Re: Is Quickcam still a good deal?

Randolph Bentson wrote:
> I've a complaint with the Quickcam, and it doesn't appear that
> the Eggcam is much better.
> With a horizontal resolution of 320 pixels, the 45 to 55 degree
> viewing angle means the resolution is _much_ less than the
> unaided human eye.  This means that images of distant objects
> don't "look" sharp.

Wide field of view is a good feature for video conferencing; however,
QuickCams are being used for many other applications.  I noticed an
a interesting version of the Connectix ColorCam on their web page (it
had what looked like a detachable adjustable lenz with a mounting 
mechanism for other lenz attachments.  So, I e-mailed their web master :

>Chris Bryden wrote:
>> I noticed a ColorCam with a special lenz attachment in one of the 
>> graphics used in the following page :
>>   http://www.connectix.com/html/other_third_party_page.html
>> Do you have any further (non-visual) information about that 
>> camera?

>Leo Vanderhoef wrote:
>> The 'special lens' you saw on the picture, is a test version of a polaroid
>> lens (for using the QuickCam outside with your laptop without getting
>> overlighted by the sun) [...]

> I'd really like the option of a different lens assembly to
> bring the viewing angle down to under 10 degrees.

A camera with a 10 degree field of view wouldn't be very user
friendly.  It might have a few applications where a specific 
spot were being monitored or perhaps packaged with some sort of
Tilt/Pan/Zoom/Focus mechanism.  At any rate, one has to wonder
how "tuned" the CCD array is for a paricular (static) lens arrangment.
Personally, I'm waiting for someone to "tune" the CCD backplanes
in the image of the human eye.  Nature did the wiring minimization
resolution maximization hack a long time ago.  Too bad fabrication
can't be done for complex surfaces.  I don't want to even think about
what it would take to do the lithography and doping of a concave

I'm not sure if I'm going to wait for Connectix/a thrid party to
develope a T/P/Z/F (tilt/pan/zoom/focus) for the ColorCam.  I imagine 
that there's room in camera's com protocol for positioning information
for 2 or 3 stepper motors.  An embedded controller like a basic stamp 
with a pass through for the camera would work well.  I figure that the
mechanics for camera rotation are fairly deterministic and position 
detection doesn't need to be added to the T/P/Z device.  All that's 
left is to cast and test the plastic, find an assembly plant in the 
pacific rim, marketing and distribution.  Anyway, I ramble on...

> Has anyone located (perhaps from Edmund Scientific) different
> lenses?

The closest thing that I've found in a resonable price range is 
the Epson digital still camera, which accepts screw-on, camcorder 
type "lenses" and filters.  Are there any (industry) standards for 
digital camera lens attchments(, yet)?  This a rethorical question.
The industry standard for film cameras is overkill for the current
state of digital camera technology.  After all, who in their right
mind is going to take the time to develope a durable mounting 
mechanism for lenses that cost several time more than the digital

> Randolph Bentson
> bentson@grieg.seaslug.org