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Epson DC-06 Document Camera

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Jul 1, 2009
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REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Company: Epson America, Inc., P.O. Box 93012, Long Beach, CA 90806. Phone: (800) 463-7766; Internet: www.epson.com.  

Price: $399

Specifications: The DC-06 weighs approximately 2 lbs. The device is 3.0" x 10.7" x 2.6" when closed and 3.0" x 10.7" x 15" with the arms extended. The document camera is connected to a computer or a projector through a USB port that also provides power.

The optical specifications include an F2.8 lens with 4x digital magnification, autofocus (with push-button activation), and a 10.7" x 14.3" capture area. The camera specifications include output signals of 1024x768 XGA with a projector or UXGA, SXGA, XGA, and SVGA with a computer. The frame rate is a maximum of 15 frames per second; the lighting source is an LED lamp.

Minimum System Requirements: The included ArcSoft software (needed to use the DC-06 with a computer) requires a computer with a Pentium 4 1.4 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 300 MB available hard disk space, Windows Vista or XP SP2, and an SVGA monitor with 800 x 600 resolution.

Description: The extremely portable DC-06 document camera can be used with a projector or a computer. The unit’s features include auto white balance, built-in 90-degree image rotation, and a tilting and rotating camera head with an LCD light. Buttons on the camera freeze an image and turn on the light, automatically focus the image, and enlarge or reduce the image size. The DC-06 comes with a soft carrying case, a USB cable, a user manual, and a CD-ROM with ArcSoft camera software.

Warranty: The Epson DC-06 has a 2-year limited warranty that includes Epson PrivateLine dedicated toll-free support (in the U.S. and Canada only).

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Installation is a matter of connecting the document camera to a projector or a computer with a USB cable. If the camera is connected to a computer, the ArcSoft software must be installed. The package provides everything needed to make the installation and connections. The clear instructions make the installation process very easy. Installation Rating: A

Features: In general, document cameras can be used in a variety of ways—to model writing, share reading, demonstrate dictionary and other reference book skills, and demonstrate manipulatives, as well as to display student writing, maps, science demonstrations, notes and math problems, magazine and newspaper articles, and much more.

Document cameras take pictures that can be saved on a computer or projected on a wall or screen in the form of photos or movies. Still images are created in .jpg or .bmp file formats; moving images are in .wmv or .mpg formats. These formats can be used by PowerPoint and many other software applications.

The captured images can be saved and used with other programs, displayed on the internet, and used in countless other ways. All in all, the document camera is an extremely useful tool that (most likely) will eventually become as common as the overhead projector once was.

The Epson DC-06 document camera is a relatively small, rectangular unit. Setting it on a flat surface and pressing one end raises an arm with a camera on the end of another arm, creating a "z" shape as it expands. When rotated, the camera arm is the perfect height for working with documents laid on a table under the unit. The arm also can be rotated to work with images on a wall or whiteboard at a 90-degree angle to the desktop.

The base of the unit has several controls, including a Freeze button that turns on the lamp and freezes an image displayed by the unit. (This function doesn’t work when the device is connected to a computer.) The base also has buttons for automatic image focusing, enlarging or reducing the image size, and turning the LCD lamp on or off. All of the controls are intuitive and make the DC-06 very easy to use.

One interesting feature is Source Search. When the unit is connected to a projector, the projector source automatically switches to the document camera. When the DC-06 is connected to a computer, the Source Search button can be pressed until the desired image is displayed.

Like many document cameras, the DC-06 can be used with a projector or a computer. The unit can be plugged into Epson’s PowerLite 85, 825, and 826W projectors and used without a computer, or it can be used with any projector if the document camera and projector are both plugged into a Windows computer. The DC-06 is plugged into either device via a USB cable (the only cable needed, since it provides the power as well).

Computers used with the DC-06 must have the included ArcSoft software installed. This program provides the controls to operate the document camera and to work with the images captured by the camera.

The ArcSoft software has two modes of operation. The first is a capture mode that works with images as they are captured (including file formats and resolution, as well as saving, printing, and so on). This feature enables the display of the captured images in a slide show.

The second mode provides an editing function that works with the saved images. This feature enables adjustments in brightness and contrast, as well as the enlargement, reduction, and rotation of images.

The DC-06 document camera is an outstanding product. It is well-designed, effective, highly portable, very easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. The lower cost sacrifices some possible features, but I couldn’t see anything missing here that was really necessary in most classroom situations. Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: The DC-06 document camera is extremely easy to set up and use. With the aid of the well-written manual, there is a very short learning curve in getting started with the device. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: The product support is excellent. The 2-year limited warranty includes dedicated toll-free telephone support in the U.S. and Canada. The online materials offer answers to Frequently Asked Questions FAQ, as well as documents, manuals, and contact information for additional support. The included ArcSoft software is accompanied by very good online help, if needed. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: The Epson DC-06 is an outstanding document camera that could be a basic tool in nearly every educational setting at every level. At the very least, schools should have several of these devices. Optimally, there would be one in every classroom.

The DC-06 provides a document camera at a significantly reduced cost, making it possible to place these devices in more classrooms, where they can be extremely useful as a sort of supercharged overhead projector. Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe, media specialist, Hastings Area Schools, Central Elementary School, Hastings, MI.


 
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