Camera, Microphone & Headset Recommendations

This document was created in response to requests made at a Collaboration Forum meeting and will be continually updated.    

Type

Photo

Shop

Approx. Price

Summary

Logitech Group

$1000

Logitech C930e

U-M approved vendor : CDW-G U-M Marketsite

Find online

$100

Pro: Wide angle (around 90 degrees), good low light performance

Cons: Auto-focus sometimes gets lost, and the image becomes blurry until it refocuses.  

Use cases: General purpose video conference camera, good when you want to show your surroundings

Logitech C920-C

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$100

Pro: Image very sharp, very good auto-focus

Cons: Less efficient than the C930e in low light conditions  

Use cases: general purpose video conference camera

Logitech ConferenceCam BCC950

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$200

Pros: 

  • Business-quality HD Webcam
  • USB Speakerphone gives wider coverage
  • Noise-Cancelling Microphone

Con: Less efficient than the C930e in low light conditions  

Use cases: medium size conference  room

Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

Find online

$70

Pros: Low light sensitivity, works very well in very low light conditions, good autofocus capabilities  

Cons: The field of view is very narrow. It's not good if you need to show your surroundings.  

Use cases: Face-to-face video calls

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD Webcam - Black

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

Find online

$50

Same as Microsoft LifeCam Studio, but the resolution is a little bit smaller (720p instead of 1080p). You won’t have the best video quality.

Hover Cam (document viewer)

Comparable:

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$200

Pros: High fidelity document viewer camera, and manual focus to get the best quality for what you want to show  

Cons: All models don't come with a second camera that will allow you to show your face.  

Use cases: Teaching, drawing, showing small objects, and math

Sound hardware recommendations

Type

Photo

Shop

Approx. Price

Summary

ClearOne Chat 150 USB

or 2 unit bundle for better coverage:

ClearOne

CHATattach 150

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$339.77

$695.64

The CHAT 150 connects to PCs  or Macs for rich, full-duplex audio communications, and bridges the gap between portability and small conference room use with a larger form factor. The CHAT 150 can be used with many applications requiring two-way audio (VoIP softphones, web collaboration applications, instant messaging), connected with enterprise phone systems (ad-hoc bridging capabilities allow a USB/analog mix) or simply used as a large loudspeaker for audio playback.

ClearOne Chat 50 USB

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$122.59

The CHAT® 50 personal, USB-powered speakerphone is a mobile audio peripheral that connects to a wide variety of devices, providing crystal-clear, hands-free audio for ad-hoc conferencing or audio playback. The small form factor is sleek enough for desktop conferencing, yet rugged enough to be completely portable. Hands-free laptop and cell-phone conferencing are possible any place, any time

Polycom C100 USB

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

Amazon

$113.22

Polycom Communicator gives you the ultimate hands-free online experience. Based on the same technology used in Polycom’s legendary line of triangular SoundStation conference phones, the Skype-certified Polycom Communicator enables crystal-clear, natural conversations when using Skype. Enjoy the freedom of not wearing your headset for hands-free Skype calls, or plug into the built-in stereo headphone port for private

Samson C01U

Amazon

$63

  • Industry's first USB studio condenser mic
  • Plugs directly into any computer USB port
  • Cardioid pickup pattern

Blue Yeti Microphone

Blue Microphones Yeti Ultimate Professional USB Mic

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$131.75

•        4 Polar Pattern Selector: Omni, Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional

•        Mic Gain Control

•        Master Volume Control

•        Mute Button

•        Zero Latency Headphone Output with Amplifier & Volume Control: Standard 1/8” (3.5mm) headphone jack

•        USB Connection

Blue Snowball

Blue Microphones Snowball Mic w/Tripod-Aluminum

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$87.84

• Plug and play design – no complicated drivers required

• Mac and PC compatible

• Blue’s award winning dual capsule and circuit design

• Includes adjustable mic stand and USB Cable

Sony ECMAW4 Wireless Microphone

B&H Marketsite

$170.58

  • Interactive Communication
  • Two-way communication, up to 150 feet from the camcorder
  • Pair with Sony ECMCS3

Mobile phone earbud headset

Anywhere

Any price

Pros: Ear buds that work with your phone can become very handy with your laptop or desktop when you are experiencing sounds problems. They are small and very discrete.

Headphones for video conference calls

 

Examples are:

Plantronics

Blackwire 5200 series

Blackwire 310/320 

Blackwire 325.1 Stereo Headset

Plantronics Savi W440 Headset

Voyager Focus Headset        

Audio 326 Stereo PC Headset

Plantronics Audio 478 Stereo USB Headset (Audio 478)

Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390 (Black)

$10 - $200

Pros: A lot of different models are available on the market, and most of them are good.

Cons: They are bulky.

Plantronics Audio 648 Stereo USB headset (behind the head)

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$20 - $50

Pros: Very good audio quality, more discrete than over the head headphones  

Cons: Not adjustable

Olympus ME-52W Noise Canceling Microphone

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$13 - $25

Pros: Hands-free microphone, with noise cancellation. Very good if you have a noisy environment.

Cons: The microphone is very directional, and won’t pick up your voice if it’s not directed toward you.

Advanced Camera Recommendations

Do you want a camera that can zoom and pan in a conference room?

We’ve listed a few below. Most cameras will need another device (conversion box) to hook to your laptop. If you currently own a video camera, it probably has an output that can be converted with one of the appliances listed below.

High definition (HD) signals are only recognized on dual core i5 processor (or higher) computers. Not every Google+ or YouTube account is enabled for high definition. You may find that standard definition (SD) is a good enough option.

Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with EF Mount

B&H Photo

$2000 +lens

Pros: 

  • HD Camera with zoom capability to connect to a laptop
  • SDI and Thunderbolt  video outputs
  • audio inputs

Cons: 

  • Many web conferencing tools do not recognize an HD signal
  • need to purchase lens

BlackMagic Pocket Camera

B&H Photo

$1000 +lens

Pros: 

  • HD Camera with zoom capability
  • Mini HDMI video outputs
  • Analog & HDMI embedded audio inputs

Cons: 

  • Need extra device to connect to a laptop (no SDI and Thunderbolt  video outputs)
  • Many web conferencing tools do not recognize an HD signal
  • need to purchase lens

BlackMagic Intensity 

B&H Photo

$190- 230

Pros: 

  • Allows camera with zoom capability to connect to a laptop
  • Converts HDMI and SD video inputs to USB output (or Thunderbolt)
  • synchronizes analog audio with video signal

Cons: 

  • Many web conferencing tools do not recognize an HD signal (this unit handles SD video  though)
  • May require driver or settings configuration

BlackMagic Intensity Extreme

B&H Photo

$240

Pros: 

  • Allows camera with zoom capability to connect to a laptop
  • Converts HDMI inputs to Thunderbolt output
  • 1080p24, 1080i60/50, 720p60/50 output options

Cons: 

  • Many web conferencing tools do not recognize an HD signal
  • May require driver or settings configuration

BlackMagic

B&H Photo

$137

Pros: 

  • Allows camera with zoom capability to connect to a laptop
  • Converts HDMI and SD video inputs to Thunderbolt
  • synchronizes analog audio

Cons: 

  • Many web conferencing tools do not recognize an HD signal
  • Dual Core Processor i7 or higher  required for HD
  • May require driver or settings configuration

Vadio A/V Bridge

CDW-G U-M Marketsite

$1,730.87

 Pros: 

  • Allows camera with zoom capability to connect to a laptop
  • Converts HDMI and SD video inputs to USB output
  • synchronizes audio

Cons: Many web conferencing tools do not recognize an HD signal

Canon Vixia HV40

Find Online

used

Pros: 

  • Firewire output (IEEE 1394) for Standard Definition  (SD) streaming
  • Pan & zoom from back of meeting
  • Tripod mount.
  • wide-angle  lens can be added

Cons: 

  • Not available from retailers
  • Need adapters depending on your laptop
  • Tape-based (no tape required for  online streaming)

(Note: newer Vixia Cameras DO NOT have firewire outputs)

Last updated: 7/22/2014