Hi folks

We did a google hangout thingie yesterday which went very well (you can see it here) but my webcam apparently sucked. Even though I changed the tagline under my name several times to various very funny comments you can’t read it, and this is presumably because the resolution of the web cam was low so the whole thing got messed up.

(Compare my part with other people who had better resolution.)

The folks who made this video are passing around notes on what seems to work but I thought I’s start a thread here to discuss it as well.

What are your recommendations?

Comments

  1. #1 MadScientist
    June 18, 2012

    I thought your video was fine; why waste money on a new web cam? Anyway, I’ve always found Logitech to be good; beware of other manufacturers who may use their own special vooodoo rather than the common industry protocols which would allow you to plug in a generic webcam and grab images (provided you have a USB driver for the gizmo).

  2. #2 uriah heep
    georgia "u$a"
    June 19, 2012

    To expensive unless you already have one but I am able to use a feed from my DSLR and You folks who have motion picture cameras probably can use them.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    June 19, 2012

    Well, I was wondering about that. That would certainly have a good lens. I may try that.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    June 19, 2012

    Or maybe the lens is just cleaner.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    June 19, 2012

    I can report that in a relatively informal test the iMac built in camera did a much better job than the logitech camera. I think the latter failed to default to its highest res, which is the same (as I understand it) as the highest usable by G+ hangouts.

  6. #6 Wow
    June 20, 2012

    For cheap cameras, the lens is probably the most likely bit to give you crappy pictures.

    The built-in one in the iMac will likely have a glass element.

    But the sensor in there will be a mm or so across, whereas the one in the logitech will be 3-5 mm across, about 4x the area. Therefore 4x more sensitive and less prone to thermal noise under the same lighting.

    The nokia phones tend to use Carl Zeiss elements too. They too are expensive.

    If you’re going to use it in uncontrolled lighting, you may want to consider that.

    If you’re shopping, see if the lens elements are named. As with mountain bike kit, if it has a name (i.e. Shimano Acera rather than just Shimano), then it’s going to be better.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    June 20, 2012

    Wow, interesting advice. Which also brings up an interesting question: People speak of mikes and cameras, but what about lights?

  8. #8 Wow
    June 20, 2012

    For the professional market, it’s not even lights. It’s diffusion. Most of what you’ll see in a photo shoot are lights with white reflectors to fill in.

    Amusing (to me) anecdote. In Sydney Aquarium and it’s dark and the fish are all in glass tanks. I, like other tourists, have a camera. I turn my flash off and get slightly blurred pictures of the creatures in the tank. The majority (all?) of the tourists have their flash on. I bet when they got home, 99% of their pictures have a *lovely* shot of the flash in the glass pane…

    Back OT, the megapixel wars are mostly over now (12-16MP was figured to be appropriate to a film camera) so they’re (sensibly in my opinion) now working on lowering the noise, increasing the efficiency to differentiate their new product line from the old one and sell upgrades.

    The next few years should be interesting for people wanting quality pictures..!

  9. #9 Chris Winter
    June 20, 2012

    Barely relevant, but I just wanted to mention this camera with its 4800×3200 pixel foveon sensor:

    http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/news/100921_SD1.htm

    It is to drool over.

  10. #10 Humberto
    June 22, 2012

    Recently i bought a Logitech C270.
    It records HD video with a very clear image and sound is fantastic (but mono).
    If makes diference to you the video works well with linux (but i cant get audio working).
    In Brazil it cost half the price of the ‘next models’ in family.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    June 22, 2012

    I also want a green screen so I can show Time Square or The Mississippi River or something behind me.

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