Creative Labs Live! Motion

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Creative Labs Live! Motion
  • Creative Labs Live! Motion
  • Creative Labs Live! Motion
  • Creative Labs Live! Motion

Pros

  • Swivel feature, good software

Cons

  • Windows only, grainy still images

Bottom Line

Pan and tilt features coupled with a wide-angle lens help the Live! Motion appeal to experienced webcam users.

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The popularity of broadband in the home has given webcams a new lease on life. Creative's Live! Motion WebCam takes a number of elegant features to help it appeal to the power user.

Creative boasts that the Live! Motion has a 50% wider view than most webcams on the market, which allows you to fit much more on screen. The cam includes motors that allow it to smoothly rotate through 200° horizontally and 105° vertically, and software is included to take panoramic photographs using the swivel feature. The motors run quietly, so they don't detract from conversations. Better yet, Creative's Smart Face-Tracking enables the cam to automatically pan, and tilt to follow movements of the subject, so you don't have to worry about keeping still while chatting. The silver and dark grey device relies on USB 2.0 to communicate with a PC and boasts a 640 x 480 CCD sensor capable of recording video at up to 30 frames per second. Snapshots of up to 1.3 megapixels are achievable via interpolation, however, they appear somewhat grainy. Creative has wisely bundled an earpiece and microphone with the device, which offers excellent audio quality.

Like other Creative products, the Motion is limited to working with Microsoft operating systems (in this case, Windows 2000 and XP), so Mac users are left out. The software bundle is well designed and features SightSpeed, an application designed to make video phone calls over the Internet. A copy of Yahoo! Messenger is included in the packaging, and it works flawlessly with MSN messenger, AOL Instant Messenger and Windows Messenger.

If you take a chatting seriously and rely heavily on webcams to keep in contact with friends and family overseas, the Live! Motion is a stellar choice, provided your computer runs Windows.

Matthew Overington

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