Why are webcams so crap?

Markleshark

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2006
6,240
0
Carlisle, Up Norf!
So I've never actually owned a webcam, never had the use for one and never really been interested in one.

However, for some strange reason I want one now, so I've been shopping around for one, but they are all crap. The designs are far from good looking on all the webcams I've seen, and basically they are cheap plastic crap. I understand they are not very high resolution because of the nature of them, but surely they could make one look nice when its sitting on top of my monitor.

I'm not paying stupid money for an iSight, but I can't believe someone doesn't make a nice looking webcam. It's all Logitech this, and Microsoft that.

Does anyone know of a reasonably priced, good looking one?
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
5
I was lloking for one recently too.
I've no idea why I want one though.:confused:

Same as you, I couldn't find a nice one. Stupid EU and their stupid regulations stopping Apple and thier lovely iSights...
 

Markleshark

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2006
6,240
0
Carlisle, Up Norf!
I was lloking for one recently too.
I've no idea why I want one though.:confused:

Same as you, I couldn't find a nice one. Stupid EU and their stupid regulations stopping Apple and thier lovely iSights...
I'm not sure why I want one. I go through fads.

I think it's since I saw Photobooth installed as part of Leopard, I thought 'mmmm, that'd be fun'
 

koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,189
9
I'm not sure why I want one. I go through fads.

I think it's since I saw Photobooth installed as part of Leopard, I thought 'mmmm, that'd be fun'
Tis fun. The built in ones are a good laugh - although I prefer not having them on the ACD. I always wanted the iSight...
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
So I've never actually owned a webcam, never had the use for one and never really been interested in one.

... The designs are far from good looking on all the webcams I've seen, and basically they are cheap plastic crap. ...

Does anyone know of a reasonably priced, good looking one?
What a post:rolleyes: You start-off with the assumption that webcams are crap based on no experience or third-party evidence to support your assumption. You assert that "all the webcams ... are cheap plastic crap." A couple of months ago, I crossed Office Depot's palm with silver and walked away with a very nice Logitech webcam that has a beautifully crafted metal body. You cannot buy metal if you are only willing to pay for plastic.
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
Which Logitech did you get? I can't see specific mention of Mac compatibility for the models I was looking at.

I too am used to relatively crappy video/photo quality, using as I do mostly Apple built-in stuff for my video needs as many of the people I 'video' are on iChat. Many of my Dells / Sonys have better built-in but most people I talk to on Skype are voice-only. It would actually be nice to stick a camera on one of my main desktops - but I would prefer a crossplatform one that I can stick on the Pro if necessary.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
5
What a post:rolleyes: You start-off with the assumption that webcams are crap based on no experience or third-party evidence to support your assumption. You assert that "all the webcams ... are cheap plastic crap." A couple of months ago, I crossed Office Depot's palm with silver and walked away with a very nice Logitech webcam that has a beautifully crafted metal body. You cannot buy metal if you are only willing to pay for plastic.
What a response:rolleyes:
He's talking about aesthetics, which are entirely a personal issue.
"The designs are far from good looking on all the webcams I've seen, and basically they are cheap plastic crap"
"surely they could make one look nice"
"Does anyone know of a reasonably priced, good looking one?"


What evidence does he need to support his preferences?
 

Markleshark

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2006
6,240
0
Carlisle, Up Norf!
I need not add anything to that bartelby. :) Aside from the fact I said I'd never owned a webcam before, not that I'd never used one before... :rolleyes: indeed.

This is the 'best' one I've found so far, but at £60 it's a lot for a webcam, and I'm still not sure I like it. Not when you think I could have had something that looks this damn good...



Oh, and guess what...

System Requirements: Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic
We need iSight v2.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
...

What evidence does he need to support his preferences?
The OP needs no justification for his preferences. But he did not entitle his post "Why don't I like webcams," he entitled it "Why are webcams so crap?" The clear inference is that Logitech and virtually every other webcam is defective in some form or fashion. For the record, Logitech webcams are not defective. This assertion holds whether or not I like a particular model.

To Sesshi: Until just a few months ago, Logitech webcams were sold in the online Apple Store. Those devices did not suddenly stop working just because Apple stopped selling them. Logitech does not explicitly declare Mac-compatibility for its webcams. However, its better models explicitly declare USB-compatibility. These "just work" out-of-the-box under MacOS X. No additional drivers are required.

That's the good news. The better news is that not all manufacturer's webcams work out-of-the-box. Better news??? If you have a "Wal-Mart Special" webcam that does not fully support the USB standard, then you are still very much in the game. The opensource macam driver brings Mac-compatibility to a plethora of non-conforming USB webcams.
 

Markleshark

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2006
6,240
0
Carlisle, Up Norf!
That (your link) looks like crap IMO :p
Yeah, as I said. Still wasn't going to buy one, but certainly the best of a bad bunch.

With all this Leopard and iChat stuff, you'd think Apple would do a external one again. I know most things have it built in, but not everyone has iMacs or Laptops.
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
The OP needs no justification for his preferences. But he did not entitle his post "Why don't I like webcams," he entitled it "Why are webcams so crap?" The clear inference is that Logitech and virtually every other webcam is defective in some form or fashion. For the record, Logitech webcams are not defective. This assertion holds whether or not I like a particular model.

To Sesshi: Until just a few months ago, Logitech webcams were sold in the online Apple Store. Those devices did not suddenly stop working just because Apple stopped selling them. Logitech does not explicitly declare Mac-compatibility for its webcams. However, its better models explicitly declare USB-compatibility. These "just work" out-of-the-box under MacOS X. No additional drivers are required.

That's the good news. The better news is that not all manufacturer's webcams work out-of-the-box. Better news??? If you have a "Wal-Mart Special" webcam that does not fully support the USB standard, then you are still very much in the game. The opensource macam driver brings Mac-compatibility to a plethora of non-conforming USB webcams.
Thanks - that's very useful to know.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
5
The OP needs no justification for his preferences. But he did not entitle his post "Why don't I like webcams," he entitled it "Why are webcams so crap?" The clear inference is that Logitech and virtually every other webcam is defective in some form or fashion. For the record, Logitech webcams are not defective. This assertion holds whether or not I like a particular model.
"Clear inference" or your interpretation?

If it was clear I'd have the same opinion as you. But to me he was clearly talking about the look of the cams, not the operation of them.

That Philips thing is nasty!!
I'd rather have one of the cheap plasticy logitech golfball doodahs
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
I love reading pointless arguments and the pedantry factor being ratcheted up.

If I say "the MBP is a very pretty piece of crap" for example I can list a whole bunch of stuff to quantify it. The OP has maybe less of a leg to stand on since he has never owned a webcam.

:p

I'm going to buy myself one each of the range-topping MS and Logi monitor-top cameras. I generally like the look of both in situ. No iSight in looks for sure, but more discreet certainly in the case of the MS model - and probably far better performers.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
5
So I can't, legitimately, say "I don't like how Porsche Cayennes look" because I've never owned one?

So I have to buy something I don't think looks good so I can say "I think this is fugly"?

What kind of twisted logic is that?
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
5
The former has lost the design sense of the iSight IMO and enters marital aid territory (amazing what a bunch of holes can do), and the latter looks like something you'd give a baby :p
:D:D



It's a shame the Agent V1 isn't Mac compatible. For £35 I'd have got one today!
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
So I can't, legitimately, say "I don't like how Porsche Cayennes look" because I've never owned one?

...

What kind of twisted logic is that?
That's bartelby's twisted logic. You do not need buy, lease, or rent a Porsche to look at it. If you have actually seen one or even a picture of one, then you are justified in expressing your opinion of a Porsche's styling.
 

iZac

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2003
2,022
1,089
Shanghai
Just to pitch in pointlessly to an old topic, but I just upgraded to Leopard (legally i might add!) and fancied a play with photobooth, similar to the OP.

I dug out my old webcam and nightmares came flooding back. I’ve had two webcams in my life, one was a Logitech 3000 and then a 4000. These worked fine in the days of OS9 but when we all jumped ship to OSX, logitech thought "you know what, we don't want to support macs anymore" I Paid £80 for both of these back in the day and they both look like sh*t, but they were the "best" available at the time. Logitech took years to get even a half assed support in OSX. Unless im missing something, i still cant get the 4000 working in iChat, but only in their own awful software.

Plus both of them broke at the ball joint which had a plastic screw that held them together. I phoned them and they claimed they didnt replace that crucial part. (of note i should mention im not a clumsy person.)

Long story short i remembered how much i hated Logitechs poor quality of software and hardware and got myself a 2nd hand iSight.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Yeah, it's not completely clear what webcams work and what don't with the USB support built into the current version of OS X. Some people also reported that microphones were not working on those webcams (other than iSight) that had them as of 10.4.10, IIRC.

I think the core reason that most webcams are ugly is that they are styled to match the fashion trends of the Windows PC world. It's just designers following other designers. The problem is that the PCs themselves are not appealing to the same set of tastes to which Macs are appealing, and the webcam people follow suit.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,182
15
London, England
That's bartelby's twisted logic. You do not need buy, lease, or rent a Porsche to look at it. If you have actually seen one or even a picture of one, then you are justified in expressing your opinion of a Porsche's styling.
oh FFS! Are you winding us up?

Most of the webcams I've seen do look pretty crappy. I haven't seen every webcam in existence but I don't need to in order to form that generalization. Just like I don't need to see the Porsche Cayenne in every colour to think it's ugly.
 
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