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When I started Mr.Gadget almost 8 years ago, a lot of the laptops didn’t have webcams built in. Therefore as online video services and websites like Skype and Youtube grew so did the demand to get a USB webcam. However over the years we’ve seen manufacturers respond to this need and given what’s normally very little room, installed basic webcam hardware and functionality on laptops. With only a few millimetres of depth to work with, manufacturers will always face a huge challenge. For those who know anything about cameras, you’ll know that to deliver anything close to decent quality with even a sniff of depth of field and ability to capture proper images in low light, they’re going to need more space than that. Until miniaturised camera optics technology catches up you’ll never be able to get an inbuilt web camera that is as good as a dedicated webcam device. One example of this is of course the Microsoft LifeCam Studio Webcam which I was provided to review by Microsoft.
I must say it’s been a while since I reviewed a webcam device mostly do the fact that these days I prefer to review smartphone related gadgetry. Having said that, I’m glad I did take a close look at the Microsoft LifeCam Studio Webcam as it gives me a good indication of where the world is at in terms of webcams. Microsoft is one of the leaders in this area and when you see the Lifecam Studio Webcam you’ll see why. It is their flagship webcam at the moment.
The first thing that dawned on me when I saw the Microsoft LifeCam Studio was how much it looked like a mini bazooka and we all know that males like things that go BANG. The form factor combined with the brushed metal casing makes it a gadget to behold when mounted on your laptop. Speaking of mounts, it comes with flexible rubber stand that you can either bend to sit on your laptop or on your desk. One added feature I like is the screw hole (I know that’s not the technical term) that you can use to sit on a tripod.
If you’re using Windows 7 like I am (on my MacBookPro for gaming purposes) you’ll like how easy it is to install the Microsoft LifeCam Studio. Takes seconds. Once software is in and the webcam is connected, you’ll be surprised at the clarity and sharpness of the webcam. I know a lot of you will be installing this in the evening after a long day of gadget shopping or work, so this will be a perfect time for you to see just how well the Microsoft LifeCam Studio works in low light conditions. The colours are amazing too. All this combined with the ability to record 1080p HD videos makes for some amazing recordings.
I’ve tried to record some potential YouTube videos with the inbuilt camera on my MacBookPro (Quadcore 2011) but even the quality of this pales to the Microsoft LifeCam Studio. It now means that I don’t have to pull out my JVC Everio and setup my tripod! Thanks Microsoft!
Things I like about the Microsoft LifeCam Studio WebCam:
- Fun Software
- Brushed metallic body
- Cannon cylindrical styling
- Long USB cable
- 1080p HD recording
- Easy and quick installation in Windows 7
- Quick auto focus
- Operation in low light conditions
- There is a lens cover
- Sensitive microphone
- Real Glass lens
Things I don’t like about the Microsoft LifeCam Studio WebCam:
- Lens cover doesn’t hold fast securely and can be easily lost
- Slightly bulky for road warriors like myself
- Another wired gadget to carry when I have a webcam built in my laptop. Can’t wait for wireless webcams
- Integration from webcam software to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook
Last Word: I highly recommend the Microsoft LifeCam Studio for gadgeteers looking for one of the best webcams around, especially if you’re posting up vids on YouTube! Nice work Microsoft.
See more on the Microsoft LifeCam Studio website.