Teleprompter for Zoom Meetings

09 Nov 2022  James  23 mins read.

You can achieve more natural video meetings by using a teleprompter. You will be able to look directly at the video feed of the other meeting participants, while simultaneously looking directly at your own camera. The video carefully explains all the details.

Incremental Investment Advice

A few people have asked for guidance on where to prioritize your spending to improve your video calls. Please keep in mind that it isn’t possible to provide a perfect answer to this question as everyone’s office configuration, existing equipment, and personal preferences tend to vary. Yet sometimes imperfect guidance is still better than none at all.

I have included specific hardware recommendations at each investment tier as representative samples. For every piece of equipment I have listed there are lots of great competing choices in the same market niche. This is also a moving target as the equipment choices improve every year, and I only occasionally update this article.

More detailed reference information is available in the Reference Info section below, the one people find a bit overwhelming at times.

Tier 1: Basic Lighting

Basic lighting improvements. $300

  • A pair of edge-lighted panels to clamp to the back of your desk.
  • Inexpensive daylight balanced bulbs where appropriate to supplement your edge-lighted panels.
  • Ensure your laptop camera or webcam is sitting at eye level.

Tier 2: Improved Sound

All of the above plus a proper microphone. $350

I have intentionally listed PreSonus models in both cases since Presonus has a very rich software ecosystem. Each of these options includes a sophisticated sound mixer you access with software on your computer or tablet. By the time you outgrow the functionality of the included mixer, you will no longer be intimidated by more sophisticated mixers such as any of the following:

If you decide on an audio interface and XLR microphone, feel free to pick most any dynamic microphone you like. Curtis Judd’s Part 1: Dynamic Microphones for Podcasting video and Podcastage’s 12 Best Podcast Microphones videos provide good guidance on microphone choice.

Tier 3: Teleprompter

All of the above, plus a teleprompter. $300 to $1200

I love my teleprompter so much that I suggest prioritizing a teleprompter over a super fancy camera. A teleprompter with a decent webcam or handicam is likely to improve your ability to connect with your conversational partner(s) in a video call more than a better camera will.

I think a bigger teleprompter screen helps, so I suggest buying a larger rather than smaller teleprompter. The iPad sized models are becoming especially well priced these days, and the iPad Pro sized models are only a little more expensive. Any larger and the price skyrockets.

The Elgato Prompter is particularly tempting, but I still think it is a bit small. Perhaps the best balance of value verses price is a GlideGear TMP100 with a Lilliput FA1016-NP/C 10.1”.

If you are a little less price sensitive, I suggest buying the GlideGear TMP750, using an iPad with LunaDisplay, an iPad with Orion, or an iPad sized display monitor. Once the prices drop on the larger dispaly solutions you will be able to upgrade without needing to buy a larger teleprompter.

The optimal solution is likely to be a 2021 or newer iPad Pro within an iPad Pro sized teleprompter, as this will allow use of either a LunaDisplay or Orion based solution. I believe LUX will soon solve both the continous power and teleprompter mode issues with Orion. Both the LunaDisplay and Orion solutions are very inexpensive compared to the other equipment involved, which makes it practical to experiment with both.

Since my teleprompter video and the Reference Info section focuses so heavily on the teleprompter I won’t repeat much of that here.

If you have a really crummy webcam, or none at all, you will need to at least buy some sort of camera to place into the teleprompter. The challenge here is to balance the need to do something that works well enough to start with, verses jumping to a better streaming camera and paying the $500 to $1,500 premium in camera and lens required to do it.

A google search for “best streaming camera” will show you lots of articles and YouTube videos discussing reasonable choices at different price points. My best advice is to review a few of these articles and videos, and then just ask B&H for guidance.

Tier 4: Nicer Camera

All of the above, plus a nice camera. $1,200 to $1,500

The simple answer is to just ask B&H Photo for advice, and buy what they recommend. Make sure they understand your intention to use your camera in a teleprompter as a webcam.

As of December 2023, you will most likely end up with the full-frame Canon EOS R8 Mirrorless Camera or the Sony a7 III Mirrorless Camera. Assuming you don’t have a lot of space behind your desk, you will likely end up with a kit zoom lens capable of a 35mm focal length, or perhaps a prime lens somewhere around a 35mm focal length.

Feeding the camera into your laptop traditionally requires a capture card such as an Elgato Cam Link 4k or a hardware video switcher such as an ATEM Mini Pro. With the introduction of USB Video Class and Audio Class (UVC/UAC) support you can avoid the need for a capture card. The Canon EOS R8 Mirrorless Camera and Sony a7 IV Mirrorless Camera have UVC/UAC support, but it doesn’t seem the slightly older Sony a7 III Mirrorless Camera does.

You will also need a way to supply continuous power to your camera. I recommend asking B&H Photo what is required for whichever camera you select. As an example, my Canon EOS RP requires the Canon ACK-E18 AC Adapter and DC Coupler Kit.

I would not spend too much time comparing the nuanced specifications between two similar models from different brands. The more interesting question is which ecosystem you wish to buy into. Do you find one brand has menu systems you like better than the next? Do you find the ergonomics of one brand much better than another? Do you have more faith in the reputation of one brand verses another? Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Panasonic each have their own fans for various reasons. If confused about what to choose, ask B&H Photo for advice and watch a few YouTube videos comparing the models you are considering buying. The more mainstream choice you make, the easier it will be to google for help when you need it.

If you are living in or visiting Manhattan, consider going to the B&H store in-person. There are a few similar mega-stores scattered throughout the United States and around the globe with competitive pricing, broad selection, and competent staff; but apparently not many have survived the market pressure from online sales.

Assuming your interest is limited to video meetings and perhaps creating a few YouTube videos, you will quickly reach a point of diminishing returns. You can spend far more than $1,500 if you want. The next sweet spot is around $3,000. The one after that around $6,000. Then the prices really start to go to the moon as you get into cameras used by motion picture professionals. That said, heavily kitted out versions of the Sony FX3 are reportedly finding their way into professional film production these days.

Tier 5: Additional Improvements

All of the above, plus whatever else you think makes sense for your needs.

The short list of improvements is likely to include these sorts of things:

Other Considerations

Some of the equipment you buy is likely to last decades, other equipment will be replaced over time. There is something to be said for being less price sensitive for the long-lived equipment.

Things that tend to last a very long time:

  • Sit stand desk
  • Varipoles, super clamps, and similar rigging hardware
  • Light and microphone stands
  • XLR Microphones
  • Teleprompter
  • LED lights
  • Camera lenses. You marry your lenses and only date your camera body.

Things that will become outdated every half decade or so:

  • Better laptop (Macbook Pro, etc.)
  • Camera body
  • Audio interface
  • Capture card

Yet another consideration is your intended usage. If you are going to be creating podcasts with multiple co-located people you will need to look into products such as the Mackie DLZ or RODE RODECaster Pro II. If you are walking around at a conference filming interviews for your YouTube channel, you will want to invest in a digital pocket recorder. By the time you get this far you will have your own opinions of what to buy, and will likely know more than I do about the topic.

Reference Info

The equipment shown in the video can be found in the links below. I have also included links to various sound and lighting equipment.

Although this hardware can greatly improve the quality of your remote meetings, don’t expect the experience to be as good as in-person can be.


Interesting Teleprompter Choices

  • GlideGear TMP750
    • This is the teleprompter shown in the video.
    • This GlideGear model will support the larger iPad Pro.
    • When using a full-frame camera, a focal length less than 35mm is likely to show the edges of the teleprompter hood. I would have been just as well off with a 35mm prime lens as I am with my 16mm to 35mm wide angle zoom lens.
  • GlideGear TMP100
    • This smaller GlideGear model will only support a standard sized iPad such as the one you see me using in the video.
  • IKan PT Elite Universal Table Teleprompter
    • A more expensive iKan model will be better built than the GlideGear models.
  • Prompter People Prompter PAL Desktop Portable Teleprompter
    • This Prompter People model is very tempting.
    • I believe Prompter People and iKan are both very well built, with the iKan brand being just a tad more popular. B&H can advise you better than I can on this.

Teleprompter Stand

  • iFootage RB-A200 Monopod with round base
    • Strong enough to handle the weight.
    • I suggest drilling a few holes in the round base and using wood screws to attach it to a wooden base for better stability.
    • The water bag weight iFootage sells might add enough stablity to make a broad wooden base redundant.
  • One inch thick, 2 foot diamter round board
    • This is the round board you see me using in the video. I took the time to stain mine to make it look a little better.
    • Most any home center carries these. I believe they are frequently used for making stools.
  • Matthews 1/8” Apple Box
    • You can use a thinner apple box such as this one as an alternative to the round board I have used.
    • A standard sized apple box is likely to place the top of the iFootage monopod a bit too high.
  • Modified Matthews Telescopic Baby Stand Extension
  • I modified a Matthews Telescopic Baby Stand Extension by using a pipe cutter to shorten each telescopic section slightly. You can find my modification instructions in one of the B&H reviews entitled “Modifying Minimum Length”.
  • I am using the upside down telescopic baby stand extension in combination with a Matthews Mounting Plate with 5/8” Receiver and a Manfrotto 208 3/8” Head Mounting Plate with Lock Screws.
  • Since the small 1/4”-20 t-handle knob nearest the Manfroto mounting plate was hitting the mounting plate, I replaced it with a standard hex head 1/4”-20 bolt.
  • The iFootage RB-A200 monopod should be a better choice than what I am using. I wasn’t aware of the iFootage RB-200 at the time I created my solution.

  • Punks Corey Tripod Range by 3LeggedThing
    • If you decide to place a tripod behind your desk, the Punks range made by 3 Legged Thing are well priced choices which can handle the weight.

Luna Display

  • Luna Display
    • The LunaDisplay has the “teleprompter” mode you need. Unfortunately, Apple Sidecar doesn’t currently have this feature.
    • Dedicated teleprompter monitors do not have the high resolution you need for Zoom meetings, although they are bright.
    • Production monitors have the required resolution, but are seldom as bright as an iPad.
    • An iPad running Orion or a dedicated production monitor might be a better solution than a LunaDisplay.

Most of the time my LunaDisplay works well. Occasionally, the image quality degrades for whatever reason. Unplugging and re-plugging the USB-C cable typically fixes the problem. Switching around which USB ports I am using seems to have mostly solved my issues.

LunaDisplay support claims they see the least problems with customers who are using CalDigit brand hubs. I don’t understand all the details, but it seems not all USB hubs support all protocols. Some of the more exotic protocols are only occassionally implemented by a hub. This is why a LunaDisplay device must typically be plugged directly into a USB port on your computer.

iPad running Orion

Orion HDMI iPad application by LUX looks to be a great iPad solution once the continous power and teleprompter mode problems are solved.

The iPad screens are far brighter than the reasonably priced display monitors. The reasonably priced production monitors are listed as having anywhere from 300 to 400 nits of brightness. In comparison, various generations of iPad displays range from 600 nits on the low end, to as high as 1000 nits. A friend is using a Lilliput 10.1” FA1016/C IPS in his iPad sized teleprompter. He is generally happy with his purchase, but wishes it was brighter.

Orion doesn’t currently support a teleprompter mode, although I put in a feature request in hopes they will add it. My suspicion is this will be fixed by the time there is a good solution for continous power. In the meantime, perhaps an UpDownCross Converter would work well.

It is likely the perfect choice of USB hub supporting the required protocols will solve the power problem, but LUX doesn’t yet have any concrete guidance on hub choice in this regard. Many people in online forums are anxious to see a solution for the continuous power problem, so I think it will eventually get sorted out. There is mention in online forums in which LUX developers actively participate which talk of using the keyboard pins to power the iPad. The challenge with using any powered USB hub to provide continuous power is complicated by the fact Orion makes use of protocols few USB hubs support.

Broadcast Monitor Display Alternatives

Any of the following broadcast monitors with image flip capabilities might be a good choice. A friend has gone down this path. His only complaint is the display is a bit dim, which is generally true of every one of the broadcast monitor choices compared to an iPad.

Another option would be a portable monitor coupled with an UpDownCross Converter of some sort.


  • Various Alzo LED bulbs
    • Just replacing all the lights in your office with daylight balanced bulbs will go a very long way. As long as all the lights are the same color temperature the camera’s automatic mode will work much better. This is just as true of standard webcams as it is of the fancy mirrorless cameras.
  • Godox ES45
    • I have two of these edge lighted panels mounted at the back of my desk. One as a key light, and one as a fill light. These two Godox ES45 in combination with a Godox S60 serving as a backlight, and another Godox S60 lighting the backdrop consititute a four point lighting setup.
  • Elgato Key Light
    • This is Elgato’s version of the Godox ES45.
  • Godox UL60
    • I didn’t buy this light since it didn’t have the focusing flood attachment I needed in my application, yet I love that it is completely silent with no fan.
  • Godox S60
    • I have two of these. I use one as a backlight light. The other I have pointed at my backdrop.
    • I have found the fan noise completely unimportant in my case. My horribly lound air conditioner vent and portable fan make far more noise than fans in these lights ever will.
  • Godox CS50D Collapsible Lantern Softbox
    • There are a myriad combinations of soft boxes and other approaches for a nice soft light for your key and fill light. Softboxes are bulky and take up space, but they likely produce better lighting results than the edge lighted LED panels I am using.
  • Impact Safety Cable
    • I have a safety cable such as this one on each of the two Godox S60 lights I have mounted on a cross bar near the ceiling.

Light Stand Alternative

  • Impact Baby Pin Wall Plate
    • A baby pin plate can be a good choice for mounting lights without stands when you don’t mind attaching things to walls.
    • Pick whatever configuration of baby pin plate fits your needs best.
  • Impact Deluxe Varipole Support System
    • A telescoping pole such as this one will give you something to mount to without having light stands under your feet everywhere. You can get two of them and put a cross bar between them as I did.
    • B&H will give you lots of light stands by default, which is probably not what you want for a home office. Light stands are very flexible for professional photographer types, but I assume your primary interest is routine Zoom meetings.
    • I am learning I would benefit from the flexiblity of having a few light stands when making YouTube videos. That said, for normal Zoom meetings I still prefer to avoid the need for light stands.
    • This is getting into ask for advice from B&H territory.
  • Impact Super Clamp with Ratchet Handle
    • A “super clamp” is a staple of photographic equipment. My Godox S60 lights and their ballasts are attached to my varipoles and cross bar using super clamps and baby pins.
    • This standard type of clamp is produced by a large number of brands. They all take a “baby pin”, and also have a few useful threaded holes you can use when attaching things.


Cameras get tricky. There are lots of great choices.

The simple answer is to just ask B&H Photo for advice, and buy what they recommend. Make sure they understand your intention to use your camera in a teleprompter as a webcam.

The sort of image quality you get from most any proper camera will be much better than what you get from a webcam built into your laptop.

If you want to search online, the main places for advice all seem to come from one of three places:

  • Gamers who stream video of themselves playing video games
  • YouTube content producers
  • People involved in A/V for houses of worship (Churches/Temples/etc.)

If you have a kid who is into YouTube stuff, just ask them to do the research for you.

  • Elgato Camera Check
    • Great place to check whether a camera will work well and avoid overheating. Most people end up with either a Sony A7 something camera or a Cannon EOS RP mirrorless camera.
    • This is a useful guide even if you don’t buy any Elgato hardware.
  • Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera
    • The RP is the camera body I have.
    • The Canon EOS R8 is the new model which fills the same spot in the Canon product line the RP previously filled.
  • Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera with 24-105mm f/4-7.1 Lens
    • The kit lens included here will probably work well in the telemprompter setup I have described. Ask B&H to be certain.
  • Elgato Cam Link 4k
    • You will need some sort of capture card in most cases if you want the best resolution. Canon’s webcam utility works, but the resolution isn’t as good as with a capture card of some sort.
  • Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini
    • I ended up buying an ATEM Mini just in case I eventually decide to add a second camera. Now that the ATEM Mini Pro has come down greatly in price, I recommend you consider buying it instead.


There are multitude of great sound equipment choices. Everything I have read says a dynamic microphone is much better in a noisy untreated room than a condenser microphone.

Condenser microphones pick up more nuances, but they also have less aggressive cardioid pickup patterns which tend to pick up everything in a room.

This topic is a whole can of worms. The best relevant YouTube channel I have found for advice is Curtis Judd’s Learn Light and Sound.

I ended up buying an ElectroVoice RE20.

In retrospect I probably would have been just as well served with either of the two $100 models below:

If you use a gain hungry microphone such as the RE20 or SM7B you will likely need a microphone activator (in-line preamp) such as a CloudLifter CL1 Mic Activator

An advantage of the Shure SM58 and Sennheiser e835 is they are not as gain hungry as the SM7B or RE20 and therefore won’t require spending money on a mic activator. Curtis Judd has a great video comparing the SM7B to the SM58 for livestream and podcasting use.

My audio interface is a PreSonus Revelator io24. Although the audio processing is done on the PreSonus hardware, the internal mixer is mostly controlled remotely using either a desktop or iPad application. This has been wonderful in allowing me to get help from my friends with more sound experience than myself. For example, a friend in Canada was able to help me adjust my settings over a Zoom call in which I was sharing my screen.


I have been very happy with my VertDesk v3 sold by BTOD. Mine is a 30” x 72” Plus model with two motors. I am extremely glad I bought the wire management tray, without which the wires on my desk would be even more out of control.

I also purchased the castors which have been extremely helpful when I need to get to the back of my desk. Making more involved camera setting adjustments would be much harder if I couldn’t easily roll my desk away from the wall.

James Carpenter
James Carpenter

James is an expert in helping companies create effective engineering team structures and cultures.