Can You Use a Mobile Camera With Skype?

By Palmer Owyoung

Skype has changed the way we communicate. As of 2010, the company has more than 400 million users, and the number is growing. One nice feature about the program is that it allows you to connect with a mobile camera, which will allow you to do video chats with your friends and family.

Type of Mobile Phone

You will need to buy a mobile phone that has a camera as well as a video recorder in it. Most of the smart phones made after 2008 fit this bill. Also, the phone will need to work with the mobile phone to Web cam programs available (this software will transform your mobile phone camera into a Web cam). Most Blackberries, iPhones and smartphones using the Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems will work. You will also want a camera phone that has at least 1.3 megapixels or more in resolution otherwise the picture quality won't be good.

Mobile to Web Cam Software

These programs will convert your mobile phone into a Web cam--these include Mobiola, Webcam 1.0 and EyeSpyFX. They cost between $30 and $50 as of 2010. They are easy to install and don't take more than a few minutes to setup and configure. You will need to install the program on both your computer and your Web cam. Once set up, they are simple and intuitive to use.

Hooking up Your Mobile Camera with Skype.

You will need a USB cable to connect your phone and your computer. This will allow the two devices to communicate. A cable probably came with your phone, but if it didn't you can purchase one online or at a local cell phone store. If your phone and computer are both Bluetooth capable you can also use Bluetooth to connect the two devices, and this will alleviate the need for cables.

Making Adjustments

Once you have connected your phone and your computer you can launch Skype and your mobile camera will automatically be detected by the program. You can make adjustments to the frame rate and colors by going to "Tools" at the top of the menu, then "Options" and "Video Settings." Look to the right and click on "Web cam" settings. You will see a list of features that you can adjust such as the contrast, the brightness and the hue. Adjusting these elements can make a dramatic difference to how you appear on screen.

Using the Camera

Once you have everything set up you just need to arrange the camera so that it sits at eye level. Most cell phones come with a charging cradle that you can use to keep the phone steady. If you have one use it, otherwise you will need to prop it up using a book or other flat surface.