Best Document Camera – KXAN Austin
Which document camera is the best?
If you need to present paper documents in a meeting or presentation, a high-quality document camera is a must. Similar to overhead projectors once found in many offices and classrooms, document cameras are webcam-like devices that are used to project detailed images in real time.
The Epson DC-21 document camera is the top choice as it offers 1080p resolution and comes with a microscope adapter.
What to know before buying a document camera
Uses for a document camera
Document cameras aren’t just for paper documents. Many science teachers will use the devices with a microscope to examine samples with their class, while an American Sign Language instructor can use a document camera to present new signs to their students in real time. A document camera can also capture detailed images of photos, maps, and artwork. This versatility is what makes document cameras so valuable to presenters and sets them apart from overhead projectors.
Components of a document camera
- Arm: The arm is the part that connects the camera lens to the base. These components usually feature some degree of adjustability so you can aim the camera at a particular area of your documents.
- Image sensor: Similar to the sensor in a digital camera, the image sensor is the high-tech component that converts the visual signal into an image you can see.
- Lens: This crucial component usually allows you to adjust the focus on the document camera.
- Storage: Many document cameras allow you to save image and video files so you can view and share them later. This feature is especially useful for presentations, as it allows your audience to review the images afterwards if they missed something. Some cameras require a connection to a computer to save files, while other devices may include a port for a USB flash drive.
Document cameras must be connected to a projector or TV before they can display images. Most cameras connect via USB, HDMI or VGA. When shopping for a document camera, think about how you will display images and make sure the device you choose has all the necessary ports.
What to Look for in a Quality Document Camera
Resolution and zoom
With document cameras, resolution is usually measured in megapixels. A higher megapixel count will produce sharper, clearer images, while a low megapixel count may provide grainy or blurry image quality. Most document cameras are 2 to 10 megapixels. Depending on the images you intend to view, powerful zoom is equally important. Look for a camera with 3x or greater digital zoom.
Many document cameras have an LED light positioned near the lens. This additional lighting is useful if you want to display clear and detailed images.
If you want to record your lectures or presentations, look for a document camera that comes with some sort of video capture software that lets you edit and share your recordings.
There are many common accessories you can look for when choosing a document camera, including microscope adapters, close-up lens accessories, and even built-in microphones for when your audience is especially large.
How much you can expect to spend on a document camera
The cost of a document camera can vary greatly depending on the features included. Cameras with limited adjustability and low resolution can be had for less than $100, while high-end units with professional image quality and storage capacities typically exceed $200.
Document Camera FAQ
Why are my document camera images blurry?
A. Try adjusting the focus ring on your camera lens. If that doesn’t work, make sure the lens isn’t smudged or dusty.
Can document cameras be used during Zoom meetings?
A. Most document cameras can be used in virtual meetings as long as they are connected to a computer. Once connected, simply go to the program settings and select the document camera as the video source.
What is the best document camera to buy?
Superior document camera
Epson DC-21 Document Camera
What do you want to know: This high-quality document camera offers exceptional image quality and is packed with useful features for teachers and professionals.
What you will love: Versatile and easy to use, this camera uses 12x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom and 1080p image resolution to produce crystal-clear images. It also comes with a microscope adapter, built-in microphone, and free software download.
What you should consider: This model is expensive.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Best document camera for the money
IPEVO V4K USB Camera
What do you want to know: Economical and reliable, this simple document camera connects via USB and is perfect for small classrooms and conference rooms.
What you will love: This document camera is lightweight and capable of capturing 30 frames per second. It also comes with built-in macro mode, smart autofocus, and custom software so you can save and share footage.
What you should consider: With its 2 megapixel sensor, this document camera is unsuitable in cases where high resolution is required.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Document camera to check
Ladibug DC120 Lumens Document Camera
What do you want to know: This sleek document camera is extremely adjustable and features wireless connectivity.
What you will love: This model stands out for its wireless capabilities. The camera also comes with a free software download, an attached LED light, and a 5.5x mechanical zoom feature. The company offers a five-year replacement warranty.
What you should consider: This device is potentially less versatile than similar document cameras.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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