I bought this as my first venture into the world of webcams and I've got to admit that it is a 'funky' little piece of kit. Managed to get it from Amazon last Christmas when they had a special offer on, although nowadays I've noticed that price has increased again somewhat.
The basic camera itself sits on top of a sort of folding framework where you can unfold the arm so that it sits on top of your monitor. You can then swivel the camera in any direction to line yourself up accordingly and the camera itself also has an incorperated microphone which works well. Connection is via a USB and installation was a breeze utilising the supplied CD. Picture wise seems to be quite good - clear, good colours and no jerking of movement.
The software also incorporates a number of fun additions where you can include all sorts of 'fancy dress' and other jokey items on the screen picture which would really surprise the recipient on the other end viewing you.
Overall, the camera is fit for purpose, easy and fun to use. Can't fault it.
After breaking my own webcam, i had been in the search for a new one. Of course, I didn't know much about webcam's but was looking for something compact but which would provide good resolution and this camera appeared to fit the bill.
One of the attractions was the substanial price reduction, which I immediately associated with the assumption that it must have been of a good standard. So after receiving the webcam, I set it up courtesy of an cd installation, thankfully installation was quick and painless. The webcam can then be connected to the pc via an attached usb cable which has become standard fare.
There is also a clip which opens at the front, allowing you to attach it to computer screens, which is a useful feature. Now in terms of the resolution you can set for this webcam, this highlighted my lack of understanding, because the higher resolutions are unfortunately not for webcam usage and are instead for photo capture. The highest setting you can set it for webcam, is 800 * 600 and like any webcam is very much dependent on the light. However room is quite well lit and so while lighting was not a problem, I did find I had to adjust the colour settings on the cam, significantly.
To capture more detail you can set different levels of zoom but obviously if you zoom in too much you will in turn sacrifice some detail. Perhaps I was expecting a little too much from the webcam streaming but the images seem a little on the grainy side.
However what also attracted me to this webcam was the in built microphone. My findings on that are the audio is very clear and thankfully unlike previous standalone microphones I don't need to have my mouth right by it in order for it to pick up my voice.
Overall since my initital impressions, I am quite pleased with this webcam. If I had purchased it when it retailed for over 60.00, I would have been somewhat disgruntled, but at it's new much lower price, it is excellent value for money. If you are after something cheap, with good audio capture and a respectable image capture, this is a good solution.
A webcam is a device that connects to your computer (usually through the USB port) that allows you to transmit images and video over the Internet. Webcams have a variety of uses. These include giving the user the ability to stay in touch with family and friends around the world, communicating in chat rooms, and video conferencing. They can be setup in locations of interest (i.e. Niagara Falls) for everyone to see, and they can also act as security devices.
But I'm sure you knew all that, so on to my review.
So what made me buy this webcam over all others. Simply because I'll liked it's looks. Superficial I know, but if I've got to look at something that's going to be sitting on my computer desk day and night, then I want it to look good. Thankfully enough the webcam does look as good as the picture makes out. The design is very elegant and professional. It's lightweight while still feeling robust and sturdy enough to withstand an occasional drop or knock off the desk.
Camera features are impressive for the price and include automatic face tracking technology, 3x digital zoom, a built-in microphone, an integrated USB cable, as well as a 3 years warranty. The stand is adjustable meaning it can be clipped over a LCD monitor for example, or left standing.
The webcam provides excellent picture quality, with a high resolution (up to 1280 x 1024) and frame rate, and excellent colour reproduction. Even the sound quality from the microphone is great, with the ability to pick up sounds that are several metres away with crystal clarity.
The camera itself is easy to use. Installation was quick and easy. My computer reconsigned it, and installing the provided driver was straightforward. I'm running Windows XP 64-bit and have have trouble in the past installing other devices such as my printer and scanner, so I'm glad this webcam was so easy. After all that was complete, it was otherwise quick and easy to set up with Windows Live Messenger and AOL.
I purchased this webcam from Amazon.co.uk for £17.11, and while there are both cheaper and more expensive webcams around, I would say that this one is in fact extremely good value for money.
I doubt anymore has to be said. If your looking for a webcam then look no further, and I can't think of a single way this VX-6000 could be improved upon.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
I bought this around christmas time this year and I was pretty sure it being microsoft that I was onto a winner. It was a little more expensive than other products with similar specs, but I payed for the brand name. I wasn't dissapointed when it arrived within 10 minutes I had it operational (most of that time was spent trying to get the package open). After another 5 minutes it was operational and I was on my way.
Unfortunately I soon realised for some reason I could't seem to get the microphone to work. This didn't particularily bother me because I had another one anyway, but it was a litlle dissapointing to say the least. None the less I still use it as I bought it for the camera not the microphone, but it is a bit dissapointing for a microsoft product. Poor show lads.
Due to my old webcam falling off the computer table and cracking I decided I would upgrade to a better one. I think webcams are a brilliant invention and makes chatting to friends online so much more personal.
First of all some of you who are reading this may be new to all of this internet malarkey and may have no clue as to what a webcam is. For those people I will endeavour to explain, dont worry Im not a tech head so there wont be a lot of jargon that you wont understand!
A webcam is a small digital camera which plugs into your pc/laptop via a USB cable. You can use it as I do to have a face to face chat with friends on messenger services such as MSN live messenger (incidentally the best one to use with this cam) or Yahoo messenger and Skype. Or you can use it for a variety of other purposes which I will describe as we read on.
This particular webcam, the Microsoft Lifecam vx-6000 comes in a nice red box with tells you it is optimized for Windows live Messenger (to get this service you can download it here - http://get.live.com/messenger/overview ) Its free and simple to use. The camera itself is a small round silver grey camera set up upon a round base. The base can also be opened to allow you to attach it to top of PC/Laptop. It swivels around 360 and also tilts up and down so that wherever you are sitting at your desk then the camera can be on you. The wide angle lens on the camera takes in quite a lot (71to be precise) and is very clear and fast, this means you really feel like youre in the same room as the person talking. (Both my friend and I bought the same camera and we can chat real time with each other) And as the camera also has an inbuilt microphone this makes for a much better hands free conversation! The quality of sound is pretty good, and it also cancels out acoustic noise.
You also have 3x digital zoom which means you can close in on a subject and let whoever is viewing you see something more close/clear. Ive used this when showing my friend a card my daughter made me and she said it was as clear as if she was looking at it in her own hand.
When using this webcam in Windows Live Messenger you can turn on auto face tracker mode, to do this simply invite your friend on MSN to view your cam, then you will see on the bottom of the webcam screen a little box with stars in it this is the dashboard. This is where you can turn on/off the face tracker, which simply means if you move away from the camera slightly then the camera will follow your face. I dont use this feature much but have done so a couple of times. Another feature which is very fun to use and great when chatting to other friends who have kids, is the effects on the dashboard by clicking on each effect you can add a bee, kite, stars, and many more others all animated little icons to your live webcam. This is a fun feature and you can even look as if youre trying to lick an ice cream cone! There are 37 effects in total so have fun playing around.
The zoom feature is also on the dashboard and by clicking and holding the zoom in or out button you can get it to your preferred distance. (Great for hiding that zit that appeared lol) By clicking on the drop down arrow at the top right hand corner of the dashboard you can go into properties, this is where you can make changes to the settings, for example I had to change the colour when I first got the cam as it appeared too red and bright for me. You will probably have to play about with it to get the desired effects. This again is quite simple once youve found it (all of the instructions come in the box, but I can never be bothered reading them) You can also choose to make your cam picture black and white. This is just some of the features the camera has.
You can get a livecall quickly too by using the button on top of the webcam (a little picture of the world with a telephone on top) this will bring up your MSN messenger box onscreen and a list of all people who are online on your buddy list you simply select the person you want to have a cam call with and hey presto off you go. (The other person has to accept of course)
Not only can you chat live to friends you can also use the webcam to capture video clips (quality isnt going to be worthy of an award but isnt too bad) Ive used this to record my children singing happy birthday for a friend and then emailing it to her, this is such a nice personal way instead of sending an ecard! You can also take still pictures with the camera which can take up to 5MP photos. I have only really used this once or twice as I already have a digital camera so dont really need to use this one for taking stills, although they do turn out not too bad (as long as you have your settings right) You can also take just audio clips using the webcams microphone.
To capture video, audio or photographs you have to click on the Microsoft Lifecam icon on your desktop (or wherever you have saved it to) You can find it by clicking Start - All Programs Microsoft Lifecam. A box will appear and it will say connecting, then you will appear on screen, above your mugshot are 3 buttons, one with a camera (to capture still photos) second with a microphone on it (to start/stop audio clips) and the third with a film reel (to obviously capture movie clip) at the top right of the screen is another button (a blue square with an arrow pointing up and another pointing right) this is where you can change the resolution of the webcam and of the still camera. The webcam has the ability to go up to 1.3MP resolution but I tend to stick at about 320x240 or 352x288 as the camera seems to slow down when used on 1.3MP.
On the top left of the screen is the dashboard (the little box with stars in again) and at the bottom right is another 3 buttons where you can click to email your photo/clips, second button is to post your clip to Windows Live Spaces (should you want to) and the third button is to open your saved Lifecam files.
Ok enough about the features although I am very impressed by them. I will go into techy mode for all of you technoheads out there!
I almost forgot to mention that all the software you need comes included and is very simple to install...simply follow the onscreen prompts and you're good to go!
If you dont need to know the system requirements then you can skip this part.
Operating System - Windows Vista® or Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2)
Hard Drive 300mb Free
USB Port 2.0
Intel Pentium® III 700 MHz (Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz recommended) or higher.
256 MB of RAM or higher.
Display adapter capable of 16-bit color depth or higher, 2 MB or higher video memory.
Audio: Windows-compatible speakers or headphones
Internet functions (post to Windows Live Spaces, send in e-mail, video calls) also require: Broadband (cable, DSL, or other), modem, Internet Explorer® 6 or later browser software (required for installation), 25 MB hard-drive space typically required (users can maintain other default Web browsers after installation), and access to the Internet through MSN® or another Internet service provider (ISP).
(information taken from Microsoft website)
Price I got my camera from Amazon using vouchers from various other survey/review sites. The price I paid brand new was £45 and was, I thought very good value for what I got!
I think this is the cheapest I have seen it too as I did have a look at some other retailers when deciding which camera to go for.
I hope that this review has been in any way helpful to anyone thinking about buying a webcam if you have any more questions I will do my best to answer!
Thanks for reading