Wow, where do I start? I've been considering for a long time now how best to integrate my desire to have both weather cams and security cams... and have been researching and particularly following this forum:http://www.cctvforum.com
The biggest drawback in my opinion with a "webcam" is that it is tethered to your PC--or to a PC anyway--via USB, which has distance limitations. There are USB to ethernet converters, but the cheapest I've seen is about $100.
But that's all moot if you plan on locating the camera outdoors. Then you'll be limited to selecting an analog camera with coax type connection--which requires a video input card of some sort for the computer, or a very expensive IP wireless.
As far as water resistant or proof--the camera should have an "IP" rating:
(sorry about all the text, I did a cut and paste from a website)
The IP Rating System
IP stands for Ingress Protection.
The rating’s first digit e.g. IP65 relates to the ingress protection against dust (6 means dust tight, see the table below).
The second digit e.g. IP65 relates to the ingress protection against water (5 means protected against water jets, see the table below)
Protection against solid objects
First Digit Description Definition
0 Non-protected No special protection.
1 Protected against solid objects greater than 50 mm A large surface of the body such as the hand (no protection against deliberate access). Solid objects exceeding 50mm in diameter.
2 Protected against solid objects greater than 12 mm Fingers or other objects not exceeding 80 mm in length. Solid objects exceeding 12 mm in diameter.
3 Protected against solid objects greater than 2.5 mm Tools, wires, etc of diameter or thickness greater than 2.5 mm. Solid objects exceeding 2.5 mm in diameter.
4 Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0 mm Wires or strips of thickness greater than 1.0 mm. Solid objects exceeding 1.0 mm in diameter.
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not totally prevented but dust does not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation of the equipment.
6 Dust-tight No ingress of dust.
Protection against liquids
Second Digit Description Definition
0 Non-protected No special protection.
1 Protected against dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops).
2 Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at any angle up to 15 degrees from its normal position.
3 Protected against spraying water Water falling as spray at an angle up to 60 degrees from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 Protected against splashing water Water splashed against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 Protected against water jets Water projected from a nozzle against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
6 Protected against heavy seas Water from heavy seas or water projected in powerful jets shall not enter the enclosure in harmful quantities.
7 Protected against the effects of immersion Ingress of water in a harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time.
8 Protected against submersion The equipment is suitable for continuous submersion in water under conditions, which shall be specified by the manufacturer.
Next, low light... How low? Nightime? I don't believe there's any webcam that will be good in low light, they're just not designed for it. Do you need infrared capabiilty at night? Is this just for amusement to see stuff at night? Or is it for low light during the day when overcast?
The color cams that are "day/night" and have built-in IR illuminators must make compromises (and these are the "bullet" type, or at least the analog type if not "bullet" shaped). Best low light viewing will be with a B&W camera, and then probably it would have to be in the 400+ TVL range (TV Lines of resolution).
Are you planning on having more than one camera? Do you want to access images remotely (live, realtime) via a different method than just looking at your weather page?
I've got a ton of related links on my home computer, I'll post again later...
My idea, when I decide to bite the bullet, is to have a "full" CCTV system, get a video card, and build another computer for it (it's best to have a dedicated computer for full CCTV processing), and use analog cameras--a mix of outdoor and indoor.
BUt that's a ways off...