Webcams for the Pointy Haired
May 8, 2006 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Are there any particularly easy to use, simple, and bulletproof webcam/software combos out there?

I've been assigned the task of finding a webcam and software that's particularly easy to use... or, as my boss said, 'brainlessly easy'. These webcams will be used by people in a very non-technical (think executive-level) role on a daily basis. It has to be 100% intuitive to that kind of user, which is a very tall order.

Any suggestions? The hardware will be PC. Doesn't have to be bargain basement. Output format doesn't matter too much as long as it's something semi-standard, like avi or mpeg without some weird proprietary codec; we'll be converting to flv and adding trailers server-side. My first inclination was to tell them all to buy iMacs or MacBooks with iSight, but that flew like a lead baloon...

So any product suggestions?
posted by SpecialK to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Web cams for what purpose? If it is video conference then I would suggest ichatAV. In fact you can do 3-way videoconferencing with ichatAV, on a Mac...oops!

EvoCam may work once you do a little setup.
posted by Gungho at 12:14 PM on May 8, 2006

Oh I should read these first...still evocam?
posted by Gungho at 12:23 PM on May 8, 2006

If you are using the webcams for video-chat, then I've found that the logitec webcam and MSN messenger work quite easily. If possible, use a headset with headphones and mic to get around echoes.

That is probably the easiest, but if these execs will be talking about sensitive information, realize that all of their communications will not be encrypted with MSN.

If they are all running XP, then you can do video chat with Skype which is encrypted (I think, I know that skype encrypts text/voice). I haven't had much experience with skype video, so I can't rate its ease of use.
posted by jsonic at 12:31 PM on May 8, 2006

The videos will actually be recorded, uploaded to a server, and emailed ... it's for a very particular application with particular requirements on the method of communication, and the biggest restriction is that it has to be recorded and can't be live.

So the tasks they would have to do with the video software would be:

1) Record
2) Review the recording and re-record if necessary
3) Save the recording to a place where they can find it again

What I'm looking for is a super-reliable app for recording that won't have our helldesk droids wishing they could break the first rule of robotics and harm a human... namely, me. The camera and app must both be reliable enough to where the execs who are using this can reliably accomplish those steps without having to call the helpdesk every other day.
posted by SpecialK at 1:06 PM on May 8, 2006

And yes, They are not using Macs. They are using WinXP. Suggesting Mac Software will not get me anywhere, although I sure as heck wish it would. ;)
posted by SpecialK at 1:06 PM on May 8, 2006

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