Webcams with QC

psonice's picture

What's support like for general USB webcams in QC? Do general logitech or whatever cameras work OK? I've only used the built-in isight with it, but I'm thinking it would be fun to attach a camera to a telescope + make a useful astronomy app.

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mfreakz's picture
QC Hardware list...

It could be great to have a custom hardware list in our forum. We could list tested webcams (with a video quality note, etc...). It could be usefull for other device too, like sensors, microphones, graphic cards...

kristopf's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

Anything that works with iChat AV (or Quicktime in general) should work just fine in Quartz Composer. If your camera doesn't have mac drivers (and doesn't just work when you plug it in) you can check if it's supported by macam

The best reasonably priced (~$35) webcam I've used with QC is the PS3 Eye which requires the macam drivers to work.

psonice's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

Right, thanks, that's pretty much what I need to know.

I'll have to research it a bit, as the best model for astronomy will probably be totally different to the best model for general use.. I'm guessing low-light sensitivity and an easy way to cool the sensor aren't so important on a ps3 :)

cybero's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

low noiseCCD, ideally an unscrewable lens, thereafter the sky's the limit price-wise as extra features, cooling, etc are added on but entry level can be achieved for under a £100. See http://www.amateurastronomy.co.uk/ for further information about using ccd cameras in urban conditions with success.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

Check these out....

http://www.ptgrey.com/products/index.asp

I don't know if they are good for astronomy in particular, but they make some nice products.

psonice's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

Thanks for the links, but I'm trying to do this on a budget. To put it in perspective, £100 is 3x more than the telescope cost :D

I'll check what's reasonable, then see if we've got one lying around at work ;)

dust's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

i have a patch i made for the ptgrey ladybug, which would make an awesome telescope attachment.

psonice's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

Wow, that's a really cool piece of kit!

Pretty unsuitable for astronomy I guess though. To put it in perspective - the moon would fill all of 2x2 pixels if you captured the whole sky ;) Doing a long-exposure capture might be pretty cool, but then you need a specialist (i.e. expensive) motorised mount for the camera, as the stars move (actually quite fast when you look through a telescope!) and you need to track them.

Thanks for mentioning it anyway though, a camera like that could come in handy some day.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

When I saw "stuart"'s (who posts here occasionally) Point Grey, this small little cam I can't remember the name of... possibly the Grasshopper... what nice quality! Seeing the quality of picture on that thing, you can't help but be impressed.

It was heartbreaking to find out how much the spherical/ panoramic cams cost... you really have to almost have a business built around it... it's not a whim purchase, at least not for me! How sweet would it be to do panoramic travel vids (?)... I don't know if anyone would buy them, but it sure would be fun to do.

psonice's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

Aaah, what you could do with a huge pile of money eh?

If it was me, I'd buy 2 of those, and mount them on the front of a remote controlled aeroplane. Then, build a dome + dome projector setup. With 3d glasses. Oooooh yes!

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Webcams with QC

I would totally want to do an Anthony Bourdain style travel show and capture exotic foreign lands in panorama (as long as we're daydreaming here). The 3D spin is something that had occurred to me as well... imagine how immersive an experience that could be.