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web cam - good choice?

Posted on 2004-09-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Looking for input/suggestions on a home web camera.
Not wanting to spend a lot on it, but am I going too cheap here?
$14.95USD

Specifications  
    Sensor CMOS with 100k pixel
    Color Depth  24Bits, RGB true color
    Interface USB V1.1  
    White Balance&Gain Automatic
    Exposure Automatic
    Focus Range  Manual, 10cm~infinite  
    View Angle  540(Diagonal)
    Aperture F/2.4
    H/W Snap Shot Yes
    Video Output  N / A
    Resolution 352*288 / 176*144 / 320*240 / 160*120
    Video Frame Rate Up to 30ftp
    Microphone N / A
    OS Support  Microsoft Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP
    Dimension 68mm(W)*85mm(D)*83.5mm(H)w/stand
ref: http://www.pcdirect.com/product.asp?Sku=CATWUSB

Any web-cam experts out there? : )
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Question by:sirbounty
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14 Comments
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11954618
Hey there!

It all depends on the image quality you are interested in.  I don't care for the small, unfocused, images, but if you don't need to recognize the person, it will probably be ok.  If you want higher quality, the security webcams at www.smarthome.com are sharper.  The specs you listed look ok, but that's like giving me camera specs, and it's not until you use it that you find it's inadequate.  $15 is probably giving up a lot on picture quality.
0
 
LVL 67

Author Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 11954680
Ok - I want to be able to recognize who I'm talking to - what price range should I shoot for?
Just for family chatting - not necessarily for home security (although that's a good idea... ;) Thanx.
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11954710
Spend $50 and you should be able to get a decent webcam.
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LVL 67

Author Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 11954779
What should I be mainly concerned with - resolution?
Any recommendations? I'm looking at pricewatch.com
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 11955242
I can pretty much guarantee that the cams these guys carry are good optical quality - I buy my photo equipment there, and they cater to professionals.  Look at the characteristics of this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=263758&is=REG

Also mentioned here:
http://www.everythingusb.com/hardware/index/ADS_USB_Turbo_2.0_Webcam.htm

You can read the reviews on that site.  Note that the USB 2.0 cams support larger frames, so you may want that feature.
0
 
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

by:
wlennon earned 500 total points
ID: 11955353
The Logitech Quickcam Zoom Web Cam is a good little Web Camera, 30 frames per second you can also capture Video: up to 640 x 480 pixels.  Very nice for the price: $44.95 USD $54.99 with a $10.00 rebate.
And it is USB...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=684234&CatId=130 

Aslo at Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000C5FL1/102-8981072-3687302?v=glance 

Here are a few with microphones built in to the camera itself.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/partners/partner.asp?mfrid=512&CatId=7

Just to give you some ideas!
0
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11955465
There are at least two people who hate that Logitech cam on the Amazon website ;-)
0
 
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:DoTheDEW335
DoTheDEW335 earned 200 total points
ID: 11955607
most camera's say up 30fps but really it's up to 30fps @ the lowest res, and you get crap fps at higher res. I'd suggest looking for one that say 640x480 @ 30fps specifically like this:
http://tekgems.com/Products/et-9772-vid-usbx-2020.htm
0
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11955669
DEW, that one looks remarkably similar to the one I recommended - great minds think alike?  :-)
0
 
LVL 67

Author Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 11955768
Okay - I suppose that gives me some ideas to go on.
I'll research some of these models and maybe try them on ebay to cut some costs (hopefully). : )
Thanx for your help gentlemen...I like the sound of the logitech quickcam...why do you not Callandor?
DoTheDew335 - your link shows out of stock, but I appreciate the info.
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11955894
sirbounty,
Sorry bout that, I just meant to look for that one on pricewatch (figured you could get a better price)

callandor,
thanks for the complement. I hope I can live up to the great minds thinking alike for years to come.
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11955905
ops meant to add, thanks for the assist!
0
 
LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11956015
I don't have personal experience with the Logitech, but the two people who posted on Amazon didn't like it, saying the claim of being a zoom camera was false (basically, a digital zoom, rather than an optical zoom).  False advertising, and freezing on WinXP.

The second link I posted has other stores that sell the ADS webcam DEW and I referred to, for about $60.
0
 
LVL 67

Author Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 12086994
Got the ADS USB Turbo - not bad.
Now I just need to get my microphone working... :(
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21132735.html
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