eCam Review


Program Requirements:

Windows 95

System Configuration:
Pentium 75mhz or faster
Bi-directional Parallel Port, (ECP for optimal performance)
16MB RAM min.
Sound card, microphone, speakers.
Enough free disk space to store your videos.

The eCam from Newcom
is a desktop digital video camera that you can use to take videos, and email them
to others.  The idea sounded great. A camera small enough to stash in the laptop
case, and all the hardware cables were included. Here are the actual hardware specs:

  • 508 x 492 pixel resolution color CCD
  • Fast f/2.0 aperture, 3.5 mm lens with 48 degree view
  • Variable focus lens with focus range of 0.5 inches to infinity
  • Auto brightness and hue controls
  • Software control of saturation, white and black levels
  • Video input to any Windows 95 PC with a Bi-directional Parallel Port
  • Live video preview and capture at up to 16.7 million colors
  • Supports video resolutions of 320 x 240, 240 x 180 and 160 x 120
  • Video capture frame rates up to 30 frames per second
  • 24 bit still image capture at resolutions of 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480, and 320
    x 240
  • 6 foot Parallel Port connection cable with separate pass through keyboard power adapter
    no external power adapter required
  • Designed to sit on the desktop or on top of your monitor
  • Non-slip weighted base for easy aiming and focus adjustments
  • Standard tripod mount
  • Video for Windows driver works with popular video editing and video conferencing
  • Real time video compression hardware supporting the proprietary VGPixel video
    compression algorithm
  • IEEE1284 level 2 compliant with Nibble and ECP support

Unfortunately, performance was not what I expected.  First of all, I should mention
that although the ECam web site has driver for Windows NT 4.0, their technical support
told me that "the ECam will not work on the
NT platform.". This was good to know, since I spent days trying to get it working on
my NT system. (I thought, since I found an NT driver on their web site, that it was

So, we went and loaded the drivers on a Windows95, 400mhz machine.  ECam worked,
but the quality of the video was not that good.  The screen display of the live
camera picture was grainy, and it stopped and started often. When I made a little
video recording, it was’t smooth at all. Also, while running the software, mouse movement
wasn’t smooth either… it was choppy. The software saved the video clips with an .AVI
extension but I couldn’t get them to play in the regular Windows Media player.

For the price, there are probably better cameras and software out there.

Price: $99.95


Slowed the whole system down while recording video.
Grainy video.
Wouldn’t work with NT.



Product Information

  • Slowed the whole system down while recording video.
  • Grainy video.
  • Wouldn't work with NT.
Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Computer Gear
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