Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Document Camera

An indispensable tool for teaching and learning, whether in the classroom, library or at home.

Someone using a document camera
Document cameras make the ideal classroom companion.iCODIS

Whether you’re a student seeking information from books that can’t be removed from the library, a teacher who doesn’t want to have to produce multiple handouts, or someone who needs to demonstrate something practical to your colleagues on a video call, a document camera could make your life a lot easier. Here’s what you need to think about…

INSWAN INS-1 Tiny 8MP USB Document Camera with Auto-Focus and LED Supplemental Light, Excellent for Distance Education and Web Conferencing

Universal Application

Additional illumination, built-in focusing and integrated microphone make this plug-and-play device easy to use for Ultra High Definition video streaming.INSWAN

Before you plunge in and buy your camera, take time to think about the existing tech that you’ll be using it with. These aren’t standalone devices, they’re effectively computer peripherals and while some will work seamlessly with all operating systems, that’s not the case with all of them so if you’re a Mac fan, make sure you’re not investing in something that will only support Windows.

IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition 8MP USB Document Camera — Mac OS, Windows, Chromebook Compatible for Live Demo, Web Conferencing, Distance Learning, Remote Teaching

Video Streaming

With an 8 megapixel camera shooting at up to 30 fps and fast focus, this universally compatible device is ideal for fuss-free demonstrations, wherever you are.IPEVO

If you’re planning on using your document camera primarily for video footage — to demonstrate calligraphy strokes, lab work, or similar, for example — then your priority needs to be a camera that has a high frame rate (around 30 frames per second), good picture resolution and the ability to produce clear, lag-free footage, even when streaming live.

iCODIS Document Camera X3, High Definition Portable Scanner, Capture Size A3, Multi-Language OCR, English Article Recognition, USB, SDK & Twain, Powerful Software
Designed as much for fast scanning documents as for streaming HD video, this versatile, go-anywhere device weighs less than two pounds and combines intelligent shooting with image correction and recognition.iCODIS

For some, a document camera is for exactly that. It can take the place of a scanner, allowing you take images of, say, the pages of a bound book, and then using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to transform the scanned image into an editable and searchable document. This can be very helpful when you’re looking to digitize an archive or similar. In this instance, you should be looking for features such as intelligent continuous shooting, where you can set the frequency of image capture so you have time to turn pages.

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