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The webcam is a unique device for entering visual data into the computer. It can capture videos as well as still pictures, depending on the program you use. Your job is to select the camera that meets your specifications and satisfies the functions which you will use it for.

The most common use for the quickcam is video phone calls, where you communicate with a friend, family member, and others using both audio and video. This allows you to talk and see the person you are talking to. Sometimes this is done with a phone service and other times it is done using instant messaging.

Another use for the video camera is to create a video file and attach it to an e-mail you send as a greeting. It might be a Happy Birthday message or the Merry Christmas greeting you send to the entire family.

For more serious uses, you can use these netcams for security purposes by placing them strategically around the house. Then uploading the video to a website, where you can watch remotely. Outside cameras are also available with appropriate weather housings. Many preschools use these cameras so that parents can watch their children remotely while at work.

Streaming video is another use for these cameras. There are thousands of websites displaying roads and auto traffic in real time from around the world. Some are showing still frames every 30 seconds, while others are set at different frame rates. There are cameras showing the Antarctic polar expedition, and others showing the streets of Paris. While the videos are endless, your opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

When selecting a webcam several considerations come into play. Does it have a USB connector, or are you going to hook it up to the local network? What is the cameras resolution, how many megapixels is it capable of capturing? Does it have autofocus, can it refocus while tracking a moving target? What is the frame rate, how many frames per second can it capture, is the motion smooth? What is the lens quality, is it plastic, or is it glass, is it made by a reputable manufacturer? Does it have a built in microphone, is this important?

Now that you have an idea of some of the questions, you can review the various cameras iconfrom your favorite online computer store and make a decision based on your needs and budget.

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For additional information about the Webcam.

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