I'm looking for a camera that has all of the following traits :
Wide Lens (28mm)
Socket for external power
Controlled with software via the USB
Cheap (older model ?)

I want to do a time-lapse spanning many months.
I don't need a lot of MegaPixels, but I do need at least 2mp.
And ideas ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Will a computer save all of the data, or do you need it to also save it's data? If a computer will save all of the data, just get a webcam, they are usually quite wide angle, easily controlled, and are powered by USB. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 18:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Tried that, I have a very good HD webcam. Image quality is still fairly bad, and during the night its unusable. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 19:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ You'll want to add that to your list of requirements, then, because this is likely to be true for a cheap older model digicam as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 19:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm: Really? Can you find a point-and-shoot camera (a real camera, not a mobile phone or webcam) from a reputable camera manufacturer that doesn't have a much better low-light performance than a webcam? In a point-and-shoot camera, you have the advantage of a mechanical shutter and long exposures; a webcam has neither of those and low-light pictures are near-useless. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 19:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I dont think so, I have an antique Kodak 3mp, and even that is much better than the webcam. Anything made in the past 3-4 years would do. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


after digging around all day I found my camera :
Canon S70.
It is the only camera that comes close to the requirement list.
It is around 100$ on ebay.
It does not have a power socket, but there is this :

On a side note, one of the reason I always preferred Canon was their
free software SDK for camera control. Sadly, they have discontinued this
feature after the G10 came out in 2008.


I've been looking this one up a bit more, and I think what you really want is a high quality web cam, not the cheap kind that most of us get. I looked around, and found this article. The winner seems to be DIGI INTERNATIONAL 301-9010-01 Watchport/V2 USB Camera. Granted, the article is a few months old, but I would hope it's still decent. This webcam is normally used for sensitive areas, like ATMs, surveillance, etc. The cost is a bit high, but not unreasonable, $142.

EDIT: Based off of your latest requirements, I'm going to change my suggest to the following:

Olympus Evolt E-500, 8.0 Megapixel, SLR, Digital Camera Body (Black) Olympus 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko EZ Zoom Lens for Olympus Digital Cameras (Four Thirds System)

Get them together, it's around $300, but I can't see how you are going to get everything you are asking for for less than that. Plus you'll have a DSLR, which'll help you with a lot of things in the future.

I just can't find a better deal around, perhaps someone else will...

  • \$\begingroup\$ DIGI resolution is 640 x 480, thats too low. I need 1080p. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to add that to your list of requirements as well then... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ And I have one of Logitech's top range webcams, and its still not good enough. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm looking at over 40K pictures per month on this setup, for 4-6 month. DSLR shutter will not stand it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 4:32

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