First Camcorders, Now Webcams: HD Gets Cheap

High-definition is rapidly going mainstream.

Samsung has announced a new image sensor for notebook webcams that supports 720p HD video at 30 frames per second.

It's too early to say how much HD-ready webcams will add to the cost of portable PCs, but given the sour economy and price pressures in the laptop market, it probably won't be a lot. Mass production of the S5K4AW CMOS image sensor is slated to begin in the first half of 2009.

The Samsung announcement is another indication of how fast HD technology is going mainstream. In fact, it's getting downright cheap. Bargain HD camcorders like the Flip MinoHD (US$230) and the Kodak Zi6 ($180) are pocket-sized consumer gadgets that shoot 720p video. Trends indicate that most consumer video gadgets will soon be high-def. It won't be long before the terms HD and high-definition sound as quaint as stereophonic and high fidelity.

But are we really ready for an all-HD world? The Samsung sensor, for instance, can improve image quality in low-light conditions, such as those late-night webcam sessions. And HD camcorders will likely capture more pimples, wrinkles, and gray hairs than most of us would care to save for posterity.

Maybe there's something to be said for grainy, low-res video.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?