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Webcam!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on 2004-09-07
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Can anyone tell me if I can use my Nikon Coolpix 4300 as a web cam and if so how?
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Question by:woodendude
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KhmErEvolutioN earned 125 total points
ID: 12002493
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by:Burbble
Burbble earned 50 total points
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While it does not have a USB out to function as a webcam, it does however seem to have a composite video out (RCA cable). If you have a capture card, you can use it as a sort of "web cam" this way.

-Burbble
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by:woodendude
ID: 12002623
Burbble, could you please explain a little?
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by:Burbble
ID: 12004760
...but if you don't (have a capture card), it would be cheaper to purchase a real web cam.

On the camera, there should be a yellow "Video Out" that sends the image as an analog signal. If your computer has a video card that can receive this kind of analog video, then programs might be able to use it as a web cam (but there's no guarantee).

It's really not worth getting a new video card just for this. Web cams are far cheaper.

-Burbble
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 25 total points
ID: 12007178
Ah, but a Nikon Coolpix 4300 is so much sharper than a typical webcam!  I had an Olympus 2020Z that I used that way, but the problem is the camera shuts down after it detects "no use" for a few minutes.  If you're really interested in a better camera for the web, and not just to use your camera for another purpose, take a look at www.smarthome.com.  They have dedicated security cameras that are sharp, as well as remote controlled.
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by:woodendude
ID: 12009547
I do already have a web cam, but as Callandor said I was hoping to get a much better picture using my Nikon. Thanks for the info folks.
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by:woodendude
ID: 12009703
Sorry, wrong answer accepted , I have requested question re-opened so I can award points as planned.
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Expert Comment

by:Burbble
ID: 12011874
As a capture card can run up to (and over) $100, and would not actually give you an explicit "web cam" capability, it would probably be more practical to purchase a camera specifically designed for this kind of function.

Also, realize that any video feed via USB will suffer, to some degree, from those blocky or blurry artifacts on the picture because it is being heavily compressed to be transmitted. There is no way to get a "clear" NTSC or PAL video signal through a USB connection.

Sorry, this probably wasn't the answer that you had hoped for... But thanks for the points :)

-Burbble
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by:Burbble
ID: 12011890
Hmm, that may have been a bit confusing... I was just trying to say in response to...

>> I was hoping to get a much better picture using my Nikon

...that it might not actually be possible to get a significantly better picture from a better camera, due to the nature of web cams.

If you are video conferencing with someone, there is also the consideration of the speed of the Internet connection being used. A slower connection will require heavier compression, which will reduce the size and quality of the images.

-Burbble
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