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Information About Portable Document Cameras

Elmo HV-110XG

Light weight and cost effective digital presenters

Document Camera Experts recommends portable document cameras for those presenters in the United States and Canada that require a flexible and portable document camera solution to add interactivity to their visual presentations at a more affordable price. A portable document camera is an excellent fit for the cost conscious presenter since their portability allows these types of document cameras to be moved very easily between a number of different locations.

Portable document camera construction

Portable document cameras are easy to transport because they have a light weight construction, but at the same time these types of document cameras have a robust base for stability while the document camera is being used. The column which supports the document camera’s camera lens is frequently a flexible goose neck style column with the CCD camera attached to it at the top.

Portable document camera power sources

In some cases portable document camera digital presenters can be connected up to a personal computer or a laptop with a USB cable. If this is the case, these document cameras can actually be powered by the USB connection itself. The benefit of USB powered document cameras is that these portable visualizers can be set up for use in a short period of time since they have a smaller number of audio visual cables which need to be connected, and they are lighter and much more easy to carry than other larger document cameras. Even though USB powered document cameras are convenient due to the reduction in cables, in actual fact the majority of portable document cameras are still powered by a traditional mains adaptor.

Portable document camera resolution

When you are connecting your portable document camera up to a display device, it is very important that the resolution of the display device connected to the document camera (whether it be a TV or projector) has a resolution that is either as high or higher than the document camera’s maximum output resolution. This is important because the quality of the image that is displayed from the document camera will only be as good as the resolution of the lowest visual component, so if your TV or projector has a lower resolution than the portable document camera you are using, the quality of the image displayed will be restricted.

Portable document camera connections

While portable document cameras benefit from being lightweight and easy to set up, they often offer only a limited number of connections. These connections are usually  grouped into three categories: document camera visual signals, document camera audio signals and document camera control or remote signals.

Portable document camera visual signals:

  • Y/C (S-Video) connector (normally on 4-pin mini DIN) and a composite video connector (normally on RCA)
  • VGA connector (RGB/D-sub 15pin connector)
  • DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connector

Portable document camera audio signals:

  • Phono/RCA connectors or very occasionally a mini jack plug.
  • Document camera audio capability is normally a result of built in microphones or audio pass through

Portable document camera remote control signals

  • Infrared wireless connectivity
  • RF wireless or USB connection
  • RS-232 connection

Portable document cameras and microscope connectivity

Portable document cameras are often constructed with a flexible goose neck support column to which the document camera’s camera is attached. This flexible neck technology allows portable document cameras to be used effectively with microscopes because the visualizer’s flexible neck can be adjusted so that the document camera is aligned with the microscope’s eye piece. This means that the subject being examined under the microscope can be displayed in detail to a large audience as the image can be projected on to a screen or TV, or directly to one or more personal computers or laptops.

Portable document camera lighting and illumination

One of the main concerns for all types of document cameras is the illumination of the subject material being displayed, and the lighting considerations which need to be in place for this illumination to be adequate. The manufacturers of portable document cameras have compensated for these considerations in two ways – by either increasing the portable document camera’s sensitivity to light, or by providing a built in source of illumination on the document camera itself which lights the subject material without making the portable document camera bulky or hard to transport.

Additional features of portable document cameras

Another useful feature present in most portable document cameras is an image capture tool, which allows the presenter to take a snap shot of whatever subject matter is currently under the portable document camera’s lens. The internal image storage capacity of a portable document camera can range from 30 frames to up to 80 frames, and if the portable document camera is connected to a PC via a USB cable, an unlimited number of images can potentially be stored.