What makes one 'web camera' better then the NEXT ... What specs should I look for ...

Posted on 2006-05-03
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
When buying a 'web camera' for use on your PC (to show live video of yourself via Instant Messenger) ... what are the best features to look for?
To me, all these lower-end camera for use on the web or for 'conferences' seem to all have the same specs.  Most of them are lined up on the store shelves for about 50-90 bucks in $ range.

What will make a camera run FASTER video output?  Is that speed left up to the hosting program (ex. Yahoo IM)?

What can I do to make a live video conference using a web camera go FAST ... like in real time?

How about using my own camcorder?  Is this subject I ask about mostly hardware or software related?

Thanks in advance for your time and any reply!
Question by:pugdog_fan
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    "What will make a camera run FASTER video output?  Is that speed left up to the hosting program (ex. Yahoo IM)?"
    This is a combination of your computer's power, & network environment speed.  Your IM hosting service is also a factor as it is routing the information between your machine and the other machine(s)

    "What can I do to make a live video conference using a web camera go FAST ... like in real time?"
    The camera and computer combination that you have must be dishing out images at 30fps (frames per second) and the bandwidth that you use must be able to transport this.  It is highly unlikely that you will ever achieve REAL TIME, probably a second delay between transmission would be the best you could actually achieve.

    "How about using my own camcorder?  Is this subject I ask about mostly hardware or software related?"
    Camcorder will work if you associated software that would interface the camera to your computer.
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    I would definately also get a few models in mind and go to cnet, pcworld, amazon etc and read the reviews on them...  Sometimes you can avoid a bad model this way and save yourself some headaches...
    LVL 55

    Assisted Solution

    by:Jaime Olivares
    Also consider contrast and light sensivity issues. Some cameras doesn't work at all with a low light source or fluorescent light.

    Accepted Solution

    Good day sir,

    Basicly what i understand about your question was you need to know below issues:

    1) What type of webcam is good and high quality when broadcast using YM/ in real time
       Look, actually no matter how good the Web camera you bought , Eg, branded and expensive, it wont help you to get a better transmission of the graphic in a real time.

    as in a real time (eg, Yahoo Messenger) the quality of your video transmitted is depends on your internet Connection and the viewer internet connect, as the faster the internet connection the better the video Quality,

    mind if i ask where do you actually come from ? as some part of country in the world have a very good internet speed. so if you are in this country, i assume you are having others problem.

    Regarding the video output, its still need high speed internet connection for the viewer and yours. even though they are using Streaming technology.

    When Buying camera, in the market mostly the camera quality is similar, as the hardware doesnt really reflect the performance of your video output... so buying middle price CAM is still good.

    By using your video camera it wont help as i explained it required high speed internet connection.

    Your question now is more likely on Hardware side question, as it doesnt involve software question. unless you are asking about the YM software, application or Streaming Technology,

    I hope this answer your question sir.

    Should you have any others question please do ask me


    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    @pugdog_fan...was there any part of my answer that was NOT good?  did you miss me when passing out points?


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