Deceptive Advertising of Unlimited Photos with a Photobooth rental!

February 3rd, 2008

We get hundreds of inquiries every month and a lot of customers really do not understand what our competition means when they say unlimited photos with a photobooth rental.  Let’s get to the bottom of this deceptive practice. What photobooth companies should say is that you get unlimated USAGE of the photobooth during your rental period. Unlimited photos means just that, and there certainly is a limit my friends!  Ask a photobooth company if they can do 500 photos an hour and the answer will be no. But according to their ad of “unlimited photos” 500 photos per hour is certainly a valid numer of photos to do per hour.  Now 500 photos an hour might sound ridiculous, but how about half that amount, say 250 photos per hour? There are some photobooth companies that can do 250 photos per hour and advertise unlimited photos on their web site.  However when first time shoppers hear 250 photos per hour they assume 250 different groups can go into the photo booth and get thier photos done in one hour. This is not the case at all. Most photobooth’s take four photos in a row so if the machine does 250 photos per hour you divide that number by 4 to get the number of sessions per hour which will come out to be around 63 sessions per hour. So educate your self on photobooth rates and get a great deal on a photobooth at your next event. release Vista compatible PSremote program

February 3rd, 2008

Well a lot of custom photobooth programs revolve around the program, point and shoot remote, AKA psremote and this program has just been updated to work with everyones favorite software company, Microsoft’s Windows Vista.

If you are interested in it there is a free demo you can download on their web site. Happy picture snapping

Finally a Linux Photobooth Program

February 3rd, 2008

Ok, only the truely geeky own linux as an operating system, but if you’re among those elite nerds here’s a photobooth program for you to download and play with:

I guess the major issue would be driver support for your web camera in the Linux operating system? So it seems like there is a cheap photobooth program for MS, Leopard, and now Linux, unfortunately none of them print out the photos in a strip afterwards! Well actually there is that one macintosh apple program previously mentioned in my blog that does. Hopefully in the next year others will follow suit.

An easy way to upload your Apple Photobooth Pictures to Flickr

February 3rd, 2008

 Some people have these great flickr photo sharing web sites chocked full of funny photo booth images from Apple’s photobooth program, but no way to easily upload them to the flickr website. Well now there’s an easy solution just download this plug in and start uploading today.

Cowboy has a great review of webcameras

February 3rd, 2008

Is a website that has an up-to-date review of just about every web camera out there. Web cameras are great for using in inexpensive photobooths and programs like

They are not as good as digital cameras as far as quality goes, but if you light the people correctly inside the booth the results will be nearly indistringuishable. People often don’t understand why web cameras that tout 2 to 8 megapixel image resolutions dont’ look as good as a simple 1 megapixel digital camera.  The reason is simple they have cheap lenses and sensors. In my experience Logitech creates the best web cameras.  They have just come out with a couple of web cameras that have autofocus and I’m excited about testing these out.

Photo Booth Rental a Hot New Trend for Wedding Reception Fun

January 26th, 2008

Photo Booth scrap booking has emerged as a popular new trend for couples wishing to add a lively element to their wedding reception.”We have seen a measurable increase in wedding photo booth rental related searches,” says Gandhi Hurwitz, president of, a popular wedding planning web site.

“Renting a photo both for the evening allows wedding guests to have fun and get loose behind the curtain,” explains Hurwitz. “The really fun part is all of the guests building a personalized scrapbook for the bride and groom to take home with them at the end of the evening.”

Julie Thomas, who was recently wed in Spring Lake, New Jersey, explains, “The photo booth was a huge hit. Our guests loved crowding in behind the curtain and acting goofy. There was a line all night to the booth. The best part was the scrapbook they created for us using their favorite photo strips. Each guest glued in their shots, and signed it for us. We will always treasure that scrapbook.”

For more information on wedding photo booth rentals and local listings, visit, home of the top 5 funniest wedding videos

Highest Quality USB camcorder 4 Photobooth High Deffinition Video Cameras

January 19th, 2008

So if you love the program, but hate the quality of the cheap web camera you have take a look at the high deffination video cameras

My biggest gripe with HD cameras in general is that they don’t have a wide angle lens. You can buy wide angle lens adapters, but they are often quite expensive.  Happy Photoboofing.

Smile for Hello Kitty in a Photobooth actually kiosk, in Portland

January 18th, 2008

Well who doesn’t love hello kitty?

Turns out there is a hello kitty photo booth in Portland. And a very nice review of some other booths in the area at

so put on your traveling shoes and post some of those loveable hello kitty stickers. First one to post one of their Hello Kitty Stickers will get hall off a photobooth rental.

How to Use a Photo Booth at a Wedding Reception

January 16th, 2008

 The above article discusses how to use a photobooth at your wedding reception.  I love do it yourself articles because they get people to be creative and I always enjoy a challenge.  However this article is seriously lacking in direction. 

“Set up your own photo booth by stringing a clothesline between nearby trees or poles. Attach curtain clips to the top of a large piece of fabric in a color that complements your wedding color scheme, and string the clip loops onto the clothesline. If there’s a free wall available, you could just nail the cloth onto the wall. ”

Serioulsy there ‘s never going to be nearby trees or poles at a reception, unless you planted them there 20 years in advance 🙂

This web site has several other articles on photobooths, but unfortunately their how to expertise is sadly very vague and lacking.

Buy your own mobile Photobooth for $8000

January 12th, 2008

Well I just found out today that there is another company selling mobile photobooths.

mobile photo booth

 Has all the details. It is a pretty nice design, though the seat for guests looks uncomfortably low.  But the worst thing is you have to buy the media from them and it costs around 40 cents a sheet. There is a media card that needs to be charged up once every 1000 print outs or so. Or for half the price you could just buy a booth from us at

How to make a photo booth for your wedding

January 12th, 2008

 I ran across this cute little explanation on how to make your own wedding photo booth if you are too cheap to rent one or just love to tinker. I love the concept and it’s something I would do too, not because I’m cheap, but because I love the challenge of making something work.

 I love the cute little speach bubbles the booth comes with. I have got to make some of those up for my booth one day.  Here’s a sample from their blog:

photobooth rent

 Of course if you are not tech savy enough to make your own booth feel free to rent one from us at

What’s the Best button or switch to use with my photobooth?

January 11th, 2008

So you are thinking of staring up your own Photobooth Rental company?

You’ll need a way to let users trigger the software to start up the booth.

Many beginners unfortunately use the Griffin PowerMate available here:
Unfortnately this product simply does not work reliably. It often works, but for some reason it will stop working and frustrated guests will push it really hard which unfortunately doesn’t make it work better. This is not a single bad experience of mine, I bought 15 of these units and have had issues with many of them.

A much more relialbe product is the stealth switch
You can even put it on the floor for guests to step on to activate the photo sequence. The software that comes with the unit is a bit outdated, but you can download the newest software from there web site.

And then there is Happ Controllers

Instrutions for using these with a windows computer can be found here:

Sincerely, Rolland Elliott

Epson launches new c120 high speed inkjet printer a bit slow 4 photobooth rentals

January 11th, 2008

 Well epson has created another speed deamon pritner with only 4 different inks.  Anyone use it yet to print out photos? I’m curious if it is faster than an epson r280?  both of them have ink life spans of over 100 years if stored correctly so longevity is not an issue. I think this would be a great back up printer for a photobooth rental company. small light, fast and using pigment inks that last a lifetime.

UPDATE: Takes 70 seconds for a boarderless 4×6 print, which is too slow. It’s more expensive big brother the R280 does the same in about 40 seconds.

Funny Photobooth Prank video

January 10th, 2008

Photo Booth Sex Cam – Funny video | Funny Jokes at JibJab

Apple’s Photobooth Program does greenscreen backgrounds

January 10th, 2008

Well You can always pay someone $100 to design a photobooth background for you like this graphic artist does, but seriously most backgrounds in photobooths get blocked by the guests sitting in front of them so it is kind of pointless to do this unless you are verty particular on how the image lines up with the camera.

We’ve been doing green screen booths for a while and it’s really popular for sweet sixteen and bar/bat mitzvahs.

 Turns out Apple’s latest version of Photobooth does  a green screen feature as well

Here is one youtube video showing how it is done. However a quick youtube search for the keywords photobooth background shows that the effect is not very good. Even when using a green screen the computer’s graphics cannot quickly replace the background as you move quickly in the frame.

So the end conclusion is that is’s a fun software feature, but that’s about it. for real world green screen products you are best sticking to the traditional methods of using Photoshop or custom programs like express digital.

Most over done Photobooth Pose…. The winner is tounge in the ear!

January 9th, 2008

So I’ve been renting photobooths for a while and after some time you start to see reoccuring themes like people picking their nose, people mooning the camera, but by far the most over done pose has to do with people sticking their tounge in other people’s ears. Check out this sample photo below:

Photobooth rental tounge in ear

Why do people do this? I don’t know! Everyone I’ve ever known hates it when other people stick their tounge in their ears.  I grabbed this photo off the flickr photobooth group by the way. They literally have 2875 photobooth images that you can browse as of 1/8/08.  So browse through them, get some inspiration and please people, do not go around sticking your tounge in your friend’s ears!

Review of Photoboof Version 4.895 (12/2/07)

January 8th, 2008

This software has been out since July 14th 2005 and originally cost $50. Two and a half years latter the software has a few more features, but now costs $600.  The original posted photobooth software for sale can be found here

 When I had asked to buy it the price had risen to $75 and ever since it has steadily risen.

 However now that sells photobooth software for $95 and other programmers see profit in this niche software market I’m guessing the environment will get more competitive.

 Photoboof as a software package is pretty cusomizable, but at its price point what would you expect?  It basically takes 4 photos in a row and prints them out as a strip or a grid configuration. You can also add logos and spice up the print outs in various ways.  However as with all previous version of this software when ever I install a different or new printer the program will not work . It takes photos, but only displays the last group taken and prints out the last group taken as well. Even after setitng the correct printer in Irvan View* I still had the issue and then only by restarting the computer did the system work better, but still not perfect. Other issues I have had is that the program works, but does not show the preview pictures after they are taken. I do not know how the program interfaces with the printers installed on a  PC, but this area of the software is what I find really problematic when it doesn’t work. If I have the printer not set correctly or installed a new printer why should the software mess up? Seems to me that the software should run fine and just not print out. There used to be a users forum located on their web site but unfortunately it has been down for over half a year and I doubt it will be running again. If you never change your printers or tweak your hardware this software could be just what you are looking for as long as you dont’ mind tweaking the timing settings for your particular computer/camera/printer combination and realize that it takes some patience to get working correctly.

If you want to start your own photobooth rental business I would deffinetely suggest having a backup software.

What’s the main difference between A Model 12, Classic, and Digital booth?

January 7th, 2008

I often get asked what the difference is between an Model 12 digital booth, a classic booth and a digital booth. These are the three main types of photobooths offered for rent or rental contracts.

The Model 12 is a digital booth that is bright red and can fit 1-2 people comfortably. It takes 6 photos in a row so you get more photos per strip but because people have to pose longer is only capable of doing around 40 sessions maximum per hour.

 The classic booth is a film and paper based booth that can also fit 1-2 people comfortably. It takes 4 photos in a row but because it uses a chemical process to develop the photos it takes longer and is only capable of doing around 30 sessions maximum per hour. It also does not store the images so you therefore cannot get a copy of pictures taken that night.

Our digital booth can fit 3-4 people comfortably. It takes 4 photos in a row so you get more people using the machine per hour. It is capable of doing around 60 sessions maximum per hour. Our rental rates are often 50% than the competition too because our booth is easily transported. carries the Canon IP4500 printer for $99

January 7th, 2008

Well the delivery time is 3 to 6 weeks, but this is the best price I have found for this printer and it is great for photobooths. when used with archival paper and inks the strips will easily last over 100 years if stored properly.

MTV’s own photobooth book

January 5th, 2008

From Publishers Weekly
What do Adam Sandler, Kid Rock, Queen Latifah and Janet Reno have in common? Nothing substantial, surely-but they all appear here in MTV’s novelty book of celebrity snapshots. With over 200 luminaries, not to mention “5 nosepickings, 2 nipples, and one bare ass,” this goofy collection comprises hundreds of pictures and (with the exception of captions) not a lick of text. The four-panel strips-of the Stone Temple Pilots looking silly, Carmen Electra looking sultry and Method Man looking stoned-come from the MTV studios, where, while lounging in the green room in preparation for a television appearance, the famous and infamous ducked inside the titular photobooth for a few informal pics. The format, though initially appealing, grows monotonous; celebrities are largely distinguished by whether they make funny faces (Sheryl Crow, Eminem, Milla Jovovich, Chris Rock) or not (Snoop Dogg, Vin Diesel, Mary J. Blige, Sam Donaldson). No doubt this volume will provide many adolescents and early post-adolescents with a solid half-hour of pleasure; after that, it’s unlikely to be opened again. FYI: This is the first installment of the MTV Overground series, which is a collaboration between Universe and MTV; the next volume, according to the publicity material, will feature “the most rad skateboard designs rolling.”

Photobooth pictures as art

January 5th, 2008

Well many people think of photo strips as simple snapshots.

Andy Warhol Photo booth strip

 But here’s Andy Warhol looking magnificent in these strips!

From the Met Museum’s web site:

This pair of photo-booth strips is one of Warhol’s earliest experiments with photography, a medium that increasingly dominated his art during his peak years of innovation from 1962 to 1968. For Warhol, the photo booth represented a quintessentially modern intersection of mass entertainment and private self-contemplation. In these little curtained theaters, the sitter could adopt a succession of different roles, each captured in a single frame; the resulting strip of four poses resembled a snippet of film footage. The serial, mechanical nature of the strips provided Warhol with an ideal model for his aesthetic of passivity, detachment, and instant celebrity. Here, Warhol has adopted the surly, ultracool persona of movie stars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, icons of the youth culture that he idolized.

These strips were owned by the collector Sam Wagstaff and, after his death, by his friend the artist Robert Mapplethorpe.

Buy your own digital photo booth

January 5th, 2008

Well I can’t say I really care for all the cheesy graphics on the side of these macines. But that’s nothing a lot of contact paper can’t fix up. For $7500 to $12,000 you can own your own photobooth. That migth seem expensive to the novice, but I know first hand how much time and expense it takes to make these booths.

 Peace, Rolland

Apple adds features to Photo Booth program in Leopard

January 5th, 2008

I just read the following article by by Rob Griffiths on the web site Mac OSX hints.   It’s too bad Apple hasn’t added a kiosk mode to their photobooth yet. Maybe next time?  I tried this new version in the store and wasn’t impressed with the quick 4 shot sequence. There was only around 1/2 a second between shots making it very hard to do anything creative. Nonethe less the improvements are nice. Here is the article:

 Photo Booth is one of OS X 10.5’s new apps—new, at least, to those who don’t own a Mac with a built-in iSight, as these machines have had it for a while now. In Leopard, though, Photo Booth has a new mode—burst mode. Burst mode takes four quick pictures in succession, and then displays the result as a single multi-paned image in the Photo Booth window. While you may have played around with this feature, here are a couple things you may not have known about it.

First, if you use the iPhoto button on one of these four-panel images, you’ll wind up with one four-paned image in iPhoto. But what if you wanted each image that makes up the montage? It turns out that Photo Booth actually does store four pictures when you take a burst mode photo—you can find them all in the Photo Booth folder within your user’s


folder. So to add any one (or more) picture to iPhoto, just visit that folder and drag the desired images onto iPhoto’s Dock icon.Second, if you’re looking at the four-panel image in the main Photo Booth window, clicking on any single panel will zoom that panel to fill the Photo Booth window; click it again to zoom back out to the four-pane view. You’ll even see a fancy reflective-glass-like flash as the images zoom into and out of the frame. (Oddly, this animation is one of the few I’ve ever found in OS X that you can’t slow down with the Shift key.)

Finally, if you use File -> Export, Photo Booth will export the image as an animated GIF. You can then use this animated GIF as your iChat buddy icon. In iChat, click on your user picture and select Edit Picture, click Choose and navigate to the animated GIF you just created, then click Set. Other 10.5 users (and those using third-party AIM clients that support animated buddy icons) will then see your four-picture set. (Note that displaying animated buddy icons is disabled by default; to enable it, open iChat’s Preferences and check the Animate Buddy Pictures option in the General tab.)

And remember, if you want to take a Photo Booth picture immediately—bypassing the three-second delay—just hold down the Option key before pressing the Camera button, as explained in this hint.

NEW photobooth software for everyone with a canon digital SLR camera only $95

December 23rd, 2007

Well sooner or latter it had to happen a company, is selling DSLR remote pro which will let you hook up a canon DSLR camera to a laptop and turn it into a photobooth. Unfortunately the program does not show the photos right after they are taken. The camera should be put on manual focus; if it isn’t then you can get focusing errors.

 While it’s main competitor, has more features @ $600 it is  very expensive.

Free Mac photo booth software

December 23rd, 2007

Free Mac photo booth software

Well this software looks like you can print from it, which would make it perfect for weddings and other social events.

Peace, Rolland

What’s the best professional printer to use with a commercial photobooth?

November 24th, 2007

There are many professional printers that one can use with a commercial photobooth.  They can be broken down into 3 main considerations

1. Price. Can you afford $300 or $2000 for a printer?
2. Capacity and size. Do you want to change the paper every 150 prints or every 600 prints and how big do your printouts need to be?
3.  Speed and technology used. How fast can it produce prints? Is it a dyesub or inkjet printer?

There are two main suppliers that I usually buy my printers from:

Both offer free shipping on orders over $100 and great customer service. Fotoclub tends to be very slightly cheaper, but imaging spectrum usually matches their prices if asked.

In a previous blog entry I already discussed inkjet printers so this article will discuss only dyesub printers. Dyesub printers are often referred to as professional printers (this is not to say that inkjet printers are not professional). This is because 7 or 8 years ago they were much faster at printing out photos and there were only one or two inkjet printers that made prints that lasted a long time and were portable.

Almost all of my printers are sony dye sub printers. This is because Sony usually has an amazing rebate about once or twice a year where you can buy a $1000 printer and get $800 in free paper.  The two sony printers I recommend the most are the Sony UPDR150 and the new smaller and cheaper Sony UPCX1, which is $950, but comes with $800 worth of free paper, which makes it a great deal. You could buy an older refurbished dye sub printer for $400 or $500 dollars or get one off ebay, but with new ones like the Sony UPCX1 coming with so much free paper it really doesnt’ make sense to buy used. The coolest thing about the sony upcxi is that it can print out 4×8″ photos. That means you can have your standard 4 photo strip and then at the end have your event date or company logo, etc. It really personalized the gift a lot! That deal is good till the end of 2007 so if you are interested now would be the time to take advantage of it.  Mitsibushi, Kodak and Shinko also make great printers and you can see a comparison of them at this great link:

Comparison of Photo booth printers

All of these printers are plenty fast. If you are looking to do 8×10 prints there is even a comparison chart for these printers as well, which are very expensive.

One thing many people don’t know about dye sub printers is that almost all of them use paper on a roll which means you don’t have to reload the paper as much. It also unfortunately means that you are stuck with that paper size unless you want to load a whole new roll of paper in. So don’t expect to print out 4×6″s and then 6×8″s a few seconds latter. You basically stick to one size of paper.

I hope that helps everyone out a little bit! Peace, Rolland

Purikura, the Japaneese Photobooth

November 18th, 2007

Online Purikura Photobooth
Well I just found out that photobooths are hot in Japan. The above site is an online version of these Japanese photobooths where you not only take your own photos, but also decorate them afterwards.

There is a great article on how these booths work here
Purikura Photo booths

Which gives me a great idea to have stickers for the next photobooth we design and make.

But even more interesting is the fact that this technology is going to the world wide web shortly.
videkura photo booths
Seems to be the latest trend in the photobooth world. Instead of printing out images imagine having your images automatically uploaded to a web site to share with friends and family! I love instant gratification.

Peace, Rolland

Free Software code to run your photo booth.

November 15th, 2007

Before you use this free software code there are a couple of things you need to download and configure on your computer.

First you need to download the program and install it on your PC.  It’s free and cool 🙂  The next thing you want to do is set the resolution on your computer to 1024×768. The FREE code uses a mouse click to activate the sequence and it is important the resolution be set correctly for the click to occur at the right spot. In windows XP simply right click on the desktop, choose properties and then click on the settings tab. Use the slider to change the resolution to 1024×768. In Vista right click on your desktop and choose Personalize then choose the bottom option window settings to set the resolution.

Below is the code necessary to run the booth. Copy all of it and paste it into a notepad text file, and choose File–>Save As. When saving it be sure to Select save as type ALL FILES and add the extention .ahk so that it will be opened by autohotkeys. For example a good file name to use would be script.ahk

Loop, 4
MouseClick, left,332,715
Sleep, 6000

So what does all this code mean anyways?  Well all of the lines that end wtih double colons are just telling your PC that pressing any of those keys on the USB number pad will activate the photo sequence. The last five lines tell the PC to take four pictures in a row with 6 seconds between the photos using the next version of snapstrip will have a visual 3-2-1 count down display so if you are using the program in a noisy environment there will be a visual count down.

 So there you go. Just have people step into your booth press any key on your usb number pad and the booth will snap four photos in a row!

 But what about printing out the photos? Well that is why you have a computer outside the booth.  Open up the program thumbsplus
Go to the My pictures directory which is where all the photos are saved to by default. If you want to change this location you can under the OPTIONS section of snapstrip.

Hit Ctrl+A on your keyboard and you’ll have a screen that looks like this
Photo booth software program
Now simply hit Ctrl+P and the print dialog box will come up.
Photo booth software free and cool

Lets go over the settings. First you have to create a custom print size. Do this by simply clicking on the drop down arrow in the size box and choosing custom. Then enter a size of 1.5×2″ and click ADD and then OK. Next make sure your printer’s properties are set to boarderless printing. Choose 8 images per page, expand and crop and check both the auto rotate and auto crop boxes. Set image copies to 2 and before you hit print make sure you SAVE the entire layout by typing in a name at the top of the box like DOUBLE STRIP as shown in this example so you can pull it up easily again in the future. This program has the ability to batch print the color photos in black and white, but that is a topic for a future post.

Once the images are done printing you can simply move the images to a new folder in Thumbs plus.

I know what you are thinking? Isn’t there a way to automatically have the computer batch print the files after every session and there is but that will be available in a paid version of the script latter on.

What’s a good printer to use with my photobooth?

November 14th, 2007

Wow I’m glad you asked because there are literally hundreds of printers and most of them are not good to use with a photo booth.  There are really only two inkjet printers I would recommend.

The first is the Epson r280 which costs around $100 from Office supply stores like staples and office depot  often have online coupons that will bring down the price $10 or $15 dollars, but beaware of the small print in coupons that do not apply towards technology items, like printers.

The second is the Canon IP4500 which is about $115 through Personally I think the canon is a little nicer printer even though it costs a bit more.

Now you’re probably thinking what makes these two printers so much better than all the rest? Simple, they are fast, they will do a 4×6 from the time you hit print in about 40 to 45 seconds. The box says they will do it in 25 seconds but that is not including the data processing time. But to take advantage of this speed your computer must have USB 2.0 ports! Most computers made in the last 3 years have USB 2.o as standard. If not the combination USB/firewire to PCMCIA card recommended in the previous post will get your laptop up to speed. When ever you go out to do a gig make sure you take lots of extra ink and paper.

Now let me stand on my soap box for a minute. ONLY use expensive manufacturer’s ink and paper! Canon and epson inks on canon or epson paper are very duralble and should last a life time. It is true you can buy cheap third party inks and paper , but often these inks will fade in months and the paper has a lot to do with how long a print lasts as well. The only other paper I can recommend is Red River paper.  If you use the epson then I recommend buying ink from

$80 might seem expensive but these are high capacity inkjet cartridges that last about 50% longer. A great deal.

For canon users there is a 4 pack of color inks that goes for $44.00 from here:

If you are really a bargain hunter you can call up and request a price match and then buy a coupon for staples off 🙂

Now most of the time the standard 2×6″ strip is what people like, but the cool thing about ink jet printers is you can buy double sided paper and print things on both sides! Here’s a company that does this called Photoboof.

What happens if you want to make larger photo strips that are say 4×10″ long and printed two up using 8×10″ paper? Well these ink jet printers slow down considerably so the best thing to do is buy a duplicate printer and then use a function of Windows’s operating system to pool the printers together. Basically Windows will work both printers at the same time and send the next print job to whatever printer is ready. Cool huh? Here’s an article that explains how to printer pool.

The next article will discuss adding drapes to your booth as well as getting the FREE scripts installed that make the photobooth run smoothly.

What’s the Best Camera I can use in my DIY photobooth?

November 14th, 2007

The program we will be using is which can use either a web camera or a video camera that has an IEEE1394 connection also known as firewire or i-link connection.  Web cameras will give you average looking images. Even the most expensive $200 web camera will not look as good as a cheap $200 video camera. The lenses in web cameras are just cheap and the ones in video cameras are able to pick up around 8 times as much light.

The problem with video cameras is you will need to buy an additional 4pin to 4pin firewire cable AND your computer needs to have a firewire port on it. Many laptops do NOT have a firewire port so you’ll have to buy a $20 PCMCIA to firewire adapter card. Like this one on newegg,firewirecard
And here’s a nice long firewire cable to go from the camera to the computer, 14.7 foot long firewire cable.
While you are shopping for parts you might as well get the USB extention cable and monitor extention cable as well as a USB number keypad

Now the only thing you have to purchase is a video camera. Well you can buy cheap refurbished ones for around $250 on places like However if you are really looking for a bargain you can get one off ebay.
Search EBAY
Basically you are looking for a camera with a firewire port. Usually the ads dont’ mention if it has one or not, but 90% of the cameras do and you can always call up the manufacturer and ask them. for the best deals you can buy a camera that doesn’t play tapes any more due to a broken tape transport mechanism, but powers on fine. Only buy cameras that come with an AC adapter as well. Sound like a lot of homework? It is and for most people just buying a new or refurbished camcorder is the way to go.
Once last thing, most video cameras don’t have a very wide zoom setting on them, so buying a 0.7x 0.8x wide angle lens adapter is really helpfull in getting more people in your image. Each camera has a different filter size so make sure you get a wide angle lens that fits your camera. Ebay is a good place for this as well. Avoid the more extreme wide angle lenses like 0.5x or 0.45x ones as they have poorer image quality.
Great, you have a lot of gear in place, the next article will discuss the best printers for your photo booth.