Every camera comes with basic driver software, of course; you set them up by installing the driver, then plugging in the camera. According to the documentation, they all work with Windows 98, ME or 2000.
No matter. You can just run NetMeeting, which is I presume pretty much what the EZPhone software's doing in the background anyway. That works fine. All of the other Ezonics cameras come with a plain NetMeeting installer.
The software setup process for all of the cameras is OK, with only a few of the usual cheap-Taiwanese-hardware problems. The EZPhone Cam's LiveSuite install, for instance, runs an antiquated DOS DirectX installer that will trample an up-to-date DirectX installation, with no option to abort. Fixing that problem's no big deal, though - you just reinstall the current version of DirectX, which can be downloaded from Microsofthere.
Some webcams that give really terrible results do so because they're let down by software. Modern USB webcams, you see, don't have a lot of internal intelligence; they rely on their two-way connection to the computer to handle things like exposure settings. They might be able to change their gain, for instance, but they can't tell which way to turn the metaphorical dial without a PC looking at their output and making the decisions for them. It's cheaper to do the setting fiddling in software in the PC, than in hardware in the camera.
This problem, though, wasn't a software one. All of the other cameras worked fine with the same software (as you'll see below), and the USB Cam's strange clouded image with a dark middle acted like a uniform mask over whatever it was pointed at, exactly as if there were rubbish on the lens. But there wasn't.
On the down side, there's no good way to get images out of the Dual Cam. You can do it easily enough, using a TWAIN driver that can be accessed by the bundled imaging software, or pretty much any other image manipulation package. But the Dual Cam uses what looks like JFIF (JPG) compression on its images, and TWAIN doesn't deliver the compressed files from the camera - it just delivers the image data to your graphics program. If you then save it as a JPEG file, you'll be recompressing it and making it look worse.
The EZCam II USB looks great and is really cheap. The one I got to play with was, not to put too fine a point on it, busted, but if these cameras normally give picture quality like that from any other entry level webcam, the nifty software bundle makes them a decent product.
If the EZDual Cam cost as much as the Umax Astracam, its distinctly inferior picture quality would hurt it. But it's cheap and cheerful, has flexible features that are actually good for something, works fine as a webcam, doesn't eat its battery too fast, and has a decent software bundle. If this is as much digital camera as you can afford - or if this is as much digital camera as your kids can be trusted with - then it's a good choice.
If the camera was previously working on the computer and suddenly stopped, locate the driver in the Device Manager under the Control Panel. Select the Ezonics EZCam driver and right-click on it. Select Uninstall to remove the driver and download a new version of the driver and install it.
In 1997, the Konica Q-EZ was the world's first digital camera to support Intel's Flash Miniature Card (see memory card page). The camera was a very bulky chunk of hard plastic. It had 640x480 pixel resolution and a serial interface. Despite it's bulkiness the camera had no TFT screen to preview images nor a possibility to connect one. Instead it had an info LCD screen. For Hewlett Packard it was not only their market entry model but also the first PC photography system designed for home users. It included a photo printer, a photo scanner, a digital camera, photo paper and image-editing software. Both cameras were identical but again with minor differences. The Konica Q-EZ had a clear silver body and dark grey buttons on the back. The HP Photosmart came in a dark grey body with pink and yellow buttons. Apparently the Konica also came with a PCMCIA miniature card adapter. If you have a picture of that one I would want to post it here. 2b1af7f3a8