Since the pandemic started months ago, webcams have been sold out most places or priced up by multiples because so many people needed them for the Zoom conferences and other things.
I didn’t have a camera for my big old desktop computer where I have a comfortable desk and chair for long meetings. For months I have used a Wyze Wi-Fi surveillance camera adapted for USB streaming by swapping out the firmware. It was nice of the manufacturer’s developers to provide that solution, but the camera not being designed for conferencing left medium results.
I was able to finally get a better webcam this weekend, a camera designed for the purpose. Nicer.
Wyze: the white cube, worked OK for streaming. Better than not having a camera. More suited for surveillance by Wi-Fi.
Angetube 920: the black one. Inexpensive, designed for conferencing, more than adequate. “The webcam works with Windows/Mac OS/Android/Linux/Chrome OS and Ubuntu.”
A nice ‘n cheap webcam for videoconferencing is a Wyze Cam, and it works with Linux, too.
With so much videoconferencing going on, I was looking for a way to use the big desktop computer rather then having to huddle up with a Chromebook.
Wyze has these little WiFi surveillance cameras that are about $20. The firmware can be flashed to make them into a USB webcam for videoconferencing, or you know. If you don’t like the results, you can flash them back to factory state. I’ve done both just to test.
$20 is pretty good for a webcam, and the good thing is that the Wyze is available, in stock at several places. Many other brands of true streaming cameras are sold out, or the price has galloped.
You might need some parts if you don’t have them already:
— USB cable A-male to A-male — microSD card — headset for good audio
I tested mine with Zoom and Jitsi Meet. Great performance on both. The instructions say that these also work: GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Cisco.
I like it. Totally plug and play on a Linux box.
I did the color effects on two of the attached still pics. There is less distortion on streaming than you see in these stills.
I have followed the Opole, Poland web camera since Windows 95 and dialup Internet. Every year I check by on New Year’s Eve to see what’s happening. Here is an image just after turning New Year’s Day, 2020 there, 12:17 AM. This is a calm year. Sometimes there have been bands, plaza parties and people passed out.