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  1.    #1  
    My webcam and those of my friends, all look great outdoors in well lit areas but do not do so well inside and the darker it is, the grainier it gets.
    It would be easy to accept that this webcam is incapable of doing better if it weren't for the fact that everytime I open it, the image is bright and perfect for 1/2 a second, then it dims. (see link below)
    It occurs to me that since it does this in the main HP camera app and any other after market app too, that it must be a driver/software issue and not the cam itself.
    Not only is there evidence of a bright image for a fraction of a second, but if one tests it in a dimly lit room and takes a pic, it will be a fair bit darker and grainier than when recording video in the exact same conditions.
    Is there someone out there who thinks he or she could write some better software or drivers for the TP's cam?
    Or if that is not the solution, do y'all have any suggestions?



    Thanks, Marco.
    Last edited by rockysosua; 11/02/2011 at 12:05 PM. Reason: link
  2. #2  
    It's the camera, and the reason it's 'bright and perfect' (and heavily oversaturated at first, in my experience) for a 1/2 second in low-lighting is because it hasn't adjusted to the ambient lighting conditions.

    Not much you can do about it other than complain to HP about it. A cheap commodity 1.3MP camera can only do so much.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by vanadium View Post
    It's the camera, and the reason it's 'bright and perfect' (and heavily oversaturated at first, in my experience) for a 1/2 second in low-lighting is because it hasn't adjusted to the ambient lighting conditions.

    Not much you can do about it other than complain to HP about it. A cheap commodity 1.3MP camera can only do so much.
    Thanks for your reply.
    Don't you think that it could be made to remain "over saturated"?
    The image sure looks good for that 1/2 second when it first turns on.
    My youtube clip doesn't do it justice.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by rockysosua View Post
    Thanks for your reply.
    Don't you think that it could be made to remain "over saturated"?
    The image sure looks good for that 1/2 second when it first turns on.
    My youtube clip doesn't do it justice.
    If it remained over saturated, bright lighting would render the webcam image not viewable. All anyone would see is a bright, distorted image.
    Achill3s' Palm Pre: Modded and patched to death!!
  5. nToxik's Avatar
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    #5  
    The camera quality was better before 3.0.4
  6. alan sh's Avatar
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    #6  
    Somebody's put an ISO adjustment in somewhere?

    Alan
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by nToxik View Post
    The camera quality was better before 3.0.4
    I believe that is correct and I also believe that with the proper software/drivers, that webcam could produce decent results in low light conditions.
    The first half second when it comes on is bright and clear, and it doesn't look over saturated or anything like that.
    It just looks like many good webcams that we find on laptops, that work very well indoors with normal interior lighting.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by nToxik View Post
    The camera quality was better before 3.0.4
    Inspired by your post, I doctored my TP back to 3.0.2 and used the DigiCamera app to do a test, taking a low light picture and then taking the same picture with the same app after updating to 3.0.4, and the difference is remarkable, and of course, you are correct.
    See pix below.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    johnjaycee likes this.
  9. #9  
    This condition is typical of all cameras with small sensors. If you want a camera that shoots clear pictures/videos in low light conditions you need to spend at least 700 dollars for a camera with a large sensor/quality lens.
  10.    #10  
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nToxik View Post
    The camera quality was better before 3.0.4
    Inspired by your post, I doctored my TP back to 3.0.2 and used the DigiCamera app to do a test, taking a low light picture and then taking the same picture with the same app after updating to 3.0.4, and the difference is remarkable, and of course, you are correct.
    See pix below.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  11.    #11  
    Can't seem to get both pix in the same post.
    Here is the other one.
    Pic in post above is from 3.0.4
    Pic in this post is from 3.0.2.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  12. Heist's Avatar
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    #12  
    Everyone knows some sort of glitch was in 3.0.4 that makes the camera produce low light (and even normal light) images into grainy and nearly usable form.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Heist View Post
    Everyone knows some sort of glitch was in 3.0.4 that makes the camera produce low light (and even normal light) images into grainy and nearly usable form.
    Everybody but me, I guess.
    Putting my ignorance aside, what can be done about it?
    It's clearly a software/driver issue.
  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by netwrkr9 View Post
    This condition is typical of all cameras with small sensors. If you want a camera that shoots clear pictures/videos in low light conditions you need to spend at least 700 dollars for a camera with a large sensor/quality lens.
    Yeah, I know what you mean, and I may not have expressed myself properly in my posts.
    To clarify, I would love the Touchpad's webcam to be as good as the one in my sub $500 HP Probook 4530s which works perfectly in a dimly lit room, but the thought didn't even cross my mind.
    It is what it is. The TP's webcam simply ain't that great and I have no difficulty accepting that, specially at the price I paid for it.
    My issue is that the 3.0.4 update, made it worse to the point of being near unusable.
    I took pics to illustrate the problem, but I don't commonly use it as a still camera.
    I use it for audio/video calls, as it was intended to be used.
    Unless you're outdoors, the video is dark and grainy and so sub standard that most folks now just don't use it. Better to have no video feed, than a bad one like we have now.

    The pictures above show the serious quality degradation after the 3.0.4 update. Is there anyone who has an idea of what can be done to restore it to its previous capacities, at least to how it was before the update?

    PS: That avatar photo looks a lot like a 67 Camaro I used to have. What year is yours?
  15. #15  
    This is nothing the HP developers, deliberately or not, broke. This is something they decided.

    Digital camera sensors always require a tradeoff between image noise and the time required to take that image. You can get a picture with half the noise, but that also comes at the price of half the update rate. This is most apparant in low-light conditions with low-end cameras such as the TouchPad's.

    The noise in the image is always there, it's a characteristic of the camera sensor. Simply said, if the camera gets less time to take in light the resulting image is dark and has to be amplified to be usable. And with that amplification the noise also gets amplified. That's what you see right now.

    P.S.: I cannot confirm the OP's observations, in the video the image quality is pretty much the same as in still photos. In videos, however, the noise gets smoothed considerably as a side effect of the video compression.

    It is arguable whether the decision to sacrifice image quality for a better update rate was a good one, but it is certainly not a bug, it is a deliberate decision. That being said, they could have left that decision to the user by means of a setting.
    Last edited by d12r; 11/03/2011 at 08:17 AM.
    gergev likes this.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by d12r View Post
    This is nothing the HP developers, deliberately or not, broke. This is something they decided.
    And this is b/c HP knows that everyone uses Touchpad outdoors in bright sunlight?
    friedscones likes this.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by laoh View Post
    And this is b/c HP knows that everyone uses Touchpad outdoors in bright sunlight?
    I do agree with the poster who said HP didn't "break" the camera. They only changed the setting, but now the camera is useless to most users.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by laoh View Post
    And this is b/c HP knows that everyone uses Touchpad outdoors in bright sunlight?
    Well, it's a decision between having people complain about noisy images and having people complain about blurry images (and/or only getting 5 frames per second in video recording). Unless you're making this a user setting there's pretty much no way HP can win here.
  19. nToxik's Avatar
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    #19  
    The camera was bearable when using Skype pre-3.0.4. Now you cannot even use it at all so I'm not sure how this equates to better video image quality.

    HP screwed up somewhere.
    friedscones likes this.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by nToxik View Post
    The camera was bearable when using Skype pre-3.0.4. Now you cannot even use it at all so I'm not sure how this equates to better video image quality.

    HP screwed up somewhere.
    I agree.... I have stopped using Skype video chat after Touchpad was updated to 3.04.
    The picture is simply unacceptable (compared to 3.04)
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