Buying Guides

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Document Cameras Buying Guide

Document cameras and visual presenters can be extremely helpful teaching tools for modern classrooms. Here are some points to consider that will help you pick one that's best for your situation:

How They Work

A standard visual presenter consists of a document camera mounted vertically on a base (also called a stage). The camera captures images of two- and three-dimensional objects that you place in the viewing area and converts them to an electronic signal, then transmits the signal to your TV monitor, projector or computer.

Analog vs. Digital

Analog presenters use small video cameras that produce NTSC video images. The transmitted images are similar to the signals that come out of standard VCRs.

Digital presenters use the same technology as digital cameras and produce computer compatible signals. Digital visual presenters are more expensive than analog presenters, but provide you with better quality images and more flexibility.


Resolution refers to the number of pixels displayed, and usually ranges from 800 x 600 to 1024 x 768. The higher the resolution, the better the image quality. Digital presenters generally offer resolution that's two to four times higher than analog presenters.


Some presenters feature SD card compatibility, allowing for easy importing and exporting of image files. Other document cameras can store images on an internal hard drive for later use.


Most visual presenters have built-in fluorescent lighting. However, some of the smaller portable models do not, so you'll need to make sure that enough external lighting is available.

Built-in Lighting - Some document cameras use side folding arms to illuminate your document or 3D object. Others have lighting in the stage so you can show transparencies or slides.


Be sure to look out for special features to help your presentations go off without a hitch. Portable visual presenters are great for teachers on-the-go, wireless remote controls assist teachers in larger classrooms, and ceiling-mount presenters are perfect for lecture halls or auditoriums. You'll also find an IP addressable presenter that you can access from anywhere via the internet.

Check out our full selection of Document Cameras. If you're still not sure which document camera is right for your class, call our friendly sales team at 1-800-260-2776. We're always happy to help.

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