From the start of the 21/22 season Chelmsford Camera Club plans to make Hybrid meetings available to our members. This will enable the more confident members to gather together at our meeting room, while others, who may not yet be ready to attend in person, can join in via Zoom. The approach detailed below has been tested out at our venue and may be refined as we get feedback from live meetings. We will review the need for this over the season with a view to phasing it out when it is no longer required.
Starting this season we have a new meeting location which has excellent Wi-Fi coverage. In order for Zoom to work in this environment we have purchased from Amazon (other suppliers are available) an external WebCam and an External Microphone.The webcam has manual focus, manual zoom (5mm to 50mm) and manual aperture, a metal solid metal construction and is easy to use:
ELP Zoom Webcam 1080P
The external microphone can be positioned for optimum effect separately from the webcam:
USB Computer Microphone, SUDOTACK PCCondenser Mic with Mic Gain
The club has a mobile sound system so the microphone will pick up the commentary mainly from this. All of the following scenarios require the use of the external microphone as it will pick up the sound much better than a laptop microphone due to better quality and the ability to place it in the best position. The use of any laptop microphones with Zoom in the room should be avoided otherwise feedback will result.
For each meeting we will send out a Zoom invite as we have been doing. The webcam and external microphone will both be connected into a dedicated master Zoom laptop which will host the Zoom meeting and control Zoom connections. This avoids late Zoom connection requests popping up on the PDI projection laptop and distracting the projectionist.
The club uses FFP for PDI competitions and we will use this in the meeting room exactly as we have been during lockdown when the projectionist was at home. The projectionist will simply share the FFP projected screen over Zoom with the external microphone connected to the master Zoom laptop to pick up the meeting sound and the webcam will show the meeting room for when there are no shared-screen images.
Print Competitions For print competitions we currently require members to upload a PDI of their print. We have a randomising procedure which adds the random number to the beginning of the uploaded PDI file name and this random number will be put on the back of the print. The prints will be put on the display stand in number sequence and a club member on a laptop (having shared their screen) will simply double click each PDI and using Windows Image Viewer members at home will see the image. The external microphone will pick up the meeting sound and the webcam will show the meeting room for when there are no shared-screen images.
Chelmsford have competitions for a Panel of 3 and a Panel of 6. We will use the external WebCam on a tripod pointed at the display panel and connected to the master Zoom laptop.
During the coming season we have 4 speaker presentations planned to be via Zoom. For these we will enable home users to connect via Zoom as normal, but in our meeting room we will project the speaker's shared screen. The webcam and external microphone will be connected for when the speaker is not sharing their screen.
Speakers presenting in person from a laptop: - Ask if they will connect to Zoom to share their screen. If not use the external webcam on the master Zoom laptop pointed at the projection screen plus the external microphone. These will be required to be active for when the speaker's screen is not being shared to capture the non-presentation parts of the meeting.
Speakers presenting in person with Prints will use the external webcam and microphone as for panel competitions.
Andrew Pickess CPAGB/AV. Chelmsford Camera Club.