MOVING TO NEW FORUM link https://telestreamforum.forumbee.com This forum will become READ ONLY on Wednesday May 25, 2016

Telestream Community Forum
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: Best webcam to use with ScreenFlow?
Topic Summary: Logitech QuickCam 9000 exhibits weirdness
Created On: 5/11/2009 7:29 PM
Status Read Only
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
1 2 Next >> Last unread
Topic Tools Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 5/11/2009 7:29 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

I'm looking for a quality webcam to use with ScreenFlow. I've heard many good things about the rare-FireWire iSights, but they're still selling for comparatively expensive on eBay. I found the Agent V4:

http://agent.liquiddigital.com.au/

but it's not clear how compatible it is, as I haven't found any other happy ScreenFlow users into it. I've already asked the makers if they've tried it with ScreenFlow.

I currently use a QuickCam 9000, which plugs-and-plays for the most part, but since auto-brightness and other controls can't be set on the Mac, it has low framerate. Worse still, it occasionally crashes ScreenFlow or can't be selected. So it's too unstable to be a viable solution.

Any happy experiences to share? I'd love to hear what other ScreenFlow'ers are liking. Thanks!
 5/14/2009 9:29 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

I can't speak to "best" since there's so much involved. Read reviews and certainly see what other users say.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 5/19/2009 7:01 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

I haven't found a really good source of reviews, just scattered mentions, including on these forums. I'm particularly interested in if the QuickCam Vision Pro works well with ScreenFlow, but all I've found so far is stuff like http://forums.logitech.com/log...bcams&message.id=16298

Do you have a list of cameras you've tested and can assure would work well? At least this would give me specifics to hunt down.
 5/19/2009 7:31 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
codex22

Posts: 2
Joined: 5/19/2009

I bought a Vision Pro two weeks ago. I'm blown away by the quality the camera produces, even in low-light conditions. Unfortunately, this only applies to applications like Skype and Periscope - in ScreenFlow, the camera works, but the quality is far from what I see in the other applications!

There are no drivers or settings to adjust. So I'm wondering what ScreenFlow does different ...
 5/20/2009 6:35 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
DrJ

Posts: 227
Joined: 5/9/2009

Hmmm..., I haven't used the camera [Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro 9000] in any other application, but I've been very pleased by my results in SF. I mounted it on my microphone boom, above my mike, to keep it from showing the mike.

Check out the video in the first episode of "Lighting the Lamp," released today in iTunes.

-------------------------
Dr. J
Podcast Host, "Lighting the Lamp"
Accordance Bible Software
 5/22/2009 2:08 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
codex22

Posts: 2
Joined: 5/19/2009

Well, I wanted to make two screenshots, one from Periscope and one from Screenflow, but the quality was identical. It seems that after using Periscope, Screenflow showed the same quality.
Today I started Screenflow, and the camera didn't show any picture at all. Closed Screenflow, started Periscope, saw great picture, closed Periscope, started Screenflow, and voila - great quality in Screenflow.
Something isn't right, but that maybe my setup (never had a problem with my internal cam on the MacBook Pro, though).
 5/22/2009 4:37 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

codexx22 please read READ BEFORE POSTING and post full system specs and version numbers. Then post step by step that shows the issue. With all the details maybe we can spot a bug.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 5/26/2009 9:17 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
DrJ

Posts: 227
Joined: 5/9/2009

My QuickCam Pro also seems to be unstable in SF, but I cannot seem to isolate the problem. I record from it when using Keynote in presentation mode. I am also recording computer audio [Apogee Duet>GarageBand>Built in Output] and the webcam output. In the preferences panel, it always takes longer for the Logitech cam to initialize [start showing a picture] than it does the built in cam. Usually, if I wait until SF has grabbed the cam's output, I get a fine recording. Occasionally, it seems to be unable to lock on to the output, even when it has done so previously, in the same session, with no problem. [Grrr] Yes, ALL my software is up to date and the very latest versions are running.

-------------------------
Dr. J
Podcast Host, "Lighting the Lamp"
Accordance Bible Software
 5/26/2009 12:50 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

It may well be related to other utilities running at the same time given codex22's description. It's impossible to trouble shoot without details though.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 6/3/2009 7:57 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
DrJ

Posts: 227
Joined: 5/9/2009

Purchased a used Apple iSight on Amazon.com for $140. SF acquires its video output w/o problems (so far), unlike the Logitech webcam.

-------------------------
Dr. J
Podcast Host, "Lighting the Lamp"
Accordance Bible Software
 6/3/2009 5:54 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

Good to hear!

Please folks do continue to post which cameras have what problems. It'll help us look at compatibility issues.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator

Edited: 6/3/2009 at 6:10 PM by CraigS
 9/14/2009 7:39 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

I've had a look at both Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 and Vision Pro. Quickcam Pro 9000 has issues on Mac because it was meant to be controlled by software which is Windows only. I got about 5fps in ScreenFlow.

The Vision Pro, on the other hand, has the light sensor built into hardware and it works reliably in ScreenFlow. Frame rate dependent on lighting conditions but the image is always sharp.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 9/16/2009 7:59 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
DrJ

Posts: 227
Joined: 5/9/2009

Better lighting has also recently improved the video captured from my iSight. I now use 3 65 watt floods bouncing off photo umbrella reflectors set about 5' from my face, along with two other 65 watt direct floods.

-------------------------
Dr. J
Podcast Host, "Lighting the Lamp"
Accordance Bible Software
 9/16/2009 3:52 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

Another webcam that looks interesting is the aGent V5. It looks almost like the old external iSight camera with updated design. It's Mac and Windows compatible (apparently software utilities for both).

It's the update of the camera Torely mentions in the first post.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 10/5/2009 1:31 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

Has anyone tested the aGent v5? It seems so risky to buy most webcams as they aren't natively supported on Mac, or will get very low framerates — I heard this about the 720p LifeCam Cinema but haven't had a chance to check it out firsthand.

This is an area where more hands-on testing and community knowledge would substantially improve the experience for future Screenflow + webcam users!

The QuickCam Vision Pro has been an unstable disappointment (and have to keep replugging it), as I explained awhile back here: http://bit.ly/quickcam — for some reason, it's capable of 640x480 but does NOT do that in Screenflow, dropping down to 320x240. Besides the iSight, I'd like to know what does 640x480 or higher reliably on Mac.
 10/5/2009 7:52 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
DrJ

Posts: 227
Joined: 5/9/2009

This web site lists web cams that work with OSX, along with the drivers that are needed (if any): http://webcam-osx.sourceforge.net/cameras/index.php

Please note that the best cameras for professional podcasting are probably not web cams, but DV [or mini-DV] cameras that support streaming video via USB or FireWire (Sony "iLink). I have not yet had the time to check them out (nor the cash to buy them). However, several of these camera offer a "self-portrait" mode, which allows rotating the LCD screen so you can watch yourself while recording (a nice plus). DV cameras start at about $200, the price point at which web cams stop.

-------------------------
Dr. J
Podcast Host, "Lighting the Lamp"
Accordance Bible Software
 10/6/2009 2:14 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

aGent5 is natively supported on the Mac. I considered getting it but I got a Logitech Quickcam Vision Pro. My experience seems similar to your Torley. I also use a Sony PD-170 DV/DVCam which is an entirely different class.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 10/6/2009 2:56 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

Torley, I actually read your post before I bought the camera. Here's what I've noted which is similar to your review.
Using the Quicktime Vision Pro

Frame Rate - tends to be about 15fps. Supposedly determined by lighting but I've found that I have to wash out the background with a 750W Lowel Tota to get it to 30fps. It seems to hold 15fps down to very low light at 640x480. I find that when I first plug it in it'll hold at 30fps for about 10 seconds before the image becomes bright and goes to 15fps. This all seems to indicate an odd light sensitivity issue. It behaves this way in ScreenFlow as well as other apps.

Light fluctuations - 10 seconds at 30fps and then brightens and drops to 15fps. So when first plugging in you should wait 10 seconds before starting ScreenFlow recording. There are times when it sits at an extremely dark level. Quit ScreenFlow, unplug Quickcam, plug back in, open ScreenFlow again.

Mac Driver - iGlasses will actually give you many of the same controls found on the 9000 on Windows except the ability to adjust frame rate by adjusting light sensitivity as the Vision Pro has this feature built in hardware and is "automated" (no user control). iGlasses is not yet compatible with ScreenFlow. That's something they need to do so I contacted the developer and acknowledged the feature request.

Frame Size HD - Quicktime X New Movie Recording mode in Snow Leopard supports this. The frame rate is 5fps though.

Frame Size SD - In ScreenFlow I get a 640x380 15fps recording from the Camera on Mac Pro, 23" 1920x1200 Cinema Display, Snow Leopard system. The image looks very sharp to me. I got blurriness on motion as expected with 15fps recording.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 10/8/2009 11:57 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

@CraigS Thanks for the detailed info; I'm curious about aGent v5 but will wait until there are more confirmed experiences of it working successfully, as the reviews I've read so far have been mixed.

How did you get the QuickCam Vision Pro to record at 640x480 in SD? It can only "fake" that size for me, because when I look at the actual footage, it's not sharp and looked upsampled. Many examples of this are on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Torley It appears its true resolution is 320x240.
 10/12/2009 9:13 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

I haven't seen many aGent v5 reviews but the ones I've seen are all good.

I think the computer affects frame size. I tested on an old G4 Dual 800 and it was only 240x180. I'm getting 640x480 on MacPro.

You're YouTube video is very dark. How do you avoid the auto brighten (which also lowers the frame rate and I wish I could control that)? I think I'm getting a sharper image though. I can't quite tell what your frame rate is at that angle either. What CPU are you using?

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 10/13/2009 10:01 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

I'm on a Mac Pro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon and definitely NOT getting a true 640x480. Like I said, the captured resolution is 640x480 in Screenflow but compared to QuickTime (where it does a weird truncate-the-screen thing in addition to chopping down frames), it's noticeably duller. So I'm not yet convinced that we're getting a real 640x480. I've compared by outputting frames from Photo Booth, too.

Which YouTube video are you referring to? I recorded some with the lights dimmed.
 10/14/2009 11:21 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

I'm on Snow Leopard. Quicktime X will give me full 640x480 at 15fps and the "HD" size (1600x1200?) at 5fps. I'll compare QT X to ScreenFlow but I thought they looked comparable to me.

The YouTube video is whatever performance video you're featuring at the above link but I guess that changes. My Vision Pro tends to "force" brightness at the cost of frame rate so I'm wondering how you can get it so dark at what seems to be a reasonable frame rate.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 10/16/2009 4:22 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

Intriguing. I'm still on Leopard and won't upgrade until compatibility issues are worked out.

The Vision Pro hasn't been well documented; I wonder if it's possible there's been different revisions (and hence, parts?).

I haven't done any modifications or set any special options (nor do I see any to change), I just record with Screenflow.
 10/19/2009 1:23 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

Try doing a record with Quicktime and and record with ScreenFlow and compare.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 10/23/2009 12:56 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

I did, and what I reported earlier is indeed the case.
 10/23/2009 1:13 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

I'm certainly seeing a difference but I'm not sure it's due to a simple blow up in ScreenFlow. I'll investigate.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 12/28/2009 11:43 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

Craig! How ya been? Any new findings on this come hither 2010? Have you been really, really happy with the aGent v5?

I'm still looking for a more robust camera to use with Screenflow than the QuickCam Vision Pro. Since the last time I wrote, I upgraded to Snow Leopard and have the same smooth motion in QuickTime X you described. But, it still suffers from numerous anomalies like recording too dark after the camera's plugged in awhile, taking a long time to be recognized, and soforth. I was looking on eBay for iSights but even though they have quite the reputation, they're also fairly old and I'm not sure they'd be a big leap in quality — so if there's a new winner you'd recommend, I'd like to hear!
 12/29/2009 4:38 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

I don't have the aGent v5 yet but I am looking at it. I wish I could try before I buy.

With QuickCam Vision ProYes I get too dark and sometimes the opposite, too bright. It's as if the internal light sensor randomly makes a decision after some amount of time and sticks with it. BTW I've actually got it to hit 30fps but I needed to something like shine a light almost directly at the sensor.

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 1/25/2010 8:11 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
CraigS

Posts: 54277
Joined: 4/4/2007

Torley have you tested Quickcam Vision Pro in ScreenFlow 2.0.2 to see if it's still getting 320x240 blown up to 640x480 or true 640x480?

-------------------------
CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 2/12/2010 12:46 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Torley

Posts: 41
Joined: 5/9/2009

CraigS, in 2.0.2 it still looks like 320x240 blown up to 640x480 because the image quality is fuzzier than Photo Booth (which shows true 640x480).

I've had too many continued problems with the QuickCam Vision, are there any suitable alternatives or outright better Mac webcams you'd suggest?

I see http://www.amazon.com/HP-KQ246...&qid=1265996608&sr=8-2 works with Mac but I'm not sure how well it fares with Screenflow.

FuseTalk Basic Edition v4.0 - © 1999-2018 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.

MOVING TO NEW FORUM link https://telestreamforum.forumbee.com This forum will become READ ONLY on Wednesday May 25, 2016