Samsung SDP-860 Document Camera Thing

In my videos I often need to show something happening on my desk. Either I’m building things, soldering or trying to draw a diagram. Setting this up is more complicated than it might seem – cameras can’t magically hover over desks and tripods get in the way.

My usual method is to precariously balance a camera above the desk using whatever works. It’s fine, but not something easily repeatable and I waste a lot of time getting things just right. It’s hard to avoid the shadow cast by the camera, and knocking it can mess up half a video if I don’t notice my hands are no longer in shot.

Enter the document presenter camera thing. I have no idea what the proper name for these is. They’re a camera on an arm with a few controls and a video output that’s designed to go into a projector.

Their intended use is to be put at the front of a classroom or lecture theatre. Items needing to be shown to the audience can then be placed under and projected on the wall or shown on a TV. It’s a webcam on a stick.

This one does not-quite-HD but has a crisp image and doesn’t lag. I need to set up the capture input on my PC’s capture box though, I noticed quite a bit of compression artefacts, especially on quickly moving objects.

Overall though, for a whole £35, it works well.