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Digital cameras as webcams
Old 04-12-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
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Digital cameras as webcams

Calling all geeks.

Most if not all today's digital cameras have full (30fps) video capability of 640x480 res or higher. Using the optics of the cameras, the video quality is usually much better than that of webcams (tiny lens, mostly made with plastic). The cameras are connected to computers via the USB cable.

So why can't they be used as webcams? At least I haven't owned (or heard of) one that can. Have you found a simple and economical way to do it?

Sam
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
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No I haven't but I'm interested to see if others have. I have seen Canon software that comes with their digital cameras that will allow you to plug in a digital camera and basically see what the camera is seeing on the computer screen, plus take snapshots of that IIRC using your computer.

This is a gap in technology that doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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In a remote past I owned a Sony Cybershot that could do just that.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:58 PM   #4
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Our moderately priced digital camera has a web-cam option. So it can indeed be used as the OP stated. We haven't tried this camera out as a webcam ourselves though.

We did use our previous digital camera as a webcam though. It worked just fine for what we needed it to do. All we had to do was plug in a USB cable and the software did the rest.

Check out your camera documentation. You may be surprised that it has a webcam option.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:08 PM   #5
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Has anyone got this to work with a Canon Powershot?
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:26 PM   #6
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Wow! Let me Google that for you:

canon +webcam - Google Search

I learned something new.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Wow! Let me Google that for you:

canon +webcam - Google Search

I learned something new.
And this is for when you really want to be pedantic :-)
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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And this is for when you really want to be pedantic :-)
Great! I can go back to that -- I see they have gotten
rid of the "comment" section.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:20 PM   #9
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Another option if you have one already - I think most camcorders will output 'live' through their USB or FireWire (1399, ilink?) ports. IIRC, with our canon Z-something model, you have to take the tape out to get in that mode (or maybe that was analog-digital conversion of old VHS tapes I was doing).

I've got an old busted camcorder that I kept around for this, I might even try it one day! I am a pack rat.

-ERD50
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:55 PM   #10
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Most of the high level current DSLR's such as the Canon 5DII or the 7D no have pretty powerful video capability, better than many single stand alone video cameras.

However, these systems are not designed for continuous duty. If the temperature outside is much above 65 degree F they will overheat fairly quickly. When that happens they will simply shut down. They are for the occasional time when you are shooting a wedding for example, and want to get some video of an event, like the bouquet throw, or Dad Dancing with the Bride.

Probably not be good for continuous p@rn web camming; or camming at the top of a building for the street below.

Z(the former part time professional wedding and portrait photographer)
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:19 PM   #11
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the problem i see with using your camera as a video cam is DUST

i go to great lengths to keep dust off the sensor when swapping lenses going so far as to do it in a plastic bag

the last thing i would want is a shutter wide open for so long allowing dust in
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:19 PM   #12
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the last thing i would want is a shutter wide open for so long allowing dust in
With a lens in place, where would the dust come from? If inside the lens itself, wouldn't it (potentially) get on the sensor anyway?
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:14 AM   #13
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the lens mounts are not really that tight to avoid blown in dust,as well as the back of the lens always has tiny dust specs on it.
its just amazing how dust finds its way in and lands on the sensor. no matter how careful you are
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:44 AM   #14
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For a standard point and shoot simple camera, is dust an issue? We use our canon A-something as a video camera too, and the shutter is open the whole time. I assume operation as a webcam would be no different than operation as a video camera.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:01 PM   #15
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Thanks all for the reply. Interesting! I will take a look at the Canons and see if I can make it work.

I have never owned a Sony by choice. I don't want to pay for their proprietary memory stick.
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