If you remember I created a post that explains what is a document camera used for? This time let me show you the best document cameras for teachers.
Document cameras are becoming popular that more and more teachers are using them. They find it a great tool that magnifies objects and texts allowing everyone to see them from anywhere in the classroom.
Imagine how applicable they are from classrooms to laboratories, conference rooms, courtrooms, boardrooms, broadcasting stations, and even at home. But how exactly you can choose the right doc cam?
In case you miss the importance of this device, a document camera is similar to a projector but with a higher role of being able to magnify and project the images of actual, three-dimensional objects.
In short, they are high-resolution web cameras that are mounted on a projector or computer, so as to facilitate their placement over a page.
The result is they give the entire class the ability to see objects and read texts clearly from anywhere in the classroom. This is basically important for a better understanding of what you are lecturing about. The great thing about a document camera is it saves you from spending too much on handouts and photocopies.
What to Consider When buying a document camera
Consider these features when shopping for a document camera.
If you go from building to building or classroom to classroom, then you may need to check if the device is easy and light to carry. Some models are convenient to bring because they don’t require you to connect them to projectors, laptops, or whiteboards. But see to it your model comes with an on-board adjustable zoom dial so you can adjust to the type of setting need.
If you invest in a portable model, you will worry less about where to store your device or how you can carry it – even when you have to go from building to building.
The camera is very important because it is responsible for presenting your lessons. It should be dependent enough whether you are taking snapshots manually or using an automated capture mode.
Is the neck of your document camera flexible? Can you move it to an angle required for the best view of what you like to show the class? What about the camera itself? Does it allow you to flip the camera image horizontally and vertically?
A good doc cam is professionally mounted in a vertical position on a base or stage. This is the best stance that gives way for the camera to capture images of two- and three-dimensional objects that you place in the viewing area. When these details are converted to an electronic signal, these waves are then transmitted to your projector, TV monitor, or computer.
If you’re lucky to have an interactive whiteboard in your setting, get a document camera that you can hook up to your existing format.
If you are using Macs and PCs, does the doc cam work for both devices? What about if your preference is a SMART Board tool with your doc cam?
Also, ask if the device of your choice requires a VGA connector to be able to connect it directly to the projector. Note that hooking up your document camera to a computer may require edits and other changes on your computer for better visibility.
When you are familiar with your doc cam’s connectivity features, it makes it easy to complete the basic connections as well as the different modes and to access the on-screen display menu for these modes.
Document cameras are intended to magnify important details for the entire class to get a better grasp of understanding. Some models are designed with autofocus so they become more interactive.
In science or laboratory classes, for instance, where you need to focus on 3D objects, contingents, and specifics – you may need a model that offers a microscope adapter, or a feature that can read microscale items.
It has a built-in microphone. If your device can record both video and audio, then that helps you create a narrated lesson. This is more effective than recording simple pictures. Since doc cams can connect with iPads and integrate into interactive whiteboard systems, then it’s the perfect device you can use from K-12 to high school classes.
You’ll love to watch this video and learn how to use a document camera.
Best Document Cameras for teachers
**Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links below, meaning that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
1) OKIOLABS OKIOCAM S USB 2-in-1 Webcam and Document Camera
Perfect for distance learning, the OKIOLABS OKIOCAM is a 2-in-1 webcam & document camera.
Designed with a standard front-facing webcam you can use it to demonstrate lessons using pen paper, to share an important page of a book or any other crafts that you need to magnify images of actual, three-dimensional objects.
This document camera captures 1440p video resolution with video, time-lapse, image, and stop-motion shooting modes.
It’s perfect that it is compatible with popular recording tools so video conferencing is all the time possible. It works with Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Mac FaceTime, native Windows Camera app, native Chromebook Camera app, Mac QuickTime player, and of course, today’s most useful platform – Zoom.
OKIOLABS OKIOCAM has a lightweight portable design and highly adjustable. With a retractable arm, foldable magnetic baseplate, and a 360-degree rotating camera, you can capture images and videos from all angles.
When you head back to the classroom, or anywhere you have a projection screen or board through a computer, you can simply connect OKIOCAM and begin sharing worksheets, quizzes, and other presentations with the whole class.
2) INSWAN INS-1 Tiny 8MP USB Document Camera
If you are looking for something easy to use in your classroom that is lightweight and durable, the INSWAN INS-1 is a tiny 8MP USB doc camera.
It features an Auto-Focus and LED Supplemental Light to offer quick shifts of focus between items or articles. What is unique with this doc cam is its ability to macro-capture objects to as close as 10cm.
Also perfect for distance education and web conferencing, the INSWAN INS-1 comes with a built-in microphone that works with Documate (a bundled application), MacOs or higher, Chromebook, Windows, and other webinar software. One of the things you’ll love is its USB-A cable plug-and-play feature.
For live streaming, it captures live images up to 3264 x 2448 pixels at 30 fps. Use the camera’s auto-focusing lens to switch focus instantly between objects. Plus, with its durable multi-joint design, you and your class will be enjoying excellent capture of 2D and 3D objects.
You’ll be thankful as it can connect to a Ø28mm / Ø34mm eyepiece microscope so it allows you to output microscopic lessons to a big screen. Getting ultra-high definition images to be seen on your projector, large monitor, or even on TV means better presentations that make the class lively and engaging.
It’s cute that its small size will not occupy a big space on your desktop.
3) IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition Document Camera
This one is an 8 megapixel USB doc cam you can trust for capturing ultra-high-definition live images. Known for a high frame rate for lag-free live streaming, it streams up to 15 fps at 3264 x 2448 pixel and at up to 30 fps at full HD. It captures 1080p video resolution.
IPEVO V4K is also called a premium presentation tool because it works not only for live presentations but for scanning books, documents, magazines, QR codes, and texts, as well as in archive photos.
Since your document camera can be a workhorse when it comes to presentations and the joints may become loose, IPEVO V4K has been especially bolted to each of the connecting joints so you can simply turn the assigned bolts clockwise to tighten using a coin.
It is convenient to use because it is compatible with most software and applications. It works with a PC, Mac, and Chromebook. System-wise, it matches a Mac Intel Core i5 CPU or higher, OS X 10.10 or higher, Solid-state drive, and 200MB of free hard disk space.
You will like its fast-focusing speed that minimizes the need to stop and switching between different materials. It has the quality that features Sony CMOS Image Sensor that produces color but reduces noise. Just what you need for capturing images if your classroom lacks light.
4)IPEVO VZ-X 8MP Wireless Document Camera
From its name wireless, the IPEVO VZ-X features three connection modes－Wi-Fi, HDMI, and USB. That is not only to give you different possibilities but to let you capture and stream real-time images to your computer, Android devices, TV, or projectors in the setup that best suits your needs.
It offers a wireless connection to a PC, Mac, Chromebook, iOS, and Android devices, as well as Apple TV. Because it uses a battery with 9~12 hours of life, your IPEVO VZ-X will last for daily presentation.
This is another 8 megapixels camera with HDMI mode that captures images in high definition (1920 x 1080), and in near 4K quality in USB mode (3264 x 2448). The HDMI connection helps cut the clutter and makes large-screen projection less complicated.
Skip the need to connect to a monitor or projector using an HDMI connection. This doc cam can help you minimize the clutter.
The way it works is boosted by the Sony CMOS image sensor and Amarelle integrated system-on-a-chip (Sock) that translates to faster-focusing speed, better noise reduction when in low-light conditions. Use the time-lapse feature for more exciting captures and excellent reproduction of colors.
5) iCODIS Document Camera X3
Specially made for teachers, the iCODIS X3 works from non-stop shooting, demonstrating, to editing, scanning, and image segmentation. You’ll love that it boasts a multi-language OCR and English article recognition feature for a more improved perception.
With an 8 Megapixel real resolution 3264×2448 high-performance, it scans a page in just 1.5s, significantly improving the efficiency of scanning books or magazines.
The iCODIS X3 model is a multipurpose scanner so it helps you in everything you need to digitize like exam papers, magazines, blueprints, and catalogs even as large as A3 format. It also works on various occasions like scanning barcodes and QR codes.
Just one click and it will allow you to convert scanned pages to any writable Word, PDF, and JPG documents. ts. Use the built-in HD LED light as an auxiliary light source when shooting in a dark room. They are low-consumption led lights.
Some of its powerful functions are automatic image segmentation, correcting and filling defective images, and scanning bar codes or QR codes. While it only supports Windows and not compatible with Macs, you can download the software.
6) HUE HD Pro USB Document Camera
You’ll like the improved flexibility of the HUE HD Pro Document Camera. This design is intended for convenient use in the classroom, office, personal use, or chatting with remote schools in other countries with web chat software.
The extremely flexible neck with a good length allows its camera to view a full A4 or US letter page. With the help of its built-in microphone and LED lights, your lessons will come out clear and lively. A great choice both for classroom and distance learning.
You will like the wide-angle lens that supports A4 and US letter pages, and of course, a built-in USB microphone and LED camera lights. This one has a manual focus so can move if you need to refocus for close-up presentations. The whole class will benefit from its native resolution of 1280×720 (720p).
The HUE HD Pro is your versatile classroom companion because it requires no drivers with the camera that comes with its very own premium presentation software that is compatible with Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, and Linux.
7) Thustar USB Document Camera
Regardless of whether you’re in the classroom or teaching from home, the Thustar USB Document Camera is equipped with an 8-megapixel camera sensor and has the potential of displaying resolutions of up to 3264 x 2448 (4:3). That’s 5 times more pixels than a standard laptop webcam resolution. You get a 45% larger field of view.
Use the multi-directional movable bracket to raise the camera so you get maximum access for recording. The detachable arm extender can help you to take photos and videos of large objects or bigger than average-sized textbooks including large paintings from an overhead angle.
Thustar USB Doc Cam is designed to allow you to use it just as you would a standard front-facing webcam – now you don’t have problems when conferencing or recording online lectures. Use it as a doc cam when you need to demonstrate solutions be it math or scientific.
Feel free to use it with a pen and paper, share an important page of a book, or show arts & crafts projects in great detail.
It has a built-in microphone and other webinar software for Windows, Mac OS, and Chromebook. I bet you’ll also like that it is a plug-and-play model where you can simply use the USB-A cable for any time web conferencing.
8) ANSAUCT Document Camera for Teachers
As a device designed for teachers, students, and workers alike, ANSAUCT Document Camera comes with a full-length USB 2.0 cable. It operates in a simple plug-and-use style without the need for HDMI and VGA cables.
An 8 Megapixel sensor displays live images of Ultra HD (3264 x 2448p) at 15 fps and of Full HD (1920 x 1080p) at 30 fps. Thanks to its auto-focus lens – it lets you shift focus between objects with macro capturing objects as close as 10 cm.
This ANSAUCT model is compatible with PC Windows XP, Mac OS, and Chromebook. It works perfectly with most video platforms and online software such as Skype, Zoom, Facebook, FaceTime, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Twitch, Bandicam, Amcap, and OBS.
This doc cam duo gives you laser-sharp renditions as well as colorful and lively face-to-face streaming and interactions. You’ll enjoy how can present your lessons in the most vivid mathematical illustrations, arts and drawings, and any lessons requiring a pen and paper.
As a webcam, ANSAUCT will help you present your best self during classes, conferences, meetings, web calls, and even recorded lectures. This is another great way to redefine your remote teaching using a 2-in-1 document camera.
The doc cam and webcam duo will bring you laser-sharp renditions, efficient materials, as well as engaging face-to-face interactions.
9) CZUR Shine500-Pro High-Speed Document Camera
What inspires CZUR Shine500 Pro Series is to replace difficult to carry scanners. Likes teachers who lecture from classroom to classroom, or handling meetings online – portability is important for overall efficiency.
This model provides a scanning coverage that caters to objects that are smaller than A4 size with Ultra-fast scanning speed, which is less than 1 second per page. Well then, all teachers will love a device to scan FLAT papers and convert OCR files.
You will find the powerful OCR function very helpful as well, you will be able to scan 100+ languages and convert them to PDF, JPG, Searchable PDF, Word, Excel, and TIFF powered by ABBYY.
CZUR Shine 500 document camera is compatible with ZOOM with annotation tools that allow you to type texts and draw shapes, lines, stamps, or spotlight. The best thing is you can simply drag the sharing material by your mouse if you want to move it.
Furthermore, it has Smart Paging and Auto Cropping, Combine Sides, Stamp Mode, and Multiple Color Modes features along with handy tools like Snapshot and Video Recording – what else can you ask for?
Designed with a flexible 90-degree foldable and lightweight 4 lbs plus a foot pedal, operating it is convenient.
10) iOCHOW S3 Doc Cam
iOCHOW S3 is a book and document scanner S3 ( the Next-Generation Smart Document Scanner) comes with powerful software with multiple functions.
With 17 megapixels high performance, this doc cam supports multifile scanning, automatic correction, and background purification. It has power-enhanced OCR that offers more than 100 languages and capturing images into editable Word, texts, and PDF formats, and scans up to A3 in size documents.
As you can see, iOCHOW S3 doc cam has a Flattening Curve Technology that detects the page curvature, and automatically flattening the curve for easy scanning. It also has the finger removal function to output a flattened page and a time function for an automatic start and continuous shooting after turning pages.
You’ll like that iOCHOW S3 is a portable tool to capture and display graphic illustrations and objects. With 17MPI9 9 supplemental lights, you can be sure of clarity in your pictures and a high-definition color for an interesting presentation.
11) eloam Portable Document Camera/ Visual Presenter
Eloam portable document camera uses a leading OCR technology that recognizes characters, tables, and symbols. It supports multiple languages, directly saving as Word, Excel, TXT, files.
Its all-around scanner captures up to A4 size resolutions and the picture formats like JPG, PDF, TIF, BMP, Word, and more, including video formats.
The software delivers image edit functions from rotating, image cutting, adding characters, adjusting saturation, contrast radio, binarization, and education annotations. With HDMI and VGA interface, it can directly connect to your projector, whiteboard, or any display device even without a computer.
eloam portable document cam gives you the required timing during shooting along with fast copying. It automatically scans after setting the shooting interval time. This feature helps save time when you need to scan larger volumes of files and documents.
Eloam portable document camera allows you to directly print by connecting to a printer. You can also send web fax and emails at once. It’s your all-in-one visual presenter device.
Don’t be confused by the different models of document cameras in the market. All document cameras work for presentation purposes which is important for students to better understand lessons.
However, being equipped with information about the details you need puts you at the perfect edge because you will get all that you wish for in a document camera.
For example: While any doc cam allows you to circle or underline interpretive parts of a text, image, or figure; a model designed with a microphone remains a lot better because it allows you to add a video or narrative explanation in real-time.
Since document cameras are intended to magnify important details, you may want to explore models with autofocus to be more interactive.
In science or laboratory classes, for instance, where you need to focus on 3D objects, contingents, and specifics – you may need a model that offers a microscope adapter, or a feature that can read microscale items.
Because a document camera can display even the tiniest of details on any large screen, it is one benefit any teacher has to choose it over any other display device.
1) Can I mount a document camera on the ceiling?
Yes. That is if you require a more discreet document camera for an unobstructed view of your exhibit or demonstration. Since it offers a larger view, it is a perfect idea when presenting 3D objects.
However, this only works if you use the same classroom or boardroom all the time. Also, a mounted document camera should come with a rotating camera head and multiple output resolutions to be able to get the most suitable angle.
2) Do I really need to get a document camera with a microphone?
A built-in microphone allows you to record both video and audio that helps you create a narrated lesson. There are many possibilities for using audio in presentations.
Since your doc cam is your chance to create a narrative instruction on each slide, allowing your students to hear your voice clearly better guide them through the presentation. This is very helpful for students who are slow with reading and comprehension.
3) What are the basic parts of a document camera that I needed to familiarize myself with?
- You have the Camera Head which of course contains the camera lens, image rotation dial, the LED lamp, and a microphone.
- The Camera Arm extends or retracts to adjust the height of the camera head.
- Control Panel – This is where all the buttons are located and enables you to switch between functions. It allows you to adjust the settings and features in your device. This is where the
4) What is the purpose of the Freeze Button? Is this necessary?
The Freeze Button is for freezing live images then simply press the button again to resume the projection. Typically, it comes with an indicator that turns on when the image is frozen. But while the camera stops, it does not necessarily mean the audio follows.
5) Why should I use a document camera over a projector?
A projector projects a line through an overhead sheet that reflects onto a wall or screen. It requires the use of overhead sheets but does not allow you to share images of 3D objects. In short, there is no digital collaboration.
Without the need for overhead sheets, the document camera displays clearer than an overhead projector. It can present notes, images, figures, and crafts, that are written on paper, to be presented on the screen for everyone to read.
Using the document camera gives students the privilege to display and explain their solutions without having to re-rewrite solutions on the chalkboard. This strategy can even encourage groupings that can lead to generative discussions of alternative ways to rationale each problem with the whole class listening and collaborating.
6) Are all document cameras compatible with all computer operating systems?
Some software may not be compatible with a particular document camera. For example, the iOCHOW model in our list above is not compatible with Apple Mac OS. Therefore you need to ask before purchasing. You can also inquire about installing software. The technician will help you solve issues like this.
7) What should I consider using a document camera for my classroom if the school already provides a projector?
A document camera is one sustainable tool that you can use anywhere you want to make presentation as support to your lectures. Projectors are generally bulky which can be inconvenient when it comes to room to room or area by area use. So you may need an extra bag or luggage when on a trip.
Because you don’t need costly handouts or photocopies of text pages, using a document camera will help you and your students to save paper and protect the environment while sparing money from necessary costs. The best thing is you can simply put the device on your teacher bag without the bulk of wires compared to a projector.
If the school provides a projector, you are to return it as it is school property. Considering a document camera for yourself lets you bring it anywhere and use it anytime. Isn’t it a sense of achievement owning a very useful tech tool such as this?
Do you have your own experience using a document camera? Or a great model you want us to know about? Share them with us in the comments.