I'm considering purchasing a webcam for multiple uses, including Skyping with other schools, and recording student activities.  I would also like to find a camera that can clearly display worksheets, a sort of "low budget" document camera.  Has anyone tried this successfully?  What webcams are others currently using that my provide a crisp enough picture to do the trick?

Thanks for you help!

Tags: camera, document, skype, video, webcam

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I was just thinking of doing the same thing. It would probably require special lighting as well. I'm invisioning something similar to a photo box. Can't wait to see what others have to say. Let the creating begin.
Mr Decofot,

Most webcams work pretty well with normal classroom ambient light. The Logitech Image pro 9000 works fine.
However they cannot adjust to "spot" lighting. I tested a few LED cap lights with the Pro9000 and the light is not diffuse enough to capture an evenly lighted page.
All document cameras have better contrast control programs to handle their on board lighting.

JJC
I haven't seen a digital camera that can do a decent job and produce usable images. Does your office have a modern copier? Many current xerox copiers have a scan back utility that just needs a slightly tech savvy person to connect it to a windows or Mac machine. We have a xerox 7655 that does a great job scanning to PDF, and it dumps them to a common network share. Hope that helps :-)
Hey Charles,

The new digital high resolution document cameras can capture readable full page (8.5 x 11) images as jpegs.

It is a one click operation, the jpeg can be stored on a SD card with some units or transferred to you computer easily.
Scanners take time, document cameras can do the job at your desk with one click.

JJC
Dear Jessica,

I have the complete solution for you. I have been working on this project for several weeks.
The Logitech Pro 9000 is the best webcam for general use and for use as a document camera. The software is easy to use and you can choose different resolutions, and annotate web captured images and record audio and video.
I do NOT sell this product, I bought mine online from Staples for $69.00 plus tax and shipping.
The Logitech Pro 9000 works great. I sell a lot of document cameras all different brands. Dollar for Dollar the Logitech is the best bet in a webcam conversion.

What you will also need is a platform to hold the webcam so that it faces downward. This is what I have been working on an inexpensive support for webcams, digital and video cameras. I am still working on prototypes.

JJC
I was fairly impressed with a new document/presentation camera called the Hovercam. There are two resolutions and two prices. The lower-priced model is $179. It's more expensive than a webcam but a lot less expensive than most other document cameras on the market. It did a great job even at this price point. You can see more info at the manufacturer's website at http://www.thehovercam.com/10-hovercam-document-camera-scanner-x300...

I don't represent or market them, but I thought that it was an excellent product at an affordable price compared to other available cameras.
Hey Barry,

The stats look pretty good, but the proof is testing the actual demo. I have had a few document cameras that did not perform as I had expected them to, even with good stats.
BUT! $179.00 is a low price point.

Did you personally operate it?

ONLY 30 DAY WARRANTY! BAD! All other document cameras have a no nonsense 5 year warranty!
The 30 FPS is probably only at the lower resolutions. SVGA
It is USB only! So it is a webcam based unit. A computer is mandatory.
Magnifcation is only 2X LED lighting seems good.
Field of view is 9x12 horizontal(Landscape)
This looks like a straight down document camera.

I found it on the China websites.

I am trying to convince RM Education to bring over their "EasiView" Web Based document camera.
The price will be in the $150 range, and I have tested it extensively along with the Logitech Image Pro 9000.
I am leaning toward the LogiTech Pro, works great as a webcam and a doc cam. My stand will give it the flexibility for both uses.

JJC Thanks for the INFO

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