Thanks to IPEVO, I have the opportunity to review a fairly new product, the IPEVO Ziggi HD document camera (see on Amazon). I am especially interested in its use as a document and book scanner. I started a DIY Book Scanner project a few years ago (see here and here and here), but never finished. Now that I’m in a new country during Ph.D. studies, I don’t plan on building a scanner anytime soon. The Ziggi works so well, though, that I wonder if I’ll ever get around to building one.
[UPDATED 1 July, 2016]
The Video Review
To see the product in action, I’ve put together the follow video which focuses on the book scanning use of the camera. You can watch it in HD (1080p) if you want to really see the text capture in detail.
The camera comes with its own software which is intuitive and ‘light weight’ (easy on the hardware!).
The camera can be used with a computer to project images, take still shots, or capture/project video.
It has auto and manual exposure settings, and single or continuous auto-focus settings.
It is able to take a sufficiently high resolution photo of an open book, capturing both pages at OCR quality.
The ‘shutter’ can be controlled with the enter or return key, making for fast page turning and image capturing when scanning a book section.
I was able to scan as fast as one image every three seconds (that is 2 pgs/3 secs), though I would sometimes slow down when auto-focus delayed or my grip on the book faltered.
Scanning a book while holding it open has the disadvantage of ‘curved’ text in the captured image (fixable in scantailor), but it has the advantage of speed (in my case).
I used single auto-focus rather than continuous which seemed to work better for scanning multiple pages.
The stand itself is heavier than I expected, and this is a good thing. It keeps the camera stable.
The camera can be used with other software (like skype, etc.). While I do not anticipate using it for such, it may come in handy a time or two.
The auto-focus occasionally produced an image that was not as sharp as expected. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t seem on par with the resolution setting. Of course, when scanning pages from a book, the distance between the camera and the book slowly changes. Even so, I think there is some room for improvement here. Having said that, the easy of use, mobility, and sufficient quality overcomes any deficiency as far as my needs go.
Also, I wonder how well the joints on the camera stand will hold up. I have no reason to believe the joints will wear quickly, but any joint will deteriorate over time.
From the IPEVO site:
Features at a Glance
- 5.0 Megapixel camera for exceptional high-definition images
- A variety of high-definition and standard-definition resolutions up to 2592 x 1944
- High-resolution formats and a 6X zoom to capture even the smallest text and other fine details
- Multi-jointed stand and swiveling head for effortless, versatile capture
- Built-in microphone for web conferencing, podcasting and demonstrations
- Robust IPEVO Presenter software with a complete image capture toolkit
- Integrated Evernote support for sending Ziggi-HD images to your Evernote Notebook
- True 5.0-megapixel CMOS sensor
- High-definition resolutions up to 2592 x 1944
- Full autofocus lens
- Up to 2.2″ (5.5cm) macro focus
- 6x digital zoom
- Up to 30 fps live video capture (at 640 x 480)
- USB 2.0 Video Class (UVC) interface
- Mac & Windows PC compatible
- LxWxH (when folded): 10″x 3.1″x 1.5″ (255 x80 x40mm)
- USB cable length: 4.8ft (146cm)
- Color: black
- Compatible with popular image/video capturing and internet calling applications, including Apple’s PhotoBooth, Google Picasa, Skype, Windows Live, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, GoogleTalk, etc.
- IPEVO Ziggi-HD USB Document Camera
- Quick Start Guide
- CD with IPEVO Presenter Software and User Manual
- Anti-glare Shield
Let me know what you think and certainly feel free to ask questions in the comments below.
You can find the IPEVO camera on Amazon, as well as numerous accessories and related products.