Articles-4

Why Sensor Size Matters for Document Camera Image Quality

Published on Friday, 29 August 2014 

Image quality of document cameras is dictated by a number of factors and one of the most important is the sensor size of the camera module. Any device that captures images is filled with a number of components a manufacturer can juggle a number of ways to produce an image. A 5 MegaPixel image sounds pretty impressive for a document camera, but when you look closer at the fine print and the finer details of specification sheets, you may find a number of exaggerations that unfortunately make the meaning of 5MP different to manufacturers and consumers.

 

One of those factors is sensor size. To keep it simple, the size of the sensor impacts the color production and clarity of an image. A smaller sensor with a higher resolution will produce less crisp and vibrant images than a larger sensor. Incorporating the smaller sensor will allow the manufacturer to state the 5MP claimed on the box. Many document cameras today incorporate sensors that are between 1/6” and 1/4” which is relatively small and doesn’t result in the best color reproduction. When designing the HoverCam Solo 8 document camera, we really wanted to make sure it produced the best possible image. That’s why we made our sensor 1/ 3.2” (0.3125”), which is at the top of the line for document cameras and gives the 8 million pixels used by Solo 8 plenty of space which allows for vibrant color reproduction and the best possible image.

 

When you are thinking about purchasing a document camera, keep in mind there is a bevy of technical decisions made at the design stage that will impact the quality of the final product’s still image capture capability and the quality of the video it can produce and record. At the HoverCam, we are transparent about our specifications to make it easier on you, the consumer. We want to ensure you are properly informed and make the best decision possible before you spend money on a document camera. We believe teachers deserve the best technology and students deserve to have the clearest images. To learn more about our products and the new Solo 8, please visit www.thehovercam.com for more details.

Differentiating Between Resolution and MegaPixel Claims

Published on Thursday, 28 August 2014

Resolution. MegaPixels. 12MP resolution. All the rage today is MegaPixels. You see it in the phone wars. Who has the most MegaPixels? The question you should ask yourself is: Who cares? Today, we are going to talk about when MegaPixels matter, when they don’t, and why you should read the fine print before making a decision on purchasing a document camera based on its number of MegaPixels.

 

Without going into too much detail, we want to share with you the nuances of MegaPixels. There are two categories of MegaPixels: the MegaPixels that are for marketing and the MegaPixels that matter. Category one often boasts high numbers like 10, 12, and even 20. There is a phone out there that boasts 48MPs. While that sounds impressive, you should look at the fine print before being wowed by 48 MegaPixels.

 

The MegaPixel number that matters is the “effective resolution” number. You might see a document camera manufacturer that boasts a 5MP product. If this document camera is less expensive than other 5MP document cameras, and many other features are similar, you immediately think saving money is important and want to purchase less expensive document camera. After reading the fine print, though, you might learn that the sensor only produces an effective 3MP. What that means is the document camera deflates the quality of the image, even if it claims the 5 million pixels you signed up for.

 

Fortunately, a HoverCam document camera does not try to enhance its image by boasting a resolution that is not an effective resolution. Any document camera that we sell you will produce as many million pixels as it says right on the cover; no need to read the fine print. Our Solo 8 document camera has 8 megapixel resolution and a 30 frame per second refresh rate with all pixels active and “effective.”  To learn more about the Solo 8, please visit www.thehovercam.com/products/solo-8 for more details.

Why Businesses Choose HoverCam Solo 8

Published on Monday, 18 August 2014

HoverCam was born to save you time and get you better results whenever you want to capture still or moving images. Just plug a HoverCam into your PC or Mac – you don’t need to add accessories. A HoverCam unfolds to be a camera with lighting and a very nimble copy platform yet doesn’t use much more of your desktop than your coffee cup.

That’s never been truer than with our new Solo 8, our fastest and highest-resolution HoverCam so far. It can capture 8-MegaPixel still images on the first try. (Its rock-steady stand eliminates the blurs and jitters and the additional shots and extra time that so many people burn when they try to do captures with a handset or a handheld camera).

And when it comes to video there’s nothing near our price (more like five times our price) that can capture 4K video at its full frame rate – it helps if you connect it to a USB 3 port but if you don’t need 4K, we can shoot HD all day even over USB 2.

You probably already have cameras. You probably already have scanners. We can do just about every office job they can do – but we can do more and generally do them better, faster and with fewer hassles.

Your scanner can capture documents, business cards and photos. So can a Solo 8. But a Solo 8 can also capture documents in bound files, bound book pages and perhaps more significantly real-world things that aren’t flat enough or bendable enough to fit through a sheet feeder. And every software application you have that can connect to a standard (TWAIN) scanner can also connect to a Solo 8.

Maybe you use a camera for some of that. With our camera you don’t need to add a tripod stand for stability and since we’re already connected to the computer there’s no extra steps to moving photos from the camera to your hard drive or drag-and-drop straight into a document.

When things start moving we really lead the pack. We’re not just about 4K video but if that’s something that interests you there’s no better starting point than a Solo 8 – especially not at anything near our $349 price. We may not be designed to carry around like a camcorder but for any fixed-camera-position shooting you want to do we let you skip steps. There’s no need to transfer to a PC or Mac because that’s already where our video goes. Skip the tripod setup because a Solo 8 is its own stand. We’re compatible with many of the best video editing applications. And you don’t need a 4K display to see what the Solo 8 is capturing; you can even preview on a notebook screen.

For most of today’s video – where you don’t need the full 4K – like HD or even smaller formats – the Solo 8 has a wonderful trick up its sleeve: it can pan or tilt or zoom without moving at all and without any compromises to its resolution or crispness. The camera’s ability to capture 4K creates a pixel paradise – a wider and taller image than you need – so we just, more or less, let you move around the rectangle of pixels you want to use right now. 4K is 4 times as many pixels as HD 1080p so you can do in software what most cameras can’t do at all – move without moving.

So Solo 8 is the PC or Mac peripheral that captures better, higher-resolution still or moving images more easily so you can recapture your time. It’s part of that working-smarter thing. For additional information, please visit www.thehovercam.com/products/solo-8 .

Untether Yourself in the Classroom with a HoverCam Document Camera and Splashtop

Published on Friday, 22 August 2014 

One of the great things about being a teacher is flexibility. Teachers have the flexibility to take summers off and explore other professional positions; they have the flexibility to become coaches, mentors, organization leaders, and parents who can be home with their children. While the pay is not always that great, the flexibility teachers have in their professional and personal lives is envied by most others. In the classroom, it is equally important that teachers have the flexibility to walk around, stand, sit, and easily interact with students at any corner of the room.

Most classrooms are no longer set up to force teachers to stand or sit at the front. In today’s new environment that incorporates technology into most aspects of classrooms,  teachers, now more than ever before, have to be mobile in their classrooms to ensure that students get the best possible experience. One of the pitfalls currently hindering teachers’ flexibility is overhead projectors and archaic document cameras. In the traditional model, teachers have to stand in front of their classrooms and be perfectly still to use many of the current methods of projection that exist.

Thankfully, Pathway Innovations and Technology, Inc. invented the HoverCam Solo 8 document camera. The Solo 8 revolutionized the way we think about document cameras and how we use them in the classroom. There are countless stories of educators and administrators who purchased HoverCam document cameras and find out they were missing out greatly by not having one sooner. With an 8MP sensor, full HD video recording at 30fps, and superior audio recording, the HoverCam Solo 8 will untether you in the classroom. Because of its small, compact size, light weight and built-in software, the HoverCam Solo 8 goes wherever you do, whenever you do. Using the HoverCam Solo 8 with Splashtop makes your document camera wireless, meaning you can control it from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection and download the Splash top app to your mobile device.

Because the HoverCam Solo 8 and Splashtop work so well together, you do not have to worry about maintenance, setup, or any other problems that might arise when dealing with new technology. The document cameras built by the HoverCam simply work. No difficult set-up, no downloads, no tricky drivers to install; they just work. Splashtop and the HoverCam Solo 8 were both designed with educators in mind, and the HoverCam  software integrates easily into any operating system.  It’s so intuitive, even a 5th grader can use it (and many have reported, 5th graders love them!).

The HoverCam Solo 8 and Splash top are necessary tools for today’s teachers. Our goal as a company is to empower teachers to better educate the future generation using technology, so we designed, received feedback, and redesigned our hardware and software with you, the teacher, in mind. We make the HoverCam experience so easy because we know how important it is for technology to just work. We don’t want you to lose out on any teaching time, so we have ensured that the HoverCam Solo 8 works out of the box.

If you have any questions, want to test-run a Solo 8 for your classroom, or have any other comments that you would like to provide, please feel free to visit our website at www.thehovercam.com for more information, and more details on how you can try a Solo 8 today.