Linux: How to do manual mode for Logitech and other webcams!

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JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 2,088
Linux: How to do manual mode for Logitech and other webcams!
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So, I just discovered that it is possible to take an el-cheapo Logitech webcam into full manual mode on Linux! Here's the link (I am not affiliated with this company, it was just the first result on DuckDuckGo):

https://www.kurokesu.com/main/2016/01/16/manual-usb-camera-settings-in-linux/

It's instructions for their cameras but it works just the same with my bargain Logitech!

Why would I want to do this? Well, if you just let a webcam go on full auto, chances are it won't calculate the correct exposure, especially if you are using a video light!!

This is true especially if you using lighting with even slightly more contrast like putting your light at 45 degrees or if there are small bright spots. I hate those overexposed spots. Here are some of the things you can do that I have just tried:

  1. Set up lighting first, then set the precise exposure so that there are no overexposed parts.
  2. Change the default saturation: my webcam looked very washed out. I bumped up the saturation slightly to look way more normal
  3. (As a bonus, in Part 2, if you want a monochrome webcam, you can do that too)
  4. Change the white balance! My webcam was also looking very cool, so I increased this slightly for a warmer look
  5. You can also change the brightness, which, unlike exposure, also shifts the black point a little to get rid of those really dark areas that can look bad

Basically, this tool (which is in the Ubuntu and Linux mint repos so no fuss) turns the trashiest, ugliest video stream into something that is actually decent. Previously, every time I used my video light for online video chats, there would always be some part overexposed and the colour would be way off. I was just very frustrated with it. This tool improves this by an order of magnitude!

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My personal (noncommercial) website: https://jpolak.org/

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