Yes folks... at long last, the future is finally HERE!!!
After much testing, searching, testing, etc., I have the camera which should let me do those Google Hangout classes! It seemed like none of the cameras I had could work in the way that was necessary, and that has been very frustrating.
In yet another search for something that could work, I discovered this. I believe it is an older camera, but the flexible neck reminded me of the portable LED lights that I love so much, and use all the time.
This image shows the real key, and that is the focus mechanism, built right into the lens.
By turning it, I can focus on a tiny miniature just inches away. The other cameras I have tried had a big problem with that. The flexible neck meant that I could put it in any position needed.
In just seconds, I was doing this!
We were shocked at the clarity, and the way it stayed with the focus, even when I moved it around. The angle was perfect, because I could continue to use my magnifier light as normal... just like I was painting!
This means that it's not only possible to do the Hangout Classes, but host the occasional "Hobby night", where I paint something from a specific range, or create bases, terrain, etc., and people can sit in and watch, chat, etc as I work. "Wappellious TV" is here!!
I purposely tried out the smallest figure that I could find to see how it would look. Again, I was truly amazed. I'm hoping to do some initial hangouts next week to learn how things look for people on the other end of the line.
We are also researching Patreon, which will probably be the method we use to deal with some of the hangout classes. More news on that will come once we have a better handle on it.
I do believe that the setup exists to do one on one classes and small group seminars now, which would make things a bit easier! This is potentially a great tool for live appearances as well, such as Marcon coming up in May.
I should be able to hook this thing up to a larger screen by HDMI, bluetooth, or some mechanism, thereby making it much easier for a room full of people to see what I'm doing!
That was always a difficult, if not impossible, task in my live classes.
My apologies for how long this search took, but I guess all those false leads and failed tests will yield something much better in the end!