Please recommend: Video Camera and Screen for precision work


Novice Member

A client of mine does precision work (e.g. watch making, antique clock restoration) but his eyesight is failing.

The requested solution would use a camera with decent optical zoom, that can provide live video output (via HDMI or USB) to a dedicated display / TV. Please recommend your ideas!

Budget is not huge, around £200 all in (roughly).

He tried a £17 "endoscope" cam from Amazon, unfortunately it was cheap tat and although it would work on Windows 10 PC, it refused to work on a Lenovo tablet or iPad - it was hoped that a tablet could be used as a screen for the endoscope, but neither tablet would successfully talk to the endoscope cam (via USB). Using a Windows PC adds too much complexity into the chain, and in any case the £17 "endoscope" was awful cheap tech with dodgy software and poor video output.

Using the internal camera on the tablets is an unacceptable solution, due to the difficulty of mounting the tablet in a way that both allows the camera to get a good view, while also making the display visible to the user.

Anyone with any bright ideas, please weigh in - your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


Well-known Member
Unfortunately your budet is a bit low but my suggestion would be a high end consumer cam (Example:- Panasonic HC-V800) which has a live HDMI and a small TV with an HDMI input.
I experimented with my 800 and could achieve a full screen close-up from about 12".
Bear in mind, the bigger the TV - the bigger the picture.

Another option might be a webcam on to a PC screen. Can't help too much on this but I know some webcams have zoom and I expect you could set up within your budget.
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Novice Member
Thank you Terfyn - this route was something I was leaning towards, and your proposal of the Panasonic HC-V800 is exactly what I was hoping to receive, so I will go and investigate that as an option - many thanks again!

Any other recommendations will of course be welcomed - thanks all.


Well-known Member
Webcam is an option but can't find any that have HDMI out. The only device with a live output seem to camcorders and cameras. Worth a look are secondhand DSLR / single body cameras, that would give a better macro option for close up work. You should be able to get something for £200.


Well-known Member
Never suggested that a webcam had an HDMI output.
I considered that a webcam routed via USB through a PC may be an option to consider.
The use of a HC-V800 is based on practical experience of use for macro work. The V800 is an older model now so there may be second hand ones available. Provided that the camera focusses on the detail then the picture size is a direct function of the TV screen used for display.

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