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06-06-2017

PL

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  • Registered: ‎06-06-2017
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Webcam image sideways when using portrait/flipped external monitor

2017-10-19, 18:26 PM

I'm using Lenovo ThinkPad W540, which has an integrated camera.

The issue with it is, that I'm also using external screens, connected via a docking station, and those screens are set to portrait (rotated) orientation. This, for some reason, causes the camera image to also be rotated, so it's sideways, preventing normal use of the camera.

 

This is probably a buggy feature of the camera driver, which was probably meant to help, when you rotate your main screen (with the camera attached), so you do not look sideways when camera is on, at this position. This makes sense for tablets, hybrids, etc., much less for mobile workstations. Does not make any sense, when the camera image rotation is based on rotation of any other screen, than the built-in screen (where the camera is mounted).

I've looked through the Lenovo Web Conferencing application settings, and the Integrated Camera driver settings, and found no way to turn off this buggy feature, nor to work around it.

 

My display setup is as follows (in the order of how Windows numbers the screens):

  1. Main (built-in) laptop screen is set to normal orientation (landscape).
  2. A monitor is connected via Thunderbolt port (working as DisplayPort) on the side of the laptop and is set to vertical (portrait) orientation.
  3. A monitor is connected via DisplayPort on my docking station and is set to vertical (portrait) orientation.
  4. A monitor is connected via DisplayPort on my docking station and is set to vertical (portrait) orientation.
  5. A TV screen is connected via VGA port on my docking station and is either completely disabled (set to "Disconnect this display") or is using a normal (landscape) orientation.

The laptop has 2 GPUs, one is the CPU-integrated Intel HD Graphics, the second one is nVidia Quadro. It seems, that the first one is handling the screens numbers 1 & 2, and the second one is handling numbers 3, 4 & 5. To make this work (i.e. use more that 3 screens at the same time) I had to switch a BIOS setting, to treat the dedicated nVidia chip as the main one, instead of the default of the integrated one (if I remember correctly, it's called an advanced mode).

 

I did some experimenting, with results as follows:

  • If all screens are set to normal (landscape) orientation, then the camera image is OK (remains unrotated).
  • When the laptop screen (#1) is set to vertical (portrait) orientation (regardless of other screens' orientation), then the camera image is rotated by 180 degrees. This is NOT a correct behavior, as it should match the laptop screen orientation, to make any sense.
  • The camera image orientation is OK (normal orientation), when #1 and #4 are at landscape (regardless of #2, #3 & #5).
  • Same thing happens if #4 is disabled and #3 is set to landscape (regardless of #2 & #5).
  • The camera image is sideways (rotated by 90 or 270 degrees) when #1 is at landscape and #4 is at portrait (regardless of #2, #3 & #5).
  • It's also sideways when #4 is disabled and #3 is at portrait (regardless of #2, #3 & #5).

From this it would seem, that the camera image orientation depends on:

  • the orientation of #1, which may make sense, but behaves incorrectly (image rotated by 180 deg. instead of 90/270),
  • the orientation of last of the #3 or #4 (depending on which is disabled), which does not make any sense.

I'm using the Lenovo Driver Update application regularly and have my BIOS, Lenovo Web Conference, Camera Driver, Intel Vider Driver and nVidia Video Driver updated to the latest versions offered by the Driver Update tools. I've also tried updating the video drivers to newer versions (as Intel and nVidia offer higher versions than the Lenovo tool) with no impact on the issue. The docking station used is the ThinkPad Ultra Dock.

 

The same issue was also filed here for X220i:

English Community > ThinkPad Notebooks > ThinkPad: X Series Tablet and Helix Laptops > Webcam image sideways when using flipped external monitor

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