Visual Presenters

Visual Presenters

A guide to one segment of education technology

When the first analog document cameras were invented in the late 1970,s, they provided an easier way to display documents to a class by using a television screen or video projector instead of overhead projectors and transparency sheets. Today’s digital document cameras are so versatile they are often referred to more accurately as “visual presenters,” because their high-resolution, high-magnification zoom digital cameras, internal memory, full-motion video capture, network connectivity and other features enable much more than documents to be part of a presentation. Educators can use visual presenters to demonstrate dissections, zoom in on fossils and small objects, or display multimedia on screens in their classrooms or even over a schoolwide or districtwide network.

Some of the features commonly differentiating visual presenters include the quality and resolution of the camera, the zoom capability, the inclusion and quality of a lighting system, the portability of the design, image storage options, and network connectivity. Some of the most exciting recent innovations, such as internal memory and SD card ports or integrated operating systems and Web browsers, enable entirely PC-free presentations. Here are just a few of the many digital visual presenter options on the market to consider using in your district.

 

ELMO

TT-02s, $769

The ELMO TT-02s is a good example of an affordable, portable, entry-level visual presenter. This model uses simple, intuitive controls to make operation easy for beginners, and it includes a small built-in LED light and 5.2X optical and 8.0X digital zoom capability and an SD card slot. A microscope viewing mode allows teachers to put the camera directly on the eyepiece of a microscope to show a slide through a projector or TV monitor. www.elmousa.com

 

AVERMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES

AVerVision SPB350, $2,499

Further up the scale of sophistication is this model from AVerMedia, the SPB350, a good example of a nonportable, high-end desktop visual presenter. It features a 5-megapixel camera, networking capability, full HD 1080p output, 20X optical zoom and up to 160X overall zoom to provide exceptional image quality. The SPB350 also includes interactive software, network sharing capability, and a 5 in. by 4 in. presenting lightbox built into its stage, which lights up small objects such as microscope slides. The camera also captures 30 frames-per-second of video, ensuring clarity of moving images. www.aver.com

 

LUMENS

DC260, $999

Lumens’ DC260 is a compact and portable model and displays an SXGA resolution image or a 1080p high-defi nition signal through an HDMI port. A more sophisticated two-armed lighting system provides brighter images, and the gooseneck arms for the camera and lights provide a great deal of angle flexibility. Images can be stored on an SDHC (SD high capacity) card or in internal memory. The DC260 has a 3X optical and 2X mechanical zoom capability and includes a built-in microphone and full-motion video capture to allow users to record a lecture or presentation for later use. www.mylumens.com

 

SAMSUNG

UF-130DX, $3,800

Samsung’s new UF-130DX sets itself apart from even other high-end document cameras because it includes a built-in AMD processor, Windows CE operating system, MS Office viewer, PDF viewer, Media Player, SDHC card slot, and Ethernet, keyboard and mouse connections, which enable users to access the Internet and make multimedia presentations without requiring a PC. The 1.32-megapixel camera displays at either SXGA/XGA or 720p HD resolutions, captures video at a full 30 frames per second, and includes an optical zoom of up to 14X. www.samsungpresenterusa.com


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