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Philips Webcam - is it really the best we have for budget imaging?


Simms
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That looks very interesting ! Be sure to ask which CCD chip it is . Easy to mod for a scope and probably waaay cheaper than an SPC :(

It's what i thought, It was a while ago but Pretty sure it's the same chip as one of the dmk cams or minatron :( and why I bookmarked it in the first place.

They are a base manufacturer so they only do big orders unfortunately, but I'm terrible at this sort of thing :( Fill ya boots though if you want to :)

Guessing they would need a minimum order of around 300 at £10 each though..

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It's what i thought, It was a while ago but Pretty sure it's the same chip as one of the dmk cams or minatron :( and why I bookmarked it in the first place.

They are a base manufacturer so they only do big orders unfortunately, but I'm terrible at this sort of thing :) Fill ya boots though if you want to :(

Guessing they would need a minimum order of around 300 at £10 each though..

The same chip as a DMK, for £10.....wonder if you could sign up 300 SGL-ers

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I just wondered if there are better webcams that run at a slightly higher resolution than the coveted Philips one? Surely technology has moved on to give us a better sensor than that to cover our budget planetary imaging needs? Whats so damn special about it? I like mine, but there MUST be something else about?

I suspect that some compact cameras that sell for about 50 Euro are well capable of doing nice stuff.

I just bought a Canon A800 compact camera for Euros 49 at Argos Ireland. I has a 10mpx 1/2.3 CCD sensor which allows for long exposures; it can take videos and most likely it can be used as a webcam too. The ISO range is pretty good, I think up to 1600 and you can control everything. There is also a firmware hack called CHDK (not actually hacking the internal firmware but loading an alternative one from SD card at startup) which allows shooting in RAW and a lot of "SLR" settings on compact cameras Canon branded :(

Anyway, I'm just experimenting with it, and it looks like the CCD chip is pretty sensitive with the night sky in wide field, with little noise and a lot of details (including some double stars and nice colors that were picked up by the camera lens but not by my eyes :() :)

I'm considering removing the lens and trying long exposures in RAW through and also planetary imaging by shooting videos in AVI. I think the chip can also "Crop" the image making the subject bigger. It's also handy as it can be used without a computer.

If I can control this nice little compact as a webcam, I will check if additional settings can be adjusted with software like sharpcap.

I think there are more modern, unconventional alternatives that just have to be discovered and experimented. I'll keep you posted as this might be useful for a lot of people :(

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The same chip as a DMK, for £10.....wonder if you could sign up 300 SGL-ers

It'd be nice :( doubtful though. I'm just throwing the ball out there, it may even be 500 minimum order - like I say, i've not got round to asking.. (what do you say!?:dontknow:lol)

Apparently they will point to a supplier if you only need one - might be worth chasing if you are interested.

Edited by Glen
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It uses a CCD sensor. Modern webcams use a CMOS sensor. They are cheaper to make but lack the sensitivity of CCD.

Technology has moved on, but it's moved on to reduce the cost of the product, rather than to improve it's sensitivity and low-noise features. Having said that, CMOS sensors are a lot better now than they used to be.

Whilst this may of been true a while ago the performance of modern cmos sensors has massively improved but that being said the cmos sensors in webcams are hardly likely to be anywhere near high end. Certainly commercially the vast majority of development has been in cmos. However finding any meaningful technical data by which to make a comparison is very very hard other than looking at the technical data sheets for specific sensors companies don't generally like to disclose trade secrects just to keep us happy.

Edited by UnderTheRain
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