1 2 Previous Next 51 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2011 7:11 PM by Demelzasmith11 RSS

    Skype video calls

    Christopher Duncan Community Member

      For those of you who do video calls, what's the pick of the litter for webcams?

       

      Alternatively, do any of you use your "real" camera as a webcam / video call device?

        • 1. Re: Skype video calls
          the_wine_snob Community Member

          Chris,

           

          I see that no one else has weighed in on this. Sorry that I have never used Skype, so cannot help.

           

          As for the "real camera," I'd think that On-Location might be a viable route, but cannot give any advice, as I have never done live recording.

           

          Hope that others jump in, as we can both learn something,

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: Skype video calls
            Christopher Duncan Community Member

            Yeah, I've not been much of a Skype user either in the past. However, the new marketing consultation stuff I'm doing is national in scope and is built around telephone sessions & email / documents. I thought adding video conversations for those interested in it might be a nice addition to my offerings.

             

            I'll probably just go with whatever webcam thingie looks promising in Amazon, but I was thinking, gee, my Panasonic has a USB port, I wonder...

             

            Probably make my life simpler to just work with something designed for the task at hand. That's the problem with being a geek, you're always looking at all the possibilities.

            • 3. Re: Skype video calls
              JaysonM-Y Community Member

              We don't have a webcam here at work, so sometimes I'd hook up the HVX200 to the HDV deck via AV cable, then the HDV deck to system via firewire.... Problem is that Skype can only display video by that route... so being on a mac, I opened quicktime > new movie recording so that the video and sound from the connections would be present and just Skyped that bit of my dekstop along with the desktop audio.

              Damn mac requires an amplified line in signal for me to get any microphone use at all. so i generally can't voice chat unless I borrow our entire mic set or use a nifty little app that turns the audio out ports into line ins that uses speakers/headphones as mics... >__<

              • 4. Re: Skype video calls
                Christopher Duncan Community Member

                Being on a PC I'm pretty ignorant of the Mac world, but it sounds like an adventure, to be sure. I suspect I'll just find a webcam that's built for this purpose and grab a lapel mic out of the cabinet for chat.

                 

                Where's a Dick Tracy two way wrist watch when you need one?

                • 5. Re: Skype video calls
                  Community Member

                  -----------------

                  Where's a Dick Tracy two way wrist watch when you need one?

                  ------------------

                  havent you seen all the iphones etc ?  secret agents and cops all over the city streets, walking around half blind to the world around them...getting secret mssgs, sending secret mssgs, getting " fan mail from some flounders"...( rocky and bullwinkle re: mssg in bottle )

                   

                  Chris, you have any wav file of birds tweeting and some kind of general pleasant birdy sounds thats about 1 min long ?  Need.  Can give you ftp info for transfer up ....I used to have some CD's of that stuff but threw out in a rage one day when I realized I was too young to give up on life....was also the day I almost died drinking teguila

                   

                   

                   

                  want to stick in this .....

                   

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMN40TKx0TE

                   

                  thanks

                  • 6. Re: Skype video calls
                    John T Smith CommunityMVP

                    Because some friends/relatives have Skype, we stopped @BestBuy yesterday and got a Microsoft HD-5001 web cam for my wife

                     

                    A CD came with it, but all it took was plugging the USB cable into the back of her WinXpSp3 computer and everything worked

                     

                    I downloaded and installed Skype for Windows, went to her address book to get her cousin's email to put in the Skype "add contact" screen, and she was able to make a call and be seeing and talking to her cousin... total time was less than 10 minutes

                     

                    From my reading before we went out to run errands and shop, almost any USB web cam will work... with Logitech and Microsoft being the 2 best rated brands

                    • 7. Re: Skype video calls
                      Christopher Duncan Community Member

                      Rod,

                       

                      Don't currently have any stock audio for birds. I do have a decent field recorder and I live up in the country, so I'll see if I can capture something.

                       

                      That said, it's been pretty quiet around here lately not much in the way of birds at all. A surprise remake of a Hitchcock classic, where instead they all just fly up to Atlantic City for the weekend? Dunno, but I'll keep my ears open for you.

                      • 8. Re: Skype video calls
                        Christopher Duncan Community Member

                        Went out the front door to record, but the sun is going down so I didn't get birds. I got crickets. There's also some kind of plant off in the distance that generates a constant wash of low level noise. If I can actually scare up some birds tomororw I can probably roll off the lows to filter it out as I doubt it'll be in their frequency range.

                         

                        Anyway, I'll keep an ear out tomorrow for birdies. In the meantime, here are some nighttime noises. All that's missing is the werewolf howl. 

                         

                        www.PracticalUSA.com/audio/private/crickets.mp3

                        • 9. Re: Skype video calls
                          Christopher Duncan Community Member

                          Hey, John.

                           

                          Sounds like it was a pretty seamless experience. How's the actual quality of the call (video, latency, etc.)?

                          • 10. Re: Skype video calls
                            the_wine_snob Community Member

                            Did Rod need "birdies?" I have birdies galore. What is required? Probably have it in stock already.

                             

                            Should have had my recorder handy, as a thrasher came and sat on one of the patio chairs. He/she was very vocal, and caused a ruckus. My younger Bulldog took offense, and ran the thrasher off, but there were some major "calls." Now, I'd have needed to turn off the volume on the Cardinals loosing to Tampa Bay, but that would not have been all bad - just painful!!!!

                             

                            Anyway, maybe Rod will tell us exactly what sort of birdies are required. I'll put together a CD and include with the next copy of American Cinematographer. There should also be a new edition for our Hawaii trip and one for the Sydney trip. Now, my "connection" at the PHX Red Carpet Club, the lady who orders the mags. has just retired, so we'll probably only get ca-ca (technical publishing term for less than desirable) instead. Last month, we had about 3 different mags on pop TV and motion picture culture, like the world needs E! or Access Hollywood in print.

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: Skype video calls
                              John T Smith CommunityMVP

                              I don't know about there end, but what we see here is about 1/4 screen (I don't use it she does, so no way to know what options she's using) and there is a bit of jerkyness in what we see, so I'd say there is "some" latency in the signal

                               

                              I don't know if the signal is direct A to B or if it goes through a Skype server

                               

                              But, for free, my wife is VERY happy with seeing people while talking... so I got a lot'a points for making it all work

                              • 12. Re: Skype video calls
                                Community Member

                                hehe...Chris...Great Crickets !  made me think I was in the country at night...

                                Nice.

                                 

                                I put in folder with your happy goblins and other music...

                                The beginning of a "sound" collection...  goblins, crickets, victoria and entrance

                                 

                                Chris, Bill ...

                                 

                                its birds chirping I need...for this video...

                                 

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMN40TKx0TE

                                 

                                 

                                want birds up to the point when she gets in car....

                                could also use sound of a car starting....for when she turns on car....  and while I'm asking for all this like some kid in a candy store...how about the sound of a door closing ( can use twice in the beginning )

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                I dont have birds around here.

                                dont have tape recorder either....hmmm...tons of things to buy...

                                was looking at mics at "radio shack" on web...didnt see a shotgun mic that looked good for using with camera...need one with that 3 pin plug, 14 v maybe ?  Gotta check manual...  is that like a standard thing ? plug and voltage for cameras ?

                                 

                                Bill ---  ha...sounds like a dentist office, copies of hollywood reports and famous people magazines....

                                Glad your trip turned out well and will look forward to nice new Amer. Cine mags...am still on the 3rd one !!!  Been busy testing camera and with making mom a star...  now she wants $$ and her own camper for the next production !

                                 

                                 

                                • 13. Re: Skype video calls
                                  the_wine_snob Community Member

                                  As soon as I get back from DC, you will get a bunch of birdies to choose from. If they fit on a CD, that'll be the medium. If not, then a DVD-data.

                                   

                                  Hunt

                                  • 14. Re: Skype video calls
                                    Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                    Happy wife, happy life.

                                    • 15. Re: Skype video calls
                                      Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                      Rod,

                                       

                                      Don't know anything about Red cameras, but standard pro audio mics use 3 pin XLR connectors, and the higher quality mics are typically running on phantom power, +48v. Pretty standard stuff.

                                       

                                      I just bought Rode's shotgun mic for around $250. They make really great quality stuff for low price, in fact, some of my large diaphram Rodes compare favorably to Neumanns in side by side tests I did. If that price range is in your budget, I highly recommend it.

                                       

                                      As for birdies, you're gonna get a lot better stuff from Bill I'm sure, so I'd wait for a care package from him!

                                      • 16. Re: Skype video calls
                                        Community Member

                                        -------------

                                        As soon as I get back from DC, you will get a bunch of birdies to choose from.  If they fit on a CD, that'll be the medium. If not, then a  DVD-data.

                                         

                                        Hunt

                                        ----------

                                        WOW..   LOL....HOLY SMOKES !  tons of birds !  THANKS BILL !  hehe...that will be great fun

                                        Rod

                                        • 17. Re: Skype video calls
                                          Community Member

                                          Chris,

                                          ----------

                                          I just bought Rode's shotgun mic for around $250.

                                          ----------

                                          got model # for that ?  Can I put it on a boom pole ? Get wind protection for it etc ?  ---I'm fond of the ones that look like a polar bears tail , those big fuzzy ones ...

                                          • 18. Re: Skype video calls
                                            Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                            Here's the link on B&H (this model accepts both +48v and batteries), I've always had good experiences with them.

                                             

                                            http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/367747-REG/Rode_NTG_2_NTG_2_Battery_or_Phantom.html

                                             

                                            It comes with a foam windscreen, you can also buy Rode's optional Dead Cat windscreen (yes, that's what they call it).

                                             

                                            I bought the Audio Technica shock mount rather than Rode's as I read that Rode's mounting was loose with no way to tighten up. The AT has been good, but you'll need to get a small adapter (they're cheap) to scale down to the fishpole as it's threaded for standard mic stands.

                                             

                                            Sound quality is almost as good as my large diaphram mics.

                                             

                                            Just don't let the ASPCA hear about the windscreen. 

                                            • 19. Re: Skype video calls
                                              the_wine_snob Community Member
                                              you can also buy Rode's optional Dead Cat windscreen

                                              Rod,

                                               

                                              If it dips into the scene, remember, "if you see a cat, you must hear a cat... "

                                               

                                              Should I add some cat sounds to the "birdie" CD?

                                               

                                              Hunt

                                               

                                              PS - I'll probably send the CD separately, as I am still reading the AC, and will not be traveling until end of week. Will finish it then, but not be back to mail it to you, for a bit.

                                              • 20. Re: Skype video calls
                                                Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                Bill,

                                                 

                                                Just remember, if you hear a cat, you may no longer see the birdie.

                                                 

                                                Bad puddy tat! 

                                                • 21. Re: Skype video calls
                                                  Community Member

                                                  Chris..THANKS !  got info, saved it to desktop...will get that stuff.

                                                  ..much appreciated !

                                                   

                                                  at least then I can get some usable sound maybe ..using audio channels on camera...

                                                  haha...didnt know they call it the dead cat ....that is funny !

                                                   

                                                  Bill...NO KIDDING...if you hear cat, must throw cat into scene !....theres no end to the challenges we face every day !...

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  • 22. Re: Skype video calls
                                                    Community Member

                                                    ------------

                                                    Bill,

                                                     

                                                    Just remember, if you hear a cat, you may no longer see the  birdie.

                                                     

                                                    Bad puddy tat!

                                                    ___________

                                                    Chris...this has always been a dilemma (sp ? ) to me...like, is cat heaven sorta like bird hell ?  Or do they just all get along like in CS Lewis fiction ( chronicles of narnia series ) ?  I kinda prefer the latter.

                                                    • 23. Re: Skype video calls
                                                      the_wine_snob Community Member
                                                      is cat heaven sorta like bird hell ?

                                                       

                                                      Well, remember all those goldfish, that you flushed down the toilet? They gotta' figure into "cat heaven" somewhere.

                                                       

                                                      Hunt

                                                      • 24. Re: Skype video calls
                                                        Community Member

                                                        Chris,  Bill

                                                        I know its asking a lot...for these "links" ..but if you could hook me up with a boom pole and that adapter for the mic you mentioned... ( I will not get the dead cat right off...maybe later ) ... at b&h maybe..I can order it tomorrow or drive into city and buy the stuff...

                                                        I kinda want to see if they have used stuff on the 2nd floor thats not on the website ( I've heard lately they have stuff up there thats not on web )...like a used broadcast monitor and so on...breakout boxes maybe...stuff like that....sooooo, even though I hate going to city now ( even though I lived there for 25 years and all that... when you cant just grab a cab and go places it sucks going to city as its not your home anymore)...I'll just get that stuff you recommend...will get mic no matter....but need boom pole and adapter thing too

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Bill...your compassion for ,  and memory of --- the heartbreak of flushing those mysteriously dead pets down the toilet , must as you say figure into cat heaven.

                                                        to this day I cannot fathom half the stuff I've experienced.... re: pets....nor fathom why I've flushed so many things down the toilet , thinking, " Well, that takes care of THAT "

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        • 25. Re: Skype video calls
                                                          johnbmx4christ Community Member

                                                          we skype. we use a real video camera hooked up

                                                          using the rca video out into a usb video card and we either use a handheld mic on a boom mic stand directly to the camera or we use a lapel mic hooked into the camera. works awesome compared to webcams. and using real microphones sound way better. we are going to experiment with family and friends and do a small gig from our music studio running all the sound from the board and into 1 video camera so we can have the volume not overload.

                                                          • 26. Re: Skype video calls
                                                            the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                            John,

                                                             

                                                            Thanks for the input and also bringing us back to Chris' topic, Skype. Sorry that I dragged things to the "weeds." I lost sleep in my guilt.

                                                             

                                                            Hunt

                                                            • 27. Re: Skype video calls
                                                              Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                              Rod,

                                                               

                                                              Here's the shock mount:

                                                               

                                                              http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/68138-REG/Audio_Technica_AT8410A.html

                                                               

                                                              And here's a list of their boom poles:

                                                               

                                                              http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Boompoles-Fishpoles/ci/8659/N/4291070001

                                                               

                                                              I didn't buy the boom. I probably should, but as a musician used to spending 25 bucks on a mic stand I have a serious twitch factor paying a couple hundred bucks for something like this. Bloody things cost more than the mic, but if you need a long pole, it is what it is.

                                                               

                                                              Consequently, I don't know exactly what adapter to point you to on the boom pole. I'd recommend asking the B&H guys either on the phone or if you drive in to the city as I'm sure they'll know.

                                                              • 28. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                                John,

                                                                 

                                                                Thanks, I was wondering if anyone was going that route.

                                                                • 29. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                  Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                                  Hey, Bill - while you're in the weeds, could you see if my Frisbee is there? 

                                                                  • 30. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                    the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                                    I'll look, but I am stepping lightly, as there might be... wait for it... Snakes in the Weeds!

                                                                     

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                    • 31. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                      Community Member

                                                                      Chris, Thanks !!!   got it, saved it ...info on shock mount and boom pole...

                                                                       

                                                                      looks like I'll have to go there and look at stuff...but meantime might just order the mic and some cable...have someone hand hold the mic close to action to start with...just outside frame...must be better than nothing.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                        Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                                        > I'll look, but I am stepping lightly, as there might be... wait for it... Snakes in the Weeds!

                                                                         

                                                                        Gasp!

                                                                         

                                                                        Where's a weed whacker when you need one?

                                                                        • 33. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                          the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                                          Better get the HD version w/ the Briggs & Stratton 10 hp motor and the "snake wacker" attachment!

                                                                           

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                          • 34. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                            John T Smith CommunityMVP

                                                                            This summer my wife saw a HUGE, DANGEROUS (her reaction) garter snake of about 11-12 inches in the garden

                                                                             

                                                                            When she screamed, the poor thing slithered to and into our little goldfish pond to get away from the noisy monster

                                                                             

                                                                            I don't think it drowned, but we didn't see it again (poor thing was undoubtedly traumatized) but for a few seconds at least, we had a Snake in the Pond!

                                                                            • 35. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                              the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                                              John T.,

                                                                               

                                                                              Been there - done that. We had rosemary growing behind the pool. Liked that stuff, but it would grow into the pool, and I had to trim it each year, when the water was still cold - br-r-r.

                                                                               

                                                                              One Summer, wife was doing aqua-size in the pool and a little milk snake slithered out of the rosemary, and right towards her. She screamed and managed to avoid it - both were very confused, and in panic. I extracted the snake, and turned it loose in the desert. Next week, the landscapers were removing the rosemary, and we now have xeriscape behind the pool. Unfortunately, the crew also took out all the rosemary around the house, and not just behind the pool.

                                                                               

                                                                              Hunt

                                                                              • 36. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                                Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                                                > Better get the HD version w/ the Briggs & Stratton 10 hp motor and the "snake wacker" attachment!

                                                                                 

                                                                                My friends usually try to keep me away from the power tools. They seem to think I'd be safer with the snake.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                                  Community Member

                                                                                  reminds me of " nine finger Jack" the professional weed whacker on my block in the suburbs.

                                                                                  There are ( I admit ) some snakes ..but mostly they are harmless little critters ( milk snakes, garter snakes, wood snakes) and not the scary BIG bad snakes ( " Snakes on a plane, train, boat" etc )...and certainly NOT the frozen kind frequently found on the better airlines participating in the "snake fights" via air guns that shoot snakes from the rear economy class to the first class forward bulkhead area.... kinda the equiv of paint ball but with frozen snakes....once they defrost things get a lot more hectic on the airplane !

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Soo, getting back to " 9 finger Jack"...and power tools...it probably makes sense that he got distracted by some harmless milk snake and whacked off his own finger in the process.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  These things happen.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  In conclusion, Chris, if you are not adept at using power tools and people often suggest you cease and desist all power tool activities , it doesn't follow that you should immediately pick up the nearest SNAKE as a substitute  ( eg. put down weed whacker and depend on the nearest snake to de- weed the area while you hold it instead of the power tool )

                                                                                   

                                                                                  This is just a ploy by various hardware retail stores to sell power tools and snakes...  if the power tool doesn't work, use the snake !

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Well, that is just silly !

                                                                                   

                                                                                  (ps   the guy selling the snakes is usually wearing a name tag that says, " 9 finger Jack" )

                                                                                   

                                                                                   

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                                    the_wine_snob Community Member
                                                                                    certainly NOT the frozen kind frequently found on the better airlines participating in the "snake fights" via air guns that shoot snakes from the rear economy class

                                                                                    Luckily, we were in the forward BC cabin, as the FC passengers WERE firing snakes at the economy class cabin. All managed to go through our cabin, with no incidents. Oh, there was a flight attendant, who did drop a tray of "hot nuts" on their way to us, but that was a small price to pay, vs a frozen snake in one's lap. The economy passengers were overwhelmed, and many did not seem to make the trip, without vicious, scary snake bites. Most were in the throat area, so those FC passengers must have had good aim... or good luck.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Skype video calls
                                                                                      Christopher Duncan Community Member

                                                                                      > In conclusion, Chris, if you are not adept at using power tools and people often suggest you cease and desist all power tool activities

                                                                                       

                                                                                      For the record, they make the same observations about the way I drive my Vette..

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