WebCam Live! Effects
Though Webcams have been available for the better part of a decade, the local boost in broadband uptake means that only now are they becoming truly practical for communicating with friends and family from around the world.
- Tracks subject movement, includes lapel microphone
- Windows only, some effects are gimmicky
Creative’s Live! Effects WebCam is great for chatting with friends and family. However, some of the bundled effects are not practically useful.
Price$ 159.00 (AUD)
Creative's Live! Effects WebCam is packed with useful features, such as the ability to track a subject and keep a face in the centre of the screen. A lapel microphone is also bundled in the packaging to boost audio quality.
The small silver and grey webcam includes a four way stand that allows it to sit on a flat surface or attach to a CRT, flat panel or notebook screen. A USB 2.0 port allows a video frame rate of up to 30 frames per second at a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. Still image capture is supported at a resolution of up to 1.3 megapixels, but this is achieved via software interpolation and the we found the high-res images appeared a little grainy.
Creative's main selling point for the Live! Effects is the ability to add video effects to your footage. For example, it's possible to morph an image or adjust the background to brighten up Webcam conversations, and the webcam ships with a number "Advanced Video FX" straight from the box. Registered users can download more from the Creative website, and it's even possible to get "Stik-on" Webcam covers to personalise the unit.
All versions of Windows are supported from 98SE onwards, but there's no support for Mac users. The packaging includes a copy of Yahoo! messenger, and the device is compatible with MSN messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, and Windows messenger applications. A one-year warranty rounds out a capable Webcam, though most users will find the effects a gimmick.
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