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Webcamera Specifications
Posted: 28 August 2007 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hey everyone, I’ve been shopping around for a good web camera, only it seems that most specifications are misleading, and targeted toward a non tech oriented crowd, and reviews the same “This is the most FUN camera around, sporting funny hat overlays, sure to raise a smile when signing into messenger” I mean, come on!

So, what I would like, if anyone is willing, please write down your camera model(and any other cameras you own or have used) in the following format:

Camera Brand/Model: Brand name, make, revision, whatever.
Interface Plug Type: USB, Firewire etc
Price You Paid & Distributor Used:
FPS/Resolution: List of known resolutions to FPS
Performance In Low Light: As a rating of 1 to 10, 1 Being unusable.
Ease of IR Filter Removal: What it took to remove the filter.
Lens Used: If camera uses sets of lenses, need to replace the lens because of an unremovable ir filter etc.
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: Over exposed film, purchased filter, cost, etc.
Setup Distance: Self explanatory
OS Tested On: Windows *, Linux(which drivers?), MAC or any others.
Other Info: Any extra info you want to share about it.
Recommended: Would you recommend using this camera in a multitouch setup?

And once there is a large enough list, it can be added to the wiki, no offense but the current camera info is a bit lack luster, and while it does say who uses what, there is not much congruency so if you can spare a couple of minutes, I am certain this can help everyone who needs extra info when deciding on the camera. I will personally update the wiki, if anyone has any suggestions to a different approach, please post here about it.

Edit: Adjusted, thanks cerupcat and Joobs

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Posted: 28 August 2007 11:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have both the Philips SPC900nc and fire-i camera. The SPC900nc is probably the most used and most effective/efficient USB camera used by the community. The Unibrain fire-i is quicker and better quality and is probably the best buy for a mid-range budget which is why many of us also have the fire-i.

Camera Model: Philips SPC900nc
Plug type: USB 1.1
What It cost you: $56.50US on ebay. (Typical price $40-75US)
FPS/Resolution: 640 x 480 @ 90 fps interpolated (Does a true 30 fps, but the 90 is still better).
Performance In Low Light: 9/10
Ease of Infrared Filter: Needs a new lens. Can’t remove the IR filter. You can buy the lenses on ebay, or buy the same ones for the fire-i
Other Info: Great camera. Good for mid to low budget. CPU speed does play a role on your FPS.

Camera Model: Unibrain Fire-i
Plug type: Firewire
What It cost you: $23US on ebay. (I got lucky and got a used model on ebay for a deal. Typical price is $100-145US depending on type)
FPS/Resolution: 640 x 480 @ 30 fps
Performance In Low Light: 9/10
Ease of Infrared Filter: Needs a new lens. Can’t remove the IR filter. You can buy the lenses on ebay, or buy the same ones for the fire-i
Other Info: Great camera. Good for mid budget. Best of in it’s price range and quickest and low on CPU usage due to being firewire.

New lenses range from about $15-30.

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Posted: 29 August 2007 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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May i suggest that it is also worth including lens information (if needed), visible block filter information, and camera distance from touch surface?  Since all these pieces of information are needed for a sucessful camera setup.  Might be also worth mentioning what operating systems you have tested the camera on.

Camera Brand/Model: Philips SPC900nc
Interface Plug Type: USB
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: £56.88 inc delivery, Amazon.co.uk
FPS/Resolution: I use 320x240 @ 30fps (640x480 Max)
Performance In Low Light: 8/10
Ease of IR Filter Removal: Needs a new Lens
Lens Used: 4.3MM M12x0.5 mount, MOTechnology (johnjqx) off ebay
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: 5x5cm 850nm long pass Acrylic filter, £9.11 exc delivery, knightoptical.co.uk.  Works much better than film negatives, no idea how it compares to other filters.
Setup Distance: about 3 foot
OS Tested On: Win XP, got it working on the mac with some third party drivers but couldnt change the camera proporties.
Other Info:
Recommended: Yes

If you want an esay list with the bold tags, copy and paste the following into your new message:

[b]Camera Brand/Model:[/b]
[b]Interface Plug Type
:[/b]
[b]Price You Paid 
Distributor Used:[/b]
[b]FPS
/Resolution:[/b]
[b]Performance In Low Light
:[/b]
[b]Ease of IR Filter Removal
:[/b]
[b]Lens Used
:[/b]
[b]Visible Block
/IR Pass Filter Used:[/b]
[b]Setup Distance
:[/b]
[b]OS Tested On
:[/b]
[b]Other Info
:[/b]
[b]Recommended
:[/b]

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Posted: 29 August 2007 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: KINAMAX
Interface Plug Type: USB
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: $20.00
FPS/Resolution: 640 x 480 up to 30 frame / sec (VGA)
Performance In Low Light: 10
Ease of IR Filter Removal: already ready but i added a piece of negative to block ambient IR
Lens Used: did not need removing.  If needed it can be easily unskrewed cause the lens is manual focus
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: exposed negative
Setup Distance: N/A
OS Tested On: Windows XP SP2
Other Info: bought at http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1951871&body=MAIN .  It has a horrible problem with drivers.  Im not sure if it’s on my end but i correctly installed the drivers and it has only parts of the features available or showing on the AMcap program.  I reinstalled mulitple times and got different features/options to appear and disappear.  I am still trying to see if i can fix it.  To get near realtime responses (ie. no lag) i had to cut the exposure down to 0.
Recommended: Ehhh.... it’s fair.  I wish it was better.

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Posted: 30 August 2007 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: Sony Eyetoy
Interface Plug Type: USB
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: £12
FPS/Resolution: 30
Performance In Low Light:10
Ease of IR Filter Removal: No filter!
Lens Used: No ir filter= no lens change
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: Over exposed film
Setup Distance: 1m
OS Tested On: Windows XP home/ Pro /Win2000
Other Info: Best camera ever used in a project and it is so cheap!!!
Recommended: Hell YH!!!!!!!!

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Posted: 30 August 2007 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: Sony Eyetoy for Playstation 2 (There are 2 versions - one for southern hemisphere and one for northern and they do differ)
Interface Plug Type: USB 1.1
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: ZAR 150 (about 15euro) from a local toy store
FPS/Resolution: 640x480 @ 30fps
Performance In Low Light: 9/10
Ease of IR Filter Removal: Difficult, lens setup cannot be completely disassembled, so you have to break it it get it out.
Lens Used: Whetever came with it
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: Exposed photo negatives
Setup Distance: 1m to capture about 40x40cm
OS Tested On: Windows XP (but there could be drivers for other OSs)
Other Info: It has a meter and a half long cable. And the camera is widely available - wherever they sell playstations.
Recommended: Yes yes! (especially if your budget is too low for the SPC900nc (or you can’t get it in your country, like me)

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Posted: 30 August 2007 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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man donovan- i had no filter in mines!!!! (PAL 50hz area)

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Posted: 30 August 2007 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: Microsoft Lifecam VX1000
Interface Plug Type: USB 2.0
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: $40 Canadian from Memory Express
FPS/Resolution: 30fps @ 640x480
Performance In Low Light: Can’t say, but blob detection with a TV remote works fine
Ease of IR Filter Removal: Moderate. Case disassembly was easy and taking the lens assembly out was easy, but the IR filter took a little more effort than I thought it should.
Lens Used: Stock lens
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: Exposed x-ray negatives
Setup Distance: None yet, most testing done from half a meter to a full meter
OS Tested On: Windows XP
Other Info:
Recommended: Yes, but better cameras are available

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Posted: 01 September 2007 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: Unibrain Fire-i
Interface Plug Type: Firewire
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: Too much! €234 including 3 optics, plastic case, tax and shipping. €89 just the cam
FPS/Resolution: 30 FPS / 640x480
Performance In Low Light: 9/10
Ease of IR Filter Removal: you can choose optics with no IR coating
Lens Used: 4.3 mm / 1.9 mm (107 degrees)
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: 2 layers of photo film
Setup Distance: n/a
OS Tested On: Windows XP, Linux will come
Other Info: The cam has really good performances, the 1.9 mm optics let you place the cam at less than 40 cm from a 72x54cm screen. 1394store has expensive shipping costs: €45. If you include also taxes €30 you’ll pay in expenses the equivalent of another cam.
Recommended: No, too expensive. The SPC900 has similar performance at less than half price.

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Posted: 13 September 2007 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: Microsoft VX-6000
Interface Plug Type: USB 2.0
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: $59.99 @ Bestbuy
FPS/Resolution: 640x480 @ 30fps, 800x600 - 1280x1024 @ 15fps (I use it at 640x480)
Performance In Low Light: 8/10
Ease of IR Filter Removal: Very easy, whole operation can be done in about 2 minutes.
Lens Used: Stock lens
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: 2 layers of over exposed film
Setup Distance: Currently at 22” for testing, final setup will be around 28"-30"
OS Tested On: Windows XP SP2
Other Info: The software it comes with is pretty good except you have little control over exposure.  You can adjust the slider, but the camera is still managed automaticially.  Also the wide angle lens isn’t too shabby.
Recommended: If you are impatient like me and need a camera immediately then this is a decent choice, if you can wait I would reccomend ordering the Philips.

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Posted: 27 December 2008 07:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hi everybody, i’m new on this very good forum. Don’t care about my english, i’m french…

Camera Brand/Model: PS3 EYE (SLEH 00201)
Interface Plug Type: USB
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: 40€
FPS/Resolution: 640x480@30fps or 320x240@60fps, but a driver for 640x480@60fps is under construction, so wait…
Performance In Low Light: 9/10
Ease of IR Filter Removal:i didn’t remove it yet, but i’ve readen that the dificulty is medium
Lens Used:Original (75° wide angle)
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: /
Setup Distance:at 30cm, i get a 45x30cm surface
OS Tested On:Mac OSX
Other Info:Because of the price, i think that this camera is one of the best choice.
Recommended:

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Posted: 27 December 2008 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Just bought 2 Philips SPCs o9n eBay for $22.00 each and the seller has plenty more. Based upon the previous posts, I can’t imaging a better value except for accessing a lens. Can someone offer suggestions or a lens brand. I couldn’t find one on eBay.
Thanks

btw- I use a MS vx1000.  It’s already above and I am not yet at a point of recommending it one way or the other. Having many blob problems with LLP setup. Probably my own fault, eager to test Philips camera with new 3.2 dual core machine arriving soon.

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Posted: 03 March 2009 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Regarding the SPC900NC framerate comment and misleading specificatioins, how do we even know of all closed driver webcams like the PS3 EYE that they record 640*480 at 60fps without interpolation? having closed drivers can be really handy then.

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Posted: 29 March 2009 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I’m just starting out (working on building a multi touch table) and was trying to find a good camera, glad I found this forum, but I noticed most people talk about their setup distance, but few wrote down the screen size they are trying to achieve.  It might also be beneficial to record whether the camera is auto or manual focus (and if that makes a difference in your application).

So i’ve added:

Setup Screen Size:
Focus Type:
Viewing Angle:

I purchased a Logitech Quick Cam for Notebooks and mounted it to a tripod so I could test the field of view before voiding the warranty.  The ratio of screen size (base) to setup distance (height) is about 1:1 so I calculated that the viewing angle is about 54 degrees.  I am trying to make a low table height of 30” or less with a screen size of 50” which means a viewing angle of at least 80 degrees for the camera.  Looks like the wide angle lens for the Philips from this blog post will do the trick, has anyone tried it?

I will be returning the Logitech Quick Cam and getting the Philips SPC900nc, but here are the specs for anyone interested.

Camera Brand/Model: Logitech Quick Cam for Notebooks, PN 960-000011
Interface Plug Type: USB 1.1 or 2.0 (2.0 recomended)
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: $39 US
FPS/Resolution: 30fps @ 640x480
Performance In Low Light: n/a
Ease of IR Filter Removal: n/a
Lens Used: stock
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: n/a
Setup Distance: Ideal at about 12-24” (30-50” is blurry and difficult to focus)
Setup Screen Size: ratio is 1:1 setup distance to screen size, I’m shooting for something at 50” diagonal
Focus Type: Manual
Viewing Angle:54 degrees
OS Tested On: Win XP
Other Info: Nice cheap camera, but viewing angle isn’t large enough for large tables.
Recommended: No.

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Posted: 31 March 2009 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: Unibrain Fire-i BW
Interface Plug Type: Firewire ieee1394a
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: 149$ + 50% shipping
FPS/Resolution: 30/640x480
Performance In Low Light:: 10
Ease of IR Filter Removal:: No filter (purchased lens with no IR coating)
Lens Used:: 4.3 mm focal length 12.5 mm lens without IR coating
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used:: obegabob2’s 850BP10 w/RG780, 9.75mm filter
Setup Distance: various (use for diff. setups)
OS Tested On: Windows+Linux
Other Info: very good camera
Recommended: yes

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Posted: 07 January 2010 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Camera Brand/Model: Frontech E-Cam JIL-2225 (HID: 0c45:614a - Microdia)
Interface Plug Type: USB
Price You Paid & Distributor Used: 400 INR
FPS/Resolution: 30fps/640x480, 30fps/352x288
Performance In Low Light: 8
Ease of IR Filter Removal: Very easy
Lens Used: Stock
Visible Block/IR Pass Filter Used: 2 Layers of Over exposed film
Setup Distance: About 24”
OS Tested On: Windows (Stock drivers), Linux (GSPCA drivers with patched Unicap - sonixj)
Other Info: Might not work out-of-box in Linux (Kernel 2.6.32), and has irritating light-sensor LEDs which one has to disable or tape out.
Recommended: Not really, unless you’re working on a shoe-string budget.

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