Finding and using an external webcam

Hello everyone!

Completely new here and trying to learn as I go along. At the moment, I’m stuck due to COVID-19 at home and in need of a webcam for use with zoom (reading some interesting pieces about that, too) as my laptop doesn’t have camera. Also my laptop is old and a Mac (yep, sorry, I’ll get there eventually!).

What does the community recommend? I’ve read some people use their digital cameras (could be done with a piece of expensive hardware), others I’ve read use their phone camera (using ‘free’ off the shelf apps). The first option is preferable to me, but the expense is a killer. Anything I’m missing as an option? Maybe the camera phone isn’t a bad one but someone knows a privacy safe option?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions, really appreciated.

Read about RTSP. its a standard to stream videos into networks. I am not entirely familiar about this yet and with my limited knowledge I am just scratching the surface. Supposedly you can stream from your android’s camera to the the network but I havent found the right open source software yet to host/start the video stream from android’s side but most IP cameras should support this protocol.

On the viewing side, VLC can watch the streams on any platform.

I am uncertain if these streams are encrypted. I have heard that these should be either on a network with no internet access or be tunneled through a VPN which you control.