Document cameras and visualisers
 

Document cameras and visualisers

Document cameras and visualisers

A document camera (or visualiser) is a special video camera designed to display documents and 3-D objects onto a plasma screen, television, projector or monitor. You can connect the document camera to a projector and display onto an interactive whiteboard.

It is called a 'document camera' as you can place documents such as A4 printed handouts, papers, magazines or maps underneath them, so that they are displayed on screen. Overhead projectors do a similar job, but you have to print or photocopy onto acetate (clear plastic) sheets first. Document cameras can also display small objects such as insects, flowers, leaves, coins and watches, which overhead projectors cannot do.

Microscope attachments are also available on some document cameras so that you can display microscope slides on screen. Ceiling mounted document cameras are available for the medical industry to display x-rays and other medical information. Wolfvision ceiling visualizers are a good choice for medical x-ray solutions but you will need a light box to show negatives.

A document camera is a powerful tool for education in schools, colleges and universities, in science laboratories, classrooms, for business presentations and video conferencing applications, for dental surgeries, clinics and medical and teaching hospitals. Also useful in the courtroom as the jury can observe pieces of evidence in detail without handling the actual evidence.

Toshiba produce a range of multimedia projectors with built in document camera. One of their models allows objects to be captured within a 10 metre range. Toshiba projectors Elmo make an SXGA presenter that lets you share the document with others over the Internet and operate the presenter from a remote location. Most manufacturers produce specification sheets so it is important to check these prior to making your purpose to ensure the document camera or visualiser is suitable for your requirements.

Libraries and museums can use document cameras to copy pages of old books without breaking the spines on books (which is what happens when photocopying) by taking and saving/printing pages with the book open in an L shape. Also several large companies buy or hire visualizers to take product pictures on a white background. For example, pictures of jewellery to put on website pages showing the images on a white background.

Document cameras or visualizers range from portable, that can be used for mobile presentations, to portable progressive scan visualizers, stand alone camera to ceiling mounted progressive scan and professional series.

 

 
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