I’ve never been very satisfied with the image quality on my Logitech QuickCam Pro. It does an OK job if the lighting conditions are good, but the image just isn’t sharp and the colors are never very true to life. As you may recall, I first looked at using my Sony DV cam as a webcam over a year ago. The image quality was great, but my poor old 400 Mhz Pentium II just couldn’t handle the demand. My processor utilization would hover at around 100%, rendering the computer virtually useless for anything else.
Well, I finally got around to testing on my P4 machine, and the results are excellent.
As you can see, the image quality from my Logitech QuickCam Pro is ok, but not great:
After transferring over the WebCamDV software driver from Orange Micro. It’s a tremendous little $20 application that lets you use any DV camcorder with a Firewire connection as a webcam with pretty much any application that supports webcams.
As you can see, the picture quality through the DV cam is much better:
Using the DV camera offers additional benefits. It works well in low-light conditions, it allows zoom capabilities, and gives me higher resolution options. The good news is that it doesn’t consume my processor. I’m not sure if that’s because of the hyperthreading or simply the increased processing power of the P4, but it’s actually usable.
I’ve officially switched over the webcam to the Sony DV camera for now. If you’ve got a DV camera, it’s worth looking into.