Using Digital Camcorder as a Webcam HELP

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Maestro767, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Maestro767 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2006
    I'm looking to buy a digital camcorder that also works as a webcam. My girlfriend is leaving for Australia to study on an academic scholarship for 9 months (getting her Master's degree in just two semesters) and we want to be able to communicate through webcams, but I'd also like to be able to buy her a camcorder that will allow her to chronicle her trip. Any suggestions? A friend recommended Canon's ZR300 or ZR400, but he wasn't positive if they would work as a webcam on a Mac.

    She is using a Mac, I'm using a PC. From what I've read, I think we should be able to link up if she uses iChat and I use AIM Triton. I just want to make sure she'll be able to use the digital camcorder as a webcam before I shell out the 350-400 bucks I'm willing to spend.

  2. aloofman macrumors 68020


    Dec 17, 2002
    Any Firewire camcorder will work as a webcam with iChat.
  3. Texas04 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2005
    Not sure about iChat and a regular video camera, but I know in aim i dont think you can use a video camera, somthing about the rate of quality being to high or somthing like that. That was an older version though, so I dont know about the new Trinton.. Good luck though!

    EDIT: ALSO one problem I ran into is auto shut off on some cameras, somtimes they will just shut off when not recording, so it could accidently auto shut off if its just thinking its doing nothing while connected to the mac. I would try it on hers first before she goes off. Assuming its a labtop bring it to the store and test it before you buy a camera. Just a thought.
  4. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    And for the record, I've never seen a digital camcorder without a firewire connection.
  5. aloofman macrumors 68020


    Dec 17, 2002
    AIM for Mac hasn't been updated in a long time and doesn't do video, as far as I know. Since Apple developed an AIM-compatible chat app, AIM doesn't have to anymore.
  6. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I use a DV camera with iChat quite often. It works perfectly. And since I was using a VX2000 (a 3-CCD camcorder that cost $2500 when new), the image quality was very nice :)

    To avoid the auto-shutoff feature interrupting your webcam chat, just make sure there is no tape loaded into the camera. Most cameras (at least all of my Sony cams) will disable auto-shutoff when there's no tape loaded.
  7. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    MY wife and I bought roughly the equivalent of what you are looking at (Panasonic PS-G31 or seomthing like that). We use it to video chat with her sister and it works pretty well. I think the quality is limited more by something else - normally it isn't too bad, but one day it was horrid. But, on the whoel we are rather pleased.
  8. lordmac macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2004
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I think he was referencing AIM for windows, but yes you are right aim for mac is ancient and very bare feature wise. The Mac side of things at aol got so messed up there fore while that apple just went and made ichat and aol moving most of there content to compatible with any browser they dont really have any reason to bother with keeping up the mac side of things for there products.
  9. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Take out the tape.

    iSight is cheaper, also, unless she plans to use the camcorder for documenting her trip.
  10. kygeographer macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2005
    Frankfort, KY
    I've heard that AIM Triton breaks the iChat/PC AIM compatibility. At least that's been my problem, trying to get my iChat to work with my girlfriend's Triton. My reccomendation would be to download any version of AIM from 5.5 upward from this page:

    Cheers, hope that might help!

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