Trash that Webcam, Mount a Camcorder

Limitations

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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12 comments
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  • I wowuld like to try to use this but cant see how to hook my cam to computer I havew a JVC GZ-HD3 thanks Richard
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  • thanks for the article. it proved to be quite useful. I even purchased the WebcamDV software.

    i'm having a problem with my Sony DCR-PC5 though. I have it connected via Firewire. the image I get on my computer is squished vertically, meaning everything looks fatter than it should be. It's not due to any settings on the camera, there are only a few anyways.

    do you know of any software or drivers or something that might help fix the problem I am having? thanks a lot for your help.
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  • I have a Sony DCR-TRV 103. I just went to Staples, bought the 1394 Fire Wire, and the Fire Wire PCI Card for about $32 each. Windows XP recognized it immediately and I am on board, see you on YouTube.
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  • I am looking fo info on how to use my sony ccdtr23 as a webcam.It has rca plugs.Thank you in advance
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  • I've recently tried the freeware program, SplitCam.

    Which is excellent! It not only converts my camcorder to a webcam, but even allows you to stream a playlist of video files to your webcam viewer. One tip, if you find tearing on fast movement, tick the option for Filter->Deinterlace which solves that perfectly.
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  • I, too, would like to use my camcorder, but I see a couple of problems. One, my Samsung SMX-F34BN/XAA does not have any drivers or software that allow it to be used as a camera by any computer (there is a mini AV jack that allows connection directly to a TV, and another cable that connects to USB on my PC; the USB allows the PC to copy whatever is in the camera's smart card, but there is no way to use the camera as a camera). And, two, my PC does not have any firewire connections available. So, two questions arise: Will this Orangeware program still work for my camera? And, could I purchase a card that will create Firewire connections out of a PCI Express X1 slot?
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  • Have to wonder whether anyone is paying attention to this article. Since no response was forthcoming from you all, I have tried to contact the Orangware web site, and guess what? email to them gets bounced. So, now I have to ask: what is the value of posting your article, if you can't back it up?
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  • I have an older Cannon MV920 which uses a tape and firewire. I tried usinfg it to vido conference inn Skype. Skype would not recognize my camera ?
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  • I, too, have a Canon that will connect to my PC via Firewire. Try Eagleton's TrackerCam software.........(google it).
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  • Hi..what camcorder can I use that is out now to do this?
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  • i have camileo S10 from toshiba, how can i make it my webcam too ?
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  • The Toshiba Camileo X400 comes with all the leads, software, and printed instructions of how to use as a webcam STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX !!!
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