iPhone webcam apps compared

There are several webcam apps available for Apple iOS devices and comparing them is very difficult based on App Store description.When you’re buying a real webcam device from Logitech or Creative information about video performance is very clearly shown, it’s their main selling point. That’s why we did purchase all iPhone webcam apps and tested their video performance. You can see the test results video on YouTube or below.

Apps tested and their performance:

  • Mobiola Webcamera: 1280 x 720 at 1 frame per second
  • drahtwerk iWebcamera: 320 x 240 at 16 frames per second
  • Senstic PocketCam: 320 x 240 at 2 frames per second
  • Kinoni EpocCam: 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second
  • Kinoni EpocCam HD: 1280 x 720 at 30 frames per second

Based on resolution and framerate we can calculate video quality in terms of pixel throughput – how many megapixels per second they can process:

  • Mobiola Webcamera: 0,9 mpix/s
  • drahtwerk iWebcamera: 1,2 mpix/s
  • Senstic PocketCam: 0, 2 mpix/s
  • Kinoni EpocCam: 9,2 mpix/s
  • Kinoni EpocCam HD: 27,6 mpix/s

A few words about test setup. First we did shoot a video clip with all of them using 4th generation iPod Touch and a Windows 7 laptop. Each application was configured for highest resolution and best quality supported. On laptop we did also run a desktop recorder application capturing everything visible on desktop 30 times per second. By analysing resulting videos frame-by-frame real capturing framerate for each application was revealed. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds since many apps pretend to produce video at 30 frames per second but most frames are duplicates – same video frame copied over and over. We then produced a video clip to show capturing frame rate and resolution.

How about comparing the results to real webcams from Logitech and Creative? Most of their webcams support 720p HD video at 30 frames per second, performance similar to EpocCam HD. But none of them are wireless. Some low-end models do VGA video (480p) as does our free EpocCam. Even if you have very low internet bandwidth and prefer video chat using tiny QVGA (320×240) video, there are only two applications that can do that at 30 frames per second.

If you have any comments on results or how test was done please let us know.

EpocCam now supports Yahoo! Messenger, AIM and more

We have just released Kinoni Windows Drivers version 2.2, compatible with all EpocCam versions for Apple iOSAndroid and Nokia Symbian phones. Based on customer feedback we have completely redesigned them for better compatibility and stability. Improved compatibility means EpocCam now works with Yahoo! Messenger, AIM and Adobe Flash-based applications. We are frequently asked to ‘provide full list of applications EpocCam supports’. That list should now include all webcam-enabled Windows applications. Please let us know how it works with your favourite applications. You can download the new drivers from our home page http://www.kinoni.com

Another thing you should notice is improved stability. We got some feedback about random Skype crashes or Windows Live Messenger showing only gray screen. These issues should be gone now. If you see any issues, your feedback will help us improving for the next releases. Since this is the first release with new design it may still have some rough edges and bugs.

After installation you should now see the brand new webcam driver under name ‘Kinoni Video Source’. We have also left the old driver under familiar name ‘EpocCam’. Usually you want to use ‘Kinoni Video Source’ for best compatibility and stability but for HD-video you will still need ‘EpocCam’. As soon as HD resolution is added to ‘Kinoni Video Source’ old ‘EpocCam’ driver will be removed.

If you haven’t noticed our previous releases added audio support for all platforms. Now you can use phone as a microphone if using our paid EpocCam Pro (EpocCam HD on iOS). Make sure you are using the latest EpocCam client version to use this cool new feature. iOS audio version is still waiting for Apple QA review, should be available within two weeks.

Even more updates are being implemented for EpocCam. Symbian WiFi support is long overdue and will be released soon. Another feature we are looking at is Mac OS X drivers. Also expect new product launches, our Barcode Reader is already available for Android.

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