Review of Lumens VC-G30 PTZ camera

Reviewed by Tony Crossley, pre-sales technical director at Pure AV

Where have you used this product?

I think the biggest use for the camera has been in lecture theatres at universities for lecture capture, because universities are now wanting to record lectures on a regular basis. They’ve also been deployed for streaming so that distance learning students can observe a lecture in progress.

Furthermore we’ve used them to link through to repeater screens. This is necessary in auditoriums that are very large and require screens further back in the room so that people can see the presenter more easily.

The final area where they have been used is for room linking when an auditorium is full and there’s a breakout area adjacent. In this application the camera provides a visual link into the lecture theatre.

Why did you choose this product?

There are various reasons – first of all, it’s got a good optical zoom rate at 15:1. It is also high resolution, so we’re getting 1080p images out of it, which is great.

Importantly for us, it’s controllable. Very often in a lecture theatre the camera is managed by the person who is giving the presentation, and they want to be able to select different presets just by using a touchscreen on the lectern. The camera gives us controllability that we can integrate with third-party control systems.

It also has very good connectivity, with STI, DVI outputs, and a number of different inputs making it easy to link with switchers and vision mixers.

Usefully the VC-G30 forms part of quite a strong product line up that Lumens offer, so we looked at that knowing that if it didn’t quite hit the mark then there’ll be something else. We feel that although it’s not a low-cost product, it’s a very good value product.

What additional features would you like to see?

One thing that would be beneficial from our point of view is if it could have IP from a control perspective on it, so we could use the internet rather than RS232 for control.

I think as time goes by there will probably be a demand for 4K resolution as well, but I think they’ve got a product coming that will do that.

What do you like about using it?

The feedback I get from installation engineers and the programmers who have to integrate them as part of the control programme has always been very positive. It seems to be very simple to install and offers great reliability as I’m not aware of a single product failure we’ve had. Having the RS232 controls makes it easy for programmers to work with it too.

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