Microsoft HD Webcam Review
With video calling fast becoming the favoured mode of communication for both personal and business dealings, the array of products on the market can be some-what daunting. With each new model comes swag of proclamations that the product you hold in your hands is superior in every way to its fellow shelf stock. Inundated with information and advertising, one of the hardest things for a consumer in this day and age is actually making a choice.
These days, with a mass of information, opinions and reviews literally at our fingertips, I believe the best advertisement for anything is living proof. Seeing a product working perfectly in it’s intended environment, far away from the advertisers and sales people is what really gets my attention.
So when a box of the Microsoft Life Cam Studio arrived at one of my city offices the other day, I took notice. Being attached to 15 computers within this particular three-storey building, the aim was to implement video calling as a daily practice. This was going on in various other locations, effectively uniting a geographically scattered work place with the power of webcam.
As an avid video caller myself, I know I’m not alone when I say that seeing the people I’m talking to in a grainy, un-synced and often frozen or jumpy SD picture is far from ideal. I want real time interaction, clean and crisp visibility and a frame rate that doesn’t freeze up when the subject moves more than their little finger. Touted as ‘the next best thing to being there’, this hd webcam offers ‘superior HD video quality, crisp autofocus and TrueColour Technology.’ Most notable however, is the full 1080p HD sensor, which allows the user to experience a full-screen (16:9) video chat. With HD being the way of the future, I’ve been watching with great interest the day-to-day progress in the office.
Thanks to the Auto Focus and Clear Frame Technology, any subjects wandering in and out of shot or standing in the background show a crisp picture and the footage is smooth and detailed. Users can get up-close to the screen (up to 10cm) or go far away (without so much as a pixel being interrupted. Additionally, Microsoft’s True Colour Technology maintains a bright and clear picture no matter where the subject is in the shot – I’d expected it to darken when the subject moved to the further corners of their offices but this was definitely not the case. Audio-wise, the high fidelity Mic, while picking up a bit of background noise, delivered a clear and level result. In my opinion, this level of background pick up was a plus because it means a whole group of people can be heard in a recording or chat, not just those closest to the Mic.
For me, the resounding success of the multiple HD Webcams in the office speaks volumes about the product itself. The fact that the users are able to move around while talking, record without worrying about sound or visual quality and have everyone in the room included in a chat seem to be the perks that saw Microsoft LifeCam Studio take pride of place in a busy office environment.