Creative's Live! Cam Optia Pro Webcam Review ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Creative's Live! Cam Optia Pro Webcam Review



Creative's Live! Cam Optia Pro Webcam Review

FOR video conferencing over the Web using a desktop or notebook computer, the Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro is a dependable partner.

In one video chat session, a friend sitting in his bedroom (somewhere in Singapore) could see me clearly - despite the fact that the fluorescent lighting in the study room I was in was rather dim.
In other words, the Optia made me look good!

Oh, and the onboard microphone conveyed my voice with clear fidelity too.
The Smart Face Tracking function works well, tracking my head motions and keeping my face in the frame even though I was moving around a fair bit.

You can also use the multi-tasking Optia Pro as an "Intruder Alert" system, with The Motion Detection function that "wakes up" the camera to shoot footage of anyone approaching the computer.

Or, set it up as a security camera, with automatic uploading of captured photos to an FTP server which you can check.

Another interesting feature is the Time Lapse Video that creates a WMV movie file from photographs captured 'over a lengthy interval.
Kids can easily make their own Wallace and Gromit-like animated movies using their toys.

The maximum video resolution of 1,280 x 1,024 pixels is technically high-definition using DivX or XviD MPEG-4 compression, but note a HD video camera will trump the quality.

Photos are captured in JPEG format, up to the maximum artificially enhanced interpolated resolution of 2,560 x 1,920 pixels.

The image quality is decent, but again, a dedicated digital camera delivers finer details and punchier colours.

Creative's Live Cam Center software is the user-friendly hub for controlling all the various features of the Optia Pro.

It also shows all the recordings done in each mode, so there is no need to dig into the "My documents folder" to find the video clip or photo you just made.

Overall, the Optia Pro worked well, although I did have an installation hiccup requiring a second round of installation, and it required an upgrade to the latest MSN Messenger Live software before I could set up the video chats.

Well worth its S$129 price tag, the Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro delivers plenty of functionality and is a class above the typical web-cams that come bundled with notebook computers. By the way, it works fine with a Sony PlayStation 3, too.

By Billy Teo, a freelance writer

via Digital Life

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