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Thread: C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.

    Default C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone

    I thought I'd throw this out there. I've mentioned this camera a couple of times out here but I thought I'd go ahead and do a formal thread on it.

    The Logitech C270 USB web camera can be taken out of its case to create a fairly thin and relatively small pinhole camera. The camera board ends up being about the size of a pack of Wrigley's gum. This camera must be used with either a computer or android phone (USB OTG) so it has some limitations. However, given that it typically costs less than $30 it is potentially worth looking into. You can buy one and take it apart just to see what it is like. If you booger it up or can't use it, you really aren't out much money. But one of the most important aspects of this camera is that you can buy it almost anywhere. If you are married like me, you don't have to worry about ordering it from eBay and having your wife wonder why you are ordering a covert camera. Just go out to Target or Walmart and buy one with cash. No one will be the wiser.

    I can tell you that if someone was enterprising enough, they would be able to make a heck of a shoe cam out of this device. Don't ask me how I know this... ;) There are also many other uses for this device in permanent setups or cases where you can attach it to a phone/computer.

    You can google for "c270 circuit board" to see lots of pictures of what this camera board looks like when taken out of the case.

    You can change the focus of the camera so that it can pick up details at the distance you desire. The focus out of the box is set for fairly close "webcam" range (a few feet). But it can be made to focus at any distance. The lens is threaded but is tacked in place with a small amount of hot melt glue. Use a sharp knife to flick that off of the side of the lens bezel and then you can turn it to achieve the desired focus point.

    I also remove the microphone and the LED. This makes it easier to put into a shoe/object and keeps the LED from attracting attention. I use a soldering iron to remove both of these components. This is probably the only real "trick" to using this device and you need some electronics skill to do these two mods. But if you don't want to do these two mods you can just leave the microphone in place and find another way to obscure the LED.

    The USB cable on this device is fairly long. When placed in a shoe, the cable will easily reach a pants pocket where you can have an Android phone attached with the ability to record. The long cord gives you options for placement in vents/ducts and baseboards. You don't have to place the recording device in the same location as the camera. The phone/computer can by on the other side of the wall as long as it is within about 6 feet. Of course, you can also get USB extension cords of various sizes. But there is a theoretical limit as to how far away the camera can be from the phone/computer before things start to go haywire. The point is that there are numerous situations in a home or other setting where you can place the camera board in one place and have it connected through a long cable to a phone hidden in another place.

    Like I said, they usually cost less than $30. If you screw it up, go buy another one. And if you get it and it doesn't suit your needs, throw it in a drawer and forget about it. Perhaps some day you will find a need for it.

    Good luck.

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    Thank you for the advice. I've already ordered a OTG cable and before i order a C270 i'll first test it with my C920 ;-)


    PS: I had no idea i still had an account here, hence my abysmal post count (LOL)...

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    I don't see the point of this 720p webcam, its just silly, why would you want it, get #16 or #18 if all you want is 720p cam for $30.
    But better yet save some money and buy #26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosty View Post
    I don't see the point of this 720p webcam, its just silly, why would you want it, get #16 or #18 if all you want is 720p cam for $30.
    But better yet save some money and buy #26.
    well for one, the battery on the 808 series is shit. you get what? an hour of video from a charge? hook the webcam up to your phone and you don't have to worry about how much battery time is left.

    and like the guy said. if you live with family, you don't have to worry about them wondering why you bought a webcam, whereas if they saw you bought a pinhole camera inside of a small remote, that'd raise questions.

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    Can a #16 or #18 transmit video over wifi? Are they thin enough to easily hide in a shoe? And if so, does the lens point in the right direction? Can you start recording remotely? Can you monitor the video remotely?

    The C270 may only be 720p, but resolution is not the only factor in video quality. I'd rather have a highly capable 720p video module that gives great color and excellent low light results than to have a 1080p video module that sucks ass. And from what I've seen/heard, the #16 and #18 are not considered excellent video modules when it comes to quality. They are also pretty finicky.

    The C270 is not for everyone. It is just another tool to put in your arsenal. As a shoe cam it is excellent. Don't ask me how I know....

    There are ways to utilize a C270 where other camera modules just won't work (or will cost an arm and a leg).
    serenity likes this.

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    Default Set-up

    Thanks for the idea. This set-up works great, is durable, and cheap. Attached are some screens from my test run with the shoe cam setup.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone-up7.png   C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone-up6.png   C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone-up5.png   C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone-up4.png   C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone-up3.png   C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone-up2.png   C270 web cam - great pinhole camera for use with computer or phone-up1.png  

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    Very Very Nice Serenity, I would call that test a success :-)

    Any "Test Video" to show?
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    Quote Originally Posted by serenity View Post
    Thanks for the idea. This set-up works great, is durable, and cheap. Attached are some screens from my test run with the shoe cam setup.
    Excellent job!

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    Serenity's test shows how good the quality can be with this camera. It is a staple for Logitech and has a very good reputation for being a good quality camera for the money. As such, Logitech will hopefully keep making them for a long time.

    For what it is worth.... a setup that "I have known to see working well" is a C270 placed in a shoe pointing sideways while being plugged into a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone using a USB OTG cable. The phone is placed in a pocket. A second phone can be used to monitor the video if you want that capability. By pointing the camera sideways, you can walk by dressing rooms that have large openings under the door. Coupled with a mirror on the back wall, you can easily walk by a dressing room, linger for a second or two while you adjust your coat or look at other clothes on racks, and then proceed without really arousing suspicion.

    My local Target is such a store. The opening under the dressing room door is at least 18". This Target also has shared dressing rooms so men can grab clothes to try on and walk right by the doors of women getting changed. If you were to wait for a woman who was trying on bathing suits or bras, you could improve your chances greatly.

    A good technique might be to pick the dressing room across from a woman who is going to be trying on bathing suits. Watch under her door from your own stall (using the shoe cam and phone in your pocket) until you see the right moment occur (panties slipped off or bra strap slung down toward the floor) and then hit record and step out into the hall and stand directly outside of her door. If you futz around with your clothing or coat for a few seconds you can capture quite a bit of video.

    Done right, there is a very low risk of getting caught because the shoe cam would be virtually invisible and you aren't having to tip your hand by shoving your foot somewhere it is not supposed to be. Simply pause and stand there for a few seconds while you fiddle with something (clothes, coat, wallet, etc.). I bet a guy could even do this why talking to a dressing room attendant.... yep. I bet that would work just fine without arousing any suspicions.

    When using Android and USB OTG, there is a program called "USB Camera" that will let you record as well as view remotely over wifi. It is a free program and also includes the ability for motion detection. The only feature I wish it had was the ability to start recording using a remote phone. You can view remotely and turn on/off motion detection remotely so this is almost as good. Doing this you can have two phones: one that does the recording and one that does the control/viewing.

    Of course, all of this is hypothetical. I would NEVER personally do such a thing. ;) Use these tips at your own risk. Enjoy and be safe!
    vir999, voyeurlover, moloo and 2 others like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybravado7487 View Post
    Can a #16 or #18 transmit video over wifi? Are they thin enough to easily hide in a shoe? And if so, does the lens point in the right direction?
    #16, #18, #26 can do exactly what C270 can and more, you should try it.

    and I don't think serenity used C270 for his ups video

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