Using a camera as a webcam

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Will the Sec, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    OK, tMP technical boffins all, my overseas friends and family wish to see our daughter, and the webcam is good for this to a degree.

    Is there a way of hooking up a camera or camcorder with higher resolution to act as a webcam, enabling much better snapshots to be taken on (say) Skype?

    I've got a FujiFilm FinePix s5600 camera, and a rather basic Aiptek camcorder.

    Can it be done?
  2. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    In theory it should be possible, but depends if the computer drivers for the camera and the software you're using (eg Skype) will support it.

    For example most digital cameras may be 5MP+ resolution for stills, but only shoot video at 640x480.

    Upload bandwidth may be an issue too, ADSL can allegedly go up to 8MB download but you might be less than 1MB upload, not anywhere near enough for HD (probably the main reason why webcams are 640x480 and less than 25fps).
  3. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    From my limited knowledge as a Skype user, I would imagine the major limiting factor would be bandwidth? You can have the best webcam in the world but if you (or more likely, the other parties involved) have slow internet connections all that will happen is that your video call will keep stopping. Certain digital cameras can be set up as webcams; usually those that can specify this in the manual. There is third party software which will help, but I've never used it and I'd be wary of damaging the camera.

    My bro-in-law has the same issue - new baby, relatives in Oz want up to date piccies on a regular basis. Being a bit of a tech-head he has set up a password protected website (complete with baby's name as the url) to host baby pics and emailed the password to the select few. Every week or 10 days he uploads the best of his most recent pics at a decent resolution for printing (with thumbnail previews). As far as I know the actual full size images are hosted on something like with his site only actually containing the lo-res previews and links. As a result he can fit "his" part of the site within the webspace you get free with a lot of ISPs if you register a domain name.

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