Face-to-face meetings no longer mean you are in the same location. For small businesses, this is both good and bad. The good is less travelling time, and the bad is the quality of your image and audio at your client’s end.
What is an EXPAND Vision 1M USB meeting room camera?
The EPOS EXPAND Vision 1M USB meeting room camera is a USB camera designed to be used in a room of up to around 10 people. The camera is portable but can also be permanently installed in a meeting room.
WHY should you consider a meeting room camera?
Over the years, video conferencing from a meeting room has been problematic. Primarily driven by using the equipment has been so complicated that no one knows how to use the equipment. Systems have also been so expensive that they have been prohibitive to small businesses. Although not cheap in small business terms, this 4K resolution capable camera automatically adjusts its zoom to ensure members in the room are in frame and thus inclusive to the participants not in the room. The $1,185 recommended retail price provides a simple solution and includes quality features that work.
What is in the Box?
Not much! But that is the point. You get the camera, USB A to USB C cable, bracket, and screws. The instructions are printed on the inside of the box, so there is less to throw out.
The camera has a 2-year warranty, measures 42x194x34 mm and weighs less than 700 grams. We know the camera supports 4K resolution, equal to the best image most consumer TVs can produce today. There are, however, no published specs on the camera. Visually it is much larger than what you would find installed in a laptop or webcam, meaning its image quality will be higher. Bigger lenses let in more light etc.
Physically there is one button on the top, which, once powered then pressed, causes a mechanical eyelid to close over the camera lens for privacy. On either side of the lens are two led strips illuminating when the camera is live, indicating you are being recorded.
On the rear of the camera is a Kensington lock which can be used for security.
Using the EXPAND Vision 1M meeting room camera
The EXPAND Vision 1M Can be placed on a table, mounted on a wall or even mounted on a standard camera tripod. As long as it points at the audience, an intelligent framing mode automatically refocuses the camera on the subjects in the room. I tested this by moving around a room whilst on a call to which the camera would refocus on me and best use the available image space. If I was the only person in the room, the camera would zoom in on me so my head and the top of my torso would be in the frame. If others were in the room, it would zoom out so everyone sitting at the table was in focus. The key benefit here is that no human interaction is required; the camera does this automatically.
Setting up and using the camera is as simple as plugging the camera into your PC’s USB port. The camera is certified and works best with Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Once your video conferencing software is open (e.g., Zoom), go to your settings, and you will find the Vison M1 is available to be selected under the video settings. Please select it, and now your conferencing software is using the M1.
The Vision M1 can be used with a separate room controller, making it independent of an individual’s PC. We see this as an unnecessary expense for small businesses and start to complicate the installation and use.
For audio, you do need a separate speaker and microphone. This can be done with your attached laptop or an independent speaker, speaker and microphone. Please search our site for reviews on speakerphones. EPOS has a solution called an Expand80, but you could use any brand, and a speaker phone will provide a much better result.
Our Take EXPAND Vision 1M meeting room camera review
Having multiple people in a room and doing a conference call has traditionally been problematic. The quality of the image and who is in the frame for the external parties on a conference call is normally not a good experience.
The EXPAND Vision 1M meeting room camera is a plug-and-play 4K high-resolution camera that automatically keeps all participants in focus. Set up is a breeze, and using the camera is as simple as selecting the Vision M1 in Zoom or Teams and getting on with business.