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!
[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we genuinely love and recommend. Now onto the excellent document cameras for schools.]
What is the Best Document Camera for Teachers?
Here are the 12 Top Recommended Document Cameras for Teachers:
- IPEVO V4K
- INSWAN INS-1
- Lumens DC125 Ladibug
- Ipevo VZ-X
- OKIOCAM S
- iCODIS X3
- IPEVO DO-CAM
- Hue HD PRO
- CZUR ET18-P
- Ansauct Document Camera
- Thustand V4K
- CZUR Shine 800
IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
We begin our list of the best document cameras for teachers with the IPEVO V4K. This document camera is perfect for the classroom or for distance learning. It is ultra-portable, foldable and 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 that you won’t sacrifice quality of your images and video. This model also 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.
INSWAN INS-1 Tiny 8MP USB Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Next on our list of the best document cameras for teachers is the INSWAN INS-1 Tiny 8MP USB Document Camera.
This particular model by Inswan is both portable and powerful! The tiny base frees up desktop space. It connects to your computer via USB and captures at 30fps for a smooth demonstration that won’t remind your students of stop-motion animation (though we have seen some students make some cute stop-motion with document cameras!).
The best part is Inswan knows their teacher audience well. This model includes an auto-focus lens and supplemental LED light perfect for teaching just about anywhere. Besides being able to record video, you can make live annotations. This feature is ideal for highlighting that one specific passage in a document or showcasing some incredible student work.
One cool feature that science teachers in particular may love is that this camera can connect directly to a 028 mm/034mm eyepiece microscope!
Unlike many of the document cameras on this list, some users struggled a bit with the installation of the product software. That said, once it is installed, most have nothing but good things to say about this particular doc cam.
If you want a tried-and-true document camera used by thousands of teachers, look no further!
Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
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 8x digital 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 visualizer 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 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, you can install the software via the camera’s USB cord.
Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Here’s another excellent option from Ipevo’s wide range of document cameras. This document camera is one of the higher end models from Ipevo and it has all the bells and whistles you could ever need in your classroom!
The VZ-X 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.
You can connect 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 entirely wirelessly. It comes with 9-12 hours of battery life and up to 33 feet of wireless range. This mobility means you could use the document camera on virtually any flat surface in your classroom and quickly 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 flexibility and you can 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 focusing the camera, but these issues seem to have been fixed as more recent reviews have nothing but positives from teachers!
OKIOCAM S USB 2-in-1 Webcam and Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Next up is OKIOCAM S USB 2-in-1 Webcam and Document Camera. Okiocam has become one of the most popular brands of document cameras and for a good reason! They offer exceptional products for teachers that are high quality, portable and easy to use.
As its name suggests, what sets this model apart is that is both a document camera and a webcam! It is also extremely portable and lightweight. The adjustable arm and 360-degree rotating camera give you a lot of flexibility to find your perfect shot.
The OKIOCAM Education kit is simply fantastic for both teachers and students as well. The kit features a bundle of applications, including Snapshot and Recorder, Time-Lapse and Stop Motion. There are also useful add-ons for Google Slides, Forms, Docs and Sheets.
This one is perfect for distance learning, video conferencing, at home, in the classroom or on the go!
Okiocam S Document Camera Unboxing and Setup Video
iCODIS Document Camera X3. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Next up in our review of classroom document cameras is the iCODIS Document Camera X3. With all of the latest technologies for document cameras, this product offers intelligent continuous shooting, OCR, automation correction and filling of broken edges of scanned pages, automatic image segmentation, and more.
Should you ever face technical difficulties with the iCODIS, you can always reach their telephone support service during regular business hours, PST. You will need to reference the contact information directly printed on the device’s label for the most accurate assistance.
Scanning capabilities of the iCODIS document camera include formats as large as A3. Have the flexibility of scanning papers, blueprints, magazines, or catalogs with no issues whatsoever. With automatic continuous scanning, you can scan as quickly as one page per one and a half seconds, making your larger volume scans a breeze.
The one downside to the iCODIS document camera is that currently, it is only compatible with Windows operating systems and requires a CD drive to download the software. While we would love to see this company expand into macOS, they are strictly PC operational only.
7) IPEVO DO-CAM
IPEVO DO-CAM. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
If you’re looking for another excellent, lightweight option from Ipevo, the DO-CAM is a great option to check out. Its handheld design makes for an ideal document scanner and quickly flips to serve as a webcam.
With the simple flip and switch, your document camera turns instantly into a webcam serving your face to face communication needs instantaneously. For any teachers who hate awkwardly holding up materials in front of your computer’s built-in webcam, this is a great option to be able to share documents and still present in real-time.
The camera is a Sony CMOS image sensor that boasts eight megapixels, ensuring exceptional quality and performance in your document sharing and face to face interactions.
Amazingly enough, with all of those features packed inside it, this document camera folds entirely flat for about the size of a standard pencil case and only weighs 0.74 pounds. That means you can transport your device with ease from the classroom to at-home settings and more!
Some users did mention issues with focus due to the lack of built-in lighting. Luckily, the DO-COM comes with a three-hinged design, which allows you to find your best possible angles and heights through simple adjustment.
Hue HD PRO Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Next up on our list is the Hue HD PRO Classroom Camera and Visualizerthat offers a flexible design allowing you to display a wide range of materials, including textbook pages up to your entire whiteboard!
The flexible neck design of the Hue HD Pro allows you to have the most flexibility of the document cameras on our list. With this freedom, you can easily showcase small objects in great detail or provide coverage over your entire workspace without compromising video quality.
In addition to your standard document scanning capabilities, the Hue HD Pro also comes with its very own presentation software. You can capture snapshots through this premium software, record video, annotate live video, and flip your camera vertically and horizontally. While the software is currently only compatible with Windows and macOS operating systems, they are now in beta testing for ChromeOS and Linux compatibility.
Because of the flexible design, some users face challenges maintaining a proper position when used to the standard arm and hinge build of other models. This issue typically subsides as you become more used to this design style, and users end up preferring the simplicity of the model once they are accustomed to it.
CZUR ET18-P Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Next up, we’ve got the CZUR ET18-P Document scanner, which is a show stopper. This scanner includes all of the bells and whistles, including professional-level document scanning with 186 different languages built into its OCR software.
Although this document scanner is on the larger side of our list, it is still an incredibly compact model making it perfect for any of your needs, including high volumes. Quickly scan and view documents in color, black and white, and greyscale with faultless quality thanks to its 18 megapixel Sony camera that covers up to A3 sized format coverage.
A 2nd generation Laser Curve-Flattening breakthrough technology allows you to scan and display textbooks at ultra-high speeds boasting 30 pages per minute. This rate is nearly ten times faster than traditional scanners you will find on the market.
Quickly generate videos from real-time presentations and back them up for storage and sharing later when needed. The OCR software comes free for its lifetime, allowing you to read and edit in 186 different languages.
Although this document scanner is on the most expensive end, you can rest assured you are getting quality when you purchase this device. If you are looking for heavy-duty scanning and sharing capabilities, this is an excellent option for you. Otherwise, you can easily find a high-quality document camera for comfortable everyday use on this list that is a fifth of the price.
Ansauct Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Next up on our list of the best document cameras for teachers is another high definition document scanner from Ansauct with a quick auto-focusing lens that can quickly shift focus from objects, including macro capturing capabilities. This lightweight, compact design enhances the distanced learning experience for teachers and students.
Capture images and live video in Ultra HD or Full HD thanks to an eight-megapixel sensor on the Ansauct document camera. The macro capability allows you to provide remarkably detailed views of images as close as ten centimeters away.
The flexible, multi-joint design of this document camera allows for multi-function purposes, including webcam and scanning. Thanks to the sturdy base and overall design, capture images in areas as large as 16 x 12 inches.
The Ansauct document camera is compatible with most conferencing applications. You can begin quickly by plugging it into your computer via USB drive without worrying about any additional software downloads.
While this is an excellent device for displaying live feed documents and webcam capabilities, some users mention it struggles with textbook scanning. It might not have some of the scanning technologies of other devices on our list, but it works excellent for distance learning purposes at an affordable price.
Thustand V4K Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, the Thustand V4K Document Camera is a great option to consider for your classroom needs. It will be challenging to find a better price that offers both full and ultra HD quality video content.
This multi-functioning device acts as a document camera, visualizer, and webcam that is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS operating systems. With minimal interference, get full and ultra high definition quality or switch between them quickly and efficiently while presenting, as needed.
With the adjustable arm, you don’t have to worry about shifting around to get the perfect view. The aluminum plate and iron allows you the freedom of maneuvering your camera into a wide variety of pictures. The 360-degree rotating camera ensures you get the perfect shot for your materials every time.
Easily zoom in and out with the wide-angle lens capturing a maximal shooting area including A4 and US letter formats. The camera’s autofocus feature allows you to adjust and instantaneously get back into focus for close up materials.
Some users had mentioned faulty elements within their device, but they quickly amended these issues to their customer support for assistance. The majority of users were blown away by the quality of content they could produce with this device, especially considering the cost.
CZUR Shine 800 Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Lastly, we have another great product from CZUR, the Shine 800. This portable and foldable document scanner is excellent for distance learning and document scanning, boasting a professional quality level.
The advanced software technology brought to you by CZUR includes several features, including smart paging, combine sides, stamp mode, and a wide variety of color modes. As a result, this compact device works as an incredible document camera and scanner for your teaching needs.
With the OCR function, you can scan in over 100 different languages and quickly convert documents into JPG, PDF, Searchable PDG, Word, Excel, and TIFF formats.
The sleek design makes the CZUR Shine 800 completely foldable and mobile, so you can quickly move it from your classroom to home as needed. The 90-degree foldable arm and four-pound design make sure it has a super convenient operation.
Best of all, CZUR backs this device with a one-year warranty.
While the device claims to work with Mac, some users had issues when trying to get their software to link up to their computers. Luckily, the software can be easily found on their website if it does not come included in your package.
Document Camera Buyers Guide / FAQ
What Features Should I Look for in a Document Camera?
Like any product you are looking to purchase, you want to consider critical features while shopping. Depending on your needs for your document camera, you will prioritize some of these features over others.
These days, it nearly goes without saying that all classroom devices should offer a certain level of portability. While all of the document scanners on our list are easily portable, some are more lightweight than the others. Depending on your needs, this may or may not be a deal-breaker for you.
When you purchase a document camera with a built-in microphone, you can record lessons directly from your cam, including audio and video. Otherwise, you might have to rely on the factory microphone in your computer or purchase one separately.
The level of flexibility in the design will also depend on the types of interactive learning you plan on doing. If you’re unsure, it’s always better to assume you will need more than less. Take a look at the general design of the document camera and the rotation capability of the camera itself.
Although it may seem obvious, you always want to check your document camera’s compatibility level before purchasing. Not only do you want to check with the interfacing of the camera, but also any software included with it.
Some document cameras have LED or other high-quality built-in lights. This feature is excellent for anyone who has concerns with lighting quality. But, if you know you don’t necessarily have to worry about lighting, this might be something lower on your list of priorities.
Last but not least, you want to keep an eye on the price tag. Document cameras come in all different shapes, sizes, and prices. Be mindful to prioritize your features, and you can easily find an affordable, high-quality document camera within your budget.
How Can I Use a Document Camera in the Classroom?
For classroom learning, a document camera can be an excellent tool for teachers in several different ways, including:
- Following along in textbooks
- Reading out loud in novels
- Displaying handouts
- Inspecting charts
- Viewing maps
- Analyzing graphs
Document cameras can be great for students of all ages. With younger children, you can help make your stories come alive using an added camera.
How Can I Use a Document Camera for Online Teaching?
Most of the best document cameras for teachers have compatibility with online teaching portals such as Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams etc. As a result, online teaching can benefit in similar ways to classroom learning through document cameras.
Document cameras also allow you to record your lessons, meaning you can easily upload this information for quick reference later. You can also provide the recording to your students as a comprehensive resource.
Can a Document Camera Be Used Without a Projector?
You can use document cameras without a projector, and in most cases, it will replace the need for a projector altogether. Not only will a document camera give you the same benefits as a projector, but you will find even more interactivity capabilities on document cameras than you will on projectors, typically.
Can a Document Camera Be Used as a Webcam?
Most document cameras can also function as a webcam. You will want to check the capability of the product you are looking at and the ease of transition from document camera to webcam. Some cameras will be as easy as switching a button, but others might be more complicated.
The Best Document Cameras for Teachers – Thanks for Reading
In conclusion, a document camera can revolutionize classroom engagement. We hope this list helped you find just the right one for your classroom or distance learning needs and that you’ll share what you found with your colleagues and friends! Please check out our other document camera reviews, including our review of the top wireless document cameras!
- How Does a Document Camera Help Students?
- How to Choose a Document Camera
- 12 Ways to Use a Document Camera in the Classroom
- How to Use a Document Camera for Distance Learning