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Some cameras allow what is called 'tethered shooting' whereby you can preview the camera image on your computer monitor, giving a much better impression of what the final photo will look like than on the tiny camera preview screen.

Unfortunately, most such cameras are very expensive and come with lots of features I'm not interested in. So I'm wondering whether it would be cheaper to buy a webcam which can take camera-quality photos (i.e. static images, not videos). Do such things even exist? If so, where?

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closed as off topic by Canadian Luke, random May 15 '13 at 3:22

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Been wondering something similar, or yet to find a good camera that can tether! +1 good question. – William Hilsum Nov 6 '09 at 18:18
Facing the same problem and, 2 years later, I'm not completely able to answer that question. – Ian Medeiros Nov 5 '12 at 19:11
Entrepreneurs: Please meet this unmet need – cojadate Nov 6 '12 at 20:38

This was quite impressive:

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I use these and they give a great picture in skype :-) – Jon Cage Dec 31 '12 at 10:19

You could use a Digital Camera itself in place of the webcam...
How to Use a Digital Camera as a Webcam.

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Yes that's what I meant by "tethered shooting" – see the details of the question. Basically I'm looking for whatever solution (webcam allowing high-quality stills or digital camera which allows tethered shooting) which is cheapest. – cojadate Nov 6 '09 at 23:01

If you're going the webcam way, then I know no better webcams than Logitech. They use Zeiss glass lenses and offer up to 2 megapixel images (up to 8MP with the provided software).

Whether 2MP is enough for your photo shooting depends on what you plan to shoot. Have fun!

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I used Logitech as well and had a satisfactory result with the quality. But I have to mention the sensor size is not as big as digital cameras with Web cams you will have hard time/money to find your perfect match.

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I recommend you Microsoft LifeCam products. Personally I use LifeCam Show which has 2.0 megapixel sensor. LifeCam Cinema is another good product which can capture true HD quality videos at up to 30 fps with its 720p sensor.

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