T Nation

Buying a Webcam

So I’d like to buy a webcam, but as I’ve found, there are webcams as cheap as $10 and webcams that cost over $100. I have a feeling that this is a “get what you pay for” type of thing, so I dont want to get a really crappy one, but on the other hand its not like i need professional production quality material, so I dont just want to get the most expensive.

Rather than closing my eyes, picking a mid-priced one and hoping for the best, are there any minimum specifications that I should be looking for? I just want to use it for video chat with friends, but i’d like it not to lag also

thanks

These are the best options IMO:

Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks has Zeiss glass optics and higher resolution (2 MP) than the cheaper ones, at $60 price point.

Logitech QuickCam Deluxe for Notebooks can be bought for $25-30. It also has the light and sound correction software, which is important, but has a lower resolution (1.3MP) and lacks the glass optics of the Pro.

I’ve used the Deluxe, and it worked well. I gave it to my sister who moved far away, and bought the Pro this time, but I’m still waiting for it to arrive so I can’t yet report how important the differences are.

Some things to keep in mind:

A) you need a cam that will do at least 640x480 resolution @ 30 fps

B) you’d (ideally) want it to perform well in LOW light, meaning the autofocus mechanism - if there are even common, I’m not sure since I dont own a cam - should be good

C) you want it to sit well on your laptop/desktop

Check this out:

I used a $25 microsoft webcam before, but now use the iSight cam in my iMac. It worked fine. The picture quality is okay, as is the microphone.

I just used the microsoft cam for skype calls.

Awesome guys, thanks a lot. Sounds like the microsoft and teh logitech deluxe give pretty good quality for $25, so maybe that’s the price range I’m looking for.

Anyone else has any other suggestions/thought, whether agreeing or opposing what’s already been posted, please, keep em coming. Thanks

the logitech communicate stx around 45-50 bucks. There is an independent webcam review guy that does a superb job.

http://cowboyfrank.net/webcams/