Can I use a webcam with EthoVision?

EthoVision XT (version 15), has been tested with two webcams, Microsoft LifeCam Studio and Logitech Brio. However, we do not recommend the use of webcams when timing of video frames is important, as they are not very precise and can drop frames. If needed, they can be used for simple tests, e.g., use a webcam to track one subject in an open field, to measure the total distance moved. Do not use webcams for multi-subject tracking, or tracking in multiple arenas, or with Behavior Recognition, or whenever the exact position of the subject’s body points at a specific time is needed. Moreover, test if the webcam still works when other software needed to run during the trials is open (e.g., PowerPoint for stimulus presentation), as other software may attempt to take control of the webcam.

Verifying Performance

As a general note, if you want to use a camera model other than the ones listed under ‘Cameras supported by EthoVision XT’ in the Help menu, make sure that the timing of the camera is accurate enough for a frame-level video analysis before starting an experiment. To do so, create a live tracking experiment, and carry out a test trial with the video footage of a digital clock for some ten minutes. Make sure you are getting less than 1% Missed Samples or Interpolated Samples during the trial (visible at the bottom of the screen in the acquisition or detection settings). Just before stopping the trial, check that the trial duration shown on your screen does not deviate from that obtained with the clock time.