Now we have a baseline to improve upon…

2 minute read

August 17, 2010, 6:05 AM

So I bought a new Web cam last night – a Microsoft LifeCam HD-5001. Seems to work well enough, as I sat and video blogged for a bit. Check it out:

What do you think? I think this is the first time I’ve really been in front of the camera for an extended period of time. I know a few things are weird on this video, and it’s because I didn’t quite know how to work this contraption when I recorded it. Turns out that the darkness at the beginning and the constant auto-focusing can be disabled by turning off their fancy-schmancy “smart” features, which, in typical Microsoft style, aren’t too smart. But at least this one has sound. I tried a little cheapie Logitech one first, and I couldn’t get any sound on it. That one went back to the store. And then the sound is kinda loud because I had the microphone turned up too high. Now that I know how loud I am, I can turn this down a bit.

Then of course I need to figure out where to place things. I just stuck the camera on top of my computer monitor for this session, but is that a good place? I remember that I always used to put my old Web cam back in the day off to the side, but that camera was used in more of a “monitor” capacity than something I’m going to be staring at and talking into. And do we really need it in HD, or can we knock the resolution down a bit? I mean, it’s just me, and I don’t think everyone needs to see me in that much detail, no?

And then personal hygiene lesson learned: Use a towel if you wash your hands right before going on camera. Just before doing the recording, I washed my hands, and then without thinking, wiped them on my shirt. After all, I wasn’t planning to go anywhere, and didn’t realize for a moment that I was going to be doing something on-camera. So in the video, I’m trying (in vain) to conceal a wet spot on my shirt from where I wiped my hands off.

But there you go. Next time will be better.

Web site: An old Microsoft joke

Song: The Tesla coil at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Quote: And of all things to still have, I still have my Good Egg Award pin. That was the award for Grimes students who were willing to kiss a little butt, much like how Wal-Mart's "Four-Star Cashier" award was an award for butt-kissing. Both awards had no clearly defined criteria, and so it's basically an award for becoming someone's favorite, but it looks good on a resume.