Document cameras (also known as Doc-Cams or Visualizers) are digital cameras used to present objects or papers for a group to see. Most document cameras do not have the ability to project or display an image on their own so they will need to be connected to a computer or projector.
Currently, there are two basic types of document cameras: Portable and platform. Portable doc-cams are smaller and can be placed almost anywhere. Platform or workstation cameras (as they are sometimes called) have a large base that can fit a sheet of paper and often times have a light box built in.
Potable document cameras are further broken down into USB connection and video connection types.
- USB cameras must connect to a computer as they only transmit through a USB port. The computer can then be connected to a projector to display your image. These type of cameras are very easy to incorporate into a classroom and would work with an existing interactive whiteboard set up.
- Cameras with video connections can connect directly to a projector or LCD screen. More often than not, these cameras can also connect to a computer through USB so they have a wide range of connection options.
As presentation technology continues to evolve, newer document camera lines include ceiling mounted cameras, ipad compatible, wireless versions, 3D models, models with built in LCD screens w/ annotation, microscope compatible doc-cams as well as fold-able small document camera built for complete portability.