Feeds

HD Webcams

Video chat with greater clarity

The essential guide to IT transformation

Product Round-up With World+Dog now using Skype or an IM app to video-chat to friends and family across the globe, it's worth remembering that how you look to the world at large is dependent on the quality of the webcam you are using. If you are using a low-end laptop or netbook, the integrated 1.3Mp or even 0.3Mp webcam is not going to give your mug a good full-screen treatment.

I, for one, want to be seen in glorious widescreen HD - or as close to HD as the other person's monitor can manage - when I chat to Auntie Doris in Vancouver or Cousin Jim in Cape Town. I don't want to appear in a dull and blurry box that would make John Logie Baird tut, tut, tut in disapproval.

HD Webcams

The ability to work in low light is handy too - who wants to chat from their armchair of an evening under an arc light glare? While I'm at it, I also want my camera to have a decent microphone to give full range to my glorious baritone.

To satisfy these needs, there is a new breed of HD webcam that offers improved video, better sound or both, and I tried out four of them. They range in price from £50 to £100, and they can all be attached to either a desktop or laptop screen.

I tested them on a 2.1GHz Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop and a Samsung N140 netbook running Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux 10.04, respectively. The frightful images of yours truly were taken using Cheese for Linux at the highest still image resolution available to give a flavour of the end result.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the webcams...

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Blue Eyeball 2.0

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Leak: Intel readies next round of NUC
Cheap boxen to get a refresh
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?