Product Type: Philips web cams
Newest Review: ... is a button located on the right hand side of the head which can be used to take photos with the webcam and it connects to the computer u... more
An old webcam from Philips
Philips SPC 200NC PC Camera
Member Name: Huomenna
Philips SPC 200NC PC Camera
Date: 09/08/10, updated on 09/08/10 (106 review reads)
Advantages: Image quality on par with most modern webcams
Disadvantages: Not flexible enough
My mum bought this webcam years ago when she decided she wanted to use it to contact her sister in Australia via video. I'm pretty sure that at the time it was around £15 to buy (so the seller on amazon asking for £87.50 for a used one is taking the p**s a bit, just because he knows it's the only one on the site).
The webcam has a plastic 'foot' that it sits on, the head is in a fixed position (looks like it should be able to move, but doesn't as I just discovered by snapping it - woops) and the lens itself can move up and down. Just above the lens is a small blue light which glows when it is in use, there is a button located on the right hand side of the head which can be used to take photos with the webcam and it connects to the computer using a USB.
When it comes to use I found this webcam quite frustrating - due to its design it needs to be placed on a solid flat surface, usually a table. However in my experience a table is too low to give a good look as the lens will invariably be tilted up at your face which is rarely attractive and lets be honest - we want to look half way decent on camera. I would often spend a good 5 minutes trying to find an appropriate place to put the webcam that was within reach of the USB and gave a half decent view of my face. Of course this also means that the webcam isn't really appropriate for use with a laptop unless you fancy holding it in the air the whole time.
There was a software CD that came with this which I have since lost (I seem to lose all of these things) however I just plugged it in to my laptop (a Windows 7) which downloaded a driver by itself so the CD software isn't essential for use.
Image size is small - only 480x640 pixels, but for it's age this was quite standard and is perfectly acceptable for a web image, you could also print a 6x4 photo from this (although why you'd be printing photo's taken with a webcam I'm not sure. If necessary you can adjust focus by swiveling the plastic ring on the lens, however I have never needed to do this to get a sharp image.
You will need to use the webcam either in strong natural light or with artificial light as it is very poor in low light conditions (something I note hasn't improved with new webcams as the webcam on my new laptop is actually even worse in low light). Resulting video and photos are a bit on the grainy side but we're not going for master pieces here.
Overall I probably wouldn't recommend this webcam but less for image quality reasons that for practicality - you just can't manipulate it enough (move the head or attach it to anything other than a solid flat surface) and there are plenty of webcam's available on the market now which can do these things.
Summary: An ok webcam but has some design faults.
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