Best Cheap Document Cameras for Teachers

6 Awesome Document Cameras for Teachers

The best document cameras for teachers combine all the best features of by-gone teacher tech and skyrocket them into the twenty-first century! If you (or your district tech department) haven’t seen the newest models, you might first think of document cameras as the gigantic (and unused or unusable) machines in the corner of your college classrooms.

These days, however, document cameras come in a huge variety to fit any budget or purpose. Some are as simple to use as plugging in a USB cord! Here we have reviewed just a few of the myriad options available to help you decide what’s right for your classroom. On to our choices for the best classroom document cameras!

In a Hurry?

Are you looking for just the top recommended document camera for classroom use? We recommend you take a look at the Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter. If you looking for an inexpensive document camera for teachers, we recommend the IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera.  Also, be sure to check out our list of the best cheap document cameras under $200!

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now onto the awesome teacher document cameras for you.]


What is the Best Document Camera for Teachers?

Here are our picks for the 6 Top Recommended Document Cameras for Teachers:

    1. Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter
    2. Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera
    3. Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera
    4. Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera
    5. IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera
    6. iCODIS Document Camera X3

1) Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter

Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Document Camera for Teachers Review - Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter

We begin our list of the best document cameras for teachers with the Elmo 1353 LX-1 Visual Presenter.  Elmo has become one of the most ubiquitous brands of classroom document cameras and for good reason! They offer a variety of solutions for teachers that are high quality and easy to use.

This particular model by Elmo offers 96 times zoom! This is perfect for highlighting that one specific passage in a document or showcasing some awesome student work. It connects to your computer via HDMI and captures at 30fps for a smooth demostration that won’t remind your students of a stop-motion animation (though we have seen some students make some cute stop-motions with document cameras!).

The best part is Elmo knows their teacher audience well. This model includes auto-focus and zoom buttons that are easy to access on the uncluttered and sturdy base. The base has little feet to balance the camera arm without taking up too much table-top space.

Unlike many of the document cameras on this list, this Elmo model does require a separate power cord. It also lacks the SD card slot that some of the other Elmo models include.

If you want a tried-and-true brand used by thousands of teachers, look no further!

Specifications of the Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter:
  • Frame Rate: 30fps
  • Optical Zoom: Powered, 12x optical & Digital Zoom: 8x (MAX)
  • Functions: Brightness Control, Image Rotation, Image Mode, Microscope Mode
  • HDMI Output: 1080i 30fps, 720p 30fps
  • Analogue VGA Output: XGA (1024 x 768) 30fps
  • Power Source: DC jack 5V
  • Weight: 2.4kg
  • Accessories: AC adapter, USB cable (B), DC power cable, setup guide, Product Warranty


2) Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera

Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera Review

Epson is known for their high-quality printers and scanners for a variety of budgets. Their document camera lines are no different offering a wide range of functions and price points.

What sets this document camera apart from the rest of this list and makes it a stand-out for science teachers is the included microscope adapter! This option allows you to attach many different standard microscopes to the document camera to project for your students or record video for later.

The built in microphone makes capturing exciting developments in class easy and the SD card slot allows you to save a video version of your lesson for students to view after absence or online.

The Epson document cameras do tend to be toward the higher end of the cost-spectrum, but most would agree they are well worth the price!

This document camera comes with a remote that includes many interactive functions such as freeze and capture. This way, you can step aside and let students take the lead in the lesson without losing the ability to record milestones and pause for teachable moments!

Specifications of the Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera:
  • 16x digital zoom
  • 2 MegaPixel Camera
  • 30 fps
  • Connectivity (output): USB, VGA, HDMI
  • Capture Area: 11.7″ x 20.7″


3) Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera

Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera Review

Next we have the Lumens Ladibug which combines form and function with a middle of the road price point! Teachers love the flexible camera arm and this streamlined version of the Ladibug is easy to use for teachers and students.

The Lumens Ladibug features 8 times zoom, 30 fps and HD output via USB (the USB is also the power source for the Ladibug!). This camera can take your flipped classroom videos to the next level with its built in microphone and the ability to make annotations on your computer screen without marking on your document or book! The Ladibug is compatible with all major interactive whiteboard brands.

This is a great option if you are a teacher who will be spending out of pocket for your document camera. Other teachers have written that they’ve actually decided to replace their school-furnished document camera with a Ladibug! The durability of this product seems to make the out of pocket cost worth it, too.

The downside seems to be that while Lumens bills this as “Plug and Play” other reviewers found that for the device to be fully functional with some older computers, you have to download some of the software. For Windows 10 and newer, the software can be installed via the camera’s USB cord.

Specifications of the Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera:
  • 8x Mechanical Zoom Capacity
  • Shooting Area: 16.5″x12.4″
  • Frame Rate: 30 fps
  • Lamp: Built-in LED on camera head
  • USB Image Transmission: USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
  • Video/Audio Recording: Yes
  • Built-in Microphone: Yes
  • Image Capture: Single or Continuous Capture
  • Auto Tune: Yes
  • Image Rotation: 0 degrees, 180 degrees, Flip, Mirror
  • Anti-Theft: Kensington lock port
  • Free Lumens Software: Support PC Windows 7, XP, Vista and Mac OSX; WIA and TWAIN interface
  • Dimension (LxWxH): Folded 9.3″x4.2″x11″/Open 13.8″x4.2″x15″
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs


4) Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera

Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera Review

Here’s another great option from Ipevo’s wide range of document cameras. This document camera is one of the higher end from Ipevo and it has all the bells and whistles you could ever need in your classroom!

This document camera is ideal for the tech obsessed teacher or the teacher with an eye for quality images. It can create images and project demonstrations in HD and 4k quality depending on how it’s connected to your main computing device. Those connections can be made via USB, HDMI or WiFi.  Furthermore, Ipevo’s software is compatible with virtually every device ranging from your Mac or Windows computer, AppleTV or projector to your smartphone or tablet!

The Ipevo VZ-X can function completely wirelessly. It comes with 9-12 hours of battery life and up to 33 feet of wireless range. This means you could use the document camera on virtually any flat surface in your classroom and easily move from one desk to another to capture student work or artwork. The document camera’s arm swivels and bends to allow for plenty of flexibiltiy and capture just the right angle.

As with all the document cameras in the Ipevo line, the program to run the camera is easy to install and use. Multiple reviews from other teachers site the ease of use and versatility in the classroom for demonstrations and presentations. Some of the older online reviews cite issues with the screws in the arm or with focusing the camera, but these issues seem to have been fixed as more recent reviews have nothing but positives from teachers!

Specifications of the Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera:
  • Sony CMOS 8 megapixel camera
  • Physical zoom controls
  • USB cable to computer and Direct HDMI connection to TV or projector
  • Glass fiber reinforced stand
  • LED light
  • Built-in battery
  • Dimensions: 4.6 x 4.3 x 12.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Computer Platform: PC, Mac, Chrome


5) IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera

IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera Review

Next on our review of classroom document cameras is a budget-friendly document camera for teachers also made by Ipevo. This ultra-portable, foldable document camera has all the teacher-basics covered with a teacher-friendly price point.

This inexpensive document camera option still includes the 8 megapixel camera as its pricier sibling so you won’t sacrifice quality of your images and video. This model also only connects via USB, but the USB is also the power source for easy setup. The Ipevo software is installed via the USB as a plug and play device that even the least tech-savvy teacher can install!

Teachers love the auto-adjust features of the software. These make it easy to turn pages, switch documents or write under this document camera. Of course, these features make up for the small downside to this camera: the buttons to complete these functions are on top of the camera and pushing them can sometimes cause the camera to move.

Specifications of the IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera:
  • Sony CMOS 8 megapixel camera
  • USB cable to computer
  • Computer Platform: PC, Mac, Chromebook
  • Weight: 1.85 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.1 x 1.9 inches


6) iCODIS Document Camera X3

iCODIS Document Camera X3. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
iCODIS Document Camera X3 Review

Last but not least in our review of classroom document cameras is the iCODIS Document Camera X3.  This document camera is one of the higher end from Ipevo and it has all the bells and whistles you could ever need in your classroom!

This document camera is ideal for the tech obsessed teacher or the teacher with an eye for quality images. It can create images and project demonstrations in HD and 4k quality depending on how it’s connected to your main computing device. Those connections can be made via USB, HDMI or WiFi and Ipevo’s software is compatible with virtually every device ranging from your Mac or Windows computer, AppleTV or projector to your smartphone or tablet!

The Ipevo VZ-X can function completely wirelessly with 9-12 hours of battery life and up to 33 feet of wireless range. This means you could use the document camera on virtually any flat surface in your classroom and easily move from one desk to another to capture student work or artwork. The document camera’s arm swivels and bends to allow for plenty of flexibiltiy and capture just the right angle.

As with all the document cameras in the Ipevo line, the program to run the camera is easy to install and use. Multiple reviews from other teachers cite the ease of use and versatility in the classroom for demonstrations and presentations. Some of the older online reviews cite issues with the screws in the arm or with focusing the camera but these issues seem to have been fixed as more recent reviews have nothing but positives from teachers!

Specifications of the iCODIS Document Camera X3:
  • High Definition Portable Scanner
  • 8 MegaPixel Camera
  • OCR Technology
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 3.1 x 13.8 in
  • Weight: 1.65 lbs
  • LED Light
  • Connection type: USB
  • Computer Platform: Windows


What’s Your Favorite Document Camera for Teachers?

In conclusion, a document camera can revolutionize classroom engagement. We hope this list helped you find just the right one for your classroom needs and that you’ll share what you found with your colleagues and friends! If you have your own personal best document camera for teachers, share the knowledge in the comments below!


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