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I bought my Creative Live Notebook Cam on Amazon for a very reasonable £15.26 and with the super saver option I had no postage and packing to pay. I didn't need a big fancy looking cam with all the super duper mods and cons, I just wanted a cam to be a cam. I had toyed with several other models, but after much deliberation came down on the side of this.
One of the main reasons apart from the fact that it looks pretty good, was the manufacturer. I have had a few other Creative items and have never had any problems with either installation or use. There were a couple of Microsoft one's I fancied but as per usual they priced themselves out of my market. The specs on the Microsoft model were slightly better but the cost was more than three times.
The neat black looking cam comes as do a lot of things these days, in a shrink-wrap pack with some pretty graphics. It is virtually plug and play since it has a USB connection, although there are drivers and an installation CD should you require them. I'm quite good with computers so I did my usual and missed out reading the instructions or any info the manufacturer deemed important. If you are a novice at installing equipment I DO recommend that you at least browse the documentation before attempting to install this camera.
The camera has a pretty standard 1.3 mega pixel CMOS optical lens, which produces a crisp and clear images. To aid it the easy set-up and use of the device it also comes with some basic auto features which take away some of the tedium of adjusting settings. Such auto features are auto exposure, auto tuning, and auto white balance. The auto exposure is very handy when the lighting conditions where the camera is used are variable, such a situation might be that of a living room with a rather bright and snazzy plasma TV. This might in normal circumstances affect the picture quality, but the auto exposure should correct this. I'm not a hundred percent certain what auto tuning actually is since I have or have missed any operation where this was in effect.
So once it's up and running and all the auto features have done their stuff, what is the picture like. Well it's way better than the Creative's predecessor. It's crisp and sharp. Bright but no overly so. The colours are quite vivid in good light, and for all the great work the auto features do they cannot compensate for poor lighting. They do try and they do make a significant difference, but it is way short of the quality of a good lighting picture. The camera has a built in micro phone and is Window Live messenger and Skype compatible for those of you who are into messaging. The video size is up to 800*600. The field of view of the camera is 42 degrees so it is quite versatile.
The head of the camera is adjustable so that you can get yourself into frame quite easily. It also has a clip on section whereby you fix it to you notebook or laptop. I'm actually using mine with my Desktop PC and an LCD screen, and in doing so I'm really quite impressed what my £15.26 has got me.
In the package you will receive: -
Creative Live! Cam Notebook with USB cable
Multi-language Quick Start Guide.
CD software containing:
Creative Live! Cam Centre Lite.
Creative Live! Cam Manager.
Creative Live! Cam Console.
Creative Photo Software
The software is none to special but it will let you get started at doing all those little knacky things you've always wanted to. It will also help you keep any user adjustable settings as you wish them to be through the can manager software.
All in all I'm very pleased with my purchase and judging by the feel and the results I am going to be very happy for a while. The unit is sturdy and feel quite strong, YEP would definitely recommend this camera.