Best webcam for video conferencing

I am trying to find a good webcam for displaying a conference room using a client like MSN messenger.  The webcam has to have a decent resolution to see the conference room and whiteboard and a round table of about 6 people. Any suggestions?  The price needs to pretty low, like under $300 or so and hook to a Windows XP laptop.
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Anthony RussoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The best Webcam on the market today is the Logitech QuickCam® Pro 9000. It's not just the megapixels, but the Carl Zeiss optics are outstanding on this camera. I am a provider of VideoConferencing and recommend it for all of my clients that ask what the best Webcam they can buy is.

For better quality even, you can hook up a DV VideoCamera and have excellent image quality, much better than any webcam.

The service you use has to support the quality of the camera though. I'm not sure if MSN or a service like MSN is able to transmit at the bitrate of the quality you might be looking for. If your camera is HD quality, but your service is sending a 200k stream, it's not going to be worth the efforts of that good camera.

Our solution is scalable and we can offer a 400k, 800k, or 1.2M stream when the client has a camera that supports it. Look into a professional VideoConferencing provider and ask them what bitrate they transmit their live video feeds at. Simple to use interface with a good camera gives an excellent experience for all involved.

One thing to be concerned about though is your connection to the server, and the connection of your participants. Someone on a 512k connection will see a really nice, large picture if you are broadcasting at 800k, but it will be moving like a slide show due to their connection not being able to bring in the information fast enough. This also will slow down your entire meeting for them, not just the video. We do not recommended to use that high resolution unless you are sure all parties will be on a strong T1 line or better.

If you have a camera you would want to test out at difference bitrates, contact me here at my profile and I will do a few tests with you.

Good luck,

David LeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi, logicaltechs.

The Logitech QuickCam Orbit is pretty cool.  Only $129 and includes a tracking capability.,en
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