Document cameras are key tools for teachers to be able to teach at a distance as well as in the classroom. Being able to capture objects in real time, record videos, and show details of all kinds of different objects is very useful. Not sure which portable document camera to buy? Here we review 5 of the very best portable document cameras to help make your search a bit easier!
We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide at the end which should hopefully answer some of your questions and help you make the right choice.
Portable Document Cameras Comparison Table
Here are the top portable document cameras compared!
The 5 Best Portable Document Cameras You can Buy
- 8MP Camera
- Full HD Video streaming
- Fully lightweight, foldable, and portable
- Large capture area with extendable arm
- Needs installation of separate app from Chrome to use all features
The magnetic base is foldable, and the arm is retractable. The arm is also multi-jointed, allowing you to adjust the height and angle of the camera to capture all kinds of objects. The arm extender is particularly useful for capturing large objects such as large paintings.
The camera rotates 360 degrees, and has high definition resolutions of up to 2592 x 1944. You can record full HD video with up to 30fps at 1920 x 1080.
You can also turn the camera towards you to use it as a web cam. Then just turn it downwards to use it as a document camera.
You can not only take snapshots and videos, but you can create time-lapse videos and adjust the playback speed and other elements before uploading to Google Drive (as an example).
The camera, arm and base are all detachable for easy transport, and the arm is reinforced with glass fiber.
The OKIOCAM works with the usual video conferencing and video recording applications with no need to install additional drivers. The camera supports Zoom, Google Hangout or Google Meet, FaceTime, Facebook, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Windows Camera, FaceTime on Mac, Chromebook Camera and more.
- Flexible gooseneck
- Built-in LED lamps for high brightness
- Lightweight and portable
- Supports a variety of operating systems
- Wireless accessory (DC-A11) sold separately
Next up is the cute and highly portable Lumens DC125 Ladibug This doc cam is small but powerful and is equipped with a professional image sensor that has high sensitivity. It supports very high definition QXGA, full HD 1080p, and SXGA.
The frame rate is 30fps, even at full HD (1080p) resolution (movie theater outputs are 24 fps). There is hands-free autofocusing, and high color reproduction. The zoom is 8x.
The lamp head has a built-in LED light for use in any lighting conditions.
There is a USB connection for high speed transmission (480bps), and both video and audio recording features with a built-in microphone. Image capture can be either single or continuous.
Frequently used commands are integrated into buttons on the camera base for convenience. Commands like lamp on/off, image freeze, capture, and image optimization to adjust the focus, sharpness and brightness are all done at the touch of a button.
There are no joints, just a highly flexible gooseneck which enables you to make precise adjustments depending on the size and distance of what you want to capture with the camera.
- 8MP Camera
- Wireless connection with wide variety of devices including tablets
- Built-in microphone and LED light
- HD live streaming
- A bit heavier than other cameras in this review (weighs 3.3 pounds)
This powerful 8MP document camera from IPEVO is easy to set up and has three modes of connectivity: WiFi, HDMI, and USB. The camera captures high-definition images (1920 x 1080) and in USB mode, close to 4K quality (3264 x 2448).
You can connect this portable doc cam to a computer, iOS/Android device, Apple TV, projector, TV, or monitor.
There is a built-in LED light, and the maximum shooting area is 11.14 x 19.72 inches (16:9) or 14.29 x 19.01 inches (4:3).
The Sony CMOS image sensor and Amarelle system on a chip gives you fast focusing speed, better noise reduction, and excellent color reproduction.
The wireless range is up to 33 feet, and the battery has a life of 9-12 hours for uninterrupted presentations.
The head swivels, and the stand has several joints to enable you to adjust the angle to capture various objects from different angles and orientations.
Convenient buttons located on the body of the stand allow you to adjust images in real-time instantly.
If you are interested in this brand, be sure to check out our in-depth review of Ipevo Document cameras.
- Fast scanning capability
- Excellent optics and resolution
- Curve flattening technology
- No manual focus control
This document camera has patented flattening curve technology to enable easy scanning and projecting of large books and catalogs. The scanner can calculate the curve of the middle of the book to output a flattened page.
The scanning speed is 1.5 seconds per page, so a 300-page book can be scanned within 10 minutes (10 times faster than a traditional scanner). You can turn the pages yourself and scan as you go. Perfect for digitizing your library.
The ET16-P can scan up to and including A3 materials, perfect for blueprints, large pieces of artwork, magazines and catalogs. 2 supplementary lights are included so that you can scan glossy papers (just turn off the overhead light and use the side lights only).
The camera has Optical Character Recognition Software (OCR) which scans documents in many different languages. Your output can be easily converted into editable Word, PDF, and TIFF, and stored or annotated.
You can use the included software to convert and edit imported document materials.
For open books, the software can automatically separate two open pages after the scan is done. The scan also offers distortion correction, erasing fingerprints, and background purification.
- 15MP Camera
- Fast scanning capability
- Collapsible and portable
- Mac OS not supported
Finally, we have the iCODIS X7 Book & Document Scanner. This document camera has a 15MP high definition camera and has curve flattening technology as well as finger reflection (it takes out the image of your finger).
Continuous shooting is available by setting the timer. All you have to do is turn the pages. There is also Optimal Character Recognition (OCR), SDK & TWAIN, automatic correction and filling in the broken edge of any scanned pages, automatic image segmentation, erasing excess parts, and automatically merging both sides of a scanned ID photo.
With video recording and real-time projecting, the scanner can present all files within A3 size. An LED fill light is included. The powerful camera is 15 megapixels and can rotate at 90 degrees.
Your scanned items can be easily converted to editable files such as Word, Excel, PDF and TXT.
This document camera is collapsible to make it easy to carry with you, and the relatively heavy base allows for extra stability when it is set up.
Software is included that is easy to use and to set up.
Portable Document Cameras – Buyers Guide
What Makes a Good Portable Document Camera?
Here are some key features to look for:
- Whether it can be folded or collapsed
- Ease of setup
- Carrying case provided or not
If you would like to learn more about the features to look for in a doc cam, see our article on how to choose a document camera.
How to Use a Portable Document Camera?
Portable Document cameras have many potential uses :
- Annotating texts
- Showing details of small objects such as leaves or rocks
- Labeling diagrams as a class
- Showing math operations
- Showing details of a map or diagram
- Creating mindmaps together
- Time management (you can put the timing for a given activity on the screen and children will know when to finish and move on to the next task)
- Going over answers to quizzes and homework (doing this together keeps children engaged when it’s their work on the big screen!)
- Displaying a list for children to work with (a to-do list or other list such as a schedule for the day)
If you are teacher and need more ideas for using a document camera for classroom teaching see our detailed article: 12 ways to use a Document Camera in the Classroom.
There you have it, our top picks for the best portable document cameras. Have a good think about what features you need, and hopefully this article has helped you make an informed choice.
Document cameras are transforming the way we learn, and they are fast becoming an essential tool for teaching, while saving teachers valuable planning time.