I’ve been a big fan of the first two Belkin Stage products that can turn phones and tablets into document cameras, but the third generation Stage is the best yet. It’s still an excellent way to show the class a physical item and mark up the screen with notes and sketches. But, the new app not only lets you import .pdf files and move between an iPad or iPhone’s front and back cameras, but you can dictate annotations to it. Plus, it’s now optimized for an iPhone, but remains a freebee for the classroom.
For those who like a dedicated document camera, Epson’s DC-21 takes shooting items to a new level with HD resolution and a variety of still and video formats. It can capture an area as big as 11.7- by 20.7-inches and has an auto-focus system so that everything is pinpoint sharp. In addition to a 12X optical zoom, the camera has a 10 digital zoom and the camera head can rotate 180-degrees horizontally and vertically. It costs $550 and schools get a three-year warranty.
Picking up where the VZ-1 HD left off, IPEVO’s iZiggy HD document camera breaks new ground for classroom use. It can not only capture 2,592 by 1,944 images with its 5-megapixel sensor, but can wirelessly transmit them to an iPad or PC. The material can be marked up and annotated using the company’s included software and its articulated arm lets the lens get in close to the original. At $159, it puts other doc cams to shame.