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Old 06-08-2005, 03:38 PM   #1
Ross Clement
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Redhat 9 (work) Fedora 1 (home)
Posts: 171

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Problems with webcams

Hi everyone. I've just tried connecting two webcams to my Fedora Core 1 linux box. Both had the same trouble. One is Kensington camera which uses (from memory) the se401 driver. The other is a labtec which identifies itself as a Logitech Quickcam Express. I've used the quickcam driver for this.

Both give appalling images. The image is nearly black with very bright blobs. If I move my hand in front of the camera, then the blob changes, so it appears to be picking up something.

Since both cameras have the same problem, I'm sure that it's something in software that's causing the problem. The output of qcset is:

Name : Logitech QuickCam USB
Type : capture subcapture
Channels : 1
Audio devices : 0
Maxsize : 352,292
Minsize : 32,32

Overlay coords: 0,0
Capture size : 352,292
Chromakey : 0
Flags :

Channel : 0
Name : Camera
Tuners : 0
Flags :
Type : camera
Norm : 0

Brightness : 32768
Hue : 32768
Color : 32768
Contrast : 32768
Whiteness : 32768
Depth : 24
Palette : RGB888 packed into 24bit words.

Using gqcam and adjusting the brightness and contrast etc changes the image, but does not fix the problem. Here's a link to a picture of what the picture looks like:

At present I'm stumped, and searching around the web has revealed nothing. Any hints would be greatly appreciated.


Old 06-08-2005, 04:57 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
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hmm.. ood clearly i didn't manage to hit "reply" on my first reply.... very slack.

can you not physcially focus the devices? the quickcams appear to have a focus ring on them, just busting to be turned.
Old 06-09-2005, 09:34 AM   #3
Ross Clement
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Redhat 9 (work) Fedora 1 (home)
Posts: 171

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Ahhh....... Yes, it was that. This is pretty much in the "have you actually plugged the computer in the wall?" area, but the picture was so bad, that I didn't even recognise it as being an out of focus picture.

Even with the picture focussed, and the brightness and contrast fiddled with a bit, it's a lousy picture, but usable for my purposes. The Labtec labelled quickcam express appears to have some sort of automatic brightness control. There isn't enough light in the room to satisfy it, so it just cycles endlessly through different brightness settings. The Kensington doesn't to this, so I can use this (borrowed) camera until (anyone know?) I found out how to stop the Labtec trying to set the brightness.

Thanks muchly,

Old 06-09-2005, 04:09 PM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,042

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Trying using v4ctl. It comes with a compiled version of xawtv.

Webcams are a POS. Sorry, but it is true. Use video capture cards. They have much better capturing capabilities and they can be use in any video conference software. Why can't you use video capture card?


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