Now that the Vidize is in beta, I plan to go over the list of recommended equipment.
I start with the absolute must-have – a Web camera.
A while back, there was a discussion about USB 1.1 vs USB 2.0 web cams. This discussion is mostly obsolete now as the majority of new web cameras are all USB 2.0. Keep in mind that being USB 2.0 doesn’t guarantee quality in any way. It simply means the camera can send more data to the computer (in theory).
Here’s what to look for in a Web camera:
- Speed: Since we’re choosing a webcam to record video online, the speed is the most important factor. You need a webcam that will do at least 30 frames-per-second (30FPS) when the lighting is adequate.
- Light sensitivity: The sensitivity to light is very important as most budget web cams give good results only in a VERY narrow window. It’s either too dark or too light for them.
- Control: In addition to getting a camera that is sensitive to light, you absolutely need to be able to control it. Look for cam that has a control panel where you can adjust the speed, the gain, and the white balance (the color of light).
- Pixels: As usual the more, the marrier but this is secondary to the points above. Anything over 640×480 is probably an overkill for web video at this time.
I have selected two different cameras that meet the requirements above. If you are not sure about a web cam you like, feel free to email me.
- Logitech Pro 9000: This is the latest cam in Logitech’s Pro series. It’s probably a bit of an overkill but it does have everything you need. It also has a lot of stuff you probably don’t – like adding a moustache effect.
The list price is $99 but you can find it for less.
- Logitech Communicate STX: If you want a good budget web cam, the STX is an excellent choice. I own it myself and it does well even in low light.
List price is $49 but you can find it for half that!