Video camera to live stream sketching?

Hey guys,

I’m going to be teaching a sketching course next semester, and I need to be able to use a camera, capture what I’m drawing, and have it stream directly to the computer so it can be projected. Think of it like an overhead projector, just with a video camera+computer instead. Does anyone know what sort of camera can broadcast what it’s recording directly to a computer? I’ve tried Googling high and low…

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.


I think any webcam will do.
I recommend the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000, do your research though, something better might be out now?

And just use a video streaming online service like to host your classes.

Did that help?

Hey, thanks!

It’s not a web-stream I’m looking for. I’ll actually be in a classroom, and instead of having the students crowd around me, I’d like to be able to just project directly from what I’m drawing. Our school has the computers hooked up to the projector in every room, so I just need the camera to be able to stream to the computer. I guess I could just use a webcam. I was hoping for some better quality (maybe investing in a flip or something), but I guess there are some good quality webcams out there.

I think the process is called ‘tethered shooting’ or ‘tethered video’. Most cameras can do it, but i think its a software thing. This guy has video up on youtube doing it Canon 7D tether test - YouTube Horrible video but shows its possible.

I can recommend the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema. 720p HD nice lens, great picture. Downside for your application is no tripod mount connection underneath, but nice bendable section.

Another cool tool would be to pick up a cheap old Toshiba tablet PC on ebay and connect it to a projector. Just sketch on screen like a Wacom Cintiq.

Wait, classroom has a digital projector? All digital projectors that I am aware of have at least a RCA (round yellow plug) input. All video camera and even digital point and shoots have a video out plug. It usually looks like a headphone jack, but you stick a mini plug in with a yellow rca on the other end which plugs into the projector. You shouldn’t even need the computer. The camera will pipe what it would show on the screen out to the projector. You might need a power source for the camera.

MPdesigner: Yeah we already have a nice iMac set up, but I want to teach traditional sketching techniques in addition to digital.

bennybtl: Yea it’s ceiling mounted, and as I’m not at school right now I’m not sure how high the ceiling is/if the cable would reach. Also, isn’t that capability only for playback (meaning after you recorded, you can play it on a TV) and not for live streaming?

egicas: That would do the trick but I don’t have a DSLR with video capabilities. I just sent out an email asking if any of the students would mind bringing one to class every week, haha. Hopefully that works.

If not then I’ll have to buy a webcam. Lame. Thanks for your help everyone!

Just a wild thought, is there no way to just hook up the camera into the computer through a cable? Kinda like how external monitors or digital picture frames work?

Another thing you can try is, if you do sketching on the computer and not paper. There are lots of screen video capture services you can use that will stream your desktop to others.

Yea that’s what tethering is. My D40 doesn’t have LiveView so I can’t do that. It’s a little more complicated than external monitors. You need some tethering software like Nikon Camera Control Pro.

That’s the thing: students want to learn both traditional and digital, so I can’t just do digital. And it’ll be a class in a classroom, so doesn’t really make sense to stream it to other computers.

That would be a pain if it is ceiling mounted. To the best of my knowledge, cameras will output the live display / viewfinder image to the external video, not just playback. I’ve used this feature many times.

Easiest thing would be to connect directly to the projector, I’ve done this in the past at schools.

Awesome. Thanks for the tip

Seach “Document Camera” – many manufactures.

All cameras are capable of this. Think along the lines of your local electronics store. You walk into any A/V section and they have the cameras all turned on and many of them are attached to a TV to attract your attention.

Maybe go into your local Best Buy, or whatever, and ask them how they do that?

I’m not aware that they do that live. I always thought it was just a playback option. Thanks.