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I got this Xbox Webcam bundled with the video game 'In the Movies' a few years ago, i'm not very impressed with it to be honest, especially from a company like Microsoft, i expected much better than this.
Firstly, i should say i really like the design, it looks stylish and simple, if you've read my previous reviews you will know this how i like my technology, so this is a plus-point - it comes with a pretty long cable, i'd say over 2 metres which is a decent length, it also has a USB 2.0 Connection.
The camera itself has a manual focus, something which i don't particularly like, i would much rather have seen an auto focus - to alter the focus you turn the circle on the front of the camera until you appear in focus, but i find, that even when i have reached the optimum focus with this device, it is not clear, it's very blurry and just poor, the colours are not great either, everything looks faded and it has no vibrancy or sharpness.
The video, it claims is captured at 30fps (480p) i don't think this camera gets anywhere near 30fps, from my experience it is more like 15fps, it's very laggy when being used as a webcam on my laptop, and also with the 'in the movies' videogame - If you wish to use this webcam with your laptop, you simply plug it in via usb, and it automatically installs the drivers in around 2 minutes, it is then ready to be used with Skype or similar services.
If you're looking for a webcam to use for video chatting, you can get much better models than this, if you are looking for a camera to use with your xbox 360, this is the camera which comes bundled with many games, i'm unsure if other models work, i'm guessing they don't, as the xbox would be unable to install the drivers for a different webcam, so you may well be stuck with this poor camera.
I can only award this camera a 2 out of 5, with the plus points being a long cable and nice design, let down buy a poor picture quality
When my boyfriend moved away for the summer, we decided to both buy on of these webcams for out Xbox. I've had many webcams before, all of which were terrible quality and near impossible to install without problems. Because of this, I wasn't expecting much from this one but thought was encouraged by my boyfriend anyway.
It cost me quite a bit when first buying it years ago. Though I can't remember the exact price it was something around £35. At the time I found this to be a bit overly expensive however, when I realised the quality, i didn't regret the purchase at all.
When using it for the Xbox, there is no reason to install. As long as it is connected through the usb hole, the image comes straight up. There is a turning nob on the front to change the focus which is easy enough o use. The quality is pretty good for £35 and had no complaints there what so ever. The Xbox allows you to mess around with the image, changing it to black/white, tinted etc. which was quite amusing to play around with.
I think the main thing I love about this webcam is you can also use it for laptops and computers. Though this is difficult as there in no stand or clip of part and will have to make your own way of getting it into pace. The quality of the image is just as good.
Would I recommend it?
I would buy it only for the Xbox. Its great that it works for both but if you are looking for one to use with the laptop, id would go for one that you can clip to the top as it gets quite annoying to place and near impossible if you are not at a desk.
@ About, Packaging, Build Quality @
The cost of the camera when I bought it 2 years ago was £15 and for that you don't get a lot for your money. In fact what you do get is a 1.5 mega pixel camera, which has glitches and poor build quality. The camera comes in a solid plastic packaging, which will take you the best part of 5 minutes to get into and there are about 6 different user manuals in multiple languages. The camera is made of white plastic and has a green led inside which lights up when it is plugged into the console.
You can also adjust the focus on the front of the camera by adjusting the swivel knob that surrounds the camera lens. This is a very useful feature and I have never had any problems with it. The build quality problems stem from the casing and wiring. The wire has a rubber grey surround to protect it but it's so thin the electrical cable starts to show after just a few months of bending and winding it around.
The casing itself has two pieces to keep it together, the front and back plates. If you drop the camera these will split and smash to pieces on the floor. Lastly, the camera base has a spring in it to keep it in the position you set it up as, and unfortunately one of the springs has become loose and weak, and now its tough to get it to stay upright. It's also hard to position, as you have to force the camera back.
@ Video, Picture & Ease of use @
Like I said 1.5 mega pixels is not great picture quality, and more distant objects are very out of focus, even when the camera has the focus turned all the way round. The focus is very accurate though and you wont get a sudden jump in camera focus, the rubber focus can turn (pardon the pun) 360 to get a more accurate picture. Even some things like LEDs and small details such as text are very blurred. The Vision camera can do video chat and it works the same way as taking a picture except with video there is no lag.
When taking a picture you get a count down then for half a second there is some lag. With video it's a high FPS camera and there is little latency between frames. Even over a poor Internet connection. For this alone id like to award an extra star. To set up its just plug and play. Your Xbox will automatically recognise the camera when it is plugged in and there are no menus to set up.
@ Overall @
This is a rather expensive way to send pictures and video. Microsoft make it so you can't buy any other alternative so you have no option but to put up with this. Not a recommended product but if you really need to send video and pictures... what choice do you have?
I received the Xbox Live Vision Camera with a game called 'I'm in the movies.' The game was priced at £4.99 on Amazon so I couldn't resist it. The camera is nearly twenty pounds on its own so I could not quite believe the bundle price!
The game uses the camera to film you doing silly things and then you can edit the strip, add music and voices. The game is terrible as you need to have a plain background for it work well and the graphics are not very impressive. I was however pleased with getting the camera at such a decent price.
==Description of the camera==
The camera is very small and light; it has a flat base with a circular 'eye'. This moveable and can be angled in a variety of directions to suit whoever is playing. It is subtle and not too chunky which is a bonus as we keep our Xbox set up in the living room and any accessories in a box on the t.v stand. To focus the camera, the front of the lens turns around. The camera provides a resolution of 640x480 and captures video at 30 frames per second.
To connect the camera to the Xbox it is very simple. The wire from the camera has a USB connector that slots directly into the USB port on the console. The ring of light on the camera will light up when it is connected.
The image quality is really poor and the pictures it produces are blurred and fuzzy. They are taken in 1.3 megapixels of colour which is very low! Most camera phones are better than this. For the price, I'm not that disappointed with the quality as I did not expect much for a camera that came free with a game.
My boyfriend has used the camera to talk to his friend on Xbox live and has uploaded a picture for his gamer tag. The video quality is dark and blurry and quite slow at keeping up with movement but it works fine. (There is no audio so if you use this facility you need a headset) The game that came with the camera makes use of the video and on the whole I feel that the game may be better to play if the quality of the camera was improved.
There are some other games that allow you to digitalise your face into the game and many of the arcade games that you play with other people allow you to have a little window of video camera so you can see who you are playing against. It is not often I use the camera whilst playing these games to be honest, but I guess if you want to do that sort of thing then this camera provides it for you. It is easy to set up and the once the camera is plugged in, the Xbox recognises it straight away and you are good to go.
Obviously, as the camera is connected through the USB port, you can also use it for any laptop or computer and it connects in the same fashion; plug and play and without software.
The look of the camera is by far its advantage but the quality of images is poor. I would have expected something much better quality from Microsoft, however for £5.00 I think this a fair price to pay.
To complete my Xbox accesory trio is the live vision camera, released to allow video chat , photo oppurtunities and also gaming.
Like the memory unit , one of the amazin things is its petites size , in fact it is exactly the same as the memory unit, albeit the camera is on a small base. Not only this but the base has a gripping texture allowing it to sit securely on a shelf, or even on the top of the tv depending on width.
Its also very sleek, the white design keeps it in style with all the other Xbox peices like the console and controllers, with only the tip of the camera being grey , which also aids the positioning of the camera.
The camera is connected to your Xbox by a very long , around 1 metre , cable with a usb attachment at the end, this is a great thought by Microsoft as not everyones Xbox is right near their tv , so this accomodates for tv stands and shelves as the wires about 1cm thick, adding a bit of durability too.
The camera's video quality is quite good, not great though. It adjusts to light slowly if your in a bright room. The grey front turns to focus the camera, this can be a little hit and miss as I am forever having to re-focus even without moving or the camera being knocked.
I have also found a couple of times that it can overheat and get very warm , this is pretty strange from a webcam but a few times when I have gone to adjust it it's extremely warm.
The camera is really easy to use with the xbox, when it's plugged in the camera will always be an option for chatting, or if your playing a game like "in the movies", it will pop up immediatley and tell you to focus and position it. The camera is also used in Burnout to annoying effect, as when your knocked out of the race it shows an image of how you looked when it happend on everyones screen.
FIFA and Fight night also use the camera to utilise face mapping and let you put your face in the game.
The camera can also be used on PC , MAC and surprisingly the PS3. I have tried this with the ps3 and pc and not had any real issues, although the quality of my laptops camera surpases the Xbox.
The photo qaulity of the camera is relatively good for standard definiton and considering it's not a proper camera , I cant really complain.
The camera is only 1.3 megapixels which is extremely low by todays standard and it runs at 30 frames a second. The image is slightly worse than the Playstations eye toy however if you want to chat on the Xbox you will want this.
Can be bought from Amazon for £18 with a headset and 1 month Xbox live, or £10 with Your in the movies.
Overall as a camera it's not fantastic but it does the job.
In my opinion what was simply an attemot at the pre-released eye toy, microsoft released the xbox live vision camera......
As expected, microsoft released this single vision camera at a pretty heavy as, just like all their other accessories, it is the only one that will work with the console, but is it worth it?
The cam can be used on the xbox live service for such uses as taking a picture of yourself for use as your gamer picture, to have live video chats with your friends (using the xbox live service) and also can be used for the growing number of games which have linked compatibility such as viva pinata!
The specs of the camera arnt great to be honest but are steady enough for its main uses on xbox live!
For taking pictures using the vision camera, the quality is a raw 1.3 megapixels at 640 x 480 size. Not great considering for the price this camera costs now you can easily pick up a 3mega pixel plus camera from most digital sellers!
As for video quality, the standard is VGA or around 1 single megapixel at 30 frames per second which again isnt really that great considering its price compared to others!
*What do you get?*
When you purchase the xbox live vision package you get the xbox live vision camera, an xbox live headset, a month free subscription to the xbox live gold service and two arcade games (uno and totemball for download from the marketplace)
The camera is very simple to setup, all you really need to do is plug the camera into a available usb port on your console and thats pretty much it! No installing or drivers required......
Again with most of my other electrical reviews i would probably recommend you buying this from play.com where it is currently £29.99.
*worth getting one?*
In my opinion? dont bother! yes it opens up a few more features but these new addons wont make that much of an impact on your current xbox live experirence. This is just a simple case of microsoft selling something simple at a high price as they know its all you can do if you want camera features on your console!
I personally would not recommend!
We have had our Xbox 360 for around 18 months now and never had it previously occurred to me that there might be a camera (read - webcam) available for it and it wasn't something that I would have been bothered about buying either.
I found this Xbox Live Vision Camera in HMV with the You're In The Movies game for just £14.99 and this prompted me to flutter my eyelashes at my fiancé and see if he would be willing to buy it at such a cheap price. The answer was yes and I was babbling away about what a saving he'd made compared against the buy alone price of around £34.99 in most Xbox 360 accessory selling stores (good old iPhone!).
The camera is off white and grey in colour and there is an adjustable lens which you simply twist to get the picture in focus. It can be swivelled 45 degrees left, right, up or down and this is ideal for when you have a taller or smaller person who wants to be in the picture for a game or chat and you don't want to have to keep adjusting the camera. The camera is simple to set up and you just need to plug it in to the Xbox 360 on the USB port and then it's ready for use in a few of the Xbox 360 games or to chat on Xbox Live with friends, relatives or people you don't even know.
The games that I have used it with are Uno (Xbox Arcade game), Viva Pinata - Trouble in Paradise & Tiger Woods 08. In Tiger Woods it is possible to take two photographs of you self (front shot and side shot) and then have the game put your face on to a character in the game. I find that my face looked very grey and then if I edited the colour I ended up with green or dark looking patches around my eyes. I was disappointed that the character didn't look like me too much (my fiancé agreed) but as I didn't actually get the camera for this purpose it wasn't too upsetting.
I have used the camera for chatting with friends and family on Xbox Live and will continue to do so as it's great to be able to see friends and family around the world and show them where I am (I house sit sometimes and it's nice for them to meet the pets I'm looking after) and who I'm with etc. I also love seeing my friends little ones running around in the background and even just have a few games against my nieces and nephews! I'm quite pleased with the picture and whilst it's not as good as the best webcam I've ever used.
The camera can also be used for adding a photograph of yourself to your gamertag but I haven't bothered with this :D
Overall I am going to rate this 3/5 as it's great for the price I paid but overpriced at the full price. It's useful for chatting to friends and it can be used in a few Xbox 360 games now for additional features such as recording your face when you get beaten in a game of Burnout Paradise. One of its redeeming features is the very long lead which allows it to be moved almost anywhere on my desk or shelving and means I don't have to worry about damaging it when doing so.
The Xbox Live Vision Camera is possibly the most overlooked accesoory for the console simply because it is not very useful.
Currently, only a few games make use of the Xbox Live Vision Camera. Burnout Paradie came up with a good idea, that when you were "taken out" the camera would capture the moment of anger and send it to the person who took you out. This was a great system whuch worked well, but other games developers simply do not want to add Xbox Live Vision Camera functionability to their games.
There are a few arcade games(specifically Uno) which use the camera, but this is just so that you can see the other people why you play, nothing new or special has been done with the camera in this respect.
There is of course video chat available on Xbox Live for two people, but why bother when you can get a webcam for less than a tenner and this piece of kit retails for £34.99?
Overall: A possibly great idea let down by games developers not taking any risks and incorporating the Xbox Live Vison Camera into their games at all.
The Xbox Live Vision camera is a great concept, and hasnt been utilized by many games as of yet, although I believe in 2009 that will change.
Current games that allow use are Viva Pinata - Trouble in Paradise for Barcode Trading Cards, and Pro Evolution Soccer.
The problem I have seen with this camera, is a significant bias towards one colour.
What I mean by that, is that when your taking a photo of something, particularly football kits or badges in Pro Evo 2009, you will get a significant overcast of either the colour Green or Red. Why this happens is beyond me, and it can be really annoying.
Pro Evo allows you to take a photo of your own face, and map it onto a model and have your own face in the game as a player, but the problem is that the camera sets the face as red, and not a Caucasian skin colour. You can mess around with the colours in the game, but to get it to a normal colour, the dark bits (IE Shadows in the eyes) will turn green.
Its good for basic use, but dont be expecting to do more advanced things with it. Its just not technologically capable.
The other gripe with it, is that its very complicated lining up the thing you want a photo of, because of the camera angle. If you pull it left, the image in the screen goes right, so the image is flipped.
I feel that the Xbox Live Vision Cam, like the eye toy, was a very good idea that could greatly increase functionality on the xbox, but unfortunately it seemed that Microsoft didn't capitalize on what they had. The first good feature with the camera was that it plugged in via a USB port. This means you can just plug it into your PC and use it as a standard webcam with the download of some extra drivers.
For the price i paid i was quite impressed at the clarity of the image and what you could do with this image. Photos can be used a personal gamer picture (meaning that your friends see this picture, but others see your standard image). You can also add a various amount of effects (including Black & White, negative, sepia and then the funny effects like expand/inflate and many more).
On the xbox you can also use it for video chat, with the headset, providing a similar service to the video chat functionality that MSN Messenger has to offer. Your video can also be used in specific games, the main one being UNO that actually comes free with the camera. The video camera allows you to see your opponents and apparently there are many private matches of Strip UNO that take place! Another great feature of the camera is face mapping. Whilst this feature is only available in a select few it allows a 3D map of your face to be placed on characters in such games as Tom Clancy's: Rainbow Six Vegas 1 and 2.
However, apart from UNO, Rainbow Six and You're In The Movies the camera isn't used very much at all, possibly just another gimmick of an accessory. I would think the value for money would increase if more games offered extras that incorporate the camera. It would definitely improve any given Wrestling game as you could have a character that realistically represents you.
The sucess of the Eye Toy for the Playstation 2 obviously had Bill Gates grinning like a nerd in PC World when he realised that the Xbox Live service could do with some MSN-style video chatting. And so, direct from Seattle, Microsoft proudly presents its 'Vision' camera, which is meant to redifine the way we use Xbox Live.....
....that was the theory anyway. The little white camera is rather expensive for what it is and does. It costs £35 and for that you get the camera, some wires, a manual, and a code to get the Xbox Live version of UNO, which is one of the few games which implements the camera fully and enjoyably.
So, what exactly can you do with this 'huge technological step'. Well, you can take your own Gamer Picture, rather than using cartoon versions of pirates. You can also have a video chat if another friend has a Vision camera, although you just have to sit on the Xbox Dashboard (main menu basically), and so cant really indulge in some proper gaming whilst waving at people from across the globe.
Then, if you DO want to participate in some gaming (well if you bought a 360, i think you do) then you can whack the Vision camera in and interact using it. Whilst playing UNO you can wave at foreigners and make gestures at people who put down cards which you dont want (but if you've got the urge to swear at people playing UNO, then you really should think about anger management). Then you can play Totemball, which is played entirely with arm movements. But to be brutally honest, its probably the worst Xbox 360 game available, so no amount of interaction is going to resurrect it from the Bargain Bin. Then, you have the proper 360 games like Burnout Paradise and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008. Tiger Woods has you using the camera to photograph your face so it can accurately map it onto a created character the game, rather than you spending 3 hours fussing over how big your nose should be in the game. Burnout Paradise implements the camera a bit more 'subtely', as the camera automatically takes a photo of you and displays it to your rivals each time you get 'Taken Down'. Oh great....MORE swearing.
You may think I'm being rather cynical, but the lack of interesting and innovative uses for the camera leaves me with very little to talk about. Even the few times it is used, its almost as though it was an after thought in the design process of games and so the whole experience proves to be a bit of a let down. Plus the camera itself its so technologically behind, with only 1.3MP and the fact its nigh-on impossible to take photos in any kind of brightness or darkness.
So Mr. Gates, your vision of people playing a Halo-themed Eye Toy game with your little white camera have been somewhat quashed. The camera is a poor bit of kit, and yet Microsoft still have the cheek to ask you for 35 whole pounds. PLUS, if you dont have Xbox Live Gold Membership, you can't even conduct video chats. And the inclusion of the camera into games is a bit pointless really. So, £35 for a photo of yourself on your Gamercard? See sense people. Just don't.
Definitely one of the most pointless accessories on the Xbox 360 but if you have money to waste, then it isn't a bad purchase.
The Vision Camera can do the following things; allow you to use video chat and video messaging with your friends, put a face on your gamertag as your gamer picture which only people in your friends list can see (for safety reasons of course), can be used in games with "face in game" feature. If you like to play Uno, then this camera may be a good purchase beacause other players can see you and exactly what you're doing. But remember, it can't be used in actual games, only certain Arcade games.
The quality of the Vision Camera is very good and it also has different effects like blurring your face. However, even with these uses and pretty high quality, £30 seemes to much for an accessory which won't really be used that much and buying another game, wireless controller or a different accessory seems a much better option.
Although, if you feel that its features are attractive... then go for it. You won't be disappoiinted with the reliability or quality, but most probably will find yourself not using it.
Lastly, the Vision Camera itself is white and grey like the other accessories and the console, and matches it very well. It's also small and looks very good overall.