Best document cameras 2021: Show detailed objects in presentations or video calls

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(Pocket-lint) - Picking up 1 of the apical papers cameras allows you to regenerate the overhead projector with a much modern equivalent, making presentations much engaging and easier to manage.

While the superior relation of these visualisers is apt to beryllium successful the schoolroom - acknowledgment to their quality to amusement unrecorded footage of books, penning and adjacent creator demonstrations - they tin besides beryllium utilized successful league rooms to assistance bypass the static PowerPoint.

They're besides viable whether you privation to usage a recorded oregon unrecorded segment, and whether teaching is being done successful idiosyncratic oregon astatine a region done a video conferencing app. 

Before you dive successful and bargain immoderate aged device, though, it's important to see however it fits successful your existent setup. All volition travel with a USB oregon HDMI connector, but much premium ones volition enactment wirelessly, too. Naturally, you'll besides request to cognize what size fits your desk, arsenic good arsenic what camera and solution you necessitate for the occupation astatine hand.  

To assistance you observe immoderate of the apical papers cameras, we've elaborate them successful this implicit guide. 

Our Top Pick is the Ipevo V4K Document Camera. Other papers cameras to see are the Ipevo VZ-X, the iCodis X3 Document Camera , the Thustand Document Camera, and the Jourist DC80 Document Camera.

Our Top Pick


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Ipevo V4K Document Camera



  • Solid physique quality
  • Many connectivity options


  • Highest solution lone has 15FPS
  • Not the sleekest

This Ipevo V4K isn't rather arsenic costly arsenic others from the company, but that doesn't mean it skimps connected quality. 

In fact, for the price, you get a coagulated array of features. There's an 8MP camera that's capable to assistance seizure 3264 x 2448 solution (at 15 frames-per-second). It's besides capable to sprout astatine 30 frames-per-second successful HD, with accelerated auto-focusing helping you displacement betwixt documents without issue. 

Handily, it's besides compatible with Mac, PC and Chromebook devices, arsenic good arsenic third-party conferencing apps. 

Document cameras we besides recommend

Here are 4 different papers cameras you should besides consider


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iCodis X3 Document Camera



  • Cool design
  • Folds neatly away
  • Up to A3 size coverage


  • Not cheap
  • Not compatible with MacOS

The iCodis X3 is simply a spot much toward the pricey extremity of the entry-level papers scanners, but it does springiness you a mates of neat benefits for the other outlay.

Firstly, though, the downsides of this prime are that it doesn't peculiarly question well, fixed the ample base, and the information it isn't compatible with macOS.

This people won't beryllium an contented for those keeping their papers camera successful 1 fixed spot - and those who don't ain a Mac - with the 8MP camera (capturing astatine 3264 x 2448), 4 LED lights and up to A3 sum giving you plentifulness to enactment with.

It besides has a batch of neat features to play astir with, specified arsenic intelligent continuous shooting, automatic correction/segmentation, and filling successful breached edges of scanned pages.


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Ipevo VZ-X



  • Huge assortment of transportation options
  • Solid construction
  • Wireless option


  • Very expensive

Ipevo is 1 of the bigger names successful papers cameras, and it's casual to spot wherefore the VZ-X is simply a fashionable choice. 

It's highly pricey compared to the different devices connected this list, but this is mostly owed to its versatility successful however you connect, arsenic good arsenic the wide capturing performance. Those who privation to usage it successful Wi-Fi and HDMI mode tin seizure it successful HD, portion those who necessitate a USB transportation tin sprout successful 3264 x 2448. 

It's besides capable to link to not conscionable your machine oregon monitor, but iOS and Android devices, Apple TV and projectors, too.  

If you bash take to usage it wirelessly, expect astir 9-12 hours of artillery beingness and 33ft range. And, nevertheless you usage it, you'll beryllium capable to bask the max shooting country of 283 x 501mm successful 16:9 facet ratio and 363 x 483mm successful 4:3 with a built-in LED lighting it each up erstwhile required.


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Thustand Document Camera



  • Interesting basal design
  • Easy manoeuvrability and adjustability


  • Interesting basal design
  • Not portable with disassembly

Thustand's USB Document Camera hasn't got the astir modern design, but it does present neat show successful the classroom.

That aluminium basal and the metallic bracket aren't overly attractive, arsenic we say, but they are sturdy and perfect for staying successful spot successful the classroom. It besides allows the camera to swivel 360-degrees, which is large for those who privation much than conscionable a face-down papers camera.

When you are capturing, you'll beryllium taking vantage of the modular 8MP camera shooting successful 3264 x 2448 astatine 15 frames-per-second. You besides get the enactment to sprout successful HD astatine 30 frames-per-second, too, and tin link to Windows, macOS, Chromebook devices and third-party conferencing apps.


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Jourist DC80 Document Camera



  • Up to A3 coverage
  • Clean, foldable design


  • Plastic construction
  • Software needs work

Like different USB visualisers connected this list, Jurist's DC80 is different large information for those hooking up to a Windows oregon Mac computer. 

It's capable to scope 3264 x 2448 pixels astatine its peak, with the 8MP camera and CMOS sensor providing a crisp and wide presumption - 1 backed up by the built-in LED light, auto-focus feature, automatic achromatic balancing and, for audio, the built-in microphone. 

It's besides 1 of the smarter designs around, too, with the camera capable to rotate 270-degrees, and the lever capable to beryllium adjusted to springiness the idiosyncratic a scope the size of a expanse of A3. 

Other products we considered

The Pocket-lint editorial squad spends hours investigating and researching hundreds of products earlier recommending our champion picks for you. We see a scope of factors erstwhile it comes to putting unneurotic our champion guides including physically investigating the products ourselves, user reviews, marque quality, and value. Many of the devices we see don’t marque our last champion guides.

These are the products we considered that yet didn't marque our apical 5:

How to take a papers camera

Document cameras mimic the older projectors but successful a importantly minimised package. Most person a akin hinged plan that allows for a assortment of adjustments. Some are rather portable, portion others are champion suited for static use. As with astir things, prices alteration rather a bit, though you tin get rather a spot for your money.

So, what should you beryllium looking retired for?

Why should you bargain a papers camera?

Document cameras are large for teachers oregon lecturers who often enactment retired of a publication oregon usage annotation arsenic portion of their teaching style. They're besides large for offices wherever radical are presenting rather a lot. You whitethorn find that they signifier a large replacement for scanners too, truthful tin regenerate rather a fewer different devices and prevention a load of abstraction successful your office.

What volition you usage the talker for?

Just arsenic the schoolroom projectors of old, papers cameras connection the quality to task and annotate images onto a bigger screen. But papers cameras connection truthful overmuch more.

You tin reflector the images onto your machine for online learning, marque overhead videos for streaming, and adjacent usage it for a webcam. And due to the fact that galore person a diminutive size, they're acold much portable than their ancestors. 

What solution bash you want?

Most papers cameras these days connection a precise awesome 3264 x 2448 pixels. This often comes astatine the outgo of a little framework complaint of 15FPS, though immoderate higher-end options travel successful astatine 30FPS astatine this resolution. However, if you're blessed with 1080p (or afloat HD), past astir connection that solution astatine a decent 30FPS. Now, this whitethorn not substance excessively much, and wholly depends connected whether you're utilizing the papers camera for a webcam, for streaming, oregon simply arsenic a projector.

Is portability a requirement?

Document cameras scope successful size a just amount. Some are nicely portable, with a folding plan and smaller size. Others person larger bases to summation stableness and are champion utilized arsenic a fixed camera. If you're successful a teaching environment, possibly a fixed camera is ok, but if you're connected the determination past a smaller enactment would astir apt suit you better.

What's the connectivity like?

Most of the papers cameras successful this database tin link to Windows and Mac operating systems without a problem. There are immoderate that are limited, however, truthful it's decidedly worthy checking earlier you purchase. Some of the higher-end options tin adjacent link to your iPhone oregon Android, oregon tin link consecutive to Wi-Fi. The bundle tin beryllium a information too, arsenic we each cognize that it's not each made equally. Some f these cameras person their ain drivers that whitethorn not play bully with each system.

More astir this story

Every merchandise successful this database has been tested successful real-life situations, conscionable arsenic you would usage it successful your day-to-day life.

In the lawsuit of papers cameras, we utilized them arsenic webcams, presented done them, and adjacent utilized them to link household members crossed the state and the world. We tried them with a assortment of operating systems and screens, and done antithetic programs.

Through the absorbing periods of societal distancing, we've had a cleanable accidental to get afloat to grips with these newish devices.

We aren’t funny successful pointless fig crunching oregon extraneous details - we conscionable privation to supply an casual to recognize reappraisal that gives you an thought of what it's going to beryllium similar to use. And don’t for a 2nd deliberation that the products aren't tested afloat due to the fact that the reviews are concise.

We’ve been covering tech since 2003, and, successful galore cases, person not lone reviewed the merchandise successful question, but the erstwhile generations, excessively - close backmost to the archetypal exemplary connected the market. There is besides plentifulness of models we've considered that didn't marque the chopped successful each of our buyer's guides.

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published connected 18 December 2020.

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