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Blog posts and video from Steven as he “COMBS” through the minutia to discover tech, retro-computing, physical computing, gadgets and sci-fi.

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Commodore Plus/4 Series

2 October 2021

IPEVO VZ-R Unboxing and Review

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
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I’m experimenting with livestreams on the channel. I like to prepare video, but when I live stream, I can relax, enjoy the live chat with followers, and not worry about editing afterward. Like the Ronco Rotisserie, I can “set it, and forget it.” My first couple of livestreams were not good. Not because of the content (well maybe!), but because of the webcam I used to capture my desktop.

I remedied this situation with the purchase of the well-reviewed IPEVO VZ-R HDMI Document Camera. Why a document camera and not a webcam? Watch the video below and then read the rest of the post to learn why and to read my thoughts on this document camera.

YouTube Video: IPEVO VZ-R HDMI Document Camera Unboxing and Review

In the video below, I unbox the IPEVO document camera, highlight features, and use in a few scenarios.

Video Errata

There is corresponding free software available, IPVEO Visualizer, for this camera; however, I chose not to download and install in favor of using the camera out of the box. A look at this software is its own video, and this software appears to have many valuable features: document scanning, split screen, and stop motion recording.

Timecodes:

Below are the links I mention in the video. All Amazon links are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting the blog and the YouTube channel!

  1. IPEVO VZ-R HDMI Document Camera
  2. Other IPEVO Cameras
  3. My TI-99/4A Purchase
  4. My MEGA65 Content
  5. Logitech BRIO

Additional Thoughts

I include many comments about this camera in the video and I try not to overstate them below:

  1. The packaging hides the quality of the product inside. Every mechanical housing, rotation points, and buttons, feels premium. Buttons are solid and the on/off switch has solid click. The camera case is metal with a cast iron, and heavy, base. The word I will use to describe this product is, “substantial.”
  2. Both sides have button operation labels in case you are a left or right-handed user.
  3. I worried that the 8.0 Megapixel camera would have problems with low lighting. This was not an issue with my light setup. While including an LED light is a nice idea, don’t count on it to provide all the light you need in a dark environment and it causes a hot spot.
  4. Speaking of the 8.0 Megapixel camera, it provides excellent color reproduction and the 4K resolution allows for both HDMI 4K and USB-C 4K digital. While I record in 1080p, 4K allows the digital zoom to provide detail without pixilation. This quality of this feature pleasantly surprised me.
  5. I did not try to use the HDMI port on the camera to connect to a monitor or LCD project.
  6. While you can use this document camera as a webcam, I would not recommend it. In a pinch, it will work; however, combine this camera with a high-quality webcam for your faces, such as a Logitech BRIO (the camera I use), and you have a high-quality multi-cam setup for OBS, Zoom, or other online streaming tool.

Recommendation

At $219, this is a pricey investment; however, when you compare with other brands of “professional” document cameras, the cost is right in line, if not cheaper. If you’d like the same camera, for less, more mobile, and with fewer features, check out the IPEVO store for more options. I chose this model for the hardware controls, 4K, and HDMI port.

At the time of this writing, I’ve not yet used this camera for a livestream; however, I’ve been using it to record and I am pleased. The image quality is better than I expected, controls are simple to use, and it works with OBS Studio on my Mac without issue. I need to spend time with the software available, but this is not a priority since the device worked as I needed right out of the box.

There is no reason to hesitate if you are on the fence to purchase this camera. I’ve tried and sent back four or five webcams to use as a document camera. None of them, of course, worked because they were not a true document camera designed to grab the contents on your desk or workbench. The IPEVO VZ-R is “the right tool for the right job.” If you have a regular need for a document camera, purchase one now!

Below is an image gallery for the IPEVO VR-Z:

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