Saturday, August 07, 2010

Point 2 View Document Camera Review

Good things come in small (low-cost) packages! With so many of us trying to demo our smartphones, iPads, or other devices to an audience of educators, the IPEVO Point 2 View ($69) is something to consider for your toolbox! It easily connects to a computer to project to a large group using an LCD projector for real-time viewing of the screens of the electronic devices we are trying to show. Of course, you can project anything flat or 3-dimensional, too, when teaching other content areas. Typical examples include documents for whole-class discussion and mark-up, coins for teaching money for the elementary grades, or tiny bugs and shells in science class.

The iPhone screen projected on the laptop via the Point 2 View
The Point 2 View is a USB document camera. You simply install the software (Win or Mac) on your laptop, plug the camera into an available USB port, and you are good to go! The software allows you to change the zoom on the camera, change the exposure if you are in a light or dark situation, set a timer to take a photo, mirror the item you are looking at, and change the camera resolution from 1600x1200 all the way down to 320x240. The camera itself can auto-focus on your object or also lets you focus manually.

Entire iPad screen projected with the Point 2 View

The Point 2 View is used by attaching it to the included weighted, adjustable base. (It also comes with a laptop/LCD screen clip in case you want to use it as a Web cam.) It is 9"x5"x3" and weighs 1.5 pounds (with most of the weight in the base of the holder). Because of this weighted base, however, you can telescope it way out from the base to show an item if you need to. It stays very sturdy and does not shake.

Locating my house in Google Earth using the camera's zoom function.

The Point 2 View can also be used "in the field" since it is powered by the USB port. Students working outside with a laptop or netbook could use it to view items as close as 2" away and take photographs to share with the rest of the class. In addition, it even works as a long distance camera, as you can see by the shot below!

An interior shot in lower light in my house.

The feature I like best is the ease of zooming in on the object being presented using the zoom functionality in the software. I have just included a couple of sample shots below, but imagine the possibilities! Please share some ideas you have for use of the Point 2 View in the comments section!
Using the 1x zoom setting on the Point 2 View

Using the 2.5x zoom setting on the Point 2 View

Follow up (10/27/10): One person asked in the comments if one could capture moving objects with the Point2View. I did not have any amoeba swimming in a Petri dish at home, so I used Adobe Premiere Elements 9 for the Mac to record a video playing on my iPhone using the Point2 View as the capture source. The unedited result follows: