AVerVision 355AF review
A compact unit with decent quality still images, but let down by low-quality video
Review Date: 8 Mar 2012
Reviewed By: Matthew Reames
Price when reviewed: £540 (£648 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The 355AF is the lightest and most compact of the group which means it is easily transported from room to room. Unfortunately, it also means that the camera arm can be wobbly, which sometimes results in a distracting unstable image.
The multi-position camera can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of subjects, both horizontal and vertical. Four laser-alignment dots help indicate the furthest extents of the field of view, though they are aimed somewhat wider than the A3 landscape-sized range that can be imaged.
This visualiser seems to function best with still images. Point it at a page and the picture is generally clear and sharp. Text is easy to read and details on maps are distinct. Motion, however, spoils the day. It’s jerky, and there’s a slight but obvious lag. Though small, the lag is bad enough to become disorientating when, for example, you’re writing the steps of a maths problem. The numbers appear on the screen immediately after they’re written rather than as they’re written.
The autofocus and automatic contrast adjustments are slow to respond to changes in the subject and smooth zooming is difficult if not impossible. Though the 355AF has a total zoom of 80x, only the first 10x is optical, and after 15x the images become very grainy and focusing is difficult.
The unit has buttons for basic controls, while some interesting additional functions, including mirror, split-screen and picture-in-picture effects are available on the remote. One useful feature on the remote is a one-touch return to the widest field of view.
Still images and video can be saved by using the built-in SD-card slot or a USB stick, and a further 80 images can be saved internally in the unit without need for a memory card. The included software allows for both still and video capture as well as annotation of images, though it appears to capture the entire computer screen rather than just the visualiser's feed. When seen on the computer screen, the video seems jerky and this remains true when the video is played back.
The small size of the 355AF means that it won’t be difficult to find a space for it in the classroom. While video quality is less than desired, still image quality is good so non-moving items such as pupil work can be shown clearly. Unfortunately, in the attempt to provide compact portability and high image quality, something seems to have been lost along the way.
Author: Matthew Reames
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