Not all webcams are built the same, so it is important to use the right webcam when setting up your photo booth with Sparkbooth. Here some quick tips and resources to help you with decisions and setup:
Do not use the built-in webcam in most Windows laptops. A lot of these cameras are really cheap, and the maximum resolution of the video is typically 640px by 480px which will give you very pixelated photos. Skip the built-in webcam and get a high-quality USB webcam.
The Logitech 9000 and Logitech C910 are the most popular webcams for Sparkbooth. Only install the drivers for these cameras, and do not install the accompanying software – they tend to interfere with the performance of the webcam.
Some Sparkbooth users prefer the older Logitech 9000 over the newer the Logitech C910, because of its reliability. I have not experienced any failures of the C910, but it has been reported at the Sparkbooth support site. If this happens to you, it is a good idea to have a backup webcam ready as a replacement to swap out the failed webcam.
For Mac laptop users, the built-in webcam or iSight is much better than the built-in ones for Windows laptops. But a USB webcam can still improve the video. There is an issue using a USB webcam on Macs with a built-in webcam, Adobe AIR only sees the built-in camera. Try these workarounds – be warned, it doesn’t work for all Macs.
June 31, 2012. Fix updated to use Adobe AIR 3.1 instead of 2.7.1. AIR 3.1 does not have the video distortion issue, and allows you to select from multiple webcams.
Or upgrade to Sparkbooth 3.5 or later which has controls to adjust the distortion.
With Mac computers, the Adobe AIR 3.2 update changes the proportion of the video for Sparkbooth. For this reason, I do not recommend installing Adobe AIR 3.2. If you have already installed the update and are seeing the changed video proportions, here is what you need to do:
Close Sparkbooth if it is open
Uninstall Adobe AIR 3.2. Run the Adobe AIR Uninstall in Applications > Utilities folder.
Add setting to use default camera only. Some Dell computers with an internal Quanta webcam have a bad driver that is not compatible with Sparkbooth and will cause the error “Sparkbooth.exe has stopped working”. You can use an external USB webcam instead, but need to disable the Quanta webcam from the computer’s Device Manager and enable “Use Default Camera Only” in Sparkbooth Settings > Options tab > Other from list.
Fixed ctrl+L lock so password dialog does not add character on display.
Lock is not enabled on start up anymore if lock feature is turned on. You will need to press ctrl+L to enable.
Other optimizations and fixes.
To update, click on “Check for Updates” in the Sparkbooth About screen.
Adobe has just released an Adobe AIR update for Mac only that fixes the camera detection issue. Here is what Adobe said:
Today we posted a very minor update for the Adobe AIR 2.5.1 runtime that addresses a known issue related to interacting with a system’s camera on Mac systems. This is a desktop only release for the Mac; Windows and Linux users will not be impacted by this issue and will therefore not be prompted to update.
The build number for the Mac update is AIR 220.127.116.1150. We recommend that users update to the latest version of Adobe AIR.
Lighting can greatly affect the quality of images produced by your webcam. Here is a great article detailing ways to adjust the lighting of your webcam. Even the cheapest of webcams can still produce good images.