Saturday, October 16, 2021

Web Camera with Zoom Lens for Zoom

Recently I upgraded my home office with a web camera featuring a zoom lens and manual focus. This allows adjusting the image to just include me, without having to move the camera. I selected one with a 720P HD sensor (although they are also available with full HD). The lens is a modest 2.8-12mm zoom, suitable for use on a desktop. For something like a lecture theater, a higher power zoom might be needed. 

The camera sensor is housed in a very rugged, small black metal box, with a standard camera mount thread on both the top and bottom. The lens has screws to lock the focus and zoom in place once set. This is not a camera for live action, as it is difficult to focus, but one you set up, lock in place and leave. The camera has a USB plug, and operates as any other web camera. Similar products are offered on Amazon.

When the COVID-19 pandemic stuck last year I had to set up my home office for teaching by video-conference. However, I decided I should not have anything out of reach of a typical teacher, or student, as education should be accessible to everyone. So I used a low cost, low speed broadband connection, a modestly priced laptop, and a consumer grade web camera. This worked fine, especially with Zoom. However, I decided it was time for an upgrade.