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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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by:Callandor
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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.
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by:sirbounty
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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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by:Callandor
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Spend $50 and you should be able to get a decent webcam.
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by:sirbounty
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What should I be mainly concerned with - resolution?
Any recommendations? I'm looking at pricewatch.com
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 125 total points
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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.
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wlennon earned 125 total points
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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!
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by:Callandor
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There are at least two people who hate that Logitech cam on the Amazon website ;-)
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by:DoTheDEW335
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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
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by:Callandor
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DEW, that one looks remarkably similar to the one I recommended - great minds think alike?  :-)
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by:sirbounty
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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.
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by:DoTheDEW335
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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.
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by:DoTheDEW335
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ops meant to add, thanks for the assist!
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by:Callandor
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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.
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by:sirbounty
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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
Help?
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