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Best Document Cameras for Educators in 2024

This guide will take you through the best document cameras on the market at the moment.

These devices are modern essentials for teachers, presenters, and other professionals who want to show documents or other materials during the course of their work.

They have replaced the old-school projector, and while they share the same basic functionality, they have many modern features that set them apart.

But how to choose the right one for you? Which features are essential, and which are simply nice to have?

This guide will answer all those questions and more.

What Are the Best Document Cameras in 2024?

AVer U50+ (Editor’s Choice)


  • Versatile
  • Good value
  • Lightweight and portable
  • High-resolution images
  • 30 fps video

  • A little expensive for some budgets

This is our first choice, and for good reason.

The AVer U50+ boasts a 5-megapixel, high-resolution, high-definition camera, which means that the documents or objects you share will be crisp and detailed.

You also get 30fps live video which is perfect for live streaming or recording footage. The incorporated microphone helps with this too.

It has a powerful 8X digital zoom and also autofocus capabilities, enabling precise focusing and magnification. This means you get clear and sharp images even at close range.

Its connectivity options are excellent, and it has a faster USB 3.0 connection than its primary competitor, the IPEVO VZ-R. You also get HDMI and VGA, so it’s compatible with a wide range of devices.

Its viewing (or shooting) area is large, too, the equivalent of an A3 sheet of paper. And, thanks to the highly flexible neck, you can angle the camera in pretty much any way you want it to cover your needs.

Designed with portability in mind, the U50+ is foldable and lightweight for easy transportation.

It also includes user-friendly software that offers additional features, such as annotation tools and video recording capabilities. These tools enable you to seamlessly integrate live video or images into your existing teaching materials.

IPEVO VZ-R (Top Pick)

Modern green desk lamp with adjustable arm and built-in control buttons on a mint background.


  • High resolution
  • Great connectivity options
  • 30 fps frame rate
  • In-built lighting

  • Microphone only works in USB mode

The IPEVO VZ-R is certainly another of the best document cameras on the market.

It has a slightly higher-resolution camera than the U50+ (8 megapixels) and also projects at Full-HD 1080p resolution, so you get equally sharp images.

It’s definitely marketed as something you can use without a computer – as it has HDMI, it can be plugged directly into monitors – but it has USB connectivity too, so it can be used in much the same way as the U50+. Although, the U50+ has a faster USB connection.

It supports real-time video streaming and recording at 30 fps and has a handy built-in microphone. However, this microphone cannot be used in HDMI mode.

It’s lightweight, compact, and, with its metal construction, robust.

It also has a large shooting area and is designed to be flexible, with a multi-jointed stand and swiveling head that allows users to adjust the viewing angle and position.

Featuring built-in LED lights with adjustable brightness levels, the IPEVO VZ-R also makes sure you can illuminate your subjects well, even in low-light environments.

It’s compatible with iOS, Microsoft, and Chromebook.

OKIOCAM OKIOLABS S Plus (Best Budget Document Camera)

A white modern desk lamp with an adjustable arm and clamp base, displayed against a pale green background.


  • Affordable document camera
  • Full-HD resolution
  • Portable and compact
  • AI-tracking

  • Limited flexibility
  • Looks a little cheap

A lot cheaper than its competitors, it seems OKIOCAM have cut marketing corners to bring you those savings, as the photos on their website are out of focus.

But don’t let that put you off, savings have to be made somewhere to create budget tech, and this device is very good value for money.

It has a 5-megapixel camera that’s capable of also delivering Full-HD footage, and that’s produced from a shooting area that’s roughly equivalent to a piece of A4 paper.

You can connect it to devices via USB, HDMI, and WiFi, and it’s also compatible with Mac, Windows and Chrome OS.

While not quite as flexible as our two first picks, it’s still very adjustable thanks to its multi-jointed stand and 360-degree rotating camera head.

It’s compact and highly portable and comes bundled with user-friendly software.

That software has advanced features such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), annotation tools, and split-screen functionality.

The overall design is one of user-friendliness, too. There are handy buttons on the head that allow you to adjust, for example, the zoom and exposure.

It also comes with a virtual pointer that uses AI to help the camera precisely track any movements you make.

INSWAN INS-1 (Most Portable)

Adjustable white desk lamp on a green background.


  • In-built lights
  • High-resolution
  • Compact and portable
  • Microscope adaptor

  • Limited adjustability
  • Can be unsteady

As the smallest device in this guide to the best document cameras, the INSWAN INS-1 is also the most portable. It looks like a tiny desk lamp, and it’s easy to transport wherever you need it.

It creates a high-quality image with its 8-megapixel camera and also provides 30 fps 1080p Full-HD resolution footage.

It’s not the most adjustable out of the document cameras on this list, but it is still pretty flexible with its jointed stand and 90-degree adjustable camera head.

It has a simple plug-and-play USB connection, which gives you straightforward connectivity to computers, laptops, and interactive displays.

And, it’s compatible with Chrome OS, plus Mac and Windows, and also with a whole range of webinar software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

The INS-1 comes with autofocus and adjustable LED lights, and it also has a 16X digital zoom (8X when using a Chromebook) to help you show things in more detail.

It has a shooting area larger than the size of a sheet of A4 paper, and the camera’s small base means that it won’t get in the way of you using the full area.

One cool feature, especially if you’re doing science or laboratory presentations, is that it can be easily connected to a microscope with the use of an adaptor.

IPEVO V4K (Best Value)

A black adjustable desk lamp with an LED light head, mounted on a stable rectangular base, against a plain teal background.


  • Well designed
  • Durable
  • Great camera quality
  • User-friendly

  • Can have microphone issues

This is an extremely popular choice as it houses a good range of features for the price.

It delivers very clear, very crisp, highly detailed images, thanks to its 8-megapixel Sony CMOS sensor. It also produces 4K Ultra HD resolution footage – ideal for filming presentations and live streaming.

It has autofocus and auto-exposure, which helps you get your documents and objects looking their best with the minimum of fuss.

Like many of its competitors, the V4K has a multi-jointed stand with a 90-degree rotating head, which allows you to adjust the viewing angle and position and capture documents and objects from various perspectives.

It’s easy to use and set up – no need for additional drivers or software, just plug-and-play via a USB connection.

It has built-in LED lights, so you’ll be OK in low-light conditions, plus a built-in microphone.

You can connect it to all the major systems, even including Linux, although that’s reportedly not such a pleasant experience. And, it’s compatible with the main video conferencing software such as Google Hangouts and Skype.

It’s well-built, compact, and portable, with a design that focuses on durability.

For example, IPEVO knows that document cameras can get fairly heavy daily use and, therefore, suffer from loose joints. Therefore, they’ve designed the stand to make it easy to retighten any joint with a coin.

AVer M15W (Best Premium Document Camera)

Portable black document scanner with control panel, positioned horizontally on a light green background.


  • Image stabilisation
  • Feature-packed
  • High-resolution camera
  • Great image and footage quality
  • Easy to use

This is an award-winning, high-end piece of equipment only for those with serious needs and deep pockets.

It has a 13-megapixel camera and shoots 4K video at up to 60 fps. That means your images will be highly detailed and exceptionally clear, and that your video will have zero lag.

It’s set up with a simple and straightforward USB connection, but you can also connect it to devices by way of HDMI and WiFi.

It has a robust and flexible design, which folds up into a nicely compact form for easy transportation.

It has a large viewing area – the equivalent of an A3 sheet – and the head and neck are adjustable (not as much as some others in this guide) enough to give you the flexibility you need.

The design has user-friendliness at its core, too. There’s a simple interface on the base, from where you can access all the camera’s controls.

And, it also focuses on giving you a precise experience. As well as autofocus, you get the ability to manually adjust your focus.

It has curve flattening (straightening your documents), and can be connected to the cloud for storing and synching your materials.

It also boasts a 23X zoom, a far greater magnification than anything else in this guide.

The Aver M15W is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Chrome, and syncs with all the major video conferencing software.

IPEVO VZ-X (Best Wireless Document Camera)

Modern blue desk lamp with adjustable arm and built-in USB ports on a teal background.


  • Large shooting area
  • Good connectivity
  • Excellent design
  • Great image and footage quality

With its WiFi connectivity, the IPEVO VZ-X is ideal for anyone looking to use their device wirelessly.

Although, that’s not its only connection method. You can also use it with a USB cable or with HDMI.

It’s very similar in look and design to our Top Pick, the VZ-R. It’s blue, rather than green, and it has the same lightweight yet durable build, and the same flexibility – with the highly-adjustable neck and head, which allows you to show and view materials from a variety of angles.

It comes equipped with an 8-megapixel Sony CMOS sensor and Full HD 1080p resolution, so you get excellent quality visuals.

The design is second to none. The layout is extremely user-friendly, and you get a lot of features with plenty of control.

On the back of the stand, you have access to dedicated buttons that allow you to control the in-built lighting, manually adjust your exposure, zoom in and out, select video filters, and capture images.

The stand also houses the built-in microphone, which is essential for giving presentations.

How to Choose the Best Document Camera for Teachers, Trainers, & Online Presenters


When choosing the right device for your professional life, there’s a range of features you’ll need to consider before taking the plunge.


The higher the resolution of your camera (e.g., 1080p or higher) the more clear and detailed your images and videos will be.

Viewing Area

Make sure that the camera model you choose has a large enough viewing area to accommodate the sizes of documents and objects you need to show.

Also, ensure that the camera device is designed in such a way that the base doesn’t eat into any of this shooting area.


An adjustable zoom feature is very handy, as it allows you to focus in on specific details or zoom out for broader views, leading to more accurate and dynamic presentations.

Live Streaming

Document cameras that support live streaming capabilities are extremely useful, as they let you broadcast presentations or demonstrations in real time.

With this feature, though, you need to make sure that the devices you’re looking at offer a frame rate of at least 30 fps, as that’s the internet standard.

Anything less, and your video feed will experience lag.


Good document cameras need to offer versatile connectivity options such as USB, HDMI, or other wireless connections so that they integrate seamlessly with your existing devices and equipment.


Lightweight and portable devices are the best. This makes it easy to transport them between classrooms, meeting rooms, or any other locations.


You need to make sure any device you’re about to invest in is compatible with your operating system (e.g., Windows, macOS, ChromeOS) and any relevant software applications (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet).

Stand Design

A sturdy stand design is essential. Document cameras can see pretty heavy use and need to be adjusted frequently, so you need it to be durable.

Not only that, it needs to be flexible too, to allow for adjusting height, angle, and general positioning to capture the best possible images and video.

Other Features

Depending on your particular needs as a teacher, trainer, or online presenter, you should consider other features such as whether the device offers autofocus, built-in lighting, or annotation tools.

FAQs About Document Cameras

What is a digital document camera?

It’s the modern version of a projector; a specialized camera used to capture and display documents, objects, and materials in real-time.

You can also use them for live feeds, so they’re particularly useful for teachers and anyone who needs to make a presentation.

What is the difference between a document camera and a webcam?

Document cameras specialize in the real-time capture and display of documents and objects, often with adjustable settings for detailed imaging.

Webcams are designed specifically for video communication and recording, so they lack these more detailed imaging settings.

Can I use a document camera without a computer?

Yes, you can use document cameras without a computer by connecting them directly to, for example, a projector.

Many document cameras also come with built-in LCD screens or HDMI outputs.

Can you use a document camera with Zoom?

Yes, you can use document cameras with Zoom by connecting them to your computer and selecting them as your video input device within the Zoom settings.

Which document camera works best with Zoom?

For use with Zoom, models with USB connectivity are the best.

So, our Editor’s Choice and Top Pick both work well with Zoom.

How many megapixels should a document camera be?

The ideal number of megapixels for your device depends on the level of detail required for your specific needs.

For basic document capturing and sharing in classrooms or meetings, document cameras with a resolution of 5 to 8 megapixels are generally sufficient.

However, for more detailed imaging, such as capturing small text or intricate diagrams, opting for a higher resolution document camera with 10 megapixels could be better, as the higher the pixel count, the sharper and clearer the visuals.

Are there free document cameras for teachers?

There are some options, and they involve a teacher using their phone or tablet.

Camo and Duet Display are examples of free apps that provide document camera capabilities.

Is there a document camera with a built-in projector?

No, not as far as I know. But there are several that use HDMI, so they can be plugged directly into a TV screen or other display, without the need for a computer.

What can I use instead of a document camera?

If you don’t need to be showing objects in real-time, you can use a smartphone or tablet with a scanning app or built-in camera to capture then display documents.

You could also use a flatbed scanner to digitize documents and then share the scanned images on-screen.

Or you could go old school and use a traditional overhead projector.

Can I use a webcam as a document camera?

Yes, you can use a webcam as a document camera by positioning it to capture documents, objects, or materials.

It’s a cost-effective solution, but bear in mind that the image quality won’t be as good as with a dedicated document camera.

Can I use my iPad as a document camera?

Yes, you can.

Apps like Camo or Duet Display enable you to use your iPad’s camera as a webcam.

When you use these apps, you also get features like adjustable focus and zoom, just like a document camera.

You can also connect your iPad to a projector to share a live video feed.

Can you use a document camera as a projector?

No, not on its own.

A document camera captures and displays documents, and so on, in real-time through its camera lens.

You need to connect it to a projector or other display device to project the images or videos onto a larger screen.

How can a document camera be used in the classroom?

There are many ways these devices can be used in the classroom.

Teachers can use document cameras to display educational materials to an entire class, making it easier for students to follow along and participate.

They can also be used for live demonstrations of experiments, art projects, or other hands-on activities.

Document cameras are also handy to showcase student work, provide feedback, and facilitate discussions.

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