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Webcam Roundup

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  • Webcams
  • Reviews
  • Round-Up
  • Peripherals
Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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February 14, 2007 10:34:16 AM

Shopping for webcams can be a hassle. Gear Digest comes to the rescue with a set of hands-on webcam reviews to help you make a reasoned choice.

More about : webcam roundup

February 14, 2007 1:46:55 PM

I love my AIPTEK Pocket DV 5100M 6 in 1 camera.

I made a little stand for my desk for the perfect height of a web cam. I got in on sale for $70. Its small enough to take anywhere. Its versatile and a friend of mine who takes it one his dirt bike has not killed one in over 2 years. Tech support even answers your questions!



Camcorder, Digital Camera, MP3 player, Digital Voice Recorder, Web Cam, USB Drive (mass storage like flash drive)

* Sensor Effective Resolution: 2048 x 1536 Pixels (3 Mega Pixel)

* Video Resolution MPEG-4 with Video Stabilization
640 x 480 Pixels (VGA) up to 30 fps
352 x 288 Pixels (QVGA) up to 30 fps
* Digital Zoom 4x (Real Time)
* Camera Resolution in JPG: ( 8 x 10 prints)

* Nightshot
* LED lights for low light recording
* Red Eye Reduction
* Flash
* Self-Timer 10 seconds
* Image Control Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance
* Digital Voice Recorder
* MP3 player
* Speaker
* Headphones
* Video Conferencing WEBCAM
320 x 240 Pixels (up to 30 fps)
160 x 128 Pixels (up to 30 fps)
* LCD 1.5" TFT Color LCD Display (Preview and Playback)
* Voice Annotation Up to 45 min. (using internal memory)
* USB
* Power Saving Auto Power Off if Idle over 3 minutes
* Power Source 2 AA Alkaline Batteries
160 minutes of video at 640 x 480 2400 pictures at 6M

No date or Time Stamp!
February 14, 2007 7:27:16 PM

Thanks for the reviews. It would be nice to include free/open source or even commercial SW to complete some of these webcams lacking in SW features. Or perhaps this could be a nice follow up article.
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February 15, 2007 5:38:11 PM

I wish Haselton would indicate the Quickcam software he used for his testing. The current software from Logitech (version 10.5, 10.4 as well) renders an image that is too dark on the Ultra Visions.

This comment:

Quote:
One thing that drove me nuts about this camera was the design of the clamp used to stabilize the camera to my monitor. It's a rubber-flex grip that bends in order to grasp on


indicates that Haselton's expectations might be misplaced. The "bendy base" isn't really designed to clamp on. It's simply designed to adjust the gross verical angle of the camera which sits on the monitor. See this picture here.

The vertical angle can be further adjusted by twisting the white part of the camera.
February 15, 2007 11:52:12 PM

Quote:
I wish Haselton would indicate the Quickcam software he used for his testing. The current software from Logitech (version 10.5, 10.4 as well) renders an image that is too dark on the Ultra Visions.

This comment:

One thing that drove me nuts about this camera was the design of the clamp used to stabilize the camera to my monitor. It's a rubber-flex grip that bends in order to grasp on


indicates that Haselton's expectations might be misplaced. The "bendy base" isn't really designed to clamp on. It's simply designed to adjust the gross verical angle of the camera which sits on the monitor. See this picture here.

The vertical angle can be further adjusted by twisting the white part of the camera.

NineEyes, I used the included Logitech QuickCam default software for the review with the most recent drivers --10.5.0.1096-- and I honestly didn't run into any problems with darkness. I thought the lighting was fantastic in most scenarios. Surely if you're sitting too far away from your camera at night you'll run into darkness problems. As a general rule of thumb, I used each webcam's included software (updated to the most recent drivers) in all of the reviews.

As for the stand, my opinion still stands--no pun intended. You're right, the "bendy" thing acts as a stabilizer for the webcam, pushing against the back of your monitor (as you stated), but the only way it's able to do that is by acting in a "clamp" fashion--ie., the legs need to push forward against the back of the monitor in order for it to stabilize itself (as your image shows). The grip isn't that substantial though, and the camera was easily knocked off with a bump to my desk. Honestly, I preferred the design of the Creative Live! Cam Optia where there weren't any adjustments or bending involved.
February 16, 2007 12:43:15 AM

Hi Todd,

Your experience is different from mine. I gave two Ultra Visions to relatives for Christmas and installed them both on Windows XP PCs with the 10.5 software and drivers. After the problems, I bought two of my own so I could better-support my relatives. I've since installed Quickcam 10.5 on one more WinXP PC and two more Win2k PCs mulitple times and in different ways (using Acronis True Image to restore to a known good baseline). In all cases, the 10.5.0.1096 video driver did not render a reasonable image. The same camera using the Windows XP built-in UVC driver performs handsomely.

There are lots of people on the Logitech forums who have had my experience. We're all waiting for Logitech's next release of Quickcam.

I'm quite satisfied using the Windows XP UVC driver.

Thanks for your article, and your reply.
February 16, 2007 2:50:54 AM

NineEyes,

I appreciate your feedback as well and will look into it. I think we may be at a crossroads simply because the Logitech cam's lighting was one of the most impressive of the bunch. Perhaps it's my comparison with the other cams that's throwing off my results. Had I compared it with other high-end cams (the Logitech was the highest of the bunch) I may have noticed a bigger difference. Will certainly remember this during my next review. Thanks again for your feedback.

Todd
February 16, 2007 4:07:33 PM

It might be nice to give at least a brief mention on the availability of Linux drivers...
February 16, 2007 4:40:24 PM

Quote:
It might be nice to give at least a brief mention on the availability of Linux drivers...


Both the Ultra Vision and Optia have Linux support as reported here.

HTH
February 18, 2007 11:10:20 PM

Quote:
Shopping for webcams can be a hassle. Gear Digest comes to the rescue with a set of hands-on webcam reviews to help you make a reasoned choice.


Help me make a reasoned choice? HA! Tom's Hardware is starting to review stuff like PC-World did...

newegg has 70+ webcams listed across 30+ manufacturers and you only select 5 webcams from the big 3 (2 from soundblaster, 2 from ms and 1 from logitech) - sounds like the good old days...

Joe
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