USB Camera for Bright Light situations. (Outdoors)

Does anybody know of any USB interfaced cameras that will work outside on a typical sunny day? I have tried a few but they get really washed out. These would be really great for some smaller robot ideas.

Also I know I can opt for a Wireless Security camera that will work outdoors, but I want USB. =D

Any help would be greatly appreciated,


Cover the lens with dark plastic from a pair of cheap sunglasses? Replace the lens with a pinhole?

Exactly what I was gonna suggest, darken the lense

Another issue may be that the camera is lacking an IR filter; a quick way to check this is to point a remote at the camera (indoors) and press a button on it, while looking at the output on the PC screen; if you see the remote's IR LED flashing on and off - then the camera is lacking the filter. This can cause excessive "blooming" and "washout" on outdoor shots, due to the amount of IR in the environment. You can get an IR filter at a camera shop (go to a full-line camera repair shop - ask if they have any broken IR filters, then use a glass cutter or dremel to carefully make a small IR filter to mount in front of the camera's lens - a full size camera IR filter will be too bulky and awkward to use - plus, you might get a broken one for free, especially if you tell them it is for a hobbyist robotics application).

Recently I ordered on Ebay (and received today) some diffraction gratings from a chinese supplier called "laserlands" - here is their ebay store:

I was browsing their website, and found these:

They also sell these in the ebay store.

All I can say about them is that I ordered my gratings on January 5th, and got them today, which isn't bad shipping time; I had a question about my order, and sent an email, and got a reply a half-hour later (so they were very quickly responsive). Beyond that, I can't say more; use that info for what it's worth. I'm just a satisfied customer.

I went through the same search needing a webcam for an outdoor robot. I got a Logitech QuickCam Communicate Deluxe and have been happy with it's bright light performance.


Awesome, thank you for the info. I picked up a Logitech C920 USB 2.0 certified (USB 3.0 ready) HD Pro Webcam and it has a really great picture and will work in bright light and fairly low light. The only problem I had with this camera is it requires a lot of power to be pulled from a USB port. With the netbook I was using I could only keep this camera powered on for about 2-3 minutes at a time, which was a problem.

I ended up going with a Wireless IP Security camera with a night mode built in. I like this route a lot better as I do not have to worry about USB power, Its 12v and the SLA batteries I am using are also 12v so the hookup was easy. Also being able to remote view the camera has several perks over the USB camera idea.

I am currently using a modified: TRENDnet TV-IP422WN 640 x 480 MAX Resolution RJ45 SecurView Wireless N Day/Night Pan/Tilt/Zoom Internet Camera I modified this so I could be able to move the motors with the Arduino Uno using a joystick's hat switch and I am really happy with this builds resolution.