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Thread: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM

  1. Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #1
    Beginner
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5
    Hi guys,

    I have purchased the A300-1QM last week and so far I really like this notebook. There's one thing about the built-in webcam though. I know it's better not to expect the best picture from a 1.3MP webcam, but the picture I get using the latest software from the toshiba page is not only way too grainy, it also gets way too dark if the overall lighting in the room is rather darkish. From one moment to the other. Let me explain.

    It goes like this: I am running Windows Vista Home Premium. I start up the webcam software and the picture is really grainy (oh well) but at least it is bright enough for me to see myself in front of the computer. Then when I lean back in my chair and wait for a few seconds, the picture turns way too dark all of a sudden and I can barely see anything anymore. It seems like the webcam suddenly finds out that it's pretty dark in the room and in the background and therefore decides to fade to almost black why so ever. I dunno how to explain it better. Why would anybody want a webcam to darken the picture after a few seconds when it's already dark in the room?

    I have tried all properties and settings in the latest software (night mode, that backlight thing, ...) but nothing changed. It seems to me that it has something to do with the driver, not the software. Because when I uninstall the software and restart and keep only the drivers, the described behavior does not change (in different applications like Skype for example).

    Did you have similar experiences with your built-in Chicony 1.3MP webcam? Did you find a way to solve it? Do I need new drivers, maybe different drivers than the ones on the Toshiba site (yes, I did a Google research, but I didn't want to install random drivers from dubious driver websites)? Can you help me out?

    Thanks in advance.
    Bedhead.

  2. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #2
    Akuma
    Guest
    You say that its happening with the "latest" webcam driver, was it happening with the original driver as well?

    Have you removed the plastic protector that sits on the camera?

  3. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #3
    Beginner
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4
    Bedhead I had the same problem as you and I made this:

    I opened the webcam via the launcher on the left. Then, with the camera on I pressed on the little tool icon called functions and went to configuration.
    Pressed the video tab, wait some second and voil! The camera lightens the video. I donīt know why this happens, but itīs the second time I do this and it works. I you have some trouble please tell.

    Thanks

  4. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #4
    Beginner
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5
    Akuma, thanks for your reply! It happens with every release of the webcam driver I have tried so far. I get the feeling that it's all about the camera not being able to handle dark conditions. And yes, I have removed the plastic protector.

    Cheers,
    bedhead.

  5. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #5
    Beginner
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5
    DaniTD, thanks for your reply. What you say does actually help for the moment. But it does not prevent the camera from turning dark again after another few seconds. When I turn on the lights in the background it gets brighter again, so I assume it just can't handle dark conditions. Guess it's just not a good camera module after all.

    Cheers,
    bedhead.

  6. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #6
    Beginner
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12
    Hello, i get the exact same problem with my Toshiba A300-1J1, is there anything that can be done or is the camera not good enough to handle different lighting conditions? If so why build the camera into such a good laptop?

  7. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #7
    Luke
    Guest
    Hello

    Have you tried to update the BIOS as Akuma said? Try this!

    You could also try to update the BIOS for your notebook.

    Check the Toshiba website for both updates:
    http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com => Support & Downloads => Download Drivers

    Greets

  8. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #8
    Beginner
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12
    Hello,

    My bios is updated already, any other suggestions please?

    Thanks.

  9. Re: Built-in Chicony webcam suddenly turns too dark on Satellite A300-1QM
    #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    239
    Web cams have a tendency to being too clever for their own good especially when it comes to exposure or white colour balancing.
    I don't know what controls are available with the built-in web cam but if you can set the exposure manually and tweak settings such as low light, back lighting then this might help to alleviate the problem.

    Richard S.

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