With very-low-light capability, a few specific models of webcams are very popular to photograph the night sky by astronomers and astro photographers.
Mostly, these are manual-focus cameras and contain an old CCD array instead of comparatively newer CMOS array.
For a more complete list see Comparison of webcam software.
Special software can use the video stream from a webcam to assist or enhance a user's control of applications and games.
The lenses of the cameras are removed and then these are attached to telescopes to record images, video, still, or both.
Despite the low cost, the resolution offered at present (2015) is rather impressive, with low-end webcams offering resolutions of 320×240, medium webcams offering 640×480 resolution, and high-end webcams offering 1280×720 (aka 720p) or even 1920×1080 (aka 1080p) resolution.The term "webcam" (a clipped compound) may also be used in its original sense of a video camera connected to the Web continuously for an indefinite time, rather than for a particular session, generally supplying a view for anyone who visits its web page over the Internet.Some of them, for example, those used as online traffic cameras, are expensive, rugged professional video cameras.When sent to a remote location, the video stream may be saved, viewed or on sent there.Unlike an IP camera (which connects using Ethernet or Wi-Fi), a webcam is generally connected by a USB cable, or similar cable, or built into computer hardware, such as laptops.By removing the IR filter of the webcam, IR LEDs can be used, which has the advantage of being invisible to the naked eye, removing a distraction from the user.Track IR is a commercial version of this technology.Researchers claim that this method is accurate to ±5 bpm.Webcams may be installed at places such as childcare centres, offices, shops and private areas to monitor security and general activity.Video features, including faces, shapes, models and colors can be observed and tracked to produce a corresponding form of control.For example, the position of a single light source can be tracked and used to emulate a mouse pointer, a head-mounted light would enable hands-free computing and would greatly improve computer accessibility.