Record digital video without distortion?
November 21, 2017 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I want to take some video of myself, weekly, that doesn't distort the proportions of my body. But, all webcams (and I think my mac's built-in camera?) seem to have fish-eye lenses.

I googled rectilinear webcams (is rectilinear the right term?) and nothing came up. Should I try to directly record video to my desktop via a cheap digital camera? Basically, what (relatively?) undistorted lens object will let me push-button record video on my mac? Ideally this would be through the Photobooth app because it doesn't have pretty or very high-fidelity or well-curated--it's only for personal use. But I want it to be proportionally accurate if not un-grainy.
posted by zeek321 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Should I try to directly record video to my desktop via a cheap digital camera?

Why not a phone camera on a stand? IME the MBpro camera starts distorting noticeably past a certain depth-of-field, but I haven't run into that issue with a smartphone. If you don't have access to a good smartphone camera, a point-and-shoot digital will certainly do the trick, although you'll probably end up having to transfer files to the computer rather than directly recording to it.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:49 AM on November 21, 2017

webcams have a wide field of view because you are expected to use them up close. A camera with a narrower field of view physically further away from you sounds more like what you would be interested in.
posted by TheAdamist at 12:55 PM on November 21, 2017

If you have access to video editing software like Adobe Aftereffects, you may be able to defish webcam video after the fact ("defish" is your search term). That would add some work to your post-production, but means you don't need to get additional hardware.
posted by agentofselection at 1:20 PM on November 21, 2017

Yes, TheAdamist is correct here as the easiest way to get the video you want. Point and shoot cameras will let you record video at good resolution and with much more flexibility in the +/- $100 range, and let you take interesting photos and videos other places too.

An option from Sony, and a less expensive option from Kodak.

Assume you'll need a small tripod too.

I've used camera similar to those linked, but not those specifically. I have used a Pedco tripod for just years and it's so great.
posted by conscious matter at 2:02 PM on November 21, 2017

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