StarCam 370i - low quality colour

A

attar

Guest
Congratulations Szucsati!  A brilliant piece of detective work!

I wonder if this has anything to do (intentionally or otherwise) with the fact that the SC has a glass lens - which they make such a big play of on the cam's spec?  It would be interesting to hear if the Mercury lens is plastic and therefore has inherent IR blocking properties!

Well done!
 
K

keeboudi

Guest
Well done Szucsati

In my SC, there is definitely a film at the back of the lens and I am pretty sure this is the filter. In the picture I took with my mobile phone, it is not very clear but you can see it shows up red.

When I look at it closely, it is a square bit of film glued at the back of the lens. What I am thinking is that either it is just not filtering enough or it is faulty. If one could get hold of some IR filter film then I suppose one could just replace it or add to it as another layer. It may make the picture darker though. Some more experimentation is order I think!

I also tried your trick with a TV remote control and you could clearly see the pulsing IR coming from it. A great way to check a remote is working...

Now to decide whether I should return the Starcam or keep it and fiddle ... I like the bendy stem -- I think I will wait to hear from MSI support first.

PS. Please tell us -- how do you embed the pictures into your posts?
 

szucsati

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Wow keeboudi, there were four words in your post that I had to look up in the dictionary  :biggthumbsup: .

Here are some closer pics of that layer:


I didn't notice it's really a film. I saw the lens was red but I was looking for this film near the sensor.
Btw the lens comes out withouth opening the cam so if you have an other webcam you can try it's lens easily. And if you have one you can check that they also shows the light of the remote control. I asked some of my friends to check it with their webcam.

I don't think MSI would accept the cam in RTM since it looks like it is normal.

PS: to insert an image press the second button in the second line when posting. Under the 'italic'.
 
K

keeboudi

Guest
As for the cam being normal ... it isn't really fit for the purpose it was sold as the colours are sooo wrong!

I am sure the retailer I bought it from would take it back but I am waiting to see what MSI say. Their first reply was this:

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I wrote:
=====

Problem Description: I have found that the webcam doesn't display colours correctly.

It seems that infra-red (not from the LED's but from normal lighting) seems to be getting through to the sensor.

Is this by design or is it a fault with my unit (and seemingly a few others)?

Please see https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=90313.0 for descriptions and samples.

Many thanks

=======
MSI reply
=======

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting MSI UK support.

We have not met the extreme colour issues you are detecting with your starcam, we have found in all our tests on a number of systems that the colour recognition meets the standards of the webcam design. The image can be adjusted significantly by using the AMCap config utility if using this viewer.

If you are unhappy with your webcam or believe it is faulty you can return it to your place of purchase under your warranty with them.
==========================================

Not much help but I wrote back!

I wonder if this image thing works -- please indulge my furry friends? :laugh:



I get it now ... just needed to insert the link between the
tags so still need to upload the image somewhere else (am I doing this right?)
 

szucsati

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Hi furry guys :)! But please don't forget not to insert too large images because it makes the forum slow.

Yes I also got the reply to return my device to the store where I had bought it. The problem is it is exactly 1000 miles away from here.. And SC is not on the market here furthermore I have no warranty papers...

Wish MSI had more time to test the devices in a normal room not in a bright office. And wish a designer could explain how this filter works in the SC.
 
A

attar

Guest
Hi All

I've just dug out my old Creative webcam and that set of screwdrivers I got in the 99p bin at Maplin.

I tried the Creative webcam (which used to see colour OK) with the SB lens and I got the same result as szucsati!  See here...

You will also see that the Creative lens had a filter on the back of it which looked identical (or at least very similar) to the filter on the SC.  I realise that, even though they look the same, they might not be.  My money is still on the glass versus plastic lens theory - not popular I know, but I'd put a shiny ten pound note on it!

So... I concur it's not the sensor, it's the lens...

PS: Nice hamsters! Little ones too!
 

szucsati

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Do you have a thick piece of clear and transparent plastic...?


Here you can download the reference driver for the chipset. It has really cool effects :mad: and zoom function. Unfortunately it can't control the infra leds.
There is a datasheet as well with circuit, etc.
 
K

keeboudi

Guest
Attar -- why not swap the filters over and see if it 'fixes' the SC. Steady hand needed.

I took a look at the cct. diag. but as it is a reference design it does not show the IR LEDs. As I said before, they could just be cut -- maybe one leg on each only -- if they are bothersome

PS. Can I just say that they are Guinea Pigs and not hamsters and were 3 days old in this picture!

PPS. szucsati -- what sort of image size is OK as a rough guide ... I am new to this foruming business... this one I thought was quite small (only 55kB)
 
T

Tiresmoke

Guest
That image is just fine. If you post one that is outragious I will be sure to let you know. Untill then keep at it. I find the topic interesting so don't mind me reading over your shoulders a bit here.
 
K

keeboudi

Guest
Well I had a second reply from MSI tech:

====================
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting MSI UK support.

It is impossible for us to judge these individual cases, as there are too many external factors such as lighting conditions in the rooms in question, the environment will play a part.  We do not think your camera is faulty but obviously we cannot be 100% sure, we believe it is more likely a combination of different environmental factors that have caused your colour representation issues. 

Best Regards,

MSI (UK) Technical Support
====================

I think they either have not read this thread properly or don't want to commit but it is fairly clear that the cams we have experimented with are IR oversensitive. Now whether this is a design 'feature' or fault depends on whether we just had a bad batch or not. I wrote one final email to them and await an answer but I think I will give up after that.

 

Stu

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when i first set it up the colours were ok, but as the day has gone on the colours are distorted.
seems to me this camera gives better results with natural daylight, than in artificial light

 
T

Tiresmoke

Guest
keeboudi MSI do not read the forum. They look at it as User to User tech support. Sorry to disappoint but we like it better this way in here. If you want MSI to see something you have to copy out what you want them to see and mail it to them.
 
K

keeboudi

Guest
Tiresmoke -- I did send them the link to this thread ... do you think they wouldn't click it?
Should I actually send them the pix as attachments?

I am thinking though that in the end, this is a a design 'feature' and so they wouldn't consider it a fault.

 
T

Tiresmoke

Guest
We have all given them links before. As far as I can see they don't click it to see whatever is on the forum. However when we send them the info via mail they tend to respond. Just my observation.
 
K

keeboudi

Guest
Scuzati -- I haven either but I had this from MSI support:
============
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting MSI UK support.

From the photos you have sent it seems your camera is not displaying the colour correctly, as we have been unable to duplicate the problem we can only assume that your camera is faulty and as such need to be returned to your place of purchase for exchange.  IR sensitivity is not a "feature" of our camera, however as you are aware the camera is designed to work in very low light conditions and has options to enable this, however this should not affect the normal operation of our star cam.

Best Regards,

MSI (UK) Technical Support
============

I think I will send it back to see if an exchange will help ... in your case however, this is not possible ... maybe you can transplant xthe IR filter from some other (dead or unused) webcam?

I'll post here if the replacement cures the problem
 

szucsati

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What is the serial number of your cam? Please write it down before you send it back. It may be a wrong seria if the replacement device works fine. If yes, I could try to get it replaced withouth papers. But first see if your new one is better. I'm afraid it will take one or two weeks to get the other one.

My number is: S1B-0403012-M630511002*** (I hid the las three digits)

:shocked: I think it means the cam was made in  March, 2004 !! How can it be? Was it in the warehouse for 1,5 year??

Please everybody who has this problem check the serial number!
 
K

keeboudi

Guest
It's similar ...  S1B-0403012-M630611001***
Not sure if that is a date code though ... I doubt it actually

 
P

paulxdg

Guest
I see there's been a lot more conversation on the subject of colour quality since I was last here.

It doesn't seem to like coloured plastic very much.

Take a look at this toy tractor which I was going to sell on ebay. In reality, the wheels are the same colour as the body, but not in the picture.




Here's another example much worse. This model railway wagon in reality is actually green. It's virtually the same colour green as BP Petrol stations. It's picked up the red and yellow not too badly.



Both these pitcures were taken inside, but in natural daylight in front of french windows facing south with the light coming from behind the webcam.

Again this wagon is made of plastic.

The serial number of my webcam is identical to the one in zsucsati's post.
 
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