How to Choose the Best FOV for Your Conference Camera
Have you ever been puzzled by different FOV angles when choosing the right conference camera for your conference room? Knowing more about FOV is necessary so you don't waste money on the wrong camera. This article will give you a comprehensive introduction to FOV and help you choose the best conference camera.
What is Field of View (FOV)?
Field of view (FOV) is the open, observable area a person can see with their naked eyes or via an optical device, such as a camera. In other words, FOV is what you can see without turning your head. It includes what you see ahead of you and your peripheral vision.
For conference cameras, it refers to "what you see" through the camera lens. FOV is usually measured in Degrees. The camera is the single starting point, and the view radiates out and gets wider, forming a triangle.
FOV angles can range from 54 degrees to 360 degrees. Bigger angles generally equates to a wider and better vision. But bigger is not always better and necessary. Different conference rooms and scenarios require different cameras, which is why there is so much variance when it comes to FOV.
Comparing Popular FOV Angles for Conference Cameras
Now let's look directly at some popular FOV angles for conference cameras. To make it more clear how wide the view will be, we take one foot away from the camera as an example. This way, it's also easier to compare different FOV angles.
FOV = 72.5°
As you can see, at one foot away from the camera, 72.5° FOV gives a vision of 1.4 feet across. It means that at 10 feet you get a vision of 14 feet across. A 72.5° FOV conference camera is a good choice for small conference rooms, with the conference room table at least 3 feet to 4 feet away from the camera.
FOV = 90°
At 90° FOV, you will get 2 feet of width for every 1 foot of distance from the camera. In this case, 10 feet will provide a vision of 20 feet across. This wider vision is suitable for a majority of conference rooms.
FOV = 108°
At 108° FOV, we start to get into cameras which are considered "wide angle". Most huddle room cameras fall into this wide angle category. 108° FOV conference cameras provide 2.8 feet of view at 1 foot distance. This allows you to set up the camera on the long wall.
FOV = 120°
120° FOV, another common wide angle, is also a fit for huddle spaces. At one foot away, you get a vision of 3.4 feet across. At ten feet from the camera, that means 34 feet. This wide angle can almost get everyone within the camera frame.
FOV = 180°
At 180° FOV, the camera provides wall to wall coverage. Basically, if you need total video coverage for your conference room, this is the solution you're looking for in cameras.
What is the Best FOV for Your Conference Room?
Now we can move on to choosing a suitable FOV for different use cases. Usually, it is related to how big your conference room is and the interior layout.
Small Conference Room (4-6 people)
If your conference room is relatively small, accommodating about 4 to 6 people, and the layout is as the following picture shows, a conference camera with an FOV range of 90° to 120° should be a nice choice. As people are quite close to each other, 90° to 120° FOV conference cameras assure that every one is in the camera frame.
Mid-sized Conference Room (6-12 people)
If your conference room can hold 6-12 people, and most seats are facing the camera, a conference camera with a wider FOV angle such as 120° and even bigger would be better.
Large Conference Room (12-16 people)
Big conference rooms that can accommodate 12-16 people usually have a setup like this (pictured below). In this case, a 120° FOV may not be necessary. A FOV range of 60° to 90° is enough to get everyone in the camera frame.
If your conference layout is none of the above types and you want to get down to a specific FOV angle that suits your needs the best, you will have to do some math.
For a regular quadrilateral table, you need to know X (the distance from the camera to the table) and Y (half of length of the side facing the camera). Then calculate θ=arctan(y/x), and 2θ < camera HFOV.
For an irregular oval table, you need to know X (the distance from the camera to the center point of the table) and Y (semi-major axis). Then calculate θ=arctan(y/x), and 2θ < camera HFOV.
FOV is just one feature you must consider when choosing video conference cameras, but it plays a big role. To determine what FOV angle is the best option, you will have to consider a number of factors, such as the conference table size, room layout, and how far away the table is to the camera. Check out all our conference cameras, and find the perfect one based on FOV.