I purchased an overhead camera from Amazon, IPEVO VZ-1 HD VGA/USB Dual-Mode Document Camera, which arrived today. Set up was astoundingly easy. There is a special program you have to download to use the camera which available from their web site.
The images are pretty good quality, not great, but they generally do not need any level or color balancing like everything I get from my phone’s camera or my Nikon d5000.
This first image above, more or less a test shot because I had nothing really handy, is actually a pretty good shot. The instructions are readable on the full-size image, even though the font is really small.
I tried taking a picture of a recent watercolor painting, as this will be my primary use for the camera — capturing art and documents.
The exposure was way too high, and from the standard height of the camera, I am not able to capture the full 9×12 image. The next two images show further adjustments.
It took me a while to figure this out, but I stacked some journals underneath the camera base (which is really well weighted so it’s sturdy) to raised the camera head enough to capture the full 9×12 painting.
Stacking 2 more journals under the camera base gives a good height to capture the full 9×12 painting with room to spare.
The main problem now is figuring out how to get it be completely flat. I may dig out a mat to use for this.