PC Hardware

Question

outdoor web cam

by pao423 / August 19, 2013 1:51 AM PDT

I am looking to purchase a web cam that I can use in an outdoor environment. specifically, I have a panasonic cf-30 toughbook that I use in my profession of emergency services (police, fire, ems). I am looking for a usb or wireless camera that I can use with my computer to take real time video of emergency operations, and send via the internet to a remote location. i.e. responding to the scene of a hazardous materials incident, set up my computer and web cam, and then send real time video to an emergency operations center. I tried this actual scenario recently, but the standard web cam I have would not work. due to the bright outdoor environment, the picture was completely washed out. the video settings could not be adjusted to allow this to work. additionally, I am looking for one that is not too expensive. any ideas? please advise, and thank you!!

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Clarification Request
Such is now not a hard thing to find.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2013 1:57 AM PDT
In reply to: outdoor web cam

You may have limited your search by looking for a web cam. Web cams usually are for situations where we control lighting so let's ask this. Did you look at the newer WiFi enabled camcorders and of course what they offer at Ustream?

I wonder if involving a PC is a good idea here. That is, if I made setup too techy, no one could capture the moment.
Bob

All Answers

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Answer
Checkout
by Willy / August 19, 2013 3:24 AM PDT
In reply to: outdoor web cam

You want it to work and then you add, cheap. That limits what you really decide, because effectively you have to pay to have the flexibility you want. Logitech makes a bunch of cameras, so check there. Of course, you can google away but Amazon may narrow it down too.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/webcam-communications/webcams

All those so-called spy shops seem to offer cams up the yazoo, so check there too. I just think in the long run you a decent cam that will do your task but be on the more expensive side, otherwise you buy cheap and hope for the best. It certainly wouldn't hurt to see what s/w bundle comes with the cam to make it all the better. You may want to check hand-held(or stand) cams or non-PC types that record whatever but connect to a PC to d/l the images, etc..

tada -----Willy Happy

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outdoor web cam
by pao423 / August 19, 2013 5:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Checkout

thank you for your replies to this point. I get the old adage of you get what you pay for, and I was referring to something that is reasonably priced, and that would do the job I desire. I have searched the internet, and there is of course a staggering amount of cameras out there. unfortunately, I have yet to find one that specifically indicates that it would work in a daylight/bright light environment. I guess I was asking more along the lines if there was any information out there that someone could point me to a specific model(s) that I could look at. I can then evaluate the options and prices, and choose accordingly.

the other aspect that I need to take into consideration is that I am working with windows xp for the OS.

thanks again for the info, and any additional help would be appreciated.

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Looks grim to me.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2013 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: outdoor web cam

I am finding zero support for XP today. Some support for XP SP3 but about daylight. My work includes CCTV design (not sales!) so I solve that issue with a polarized filter. I'm guessing you are having a rough time finding folk that do this work?
Bob

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Outdoor Web Cam-Emergency Services
by pao423 / August 19, 2013 6:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Looks grim to me.

thanks alot for the info proffitt!!! LOL. perhaps that's what I need-a polarizing filter. not sure where to find something like that. I currently use a logictech web cam. and my OS is xp pro sp3.

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I took a quick look at amazon and they are there.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2013 7:11 AM PDT

And for a test you can always try a lens from an old set of sunglasses. Remember that as a designer I think nothing of re-purposing items. But I'm unsure why we would involve a PC as it may add to the complexity to the point the worker forgets what they were there for.

In fact a new solution for this is the camera in smart phones with the right app you can stream or upload later.
Bob

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Outdoor Web Cam-Emergency Services
by pao423 / August 19, 2013 7:21 AM PDT

thanks proffitt. I guess using a smart phone is something that quite a few people have mentioned. I guess I was just thinking that I could use my smart phone as the modem, and then use my computer for the medium to send through. my thought was, this would afford me the opportunity to use my computer not only for the video, but also for it's computer data capability. perhaps I could do both.

I guess I got part of the idea for doing this from our homeland security agency in the state. they have response vehicles equipped with video cams that are dash mounted. they are then able to pull up to in incident and send the video. I guess I am not sure what they use to transmit, whether it's internet or dedicated modem based.

I'll keep researching. thanks again!!

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Why not ask the techies
by Willy / August 19, 2013 11:23 AM PDT

Since you seem to be in the circle of fire, police, etc. why not ask them. They have the dash mounted cams and certainly they get this as some package/unit. Basically, you want the same thing only be more mobile(detached unit) and connect via the USB. At least you get the specs and then look for some matches.

I too find that XP will limit your future usage as time is limited for XP as it no longer will be future supported. However, what may work for XP should apply to Vista and Win7, in general terms(no guarantees) and be viable.

tada -----Willy Happy

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What about a tablet
by Willy / August 21, 2013 1:53 AM PDT

Tablets do come with webcams at least many do. They also are generally made for outdoors and usage isn't that uncommon. of course, you have to look for the wifi part but even that is common. So, what is left is the cost, I would believe there are cheap tablets as I checked and many fall under $100 just for the sake of having one. What you may want should you go that route to ad more SD ram or the ability to swap one in at maybe a "new incident report" file being started provided again its part of that tablet features. Along those lines are so-called youtube type cameras that are generally made for ease of use to enter YouTube uploads, a good example is the "Flip" type camera. Just some added thoughts on the process of finding a device.

tada -----Willy Happy

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