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FOCUS ON THE MEETING,
NOT THE CAMERA

THE POWER OF AUTO TRACKING WEBCAM TECHNOLOGY

Whether your organization is moving back into the workplace, continuing to work remote, or trying a mix of both, finding the right meeting equipment has likely come up more than once. During your research, you’ve probably come across auto tracking as a feature in many webcams. Auto tracking can be great when creating a safe distanced meeting space, but what can you expect after making your selection?

While we strongly encourage using this powerful tool, the right auto tracking camera can vary based on your need. In this article we aim to reduce some of that clutter and help you make the right decision in picking the best auto-tracking PTZ camera for your needs.

WHAT IS AN AUTO TRACKING CAMERA?

An auto tracking camera has built-in technology that allows the camera to automatically detect an object that moves within its field of vision or gets picked up by the attached audio. In practice, this allows the camera to highlight a speaker, best frame the room participants, and adjust the frame when others join an in-progress meeting. Anyone who has manually made these adjustments understands how great this idea sounds. With these concepts in mind, we can look at how auto tracking differs across a variety of cameras.

The biggest factor when deciding on a PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera for your meeting space, is the size of the area you are looking to capture; this idea is still true when looking for an auto tracking webcam. The good news is auto tracking can still be a great benefit even in smaller rooms. For example, highlighting a speaker in a meeting still feels natural in a small huddle space.

SMALL BUT POWERFUL

The Auto Tracking Camera for Huddle Spaces and Small Conference Rooms

The Polycom Cube fits this role nicely. While still properly framing your meeting participants, it performs best when focusing on individual speakers. As opposed to keeping the camera on the entire group, the automatic focus feels like you can talk to the other side of the video call face to face. However, while having a nice, wide field of vision, the picture on the Cube can look a bit distorted if trying to capture too large of a room. We recommend using this camera in a smaller room with up to four people around a small table. As you can imagine, this can make keeping a safe distance rather difficult.

Polycom EagleEye Cube Setup The Cube view
Studio X50 by Poly Studio X50 View

THE SAFE DISTANCE OPTIONS

The Auto Tracking Camera for Meeting Rooms

When needing that larger space for safe distancing or framing a bigger group, we recommend either a Poly Studio x50 or an AVer Cam540. Since the Studio x50 comes equipped with speakers and a TC8 Touch Control unit, it is the best choice for when you need an all-in-one system. Others may want the Cam540 for the 4K capability. Either way, the auto tracking in these cameras differs a bit from the Cube. Rather than prioritizing individual speakers, both the Studio x50 and the Cam540 aim to perfectly frame the entire group of participants.

While having presets available, it feels much more convenient to allow the camera to frame the shot for you. The transitions on the x50 feel very natural and it does well when adjusting to movement and additions to the meeting. It feels the most natural of the bunch. The Cam540, on the other hand, does well at framing the group but does not flow as nicely. It also has difficulty detecting individuals wearing a mask. The trade-off is its impressive 4K picture and 18x zoom capabilities. So, it really comes down to what you value more. When it comes to auto-tracking camera capabilities, the x50 takes the cake.

Aver Cam 540 in use Cam540 Framing
Polycom Director II Director 2

TOP OF THE LINE

The Auto Tracking Camera for Teacher Lecturing and Classrooms

The Polycom Director II has the most robust auto tracking features. Equipped with 2 PTZ cameras, it can focus on individual speakers while keeping the entire group in focus. While being a bit overkill in smaller rooms, it shows its value in a larger space. For example, the Director II performs well in distance learning classrooms. One camera can automatically focus on someone asking a question while the other keeps the rest in frame. Other situations include larger conference rooms and safe distancing with a larger group.

LIVE TRACKING

The Auto Tracking PTZ Camera for Live Streaming and Live Tracking

The remaining feature we get requests for is live tracking an individual. The above cameras have impressive auto tracking abilities but have yet to integrate live tracking. For this instance, we recommend the Poly Studio. When placing the Poly Studio in Presenter Mode, the camera can follow the speaker as they walk around the room. This is perfect for active presentations or live streaming but can become overwhelming with more than one person in view. Also, the tracking capabilities struggle when the speaker is more than 12 feet away from the camera, so you will want to keep the Studio close to the presenter.
Poly Studio Studio view

Auto tracking technology in PTZ cameras continues to make great advancements with each product release, and we strive to keep you informed of all the new updates. Click the links below if you have any questions or you would like to request a quote. We pride ourselves on our years of expertise. Let us aid you in discovering your next solution.

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