When we tried to find the best document camera for distance learning we thought of getting our hands on multiple document cameras first and try them.
Believe it or not, we bought more than 20 document cameras, and most of them didn’t even meet our expectations.
We were looking for a detailed view of both 3D and 2D objects, a sturdy base, an easy plug-play feature, and something that can even scan images.
Our expectation? We thought at least 15 cameras would have what it takes to be ‘near perfect,’, but it seems only 10 survived.
Well, what to do then? Here are the 10 document cameras that we think are great for distance learning.
Benefits of Using a Document Camera For Distance Learning
Document cameras were beneficial even when distance learning wasn’t a thing. And now that it is, the popularity of doc cameras has risen quite well, and here’s why.
Multiple Text Reading
When projecting on class, you would not have been able to share more than one content on the screen at a time.
But using a document camera enables you to feature a handbook, a notebook, a slide from the text, and your footnotes all at the same time.
You can easily review tests and quizzes, engage in brainstorming sessions with the lads or colleagues, ask for feedback or answers, engage them in games, read, write, and study together, creating a more interactive platform here.
Document cameras can do live demos of 3D objects. Moreover, they can work in line by making virtual models.
With the ability to be compatible with microscopes and some STEM apps, the learning and training sessions can be more enjoyable and easier.
Best Document Camera For Distance Learning
With scores of document cameras available in the market claiming themselves to be the best, how do you know which one will serve your needs? Here, take a look at the top 10 choices, each of which comes with its specialty to impress you!
1. 2-in-1 Document Camera & Webcam for Distance Learning
Ranking the cameras for distance learning does not mean that they can’t work double-time for video conferencing purposes. You might have a meeting with the entire department right after Chemistry lessons with kids.
What is a document camera that can fit both purposes smoothly? It is the OKIOCAM S from OKIOLABS! So, what model S does, is that it combines the versatility of a document camera and a webcam, 2-in-1.
Suppose you are solving a Maths problem with pen and paper; the students need more details. In that case, you can switch to the whiteboard, turn your document camera towards you, and demonstrate on board as it records your lecture.
Done with the lecture? Now you fold and keep it aside, and when the video conferencing bit comes up, you use the webcam that works perfectly with VC tools like Zoom, Meet and Facetime, and more.
And after you’re done, the detachable arm, base, and camera make sure it takes the least of counter space. Only 269 grams of weight make sure that you can carry it and teach your students easily from anywhere!
Just make sure that your saving settings are right by installing the corresponding drivers, and you’ll be good to go.
Key Features :
- Detailed view of 3D and 2D objects during lessons
- Detachable arm and base allow flexibility of storage and use
- Plug-play utility allows you to use it without installation
- Popular recording and video conferencing tools instantly recognizes it
- Delivers quality image even in low lights
2. IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition 8MP USB Document Camera
Looking for a document camera that earned superb cult popularity for its reasonability and advanced software? The IPEVO V4K camera is the perfect go-to product for you.
Our online teaching can get a hundred (if not a thousand!) times better with this small and lightweight, detail-oriented, easy-to-plug,
and easier-to-use document camera, making it undeniably the Best Document Camera for Teachers. Let’s dive deeper into what it has to offer.
You know how some cameras are just not so good when it comes to video streaming? The V4K beats that with its 8 MP Camera, generating 3264 x 2448 pixels in pictures and 30 frames per second in online streaming.
Even when the lighting around you isn’t so supportive, the color reproduction from the Sony CMOS Image Sensor will have you covered.
Speaking of covering, you can offer a shooting area coverage of 13.5 x 10 inches with this camera.
And whenever you want, you can switch from writing in your notebook to projecting presentations thanks to a simple computer plug-in and the free app from IPEVO.
As for the hardware, you get a rectangular base and a heavy stand supporting the hinges, supporting the camera.
To let your students view the document from whichever angle is deemed fit, you can swivel the camera, flip through the pages with minimal lag and enlarge sharp images too! When the class is over, just fold it and forget!
The only drawback you’ll find is that there are no written instruction manuals that come with it. However, if you find it challenging,
just visit the website link on the camera base. You’ll find a detailed Visualizer to help you along — very little work for something so forgiving and friendly as a virtual teaching tool!
Key Features :
- Satisfactory resolution and quality of video streaming
- Sturdy base to keep the device standing and steady as you work
- Easy plug-in projector transformability for detailed work
- It can be used for scanning images
- Ease of focusing without distorted images
3. INSWAN Document Camera For Distance Learning
Just like a teacher can’t pick favorites when it comes to their students, you’ll find it hard to choose between this document camera by Inswan against IPEVO’s V4K. But what makes the INS-1 such a close contender as the Best Document Camera for Classroom?
One of the major complaints students have in distance learning is that the images on the screen are not clear enough. INS-1 beats this issue with not one but three combos.
First, you have the 3264 x 2448 pixels and 30 frames per second capture for clarity in pictures and fluid videos. Simultaneously, you have a power-packed combination of auto-focus and lighting adjustability!
But wait, what about the exposure? The third combo of LED lighting and anti-glare sheet draws from here presents you with and redefines the usage of document cameras in both light and dark situations.
So you can finally say goodbye to blurry images! As the camera goes as close as 4 inches to the document, the students will be able to see vivid, clear letters and numbers that don’t look like soggy Cheerios.
More uniquely to the INS-1, microscope compatibility adds to its best features. What’s more, you get a wider shooting coverage at 12 x 16 inches. But that’s no point if you have a rigid camera, right?
Thankfully, it is easy to move. The base not only stays grounded but takes up less space on the counter too.
INS-1 would beat the V4K if only the built-in microphone served well right from the get-go. It turns out you have to double-check on the audio settings before dictating instructions out to the students. So, a trial sesh, when you get this first, would be great.
Key Features :
- Very lightweight yet durable as a document camera
- The app works seamlessly with Windows, Mac, or Chromebook
- One-touch control to adjust focus and increase/decrease brightness
- Compatible with a Ø28mm, Ø31mm, Ø33mm, or Ø34mm microscope
- The tiny base gives you the freedom to use the desktop space
4. CZUR Document Camera, with OCR Function
A scanner but a document camera as well — seven words to sum up the A3 from CZUR. But how well does it fare in distance learning and easing it for teachers and potentials like you?
First off, it starts at the basic level and builds its way up. As for the basics, you get clear and bright images generated with the 8 MP high-performance camera that can scan in over 180 languages, going at 1 seconds/page scanning speed.
Besides the scanning abilities that are so high above the line, it also gives you optimal real-time projection and video streaming ability that lets you interact with students and engage actively in lessons while making annotations through Zoom.
For this, you get a coverage area of 16.5×11.7 inches, large enough to view A3 files. The design comes with a 90-degree foldable stand that also features neck adjustability so that you decide on the viewing experience aptly.
However, this one happens to be quite heavy at 4 pounds. So, unless you are willing to switch up the position of your work desk anytime soon (and I hope you won’t), you know the pick of your dreams.
Key Features :
- OCR technology lets you turn JPG images into editable formats
- Multilingual support of more than 180 languages
- Ultra-fast scanning ability at 1 page per second
- Built-in LED lights that can be adjusted for maximum brightness
- A High-resolution AI Camera allows you to enjoy multiple color modes
5. iCODIS 8MP Document Camera for Teachers
Looking for a document camera that has a superior scanner? Made originally as a document and a book scanner, this device is great at capturing, shooting, and displaying objects. So how exactly can this one help in your online classes?
With the 3264×2448 8MP camera, you can expect nothing short of versatility from the model. It purifies the background, scans multiple files together, corrects automatically by filling edges, and synthesizes the file for a crisp image.
And do you know what else adds to this crispness? The superior brightness of the 4 built-in LED lights that come with the rigid and sturdy camera head.
Another thing that you’ll like is the multilingual OCR technology that lets you convert JPG files to Texts, Excels, Words, and PDFs as and when you want. So, you can personalize and modify contents without needing a separate tool for each.
The programs are so easy to navigate you might as well scan the entirety of your documents into the computer!
Sadly, this is not compatible with Mac. But if you have a different operating system and want to save yourself from the tedious process of click and scan, you know where to go! Or, you could check out the Thousand V4K.
Key Features :
- Generates a vivid display of images for work or education after scanning
- Can record content for use later
- Scans diverse documents with guidance from the markings on the flat mat
- 8 MP camera for high-resolution image and video streaming
- Comes with 4 LED lights to give you the brightest images
6. Longjoy Overhead USB Distance Document Camera
For something as compact and lightweight as the LV-1010, Longjoy is a farfetched name (although you’ll hear about the joyous bit in a while). Known for its reasonability and compact, slim design, let’s see what else it can offer.
In terms of the camera and the brightness from the model, you have a 5 MP camera with 4 built-in LED lights. Looking at the price, 5 MP isn’t so bad, while the 4 LED lights can give any high-end brand a run for the money because this is very standard.
Decent enough to generate clear images in varying lights and with resolutions ranging between 800×600p, 1280×720p, 1920×1080p, and 2592×1944p. Now, you can comfortably capture business cards and US A3 with this camera.
There is no specific instruction on which angles you can fold it in because you can do it in multiple ways. The multi-jointed model can twist, turn and rotate before finding the perfect viewing angle for your pupils.
If you’ll call it so, the only downside is that you have to install it from a CD, and it can take a little longer before you have the whole setup ready for the next class.
But if you will use it for virtual meetings, there will be no need for a CD installation as it can be directly run on Zoom.
Key Features :
- Manual zoom to give your viewers clear details on contents
- Performs better than handheld scanners
- Can convert images to PDF using the OCR technology
- Highly portable with a weight of over 2 pounds
- Easy plug and play utility with Zoom, no installation required
7. ANSAUCT Document Camera for Classroom, 8MP Auto Focus
How would you feel if you had to squint your eyes to see the information on a piece of paper? Frustrated? Your students feel the same when you give your presentations on such a small coverage. But with ANSAUCT, you don’t have to worry!
You can display the study or conference materials and all of your presentations super easily with the wide 12 x 16 inches display that it has to offer. Just move around the multi-jointed gooseneck stand for it!
But how good is the quality of the image? You get 15 fps at the live image capturing if you use the Ultra HD resolution or 30 fps for HD captures on the 8 MP camera.
Also Unique to ANSAUCT is the precision autofocus that macro-captures and switches between objects as close as 3.93 inches.
To add further convenience, the webcam and document camera duo is suitable for teachers, students, and corporate workers.
Anyone can easily switch between the doc camera and the USB document camera to work from multiple remote locations. So working on a single project or hold meetings will be easier than ever.
This is also compatible with most online software. The only issue is that it can be a little expensive. But if you save up and invest in this, quality is sure to amaze you!
Key Features :
- Perfect display for viewing A4 or US letter sizes with ease
- Impressive auto-focus response
- Gooseneck design gives you the ability to move around the neck
- Highly compatible as it works fine with Windows, Mac, and Chromebooks
- Very easy to set up and plug using your USB port
9. Document Camera for Teaching, USB Webcam
When something is worth every penny you spend, the satisfaction is out of this world. With Thustand, the feeling is quite the same for its unmatched compatibility.
So far, you have seen document cameras missing out on one of the operating systems or the other. But Thustand 4K has you covered if you use anything and everything among Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chrome operating systems.
If you want to capture images to present for your class, you get up to 3264×2448 pixels. In terms of streaming, you get a frame rate of 15 FPS on the 3264×2448 resolution and 30 FPS at full HD; decent enough for clarity in almost all images.
And what further adds to the clarity is the 360-degree adjustability of the camera, letting you view, capture, and display images and streams from all angles!
Your students also get a good number of views from the wide-angle lens that covers a shooting area of 11 x 19 inches as you zoom in and out of study materials while the focus is comfortably maintained.
As for the base, you have a multiple-jointed stand with a strong base that holds as you work and saves you from a shaky experience.
You can manually adjust the stand for convenient viewing and showing whenever you think things are not going well.
Although it misses out on some built-in features in place of drivers that need installing, this versatile combination of a webcam, visualizer, and document camera is a win for the price.
Key Features :
- 360-degree rotations allow you wide-angle viewing of resources
- Plug and play function with popular video conferencing tools
- Extremely clear video shooting for recording lectures and presentations
- No issues of mirrored images view incorrect orientation
10. Document Camera for Teachers, OCR Function
With their phenomenal range of document cameras, no wonder a cheap document camera that fits every bill had to make it to the list! But besides taking a small chunk out of your pocket, what else does it offer?
The first thing you will like about it is that it ties in a scanner with itself. And no matter what kind of document you capture,
you can convert it to text and transfer files at a 98% recognition rate. Backed by multilingual support, this is very handy when scanning and teaching with the same device.
When it comes to the scanning, you don’t have to do anything more than turn pages, as the scanner itself will intelligently study skewed images and correct them, perform mass scanning, and form images in a second.
And as for the interaction, you can project in real-time and display them at high-definition resolutions up to 2592x1944p using the 8MP camera, taking advantage of both the recording and live video sharing functions.
It also features six supplementary LED lights on itself to help you with low light visibility.
All in all, a great product with one issue: if you have anything other than Windows OS, this won’t work for you, but given the super inexpensive price point, this narrow compatibility is forgivable!
Key Features :
- Can synthesize the front and back of any-sized documents
- Supports WMV, FLV, AV, and MP4 files, giving you a wide usage
- A fast focus at 1page/second cut down on the latency of the display
- Great document camera/scanner hybrid for an interactive learning session
Comparison Chart Of Document Camera For Distance Learning
Maximum Shooting Area
OKIOLABS OKIOCAM S
9.6" x 12.8"
3264 x 2448p
13.5" x 10"
3264 x 2448p
12" x 16"
2592 x 1944p
12" x 16"
iCODIS Document Camera
12" x 16"
12" x 16"
3264 x 2448p
12" x 16"
16.53” x 11.69”
11" x 19"
Rodion Document Camera
2592 x 1944p
8" x 11"
Document Camera For Distance Learning Buying Guide
To let you make purchases that is tailor-made for your needs in this distance learning era, here’s a guide that can help you when the choices are not so obvious:
Portability and Flexibility
When it comes to portable document cameras, you mean the portability of the entire device, the fact that it can go wherever you will go.
And when it comes to flexible cameras, you mean that of the components. The camera head, the stand, and the base individually understand how easily they can be stored.
As for the portability, if you buy something portable but find it heavy too, there’s no point in investing in that portability because it is heavy to carry, despite being able to do so.
So go for lightweight options. And as for flexibility, having too much flexibility will mean that you will need to adjust the head or body to the right position every time,
and that may not be possible. So sometimes, being rigid is good. But it depends on your preference entirely.
It is not the end of the world if your document camera does not come with a microphone. But it is surely good if you can manage one. It makes your voices and instructions during the lesson clear and helps to maintain a good recording overall.
Suppose you can’t manage a document camera with a microphone. In that case, you can still use the one you already have or purchase one separately.
Here’s a mistake I found close friends making. Never read half the review and be impressed with the specs to find out in the end that the device is not compatible with the rest of your tools.
It is important to find a camera that is compatible with the OS of your phone and computer. Moreover, it should be able to run with the recording/conferencing tools such as zoom, meet, and anything else needed.
Lighting and Light Adjustments
Given the flexibility of a schedule that distance learning has granted some of us, you must invest in a document camera that works perfectly fine at different day hours.
If you are going to have more morning lessons than night or evening classes with kids, even then, opting for a camera that supports you in low-light conditions is a good move.
In that case, check out the amount of LED lights that come with the camera, as they can help you determine the brightness of the image and the interactions you are going to make.
From what you have seen so far, having a 5-8 MP camera is a basic need in document cameras. But if you want, you can go as high as. With such a high resolution, you can expect to have crisp images that are easier to view and read.
Frames per Second
This can also be understood as the number of times any image updates in one second. The higher the FPS, the sharper your image is.
But this is again inversely proportional to the resolution. So, for each resolution, you have a set FPS. The decent amount you should be looking at is 30 FPS at 4K quality.
Optical Character Recognition
OCR is super essential when you want your document camera to scan well. This not only reads and recognizes texts but corrects them and fills them, allowing you to transfer clearer documents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How can you use a Document Camera for online teaching purposes?
You can buy a document camera compatible with conferencing or teaching tools like Zoom and Meet or Teams and use the camera to teach the kids from your textbook on an interactive whiteboard, displaying handouts and making footnotes on them and visualizing graphs and charts.
2. Can you use your Document Camera without any projectors?
Of course, you can. You can substitute the need for a projector with a document camera and use the camera to feature your lessons on interactive boards, acting as a virtual projector.
3. Can you use a Document Camera as a webcam?
Yes. There are doc cameras like the OKIOCAM S that serves as both document cameras and webcams when needed.
4. How should you connect your document camera to your computer?
With the help of your USB cable or HDMI cable, you can connect your camera to the computer. For wireless document cameras, you can choose to connect them with the hotspot.
5. Can you scan files using a Document Camera?
Yes, with document cameras like the iCodis X3 that are excellent scanners besides being cameras themselves.
And that brings you to the end of your hunt for the best document camera for distance learning! For a favorite, you could pick the IPEVO V4K for its stunning streaming and picture generation quality, sturdy construction, and scanning abilities in one.
Or you could go for the challenger, INSWAN INS-1, for its microscope compatibility, anti-glare function, and lightweight nature besides fluid video generation abilities.
While these are the top choices, having a built-in microphone, annotation software, ability to save multiple files with ultra-speed auto-scanning and focus are also good functions to have.
So, you can climb up and down the recommendations list to find the best match for you!