iMage USB Webcam
Company: eCamm Network
Price: $59.95 USD
I use a G4 PPC MDD 867 dual with 1.5 gigs of ram…and no iSight camera. I wanted one but figured that the price would come down fairly quick but the next thing I knew, gone! So there I’ve been, looking at the assortment of cameras that Window’s folks have but never seeing Mac compatible on the box. I know, I know, I could buy one and then purchase IOXperts Webcam Driver for Mac OS X but I thought that was just a bit much paying for a Windows webcam and then having to purchase a driver to let me use it.
Instead I decided to try eCamm’s image USB Webcam, designed to work with Macs and Windows and Linux systems. This webcam delivers 640×480 video to your Mac apps that you’ve been dying to use a webcam with, like iChat AV, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger and a whole slew of other programs. The unit is a USB video class (UVC) camera (VGA) 1/7-inch color CCD sensor, that provides image sizes of 640 x 480 (VGA), 352 x 288 (CIF), 320 x 240 (QVGA at15 Frames Per Second Uncompressed Video. It utilizes a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Connection (480 Mbits/s), is UVC 1.1 Compliant with Auto white balance control and Auto electronic iris control. The webcam itself is only 2” (L) x 1 3/4” (H) x 1” (W). It even comes with a threaded screw hole on the bottom if you’re a perfectionist and want to mount the unit on a small tripod.
Everything that you need is included in the package. The webcam, instructions and a black cloth case to carry your unit around are in the box. You can download a Quickstart pdf from eCamm’s website.
Now, as you can see, this is a small unit. The way it is set up, it will sit on the top of your laptop and stay in place, or as in my case, I have it sitting on top of one of my external hard drives. Set up is a snap, plug in the unit and install the plug-in and away you go. The plug-in provides compatibility with Apple’s iChat AV. Once you’ve done this, position your camera where you want it and enjoy yourself. I’ve used the unit to do video chats with Tim Robertson and also with my son in another state. It really is so much nicer to do things “face-to- face” if you will. Before this I would have to set up my digital video camera by firewire cable to conduct a video chat. This is so much easier!
Overall, I’m very satisfied with the unit and can now wait until I get my next Mac, which will either have iSight or Apple’s version of the next best thing. Consider eCamm’s iMage USB Webcam as an add-on to your system if you have an older Mac and want some additional capability… all you need is a USB port. If you still have questions, go to eCamm’s website and download the Quickstart pdf and see if that answers your questions.
System Requirements: Requires Mac OS X v10.4.3 or later, including Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard)
(Mac OS X 10.3.9 is also supported via macam.), Requires USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Port, 600MHz or higher G3, G4, G5 or Intel processor. Video chat does require a microphone.
So to review
Pro: Easy to use, easy to set up, doesn’t need additional software to utilize the webcam other than the iMage Plug-in software that is provided to allow additional functionality. Does exactly what they say it will do… Helps those Mac users with older Macs add video to their system.
Cons: The one problem that I had was that the video is limited to 640 x 480 and is a bit grainy. Unit does not come with a microphone, you will have to provide your own.
Still highly recommended!