Ipevo P2V Camera Review
Ipevo P2V Document Camera for Teachers
The Ipevo P2V (Point 2 View) document camera is an affordable document camera solution suitable for educational use. Priced under $100.00, this 2 mega pixel USB webcam is compatible with PC or MAC.
The Ipevo P2V is a possible solution for educators who want or need a document camera but don't want to spend hundreds of dollars or more. As a computer teacher since 2004, I have had the opportunity to use several models of document cameras from various companies such as Toshiba, Epson, Elmo and Samsung. I have also used many, many webcams. The Ipevo P2V combines the functionality of a basic document camera with the low cost of a good webcam.
I purchased an Ipevo P2V USB camera after I replaced my old Toshiba all-in-one projector / document camera with a more powerful projector. My new projector did not have a document camera. I wanted to try out the Ipevo P2V to see how it performed before I invested in another expensive document camera solution. As the technology coordinator for my elementary school, I am always looking for ways to stretch our technology funds. Since many of our teachers need document cameras for their teaching practice, I thought the Ipevo P2V deserved a thorough testing. Below are the results of my tests.
Product Description: The Ipevo P2V is a USB 2 Megapixel USB web camera. It has macro mode for getting excellent closeup images.
It has unique, multi-jointed stand, handheld grip, and universal monitor clip for unlimited view options.
Continuous or single-click autofocus for clarity and sharpness every time. One-touch snapshot mode; snapshots can be refined and organized with included software. Plug-and-play for both PC and Mac; seamless integration with a wide variety of IM applications.
The Ipevo P2V Hardware Review
The Ipevo P2V camera has a plastic body that is 3.8 inches long and has three buttons on the top of the camera.
The green button near the camera lens is a snapshot button. This comes in handy when you are holding the camera in your hand and you want to use the Ipevo like a point and shoot camera. It takes 2MP snapshots. It also has automatic macro mode so you can take sharp pictures from very closeup. I was able to take sharp pictures from about 2 inches. This would be good for getting closeup to those insect's bodies and wings or those little bones in those owl pellets!
The middle button is the autofocus button, it operates just like your point and shoot camera, just push the button and it displays a red colored focus box outline, when it has focused the outline of the box turns green. I have used this many times and it it works well.
The button at the end of the camera away from the lens allows you to select between single shot autofocus or continuous autofocus. I don't usually move the camera around much when I use it as a document camera so I leave the autofocus switch on single shot. If the distance between your camera and the object changes often, you might want to use continuous autofocus.
Ipevo P2V Snapshot Feature
These are two pictures taken with the handy snapshot feature. The Ipevo P2V takes 2MP resolution images in the .jpg format.
Here I am demonstrating proper finger placement for typing to help my younger students. You might take a snapshot of something interesting or educational and then display it on the monthly newsletter or school website.
Ipevo P2V Autofocus
Below is an example of how the autofocus works, I used the single shot autofocus to get a clear focus on the paper and text. When I put my hand into the viewing area, the camera stays focused for the text. If I had used the continuous autofocus, the camera would have attempted to refocus each time my hand moved in and out of the scene.
Using the Ipevo P2V as a Document Camera
This is an example of Ipevo P2V being used as a document camera with the computer and projector to display the keyboard on the projection screen in the computer lab. I can show a classroom full of kindergarters how to use the backspace, shift and spacebar keys instead of going around to each child one by one. NICE!
Those are boxes of brand new Elmo projector and document camera combos underneath the projection screen. Another reason I want to test the Ipevo P2V is because of space. I have limited space on my computer cart top. There is just enough room for my keyboard, a mouse and my hands or a piece of paper.
In this example the keyboard is displayed using just a portion of the projection screen but the image can be expanded to full screen as well.
The Ipevo P2V Monitor Mount and Camera Stand
|The Ipevo P2V camera comes with a mount for your monitor so you can use it as a regular webcam. Great for use with Skype and other video instant messengers.|
|The Ipevo P2V stand has a flexible pivoting camera mount so you can get just the right angle for viewing.|
|Here's a look at the Ipevo stand's 3 camera mounts. These are very handy for getting your camera and stand positioned out of your way but still getting the image on the projection screen oriented just the way you want.|
|This is the center of the stand. The parts are screwed together with a philips screw so you can tighten or loosen the stand to suit your needs.|
|This is the base of the stand. It is weighted and keeps the stand and camera stable. The base is also screwed to the stand with a philips screw for tightening and loosening as needed.|
Typical Ipevo P2V Usage Scenario in the Computer Lab
When using the Ipevo P2V to project a worksheet, it cannot show the whole height of the page at once. The stand is too short. The solution is to raise the camera stand as high as possible. Ipevo suggests raising it about 6" by placing something under the camera base. Keep this in mind if you will need to show a full 8 1/2" X 11" sheet of paper. I'm thinking they need to build a larger stand or provide a longer center suppport rod. I don't really have the room on the cart to use a pile of books or other large supports for the stand. I just move the paper as needed.
This is a look at my complete setup with the Ipevo document camera . The Ipevo P2V camera stand can be positioned to the left or right of the document. The camera is plugged into the front USB port of the computer. The computer is plugged into the projector on the second shelf. When the Ipevo P2V camera is not in use I just fold the stand and put the camera away on the second shelf of the cart.
The Ipevo P2V Camera Software Review
The Ipevo P2V comes with an installation CD with the camera software and a .pdf user manual.
Clicking the program shortcut brings up the camera application.
The top menu bar has controls for Zoom, Exposure, A Timer, Mirror function and Resolution settings.
A sidebar menu on the left buttons to switch between camera viewing, snapshot reviewing and toggling to full screen.
On the bottom right side of the screen are the controls for the autofocus. Whichever autofocus mode (single or continuous) you choose on the camera body's switch will be the autofocus mode shown on the display. In this example, the single AF mode is shown.
A Closer View of the Ipevo P2V Camera Controls
There is no zoom on the camera body, but you can zoom up to 3X using the Ipevo software.
You can adjust the exposure to compensate for your lighting conditions. In the computer lab with fluorescent lights I must set the exposure to +2 to get sufficient brightness. It's still not to my exact liking. At times I wish it was brighter.
You can set the camera timer to take a snapshot in 3 or 10 seconds. Alternately you can push the "enter"key on the keyboard to take a snaphot.
The mirror function is VERY handy. Using a combination of these options and the left and right camera mounting positions on the stand, you can avoid having your documents appear backwards or upside down.
You can change to a higher resolution to get a bigger and better picture, but the camera reacts to motion more slowly due to a slower frame rate .
Choose a lower resolution and the picture is smaller and lesser quality but the camera video response is improved due to faster frame rates.
Ipevo P2V Final Verdict:
Affordable and effective document camera.
Comes with monitor mount and table stand.
Clear sharp images and excellent autofocus.
Well thought out and easy to use software.
Table stand is too short for camera to display full page documents.
So-so low light performance.
A taller stand would be better for displaying entire documents, but it's easy enough to lift the camera stand 6 inches or so with a few books. Few webcams have brilliant low light performance, and the Ipevo is no exception, but the multiple exposure adjustments go a long way to making this camera work adequately in a wide variety of lighting situations.
Overall, this is a fantastic bargain for educators looking for a low cost alternative to expensive document cameras. Although this is really just a webcam, the shape, features and software make it an extraordinary webcam that is well suited for educational purposes.
The Ipevo P2V is definitely well worth the money spent.