Technology Showcase: Document Cameras
Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney
The latest models have evolved into multifaceted communication tools.
Having grown more than 200 percent in the past three years, Lumens claims to be the number-one market-share leader in the document-camera industry. The company's new DC260 is called “the first generation of multimedia HD-capable visual presenters,” due to its advanced audio and video processor and 1080p SXGA output. It features a 3X optical zoom, a double-lamp design to eliminate hot spots, and a viewing area that can accommodate two documents side by side. The DC260 can hold up to 240 .jpg images internally, store presentations to an external SD memory card that supports up to 32GB memory, or transfer them to a Windows or Mac computer with a USB 2.0 high-speed connection. The DC260's built-in slideshow capability can play back images and video clips directly to a connected HDTV, PC monitor, or projection screen. The DC260 is available with a 22in. extended gooseneck to capture larger or wide-angle subject matter. It also boasts a patent-pending Half-page mode to toggle the captured page from the full-page view to the top half of the page, so viewers can see it in larger print without the presenter having to move the actual paper.
In response to its customers' requests, Qomo HiteVision has designed its new QView QD750 digital-processing document camera with all the advanced features of the company's popular QD700 and added an articulated, rotating camera head that lets you move the camera in almost any direction or angle. (The name “Qomo,” by the way, comes from the Tibetan name for Mount Everest.) With a 22X optical zoom and the same 30fps XGA 4×3 video performance as its predecessor, the QD750 can access a high-speed USB 2.0 port for video/image capture on both a PC and a Mac. Its two RGB inputs and two RGB outputs provide installation flexibility and convenience; its arm and base LED lights are eco-friendly, are cool to the touch, and can last for 10 years. For widescreen presentations up to SXGA and WXGA, Qomo's new QView QD6100SX also has a motorized camera head, internal storage of up to nine high-resolution images, and built-in multi-media switching and control functions. You can connect two Mac computers or PCs (with audio), a DVD player, and a VCR directly to the QD6100SX with just one VGA cable to connect to your display device or projector.
Samsung is proud to say its new document camera that was just introduced at InfoComm 08, the UF-130DX, is not just a digital presenter. It's the first visualizer system with Windows CE software onboard (an embedded compact version of Microsoft's Windows operating system), making it a complete presentation station all by itself. This enables users to upload their presentations directly to the digital presenter from CompactFlash cards, SD cards, or even USB flash drives. The UF-130DX is also networkable via Ethernet 10/100. With 720p HD output as well as standard XGA and SXGA resolutions at 30fps, it includes a new power LED optical lamp system for even, glare-free illumination. The UF-130DX includes Samsung's high-quality optics, fast autofocus capabilities, and enhanced color accuracy. A very powerful feature of the UF-130DX is the ability to provide live, dual outputs from the document camera as well as the input source. That enables these live displays to be sent to multiple monitors for side-by-side viewing or to be overlaid on a single display for picture-in-picture viewing.
Smart Technologies, a leader in interactive whiteboard systems, also offers the Smart Document Camera, model SDC-280, with a 1/3in. progressive-scan CCD imager in a rotating camera head that produces XGA (1024×768) RGB resolution output at 20fps. Combining 5.2X optical zoom and 8.0X digital zoom with LED illumination, the SDC-280 can also automatically focus your images and adjust the brightness for varying light levels. The SDC-280 comes with version 10 of Notebook software. Notebook 10 enables you to control the camera, capture images directly onto a Notebook page, and write over those pages in digital ink. The unit comes equipped with a microscope interface for optical microscopes that are less than 13 1/10in. (33.3cm) tall.
Toshiba has taken a unique approach to document presentation by building a visual-presenter camera right into an LCD projector, resulting in the TLP-XC2500AU. Its integrated CMOS document camera has 3-megapixel XGA resolution and features Toshiba's enhanced Natural Color Enhancer3 (NCE3), which makes LCD images exceptionally vivid even at 2500 ANSI lumens. It also has one-touch autosetup by using its powerful presentation remote and automatic vertical keystone correction (±30 degrees) that instantly projects a square image even when the projector is set up at a steep offset angle to the screen. The TLP-XC2500AU also features a sophisticated approach to security thanks to a removable palm-sized control panel. When the control panel is removed, the projector cannot be operated unless the password is entered on the remote control.
Toshiba also offers its 2000-ANSI-lumen TLP-XC2000U projector with an integrated CMOS document camera that weighs only 8.8lbs. It features a special monitor-out capability that allows the user to display and view images on a monitor and screen simultaneously so the presenter can face the audience directly rather than turning around to read slides.
As one of the leaders in high-end visual-presentation systems, WolfVision offers portable desktop and ceiling designs. The company's VZ-C122 and VZ-C32 ceiling visualizers, for example, are the third generation of WolfVision ceiling visualizers. They are intended to prevent the presenter's own shadow from blocking the screen. Because they are mounted on the ceiling, the VZ-C122 and VZ-C32 offer a larger pick-up area than desktop units. The VZ-C122 and VZ-C32 are equipped with new telezoom lenses that have an extended zoom range of 64X (16X optical plus 4X digital) to permit installation in rooms of nearly any ceiling height. However, while the VZ-C122 has a 1CCD camera, the VZ-C32 boasts a 3CCD imager with 1,000 lines of resolution at 30fps. The output signal and the synchronized lightfield of the VZ-C32 and VZ-C122 can be switched between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.
All of WolfVision's desktop presenters now provide SXGA resolution in a true 720p HD format. For example, its VZ-57plus professional visualizer has a unique light system that greatly improves the overall picture quality; this is especially true when working with 3D objects because it allows for shadow-free illumination, illumination of hollow objects, and exceptional depth of focus. The motorized arm and mirror of the VZ-57plus desktop visualizer allow convenient scrolling of documents with the system's sophisticated remote control.
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