I need a camera that functions like a surveillance or webcamera but that I can output to a computer monitor (via adapters) with a VGA-cable. I could perhaps use a normal camcorder for this, but I find those to be too expensive for our simple needs.

Basically, I want the cheap price and simple functionality of a webcam but the possibility to connect it to a computer monitor using only adapters (not running through a computer).

Any tips?


A Raspberry Pi might be what you are looking for. It is a credit card sized Arm based computer running Raspbian (a Debian variant), and at $25 it may even be cheaper than buying several adapters.

You could simply attach a web cam to the Pi and attach the monitor or TV via HDMI or Component out. To get to VGA you will need a converter which you can get for about $30.

  • As far as a digital solution goes, I like this the best, since it allows me to use a webcam. Thanks for your creativity! – gburning Mar 19 '13 at 7:46

A web cam is digital and designed to output a stream and be controlled over USB, it outputs a digital feed, you will need something to translate that to an analog feed that the VGA monitor can understand. You really can't do it without a computer, but a simple cheap computer could do the job. It doesn't require particularly sophisticated hardware, but a cheap camcorder with an analog output would probably do the job more cheaply and easily.

  • I know that, it's the very point of my question. But what I want is not a camcorder. A camcorder is used for recording and for collecting video. All I want is a simple stream/feed. What I'm asking is if there is a type of camera that does this simply? What I want is very basic, an analog webcam if you will. Is there such a thing? – gburning Mar 16 '13 at 21:43
  • Camcorders are not expensive and are your cheapest option. They come as cheap as $30. – AJ Henderson Mar 18 '13 at 3:49
  • @burnso A camcorder can also send live video directly to a monitor. The one mentioned by AJHenderson will do just that. You may still need an adapter to get it to VGA if that is required, but it still is a really simple way to go. – Friend Of George Mar 18 '13 at 14:57
  • @AJHenderson I realize that, but I feel camcorders such as the one you linked are not built to last. I need a camera that can be kept running for a few hours of time per instance. These are not great for that purpose. – gburning Mar 19 '13 at 7:43
  • @friend-of-george Thanks! But as I said above it is not optimal. I will probably try using a simple DV camera, just without tape. Sometimes older stuff is simply better for this kind of purpose. Nothing digital to mess things up. Thanks for both of your answers! I hope I did not come across as rude, it is not my intent. – gburning Mar 19 '13 at 7:46

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