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Old 02-22-2018, 07:25 AM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is online now
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: AL
Posts: 3,241
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I think you are making this way too complicated.
Am I giving up anything by going chromebook over a cheap Linux or windows laptop? Yes. Chromebooks are great for what they are (a machine running Chrome). A windows laptop may be purchased in the same price range and will include many more (and universal) apps and features.
Built in webcam? I don't think NM Collector will capture directly from a camera, it grabs a photo file that you present.
Do you plan to hold a firearm up to the webcam and expect a good picture? I think you will be disappointed.
Separate app to take a photo? Use a camera (the camera in most phones is adequate; the key is ALWAYS good lighting and a planned backdrop). Open the photo in Windows Paint (it came with the PC) and crop, save as a JPG (so the size is optimized, if you want) and give it a useful name (in case you store the photos elsewhere). Cost is $0 and time is <1 minute per picture.
Webcam: Sure, you can get a firearm framed, move closer for detail. What is the background?

Examples: Here is a great photo of a firearm using a webcam. Is this OK for Facebook? Maybe. For your collecting purposes? Maybe, not me. The background of the photo is probably the #1 item that most people forget. a 1960's psychedelic quilt is a bad idea. A neutral solid color is good, a themed backdrop can add creativity (not my forte clearly!).


Consider a separate app. Windows paint is free, and a few seconds you can crop all areas that don't relate to the subject. This picture may be a useful photo of the firearm, we will never know:
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I bought a piece of fabric for a few $ and use it as my backdrop. Look at other photos to see what works. Pistols I can place on a table, rifles; I lay the fabric on the ground. I usually do this outside in natural light, then on my windows PC I edit. I use Windows Paint to crop it, rotate if needed, and save as a JPG. Well under a minute per photo
Other than the camera my investment is the free Windows Paint app (comes on any Windows PC) and a piece of grey fabric, I have used blue poster board from $Tree.

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The quality of my computer makes no difference, and I do not own any photo editing software other than Windows Paint. Lighting, backdrop, and not a cheap camera. An external webcam on a long cable would probably work fine; good luck holding a built in webcam steady. A "good enough" camera is really not hard to get, most phones will work better than a webcam. A cheap camera in good light with a good background will always produce a better photo for this purpose than an expensive camera with bad light and a distracting background.
JH
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