What type of webcam is best for Cam & Chat Roulette?
Nowadays there are a vast number of webcam’s available from many manufacturers, with each offering different functionality in terms of both hardware and software features. As a result choosing a web cam can be time consuming and confusing for rouletters!!
The most common use of web cams is in the Instant Messaging / Web Conferencing market and applications such as Webcam Chatroulette, Shuffle People, CamRoulette, Windows Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger and Skype allow people from all over the world to communicate easily and cheaply. This aim of this article is to highlight a few features to look out for when purchasing
Image Resolution / Image Quality of a webcam is determined by the type of sensor and many webcam’s now use CCD technology as found in many Digital Cameras. Low end and Early web cams made use of CMOS sensors which offered lower Quality so it is important to choose a webcam that offers a good enough resolution to deliver clear crisp images and smooth video. That said, for instant messaging, the resolution of the image sensor does not need to produce high resolution images as the video is usually compressed to conserve bandwidth and is usually displayed as a small video window within the instant messaging software. Therefore a webcam that offers 1.3 mega pixel resolution should be more than adequate for delivering quality video and also decent snapshots if required.a webcam for instant messaging.
Simplicity / Ease of Use. Nearly all of the webcams available today require a USB connection to the computer so it is important to check your PC or Laptop has this connector available. You will also want to find a Webcam from a reputable manufacturer some of which include Logitech, Microsoft, Labtec, Saitek, Hauppauge and Axis as they will offer simple and well tested software installations which should work with little or no configuration of your Instant Messaging software. Also check that your webcam has a usable stand or connector to enable you to attach the device at a suitable position – monitor mounted webcams are often the best choice as they offer the best position and distance to capture a persons face for instant messaging. Many webcams display the logos of the relevant instant messaging manufacturer on the packaging so its worth checking if your client is supported.
Cost. The price of webcams do vary considerably and you can pay anywhere from £5 to £100+ for a webcam. For instant messaging a mid range webcam should not only provide the best quality but also offer a good level of support and compatibility. Some webcams offer face tracking and zooming technology and if you want these features you will have to pay more but this does make day to day use of the webcam a little easier as it will not require as much repositioning. That said, you should ask yourself if you really need the features offered by higher end models as often, for an application like ChatRoulette, a base to mid range model will usually offer all that is required.
For a webcam that will offer all of the above our recommendation would be a webcam from Logitech or Microsoft and will support Skype and other common Instant Messaging clients.