Webcam opinions please

I need to get a decent webcam.

I just took part in a Victorian theme weekend - my exhibit (whihc was quite popular was a fake photograph-developing machine - the way the setup worked was that I took a picture with a mocked-up bellows-style camera (inside which was a stripped-down webcam, of which more later…) - the photo was processed behind the scenes by a PC and sent to a printer concealed inside the Photo-Automato-Graph - during the processing and printing delay, I would take a fake photographic plate out of the camera, insert it into a slot in the top of the machine and crank the handle to produce some interesting sound effects.

Anyway, the webcam wasn’t really good enough - it was a cheap CMOS type and was only capable of capturing at 320 x 240 or some such (software interpolation was offered, and was naturally useless)

The camera didn’t cope particularly well with the lighting - well-lit areas were washed out with no detail and there were blocky artifacts in some of the initial photos (we managed to overcome this by adjusting the lighting mostly)

Anyway, since the end result was a faux Victorian photograph, people seemed to accept that it should be grainy and fuzzy, so I think we got away with it, but I would like to have done better.

I’ll probably have occasion to use exhibit the machine again, so I want to put a new webcam in there, and I need some real-world data.

Ordinary digital cameras are probably unsuitable, as I have to strip it down to fit it into the small end of a bellow arrangement.

I believe that CCD imaging elements will give me better detail and handling of lighting - are there any conventional-style (USB)webcams out there that have medium-resolution CCD chips in them? Has anyone tried one?


I have (AND LOVE) the Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000

Shoots 640x480 video, 1.3 Megapixel Still Photos. (I’m not sure, but I THINK this may be software interpolation)

It shoots some decent pictures. The included software allows you to adjust gain and Lux, which is makes the thing able to handle a wide varieties of lighting conditions.

It has a true VGA CCD (which makes me think the 1.3 MegaPixels are software, not hardware) and has done, IMHO some real nice work.

Logitech QuickCam 4000

WMV file of me making an ass of myself


I have an I-Sight and it is really a swell camera.
When I use it in I-Chat, the image is crystal clear.

The only problem is that I have no idea if it compatible with a pc.
IIRC, it also shoots in 640 x 480. I use it with evocam software.

I have a D-Link DSB-C100 which sucks really really bad. Cheap-@ss CMOS, 320x200, manual focus (adjust between blurry and what-the-heck-is-that settings), and on top of all that the 'doze drivers for it suck. If there wasn’t a package for Linux that directly supports the chip inside, I would cut the cable off and use it for something else.

Some of the cheaper digital cameras take nice photos, and can give you megapixel-type photos with better optics for not much more than a decent webcam. I’d recommend looking into that myself.