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Which Webcam to buy?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by MGomez81, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. MGomez81

    MGomez81 .

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    I've been looking into getting a webcam or similar video conferencing equipment. I have family that lives farther than I can travel at the drop of a dime, and I am a college student (on that infamous college budget) who sees plenty of opportunity in video web conferencing with other campus organizations.

    That said, I would like something in the mid-range of products. I cannot afford the high end stuff above $200, and I don't want to settle for the low-end run-of-the-mill webcam under $50. Quality and versatility are important, but so are reliability while using different programs such as MSN Messenger, NetMeeting, Yahoo Messenger, etc.

    If you own a webcam and use it, please share your sentiments. I've read up on some reviews (logitechs, creative labs) but I want to see if there is any concensus here in the GT community.

    Thanks! ;c
     
  2. nickg

    nickg

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    you're going to set it up in the girls dorm shower aren't you? ? ? ;f ;f
     

  3. Toyman

    Toyman

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    Having written video chat software, and worked with dozens of cams, I have a little bit of experience here. :)

    My recomendation: Get a Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000, it'll run you about $99. http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=4,CONTENTID=5042
    This is what I use as my primary test camera. My primary development camera is a 3COM HomeConnect camera which is no longer available, but can be found on e-bay, it's the best cam I have found.

    The key is getting a camera that has a CCD sensor, and NOT a CMOS sensor (low quality).

    Many of the cams that are CMOS don't say what sensor they have, but usually the CCD cams do. (even the Logitech boxes do this, like the QuickCam Zoom).

    Some of the cheaper cams use JPEG image compression, which isn't compatible with all video conferencing software (and sucks anyway).

    Orange Micro also has a decent firewire cam: $99
    http://www.orangemicro.com/ibot.html
     
  4. MGomez81

    MGomez81 .

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    ;) What about that new Logitech Orbit? Better than the 4000?
     
  5. MGomez81

    MGomez81 .

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    And how do you like the IBOT over the Logitech? Does that firewire connection make a difference? I read one review saying they liked the IBOT's crispness over the Logitech.

    thoughts?
     
  6. Toyman

    Toyman

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    I haven't bought one of them yet, as I wasn't sure which sensor it used because it doesn't say on the box (one of Logitech's inconsistencies in their product specs on the boxes). BUT I just learned the other day that it does in fact have a CCD sensor.
     
  7. Toyman

    Toyman

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    I haven't used my IBot in a while, as my machine with the firewire died a while back. I don't think it was as good as the Logitech one.
     
  8. MGomez81

    MGomez81 .

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    It has that face-tracking feature...

    You know I was also looking into the D-Link DVC-1000. It's not a webcam per say, but it does allow you to video conference without the aid of a PC with anyone else who has the same DVC-1000. The standalone DVC-2000 should be out shortly. Check out www.dlink.com to see what i'm talking about.
     
  9. Toyman

    Toyman

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    The video format for that one is very low, CIF (352 x 288 pixels) and QCIF (176 x 144)
     
  10. MGomez81

    MGomez81 .

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    So you're saying it sucks
     
  11. Toyman

    Toyman

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    Yeah, in technical terms. :)