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camera advice for classroom enviroment


 
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ees
New Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: camera advice for classroom enviroment Reply with quote

Iím looking for a camera for blackboard viewing. I have trouble reading the board and I looking for something I can put on a table or something near the front of the room before I sit down.

It has to be:
-easy to carry around from class to class
-relatively small and quiet
-run on battery (some lecture halls only have outlets on the side of the room)
-good zoom and fast panning feature so can follow along as I take notes
-wide pan (some lecture halls have 3 blackboards link together horizontally)
-bluetooth is also fine since Iíll be relatively near the camera
-motion sensor, night vision is not an issue
-maybe a tiny tabletop stand for situations I can't leave camera at the front

It there a camera someone can recommend?

Please donít recommend better glasses, sitting up front, note taker, binoculars I tried all that.
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buellwinkle
Wizard


Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An IP camera is not the best choice as you'll have to power it with 110VAC, you'll need to network it to your computer and to get something with a real zoom, it's going to costs a bunch. Look around for a USB Webcam, they are much cheaper, easier to use and there are some PTZ versions.

Alternately, check out a small camcorder, they come with with 10-20X zoom, cheap and you can figure out a way to plug it into your laptop.
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ees
New Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buellwinkle wrote:
An IP camera is not the best choice as you'll have to power it with 110VAC, you'll need to network it to your computer and to get something with a real zoom, it's going to costs a bunch. Look around for a USB Webcam, they are much cheaper, easier to use and there are some PTZ versions.

Alternately, check out a small camcorder, they come with with 10-20X zoom, cheap and you can figure out a way to plug it into your laptop.


The main problem with cameras was finding the software to control the it, while it was connected. The camera usually goes into "webcam" mode and locks the zoom buttons

I've tried a webcam in highschool and the zoom wasn't enough to read anything. Now i'm in university, the boards in lecture halls are even further away. I going to do more research on PTZ webcams but I doubt their zoom capabilities.

As for video cameras, I did some googleing a while back and there were Very few streaming video camera available. I currently own a Sony camcorder that doesn't even have the webcam feature. Unless maybe if I went with analog signal, then I'll need to carry some kind of analog to digital converter. I'm not sure how that'll work...

Plus I sometimes cannot control where I sit, but it'll be easier to just put down a camera up front

In terms of price, I do realize it'll cost a bunch, but failing just 1 course would cost $700 upwards not to mention the time lost and following along in some courses, especially applied vector math is a nightmare.

It seems IP cameras have the perfect software for my needs.

Thank you for your advice and sorry for the long post.
So is there some webcam/camera/videocamera/IPcamera someone can recommend in this situation?
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Alon
Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmm... Why not get a still-cam, like, you know, digital camera, not camcorder... And just take HQ snapshots of the desk whenever it's full or the proffesor is abotu to erase it or whatever? That way it's mobile, doesn't require a set up... Though, tedious coz you have to always take shots before the dude erases everything.

On the other hand - the resolution would be much higher.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-Lumix-FS35-Digital-Camera/dp/B004I1KP5C/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1297875880&sr=1-5

16.1megapixels... ~400dollars I guess? 350?

The resolution would liekly ensure that everything ont he bhoard is visible... you could get a mini tripod to mount it on... And you could take super HQ pix of girls boobies when they not be watchign! Errrrr... Never mind that last one...

Anyway... Just saying, you MIGH wanna consider a still-cam... Dunno...
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buellwinkle
Wizard


Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still camera makes sense.

Here's the problem with what you want to do. First you'll need to plug the camera into an AC outlet in the front of the room somewhere, who knows if they instructor will let you. Then you either need to have a long ethernet cable or a WiFi router by your laptop which also needs 110VAC to plug in, but at least the WiFi router can be anywhere in the room. Then the software for IP cameras is not designed for this. Even when you want continous recording, many record into seperate files on a fixed interval, so you may end up with 45 files after 45 minutes. Lastly, the compression algorithms on most surveillance cameras are skewed towards motion rather than stills, so extracting a still from a video may not give you the clarity you want.

So still camera may be best, why, because you can connect the camera via USB to your PC although don't expect a 16MP camera to send 16MP preview mode but many do HD, but it may be the best choice. and many still camera have excellent optical zoom. Then if you want to save a screen, just click the shutter. It's all battery operated, shove it in the pocket when you are done.
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