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Frequently Asked Document Camera Questions

Document cameras, or visualizers as they are also known, are easy to use pieces of digital presentation equipment. However since document cameras are a relatively new technology, some of their features may be unfamiliar to presenters. For this reason Document Camera Experts USA has put together this Frequently Asked Questions page to help you troubleshoot some common issues that presenters sometimes run into when using their document cameras. Remember that if you still have a problem after reading this document camera FAQ section, you can always give a representative at Document Camera Experts a call.

I need to connect my document camera to my display device. How should I do this?

The first step when connecting your document camera to your display device is to determine which display device you are going to use. When you know this, you can then look at the output connections on your document camera and the input connections on your display device and determine how you can connect the two devices. For example, if you decide to connect your document camera to a TV, you should connect the video output of the document camera to the video input of the TV and then choose the "video" input setting on your TV.

What are the main differences between document cameras and overhead projectors?

While document cameras or digital presenters are capable of displaying documents on plain paper, overhead transparencies and three dimensional objects, overhead projectors (OHP) can only display see-through transparencies.

Does "document camera", "visualizer" and "digital presenter" mean the same thing?

Each of these terms are used to describe document cameras. They are all names for the same device. Some manufacturers of document cameras use different names for the technology in order to differentiate their products in the marketplace.

I am using the video output on my document camera - why can I not read text?

The CCD image sensor chip on a document camera does not have sufficient resolution to show the entire document on the screen all at once. In order to see text displayed properly, the solution would be to use the document camera to zoom in on specific areas of the text. In some document cameras models made by Wolfvision, this is compensated for using a feature called "image turn" which means that the entire document can be displayed as a sharper image.

Can I switch display between my document camera and my PC?

Yes – the majority of document camera models will allow you to do this at the touch of a button. If your model of document camera has an XGA or SXGA resolution you may have an RGB switch which will allow you to flip from document camera image to PC and back.

What is the best way to focus my document camera’s image sharply?

There are a few reasons why your document camera’s image may appear fuzzy. If you are viewing objects on the document camera’s stage you should check that your document camera’s close up lens is attached properly – and if you are viewing objects from far away you should make sure that your document camera does not have its close up lens attached. If the object you are trying to view is too close to the document camera’s camera lens, it may be out of range of the focal length of the lens and so the image will appear blurred. You should also check that the lens is not dirty: make sure it is clean and free from any obstructions.

I am having problems with the USB connection from my document camera to my PC, what is the problem?

First of all it is important to check that both your document camera and your computer are turned on, and that the USB cable is securely plugged in to each device. If this does not solve the problem you should check that your computer and document camera both have the appropriate drivers installed.

I cannot see an image from the document camera on my display device, what am I doing wrong?

There are several reasons as to why you might not be able to see an image from your document camera. The list below outlines some checks that you can make to resolve the problem:

  • Make sure that your document camera and projector or TV are both turned on
  • Check that your VGA cable is properly connected to your document camera and display device
  • Make sure that the resolution of your document camera is the same as that of the display device (if your document camera’s resolution is SXGA but the resolution of your projector is XGA, the two devices are incompatible and so an image will not be displayed)
  • Check that the document camera’s iris control is not closed completely
  • Make sure that you have selected the correct input selection on your display device