anyone recommend a high quality webcam for family?

  theDarkness 20:43 06 Jan 2010

four questions :) any help would be great

1. can anyone recommend a high quality not too expensive webcam for family computers, for desktop and laptop-perhaps one they have tried out themselves?

2. one pc also needs both a microphone as well as the webcam (its a desktop, the rest are laptops and have mics built in)- would i be better to definately buy a mic seperate?

3. do all webcams attach to the monitor/laptop screen easily, or can they be stand alone?

4. i have only tried one voice chat program (googlechat, with a laptop+built in mic) - if googlechat limits data rate/quality in both audio and video, would i be better off getting the family to use another program for video and voice conversation-does it all depend on the combination of both videochat program and webcam brand i am using-eg can there be a huge difference in quality, even on fast net connections - or is a higher quality conversation always going to come at a price, eg subscription?

thanks very much for any help

  chub_tor 21:25 06 Jan 2010

This is the one that I have had for about a year and I am very pleased with it. Good definition, built in microphone and not too expensive. Will sit on top of a laptop or on an LCD monitor (which is where I use it). I have only used it for Skype and it works perfectly with their auto sound and vision detection. On our frequent Skype calls to the USA we sit 2 to 3 feet from the camera and we speak at normal levels, our daughter has no problem in seeing or listening to us at her end. I would highly recommend it.

  chub_tor 21:28 06 Jan 2010

Whoops I was talking about this one.... click here sorry I left out the link.

  chub_tor 21:31 06 Jan 2010

Sorry again but I meant the HD version this one... click here

  theDarkness 21:52 06 Jan 2010

lol brilliant thanks for that suggestion-not too expensive either. I did forget about Skype, see it adverised all the time, but never tried. Im not much of a chatroom fanatic, have only ever used googlechat, and its still in its beta stage. i thought a webcam would be great to set up for the family when google mentioned it was video compatible for chat.

im still stuck with a crt display on one monitor, but i guess it could always rest against something until I finally bought a more modern display. I forgot to ask if it was possible for some digicams (i do enjoy photography) to also double up as a webcam-although i imagine an all in one might not give a great quality compared to individual devices, unless im prepared to spend alot of cash?

  Input Overload 22:23 06 Jan 2010

the Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 is pretty good, you just plug it in & off it goes gets the drivers ans sets itself up, it also has a sensitive built in mic.

They can be got as an OEM for about £18 of E Bay. I'm very impressed with the quality & construction. it also has face recognition & attaches itself to MSN/Live without any bother. It also fits on a flat base or the top of a monitor/Laptop.

Keep away from the unbranded cheap ones they are rubbish.

  Input Overload 22:26 06 Jan 2010

More info: click here

  theDarkness 16:55 07 Jan 2010

is it really that good? I made a big mistake a visited pc world today, bought a budget £10 Logitech C120 :( The box stated "up to 30 fps, but im connecting at 5.6 Mbps and it barely hits half of that - Ill get a headache after 30 SECONDS! lol!

are the Lifecams for around £30 really that much better than the Logitech, in terms of fps at least in good lighting?

one system im buying a camera for is an older athlon 1.6 desktop from 2002, the rest (laptops) are running vista, all dual core from 2007. Browsing around today, it seemed that the Logitech was the only one able to meet the minimum requirements for the desktop system, which was surely ridiculous, im sure even a single athlon 1.6 is capable of much more than this Logitech is giving out?

  iscanut 17:20 07 Jan 2010

Have a look at the Microsoft Life Cams on Amazon and then read the reviews...Not many buyers seem happy with the camera !

  GaT7 17:47 07 Jan 2010

Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 for £14.99 at Play click here - user reviews aren't bad.

The Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 looks good, but quite expensive.
- Official specs click here
- £53 at Dabs / BT click here / click here
- More user reviews at Amazon click here & eBuyer click here.


  theDarkness 18:37 07 Jan 2010

thanks for all the suggestions. i just wish there was a website where i could actually download or view video samples straight from different live working cameras, to give an EXACT impression of what cameras are like- to compare properly!

all I can find is youtube for that :(
i dont think i would really want to spend much more than £30, and even at £30 i would really be wanting to see a large difference-especially in comparison to this budget logitech c120 (which is now giving out constant lines no matter what the lighting conditions are like!). i (almost) fixed the poor fps with the official software, but the lighting has now got me considering a straight 'money back' from pcworld now. there was a limited choice at pc world, and the rest of the cameras available had higher min requirements, even to the dual core vista laptops i have here :(

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