most huddle room cameras will fall into the wide angle category.  At 1 foot distance, they provide 2.8 feet of view.  Once again, at 10 feet, that means 28 feet.

Perfect camera huddle rooms, wide angle cameras are also great fit for rooms where you want to setup the camera on the "long" wall.

Click here to see all our cameras that fit within this range.

FOV: 120 degrees

Another wide angle camera, 120 degree FOV is again a fit for huddle spaces.  At one foot away, you gain 3.4 feet.  At ten feet from the camera, that means 34 feet.

Huddle spaces are usually setup to be very close to the camera, having a wide angle helps to get everyone within the camera frame, even if they are only a couple feet away from the camera.

Click here to see all our cameras that fit within this range.

FOV: 180 degrees

At 180 degree FOV, you have wall to wall coverage.  Although I haven't mentioned any products by name, we only have one in this category - the Panacast 2.

Basically, if you need wall to wall coverage for your room or space, this is the only solution you will find in cameras.

Click here to see all our cameras that fit within this range.

What all this means?

FOV is just one feature when looking at video conference cameras, but it really is the one with the most options when comparing them.  

Just remember, it all comes down to how you want your room to look on the other side of the camera, and how you are planning to utilize video conferencing.  In general, determine how far away the first person is to the camera - if you have 5 feet between the camera and the first person, that means and they are 5 feet from the center of the view, anything less than 57 degree FOV just won't work.  

That's it for FOV, look for other guides in the future - already have one planned for the differences in PTZ, fixed frame, zooming (digital vs optical), audio coverage, etc.  If you have any suggestions, just let us know in the comments.  Or if you have the perfect camera for your use, then let everyone know.

Check out all our cameras, and use the filters on the side to find the perfect one based on FOV.  

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