When you think of document cameras, you probably think of that big, clunky square projector that your teacher would roll out (because it required its own dolly) to project book work on the projector screen. Well, document camera have come a long way since those days, and now have applications that go beyond the classroom (even though they are still great for that, too).
If you are looking for a document camera for your classroom or office, consider the following:
- Document cameras can connect via USB, HDMI or have a separate power source
- The best document cameras record video and scan documents as well
- Not all document cameras work with both Mac and PC
- Document cameras range anywhere from $80 to $750
Don’t think that you have to spend a fortune to get a decent document scanner, especially for teachers who’s budgets are stretched thin enough. If all you need is something to project work or documents to your co-workers or students, and one with good zooming capabilities, there’s really no need for all the bells and whistles (and price tag) for a fully-loaded document scanner.
Below you’ll find our recommendations for the seven best document cameras available for the classroom or office.
1. Inswan Ins-1
This easy to use, lightweight and durable document camera is a great and affordable tool for the classroom or office. It features a 30fps frame rate, which you’ll find in the most expensive document cameras (we’re looking at you Elmo 1349), and even has a LED light to prevent glare when the lighting in the room isn’t great. The built-in microphone helps with voice clarity, especially during webinars or web-conferencing. The best part: all of this comes for only $100.
2. Hue HD Pro USB Document Camera
This flexible and versatile document camera will only run you about $80. It connects right to your computer via USB, and can record video. The flexible neck has 360-degree rotation to get the best angles possible. The camera is only 720p compared to other higher-end document cameras that sport 1080p resolution, it also cannot scan documents. But if all you need is a way to present to your class or office, this $80 document camera can easily fit the bill.
3. Elmo 1349 Model TT-12ID
With better zoom (12x optical) and frame rate (30fps) than most document cameras, the Elmo 1349 is on the high-end in terms of features and price. The zoom allows you to zoom in on even the most specific details, and the quick frame rate can capture great video. The USB, VGA and HDMI connections make it easy to connect to a computer. If you have the funds, the extra performance is worth it.
4. iOCHOW S3 Book & Document Camera
The iOCHOW S3 document camera is a great tool for projecting books with its flattening algorithm that eliminates the curvature of book pages when projecting. Beyond projecting technology, it can also record video and scan documents. When you’re done with the document scanner, the foldable design makes it easy to stow away. Keep in mind this multifunctional document scanner will only work with Windows.
5. AverVision U50 USB FlexArm
The neck design allows you to manipulate and bend the camera to get just the angle you are looking for. The 8x digital zoom helps you hone in on the details you want to present while the 30fps, full HD frame rate displays smooth video capture. It connects via USB, but make sure your computer and the included software is running for the document camera to function properly.
6. iCodis Document Camera X3
BEST FOR PC
This document scanner comes with software that assists you with your presentations. It can automatically segment specific areas of your document, and even help correct defective images. It also scans documents to create PDF versions for online use. Although the software can do some pretty nifty stuff, it is not compatible with Mac OS.
7. Lumens DC265 UXGA 6x Optical Zoom
Sporting a 1080p camera, with 6x optical zoom, manual zoom and 8x digital zoom, the Lumens DC265 document camera is a powerful tool for the classroom and office. What sets this apart from other document cameras it the ability to record and playback video without the need for a computer. This eliminates wires running amok or having to deal with a dead computer battery when you want to present. It’s a great document scanner as long as you’re willing to spend a little extra dough.