Need a Decent Webcam

Discussion in 'hardware' started by LenC, Sep 5, 2008.

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  1. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I have been using a laptop with a webcam built into it for AIM video calls - it has worked amazingly well.

    So, I purchased a webcam to mount on my desktop monitor with my other computer. It worked poorly - the mic was not picking up my voice very well - even though I was hearing the other person very clearly. I tried two others - same problem.

    I don't think I'm doing anything wrong - I follow set up instructions and then adjust settings (for maximum mic volume)

    Any thoughts as to what I might be doing wrong or any recommendations for a good add-on webcam?

    I have tried MS Lifecam 3000, MS Lifecam 7000, and also tried a Creative Labs product (don't remember the model #)

    Thanks!
     
  2. GES/POR

    GES/POR Registered Member

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    Hi there,

    It seems to me your looking for a high end webcam? There has been an excellent test done in the netherlands n i transleated it trough babelfish. I hope what you r looking for is there, good luck: http://66.196.80.202/babelfish/tran...icles/amdnZWpvZGaa/Webcams_vergelijkingstest/

    Personally if i had the money right now id go with Hercules, best bang for buck as even the best and most expensive never to seem perfect enough. Right now i went with the Trust n i must admit, when i can provide enough lightening the picture is good enough for me. Even the mic works well.

    Although i do think webcams r not the most suitable devices for speech, for that youd b better off with a headset wich also has been tested by HWI although not posted yet. I do have the results in a magazine so i will note done those that had the highest score for speech quality: Creative Fatality Gamer (also scored highly on music,games,movies, price), Sennheiser PC 151 (scored lower on other points but satisfying), Steelseries Siberia (Scored also high on music,games,music, price is also good but doesnt beat Creative's ratio), Steelseries Steelsound 5Hv2 (scored extremely high on Constructionquality, games n high on wearingcomfort n music.

    2 of these received awards, both the Fatality n the Steelsound received silver awards.

    So if your next webcam is good enough with speech quality then you wont need a headset but if not any of these 4 would be good n if u have any more wishes on this i noted most strong points down n if u want i can post all the downsides. Good luck again.
     
  3. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    As much as I hate to do it, I'm going to suggest Logitech. I've a few of their cams, and while the software may be a total pain in the butt, the video quality is good and they have a built in mic.
     
  4. Arup

    Arup Guest

    MS cams are excellent, they use Zeiss lenses and are most likely made by SONY. You need to make sure latest drivers are installed and that all the settings are right.
     
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    LenC, if you are thinking of a new Webcam, KookyMan's suggestion of a Logitech is not bad one. I use a QuickCam Pro 5000 (an older model now), with Skype, without any problems.

    Arup's suggestion of having the latest drivers installed is right on, especially if that PC uses Vista. However, you tried 3 Webcams, by 2 different manufacturers and still have the same poor audio problem. If your volume settings are correct, did you try switching a Webcam to a different USB port?

    @KookyMan
    Logitech software is a pain yet they do update it frequently. Try this page for any of your Webcams: Software Downloads
     
  6. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Hey Folks -

    Thank you very much for your replies.

    I think in each case, I have had appropriate drivers installed. I did follow installation instructions and loaded drivers and software from the accompanying CD.

    I also think the sound settings were correct. I used the webcam software to adjust according to instructions. Also, I've never had any problems with sound on this computer.

    Two thoughts I had...

    - Maybe my expectations are unreasonable. On the other hand though, my wife's webcam works beautifully for me (HP laptop with built-in webcam).

    - Maybe it is an internet or connection issue. But again, when my son could barely hear me, I could hear him crystal clear. Also, there were moments when the sound quality was good - but it was intermittent.

    Could it be one of those issues I don't understand - like a hardware conflict:oops: ?

    I'm thinking I will either poach my wife's computer from time to time or give the logitech a try.

    Again, thank you everyone, I really appreciate the help.
     
  7. GES/POR

    GES/POR Registered Member

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    I do hope you RMA'd that bad functioning device? cus it could be that its simply broke.

    btw if i had the money like Arus said Microsoft also has a very nice option indeed.
     
  8. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    Well, Logitech isn't quite "perfectly honest" when it comes to their software either. If I go and pull up my camera for the software update, it only provides version 8.5 of the software. (QC Pro 3000). I have an Orbit so I've installed the 10.5 and 11.5 and both work just fine with it, but as far as Logitech says its "obsolete"... And their software seems bloaty to me, and only getting worse with time.
     
  9. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    I agree! That last version 11.5 (posted 10/19/07), introduced more junk than ever before, but (knock on wood) my 5000 has not failed me (so far!).
     
  10. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    This is embarassing to admit - but I think the problem might be on my son's end (dazed and confused college student - who knows how to turn laptop on and off - and nothing moreo_O ). I have to check the settings on his laptop when I visit him next week. I should have suspected him first.

    In the meantime I am going to try one more time with the logitech 5000, based on what I am reading here and elsewhere, sounds good at a reasonable price.

    BTW, you want to talk about bloatware, Creative Labs has to win the prize - totally larded up with trash - huge and useless - unless maybe you're 12 years old.
     
  11. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    I'll agree... Creative Labs in its time was "The Best". Hands down. I still think they are when it comes to Sound Cards. But I've heard enough stories about their other products, and dealt first hand with trying to get drivers and such... Creative Labs high note was a decade ago, and are silently going into the night... I remember when there was 1 sound card. Sound Blaster. (Yea, there was competition, but from other vendors.) Now there are so many cards in competition with themselves, from what I can see on the product page there are nine, I honestly don't know which one I'd choose. Seems they took a bad cue from the Video Card makers.

    I think one of the biggest things that has hurt Creative was not getting involved in the On Board Audio market. With Video, On Board is "livable" depending on usage. Office apps, perfect. Movies and such, you can probably survive. Games? Forget it... Audio on the other hand, is pretty much livable with on board. As a result, only the "Die-hards" have decided to spend the money on audio add-in cards. That's the other thing that has hurt Creative. Sorry, I've gone into a tangent.

    Creative drivers have so much "tag-along" stuff now, but then again so does everything. Its not all Logitech's fault, but they do get credit that with the newer software packs, they do have an advanced option to install Drivers Only, and none of the supplemental software that you don't always need.

    Today's system under utilization has had this side effect. Since there are usually cycles to spare when it comes to CPU time, there is no longer the drive to create optimized, efficient software. That's the one good thing about the old "1MB Limit"... If you didn't optimize your software, people would not use your product. Now days its like "Oh, don't worry, everyone has virtual memory and cycles to spare.. just make it look good!".
     
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