Many of the newer digital still cameras include a port and a cable that can connect to the RCA jack on television monitors. This allows the presenter to show the images directly on a large screen display without ever having to pass the image through the computer. Some cameras have a "slide show" option, where the camera will show individual pictures advancing at a specific time increment, or by the touch of a button on the camera. This may be a cost and time efficient way to display graphics or images for instruction in a classroom.
Appearance of Images on Monitor

This movie shows an image change on a television monitor from a Hewlett Packard camera. Notice how the television monitor displays a scan line from top to bottom as the image decompresses and loads.
This second movie shows a Kodak camera. When the image first appears, it has a fuzzy appearance. The camera then makes a second scan which allows the viewers watching the TV monitor to see the image clearly.
This final movie shows the transition for a Sony Cybershot camera. Notice that the images appear without multiple scans or scan lines.

Using Digital Still Cameras to Display Live Action
Another use of this connection is to switch the camera from the player mode to the camera mode. Anything the camera detects is then shown on the monitor, projection device or other RCA connector input video device including video cassette recorders. For example, suppose you would like to do a demonstration in front of the class, but the apparatus is too small. Use the digital camera. Or suppose you would like to display some images from a book, or some exceptional student work: just point the camera at the objects for a true "desktop" presentation. Carlos shows an example of a use of this technique in the image below. He is using the macro capability of a Sony Cybershot digital still camera to display the parts of a flower.
Not all digital still cameras allow you to display "live" images from the cameras to monitors. At this time, we have found the Sony cameras to be best for this purpose. If the cameras have "macro"capabilities, you can magnify small objects by placing them very close to lens of the camera, and the camera keeps the image in focus.

©2000-2002 Dr. John Park for Science Junction, NC State University.
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Last updated 07/25/02

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