Re: Which Cam Should I Purchase?

Jason Williams (
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 15:45:26 -0600 (CST)

On Wed, 7 Jan 1998, Mark E. Hendricks wrote:
> I am brand new (or newer) to CU-See-Me. I have decided that although I
> own a pretty good video cam, I would rather purchase a digital cam than buy
> a capture card ( I will most likely buy a card later for other purposes).
> If anyone has a strong opinion that this is the wrong course of action, I
> would like to hear what you have to say.

It's a little delayed...but I'm just getting caught up :)
I'd heavily recommend the capture card. You can get a fairly nice capture
card for around the same price as a B&W Quickcam. There are also portable
cameras that attach to capture cards now. While you may pay a tad more,
the price difference isn't nearly as much as performance difference
between parallel port cameras and capture cards. If I was in the position
to buy a camera now, I'd definitely go with the capture card route. When
I got my B&W Quickcam, it was the only low cost alternative to sending
vid. (The other alternatives were to buy a $300-$500 capture card and a
$300-$500 camcorder..seeing as how I'm a penniless student, that didn't
sit too well). Now the price differences are shrinking, but the
performance gap isn't.

I'm not sure if White Pine still has their holiday deal going, but they
have(had?) a deal where you get a nice capture card, camera, and two
serial #s for CU for $200.

The quality of capture card output is generally superior to parallel port
cameras. The processor load is almost non-existant. If you need it for
portability, the parallel port cameras are still the way to
go...otherwise, spend a couple of extra bucks and get something that will
continue to last for years.

(A parallel port camera can turn even the high-end Pentiums into slow
486's with the processor I understand it, that's what happened
with CU 3.0...blazing fast for capture card users, slow as molasses for
Quickcam users.)

Just my $.02 :) (And yes.. I still have a Quickcam...but if I had the
options I had now 2 years ago, things would be different)

--    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
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