Webcams with Manual Controls?

jersmi's picture

Can anyone advise on available webcams with control over all features like exposure, white balance, focus, etc.?

I've been using the ps3eye with the open frameworks custom macam driver to turn off auto-exposure (for IR tracking, etc.). But the image quality / color of the ps3eye is troublesome at present. So I'm looking to upgrade to higher quality / res image, etc., but stay in the USB / webcam world. (Though I'm thinking sabout going back to firewire, too, so if anyone has strong opinions about the virtues of firewire or any other newer technology, I'm all ears.)

I got hold of a logitech C910 but there is nothing out there at the moment to control the features in the camera. The FV Video plugin here at least does a nice job of resizing the image and making it useable, but then there are the all the other automatic features which I hate.

Doing some research but coming up with little. Maybe someone has advice / experience?

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ahoeben's picture
Re: Webcams with Manual Controls?

I know its not what you're asking for, but go for a firewire camera with Kineme Video Tools! All the manual control you could wish for, and most (if not all) of these cameras come with a c-mount lens thread so you can get the exact field of view you need for your application. C-mount lenses can be had from ebay relatively cheaply.

Having said that, these cameras are quite a bit more expensive than your average webcam...

jersmi's picture
Re: Webcams with Manual Controls?

Appreciate it. I'll look around. Haven't shopped for a firewire camera for a while. Any more ideal than others for mutli-purpose use in QC (fr ex., IR tracking as well as good picture).

ahoeben's picture
Re: Webcams with Manual Controls?

I picked my camera (a unibrain fire-i 785) for availability and its high resolution. It's a color camera, but removing the IR blocking filter so it is better suited for IR tracking is literally as simple as removing two screws. No prying involved. And its easy to put in a visible light blocking filter in its place too. I would guess that's true for more industrial cameras.

Note that you may or may not be able to use the Firewire 800 (higher throughput) modes on fw800 cameras. IE I can not get the highest resolution to work in color at high framerates in QC, though the native apps can.

Also note that the lower resolutions of most firewire cameras crop the image (affecting the field of view); they just use smaller and smaller parts of the image sensor, instead of scaling the output image.

jersmi's picture
Re: Webcams with Manual Controls?

Appreciate the info. What was resolved from this inquiry? http://kineme.net/forum/Release/Production/KinemeVideoToolswithFirewire8...

Edit: I see you already mentioned resolution issues in the above post. Thanks again.