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Trash that Webcam, Mount a Camcorder

However, there are some limitations when using your camcorder as a Webcam. First, a camcorder will use a bit more electricity than a Webcam. You will also need to plug the camcorder into a power outlet if you plan on using it all the time, which means more wires and more mess.

Almost all camcorders have a demonstration mode that displays fade effects, wipes and other special effects. The demonstration mode is used to show off the camcorder at retail outlets such as Best Buy or Fry's Electronics. However, make sure you turn off the demo mode before using your camcorder as a Webcam. You don't want all those crazy effects showing up during your Yahoo Messenger video chat sessions.

Most camcorders have an automatic shutoff feature. This will turn off the camcorder if you leave a tape in the tray without recording anything. The feature is designed to prevent battery drain and unnecessary wear on the components. However, the shutoff feature can prove inconvenient for those using the camcorder as a Webcam, so the easy fix is to leave the tape out of the camcorder.

Webcams are also much lighter than camcorders, as they don't need to have the complicated tape mechanisms and flip-out LCD screens of camcorders. While the home user doesn't have to worry about weight issues, computer nomads who like to do most of their Webcam chatting at Starbucks may not like lugging around a camcorder and power adapter.

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