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Indiana Wesleyan University Support Knowledge Base

Document Camera


This document discusses the educational tool referred to as a Document Camera. This input device is also sometimes called a Digital Presenter, Visual Presenter or Video Presenter.


Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to use this tool which allows viewers a large, illuminated image of any object that can be viewed, including transparencies, pages from books, 3D objects, or loose-leaf paper. The camera is mounted at the top of an arm, and can be rotated up to point at the instructor or the class, or the whiteboard. The base of the device contains the control buttons to turn it on and off, change settings, and select additional options. The arm also contains an LED to further illuminate the device, but this is an option that can be turned on or off with a button, based on the user's preference.

What are the benefits of Document Cameras?

Much like a traditional overhead projector was used to enlarge a transparency sheet for multiple viewers, a document camera enlarges transparencies, text on paper, and other physical objects, projecting them via the LCD projector onto the installed projection screen. This allows participants at all positions in the classroom or meeting room to view a bright, vivid representation of any object. For instance, a No.2 pencil can now appear 10 feet long (if your screen is that wide). Another benefit is the ability to capture photos of the displayed objects, and save them as jpeg files in software, for later display or for posting online.

Where can I find a Document Camera?

These Document Cameras are installed in many classrooms on the Marion campus of IWU, and in all of IWU's regional education centers. They will usually be positioned on a side shelf of the teaching station, close enough for easy accessibility.

You might need to lift the camera arm to its full height and make sure it's aimed correctly toward the table surface, or toward the people in the room if you intend to use it as a webcam for video conferencing (webcam feature is only available on USB models, and must be initiated on the computer to which it is connected).

How can I use the Document Camera?

The most frequent use of a document camera is to capture a document or 3D object that is resting on a table surface, and show it on a larger display so everyone in the room can see it. To use the document camera in this scenario, locate and press the "Doc Cam" button on the teaching station control panel. The button will illuminate to show that it is selected. Turn on the projector or flat panel display, by pressing the "On" button on the teaching station control panel. Then press the document camera's power button, which will illuminate (or turn from red to blue). Remove the lens cap from the bottom of the overhead camera, if necessary. Aim the camera at the image you want to show on the screen. You may need to focus, zoom, or correct the white-balance on the camera to provide better image quality. These buttons are located on the base of the device. If using a transparency sheet (acetate), place a bright solid colored paper beneath it.

Another way to use the document camera, is to use it's webcam feature in a video-conferencing or lecture capture scenario. This requires having the document camera connected to the PC with a USB cable. See the table below to learn which document cameras can function as webcameras. On the computer, open an application that can use a connected webcam, such as Zoom, Teams, or Windows Camera app. In the camera selection menu, select the name of your document camera (HoverCam, Samsung, etc.). Maximize the application to fill the screen and make the image as large as possible. It is also possible to select the HoverCam document camera as a microphone source (in Zoom or Teams) even if you are not using its video camera feature. For instance, you could share your screen, rather than turning on a camera, and turn on the microphone and select HoverCam as the microphone source. In some rooms, it may be possible to unplug the doc cam's USB cable from the desktop PC and plug it into your laptop instead. Just remember to return the USB cable to the PC when you are done using it with your laptop. If this is not possible in a room where you would like to use a document camera with your laptop, there are document cameras available for checkout at the Jackson Library Media Services desk.

What kinds of Document Cameras are available in IWU classrooms?


HoverCam Solo8+ HoverCam Solo8Plus.jpg

Connects via USB 3.0 cable to a computer's USB type-A jack.

Can be used as a webcam.

Includes internal microphone

All IWU Marion classrooms which have a desktop PC have one of these (as of 2022). They are also available for check out from the Media Services desk in Jackson Library.

Florence (3), Lousiville, and Indianapolis.


Samsung SDP-860 SDP860_left side(1).jpg

Connects to a teaching station as an input source.

Can be used as a webcam, if connected to computer with USB 2.0 cable, as long as a separate microphone is used.

Does not include an internal microphone.

various National and Global regional Education Center classrooms which have been designated for web-conferencing or distance learning. Typically one classroom per building has this doc cam.

Samsung UF-80DX Samsung_UF80DX.jpg

Connects to teaching station as a video-only input source.

Cannot connect to a PC.

Cannot function as a webcam.

Does not include an internal microphone.

National and Global regional Education Centers


AverVision W30 (wireless) avervision_w30.png

Connects to teaching station as an input source.

Can be used as a webcam, if connected to computer with USB 2.0 cable, as long as a separate microphone is used.

Does not include an internal microphone.

Beard Art Center 2nd floor classrooms



What can I do if my room doesn't have a Document Camera installed?

If you would like to use a Document Camera in your classroom or conference room please let us know by contacting the Support Center. While we don't have these devices in all classrooms yet, it is quite helpful to know the demand for this and other educational technology equipment. If a device isn't being used in one room, it may be available for installation in a room where the demand is greatest.

The Media Services desk, in the lower level of the Jackson Library has a few document cameras that can be checked out for a short duration of time, for use in your classroom or meeting space. You may want to examine the video signal connections available in the room where you wish to use it, since there are some document cameras that only output video signal over a USB cable, while others connect using HDMI.

Why a Document Camera? Can I use an Overhead Projector instead?

All classrooms and conference rooms should have ceiling mounted digital projectors or wall mounted flat panel displays, to which a document camera can be connected. For the few remaining rooms that do not have this equipment installed, faculty may check out similar equipment from the Jackson Library Media Services desk.

Most of the functions that can be accomplished by a traditional overhead projector can be done with a document camera, tablet PC, or other technology. The primary purpose of this shift in support is to emphasize the superior image quality that document cameras and projectors provide to a larger audience, over that of overhead projectors. We understand that there are still occasional functions which only an overhead projector can fulfill. These will be classified as lab equipment, and will therefore become the responsibility of the department to purchase, maintain and replace lamps. Media Services in the Jackson Library has an opaque projector for use in the Production Room. Beyond that, please contact the office of Institutional Media Technologies (x2209) to see what options may be available to meet your needs.