The Unofficial Source for Kensington VideoCAM Support
By Orson Teodoro [firstname.lastname@example.org]
As of December 31, 2001, Kensington no longers supports this camera:
<quote> Cameras--VideoCAMworks Software Windows Note: No additional software versions are planned. Windows 2000 and Windows XP Important Note: Kensington is no longer manufacturing the VideoCAM line of digital cameras, and supplies are limited to existing stock. Further upgrades to the VideoCAMWorks™ software are not planned. The final release is version 1.2, dated August 2000, which is compatible with Windows™ 95, 98, and Me. </quote>
As of January 12, 2002,
Kensington claims that the Kensington VideoCAM does not work under windows
<quote> Will my VideoCam work with Windows 2000 or Windows XP? Question Will my Kensington VideoCam work with Windows 2000 or Windows XP? Answer No. Due to an unforeseen hardware issue, the Kensington VideoCam product line is not supported in Windows 2000 or Windows XP. </quote>
All I can tell you is that that I was able to use my Kensington VideoCAM (model 67014) in Windows XP. I have confirmed that the camera is fully functional in both TWAIN interface and VFW interface. It took me some driver mixing to get the camera drivers to work properly in Windows XP. The bad news is that upgrading the firmware will make your camera inoperable to Linux and Windows 9x. It is possible to change the Linux drivers to make your camera work properly.
I haven't reported this to Kensington because I fear that they will simply ignore any request or suggestions, so they could sell their next generation of products. They have the right to do this; no one could force them to do it.
Kensington responds with...
I've messaged kensington and they will not support this camera still. Here is the e-mail that I recieved from them:
<quote> Subj: [Incident 020112-000144] camera works great under xp Date: 1/14/2002 9:21:00 AM Pacific Standard Time From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent from the Internet (Details) Please DO NOT REPLY to this message. If your issue remains unresolved, please update your inquiry here. Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response. Unless we hear from you within 96 hours we will assume your question has been resolved. Subject camera works great under xp Discussion Thread Response (Ray S.) 01/14/2002 12:20 PM Thank you for your input. Although you were able to get the VideoCAM to work under XP, our official position is that we do not support operation on this platform. Additionally, since the VideoCAM line is discontinued all driver development has ceased. You are welcome to post your findings, however you need to be aware that should anyone encounter difficulties we will be unable to provide assistance. Customer (Orson Teodoro) 01/12/2002 09:05 PM For kensington videocam driver team, You guys claim that a hardware problem is causing the camera to inoperable in Windows XP. In fact it works great in Windows XP. With the proper driver mixing and good configuration, you can get decient camera output. In addition, if driver mixing is performed in Windows 98/ME you can get decient image quality and framerates as well. If use the windows 2000 firmware (ftp://ftp.kensington.com/zbeta/Imaging/Win2000_firmware.exe) in conjuction with mixed drivers you can can get optimal framerates and image quality. Taking the base drivers (ftp://ftp.kensington.com/zbeta/Imaging/Win2000_driver.exe) and replacing AoxTwain.ds from (ftp://ftp.kensington.com/zbeta/Imaging/VCW_200b9_PC.exe) and replacing aoxdxipl.ax from (ftp://ftp.kensington.com/zbeta/Imaging/VCW200b2a.exe) we get a good VFW and TWAIN output. If you don't fix this I will make this public. However, the only way to get out of the dark image would have to play with the Exposure and Gamma controls in the "Hyandai Controls". Question Reference #020112-000144 Product: VideoCAM Category: Technical Issues Contact Information: email@example.com Date Created: 01/12/2002 09:05 PM Last Updated: 01/14/2002 12:20 PM Status: Waiting Model Number: 67014 Serial Number: A0003000111 Platform: Windows XP Port: USB Software Version: If your issue remains unresolved, please update your inquiry here. Thank you for your continued interest in Kensington products. Regards, Kensington Technical Support www.kensington.com </quote>
It seems that defanately driver development for this camera has ceased. Keep this in mind when you buy from Kensington. If a product is discontinuted, or no longer being manufactured, they will no longer offer support via driver update, as in the case of the VideoCAM line of their cameras.
I have provided guides that will help you try to gain the best out of your camera.
Please send in your success and failures!
If you have gotten your Kensington VideoCAM or any camera that uses the AOX/Endpoints SE401 chipset to work, please return a e-mail describing the name and model number of the camera and operating system so I can list what cameras are compatable and track any problems associated with any of the mixed drivers.
How to get your camera working in Windows XP
There are several things you need in order to get your camera to work. You need a machine with Windows 98/ME, the firmware to enable your camera in Windows 2000/XP, and the latest drivers for Windows 2000/XP. The drivers and firmware can be obtained further down this page.
Here the are first steps to flashing the camera. The first thing you must do is remove every device connected to your USB ports. This includes your USB mouse and/or USB keyboard. If you have such devices, I suggest that you hook up your old mouse or keyboard to get though this process. After disconnecting all your devices, the only device that should be connected to any USB header should be the camera. This is very important.
Next step would be to unzip and run the firmware designed to get your camera operable in Windows XP. At anytime where it is in the process of flashing your camera, do not reset the computer.
If this is your first time installing the camera in Windows XP, you can skip the following paragraph below.
For those who previously installed this camera, I suggest that you uninstall devices and remove any files labeled oem#.inf, where # is represented by a number. These files are located in your windows inf directory, specifically c:\windows\inf. After removing the old hardware profiles, disconnect and reconnect the camera so you can follow the steps below.
After having updated the camera's firmware, we should now head back to Windows XP where we can install our camera drivers. Windows XP should detect the camera, and it's plug and play should kick in. If it has not done so, disconnect and reconnect the camera. Now, Windows XP will now ask for drivers. When the screen "Welcome to the Found New Hardware Wizard" popups up, select "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)," then select "Search for the best driver in these locations," then uncheck the first box, then check the box below that, and browse where you placed your drivers. If the box named "Hardware Installation" popups up continue on. After that device has installed, another device will be detected and a new request for drivers will come up.
After installing a driver, follow the same procedure that will be applied when Windows XP detects an additional device. In the process of updating, another box named "File Needed" will follow. It will request "aox401vc.sys". Point to the location of the file to where you have unzipped the drivers. As the process of installing drivers completes, this should end the installation of your Kensington VideoCAM in Windows XP.
I suggest reading "How to get the best image quality out of your Kensington VideoCAM" section for tips on getting the most out of your camera.
How to get your camera working in Windows 98/ME
For those who haven't upgrade their camera's firmware, I recommend that you do this so that you can get the higher framerates. Also I recommend that you upgrade your camera with the mixed driver set that is designed for windows 9x. You could probably use the latest drivers if you update your camera the firmware for XP. I haven't have the chance to check this myself so if your brave go for it.
When upgrading your drivers remove all files with oem#.inf, where # represents a number. These files can be found in the c:\windows\inf. Delete all your devices that is related to the Kensington VideoCAM.
I suggest reading "How to get the best image quality out of your Kensington VideoCAM" section for tips on getting the most out of your camera.
How to get your camera working in Linux
Linux supports a wide range of hardware. Fortunately, it does support various models of the Kensington VideoCam based on a chipset, SE401, formely created by AOX but now owned by EndPoints.
To get the camera working under Linux you need the latest kernel release. The driver has been merged in the 2.4 kernel sources.
For the average user, using the firmware designed for only 9x/linux is important to get your camera operating correctly. However, if you have knowledge in programming and in kernel hacking, hypothetically you can use the 2000/XP firmware just by changing the assigned device id or whatever serial assignment the camera takes. If you can do this, please send me a patch for the se401 driver.
The above paragraph is actually false. I have tried modifying the se401 source code with matching vendor ids and device ids and found out not to be the case. I have contacted Jeroen Vreeken, the author of for se401 device driver for Linux, and he told me that the older bios is completely different from the newer bios consequently, the current driver will not work with the newest firmware. Futhermore, he told me that the driver for the se402 should hypothetically able to work for this camera. So if you want to use your camera for Linux for now, you will have to use the older 9x firmware that Kengsinton provided and hold off using the unoffical Windows 2000 firmware on Linux.
I assume that you have experience in compiling Linux kernels, so I'll just give you a few steps.
The driver can be found in the kernel configuration while running the command "make menuconfig" in USB support. You will need to enable Video4Linux support as well. Remember that the SE401 driver should be a module and not compiled within the kernel image, to allow to conveinently disconnect the camera from the operating system.
You should edit and add se401 in /etc/modules file or do a modprobe se401 to automatically install the module.
To remove the camera from Linux you can also execute rmmod se401.
The camera device can be found at /dev/v4l/video0
So far I have ran apps that use the Video4Linux interface, and yet have not found a program that offers greater control as the driver controls equivalent to those provided by for Windows. All I can say is that your limited to brightness, contrast, gamma, and hue controls for Video4Linux, but I may wrong.
How to get the best image quality out of your Kensington VideoCAM
Here is a picture of what you must configure to obtain the best output of the camera. To gain full control of your camera, first you must find and load this same window found in your camera software and uncheck all the boxes, then close this window, then reload this same box, then change the sliders. That is how you enable control the image quality. For the average computer user I recommend that you just uncheck the exposure setting, close the window and open the window and set the slider to a setting that you prefer. Setting the exposure controls the amount of lighting being shown in the image. You can have a over exposed image, a under exposed image, or one that's just right. The gamma controls, however, control the grays of your image. So if you have too high of a white point or a too dark of a dark point but in between it is too dark, gamma will fix this. Just remember load window, uncheck all boxes, close window, reload sliders. How easy can it get.
You must do this process again when you close your video program. You must follow this process exactly because there is a bug in the program. It won't let you configure it after you uncheck all the sliders. Neither will it will save your settings after you have shut down your video camera software. You might consider investing in a macro program like Macro Express to do this automatically for you.
You can have better auto-exposure by doing the following. Assuming that you have either "Hyundai Controls" set on it's defaults or have set exposure to automatic, you will need to follow these simple steps. Set your AE Target slider all the way to the right and set your AE Min Rate slider all the way to the left. This should give you a evenly lit image for your face or whatever you decide to capture. This fixes the totally black image that you might be complaining about.
More information about the camera controls
It seems that the .inf files select which controls are used to configure the camera. There are two interfaces for controling the camera -- "Hyundai Controls" and "Aox Controls." It will take me more time to figure out how to edit the .inf files to manual select either controls. The "Hyundai Controls" offer much more control than the "Aox Controls." However, the "Aox Controls" seem to offer better auto-compensation. From having experience of running both, I think there is a bug in the "Hyundai Controls" that unintentionally shuts down the camera after some certain period of time. Fortunately, the other camera controls do not suffer from this problem, and I have observed that the light from this camera has lit longer while utilizing the "Aox Controls". I can hypothesize, however, that the "Hyundai Controls" just acts like a front end for the aoxdxipl.ax since it has not been updated for years.
An image of "Aox Controls" can be found at the screenshots section.
Programs to exploit that camera
Programs to try for Windows
Programs to try for Linux
Notes: In order to get your Windows XP/2000 drivers to work, you first must update the firmware. Firmware updates can only be preformed in Windows 98/ME not Windows 2000/XP. The only drivers that are able to work in Windows XP/2000 are the mixed driver set and the driver set that contain both aoxdxipl.ax 18.104.22.168 and AoxTwain.ds 22.214.171.124. The latter is a reference driver from AOX/Endpoints and provides superior auto exposure with decient image quality. However, the mixed driver set was optimized for image quality and will need a little tweaking to give it better a image output. The other drivers listed and not mentioned are for driver mixing, therefore they will not install for any Kensington VideoCAM model.
The aox401vc.inf files that I have provided select controls you might want to use for your camera. You may perfer the hyandai controls for better control for your image or prefer the aox controls that provide better auto compensation.
Notes on the mixed drivers
A few details about this file. Since programs are modular, in some programs you can take files and replace them with an updated file. This is what prompted me to do driver mixing. This has been done in the past with video card drivers where gamers would replace files special files and these files would either yield better image quality or better performance. I have provided older drivers for you so you can perform your own driver swapping.
Here are some notes about the particular files that I have swapped and what I have observed:
I've optimized the drivers for image quality. You can get high camera speed but you will have to sacrifice image quality at an expense. You can swap 2.0b9's aoxdxipl.ax for faster image output.
The panning and tilting sliders in the "Hyandai Controls" seem to be inoperable in Windows XP; however, they work perfectly in Windows 9x. What is also interesting is that I have discovered that the 640x480 option appears in the resolution drop box. The option works for the Kensington VideoCAM model 67014. The high resolution could just mean that the image could be translated in a bigger picture or a wider viewing area.
version 2.0b2 (is used in the mixed sets)
version 1.20 with XP
version 2.0b9 (is used in the mixed sets)
version 1.20 with XP
Subj: SVGACam under Win2k Date: 3/13/2002 11:18:56 AM Pacific Standard Time From: terrapin@---------.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent from the Internet (Details) Hi there. I'd just like to thank you for your excellent site. It's places like this that make the internet great. It's been at least 6 months since my Kensington SVGACam (model #67016) has been of ANY use to me. I had completely given up on kensington - the only reason I was keeping it around at all is in hopes that one day a linux driver would be released that works with the updated bios. This site was a godsend. Not only does my camera now work in win2k, I'd venture to say that it works better than it ever did in win98 with the origional bios. Using the se401w2k package I get good, sharp video in most lighting conditions, with framerates far better than I've ever seen before with this camera. I've also used your mixed driver set 2 with good results, but the 'auto' exposure level was far too dark, and manually increasing it dropped my frame rates dramatically. But I'm in a darker than average room. I suspect in better lit conditions, it would do a great job. One question... where did you get the se401w2k package? I can't find it anywhere on kensington's site. Did you get it directly from endpoints? Will there be updates? Are there any currently known problems with it? It's working very well for me, but I've only had it going a few minutes now. Thanks again for the time you put into this. You saved me (and probably countless others) both a lot of frusteration, and likely money as I for one was just about to invest in a new web cam. Great work. ScottSubj: Kensington webcam Date: 1/16/2002 5:04:06 AM Pacific Standard Time From: tony@------.com To: email@example.com Sent from the Internet (Details) Hi, Following your instructions, I was able to get the webcam to work on xp! Any webcam viewers available that can flip the image? My webcam is mounted in a tight spot, I had to mount it upside down. I didn't see any options in the driver to flip the y coordinate. Tired of watching "upside down" video. Thanks