Friday, December 16, 2011

Lumens DC 190 Part II

In looking at the software for the new Lumens DC 190 document camera (doc cam), you do not see any changes to the 3 by 3 or 4 by 4 grid.  The software itself has been updated to v.1.0.9 for Ladibug and there have been a few updates and improvements to it for use with your computer.  Again the software is available on both PC and Mac, however I did not see on the website the availability for Linux for this new version as of yet.  All of the buttons here work just like they have in the past with one new item.  If you click the Lightbulb Icon you are able to toggle back and forth between the regular lamp and the LED light on the head unit.  If both lamps are off the sequence is as follows as you click the icon; lamp, lamp and LED, LED, off.  Again the addition of the LED lamp is a nice feature because it gives you just enough light and is not as overpowering at the lamp. 

Before I go in any further I have to add in that one of the best new features that I have seen is that if you press the Menu button on the Remote Control you are able to see it in the viewing area after you have clicked the Display live images button.  And it is fully functional so there is no need to have the doc cam hooked up as a pass-through device were you are forced to toggle the source back and forth so you can make Menu changes for the doc cam hardware.

Nothing has changed in the button options when you click the Advance button.  The Capture still images, Record video and Time Lapse capture have not changed.  The Camera Settings button has changed slightly in the way that it looks for users.

I mentioned it in my first post but there are a new feature button changes, one is the PIP button which allows you to see the static images that are stored in the doc cam base along with the live image in the bottom left hand corner of the view screen.  Now a bonus is that you can use the arrow keys on the remote to move the live image around on the screen if it is needed.  Press one time to get in and select the static image and to get out you have to press it again and then the Menu button to get back to the full screen live image.  Another new button is Pan which is just a name change from the old Book button.  Nice thing is that it is a one click in and a one click out.  The Capture and Record buttons here will store the media in the built in hard drive in the base of the doc cam and not on the computer like the buttons do on the 4 by 4 grid. 

Now for what I think is the best new upgrade is that the Arrow and Menu buttons on the right side of the panel are now fully functional.  This is a big leap over previous versions where they seemed to be just ornamental and were waiting for technology and coding to catch up with them so they would work properly.

Now to go along with all of the good I have to give you my opinions on what I think are some of the bad things I have seen with the new DC 190 and software.
  • The Rotate button is no longer on the remote control, a staple that has been there for a while.  Now you have to go into the software Advanced tools or use the hardware Menu key on the remote.
  • You can no longer see the Doc Cam internal storage as a drive on the computer when the unit is turned off.  You will have to change the default menu options to save to a USB drive then take that to the computer to read the information that has been saved to the DC 190 base.
  • The built in microphone will only record to the doc cam.  It cannot be used as a USB microphone through the computer.  May just need to have a USB Audio driver upgrade.
  • The Microscope attachment has gone from a threaded design to a post attachment design.  To me this is a real design flaw that needs to be addressed.  Within the first month of installation many of our teachers have already broken the adapter because they have twisted it to far and the posts break off which are no more than a millimeter or two thick. 
  • No clear instruction for switching the light sources on the Doc Cam. 
Now I am not trying to be negative, I have spent a long time working with Document Cameras over the past three plus years and have figured out many ways to get around and make things work.  I welcome any input from people out there if you are using the new DC 190, share your comments below.

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