This review was originally posted December 20, 2008.
Microsoft LifeCam VX-5500 (White)
I own a Lifecam VX-3000. When the LifeCam VX-5500 came out, I jumped at the chance to compare.
The directions clearly state to install the software first before connecting the USB cable. I promptly put the disc in, it began installing and then an error message telling me I need to be connected to the internet for installation. No problem. Anyone buying a webcam must surely have an internet connection. I connect to the internet and begin installation. I wait, and wait, and wait. It’s installing. I wait. 10 minutes pass by. I decide something must be wrong. I discontinue installation. I check my operating system: Windows XP with service pack 3. That should be okay. Maybe it’s the previous installation of LifeCam 1.4. Lifecam 2.0 must conflict. I try uninstalling 1.4 but it doesn’t show up in that computer’s menu of programs to uninstall. I plug in the webcam and it works with Skype. That’s pretty much all my son uses it for, so it’s fine.
My other computer did the same thing upon installation. I was able to uninstall LifeCam 1.4 on that one but still no go for LifeCam 2.0. I call tech support. The guy says give it half an hour. I couldn’t believe my ears. I had too keep asking him, “Really???” Yep. He told me to go to the website, it will be better. That was much better. Anyone need help installing this software go to the website and download from there. It didn’t take half an hour, just a few minutes like it should have.
Troubles installing aside, LifeCam 2.0 does not disappoint. It lets you record and send photos, audio and video at the touch of a button. I had fun playing around with the special effects. You can distort your image or add animals and scenery or dress yourself up. They made for some fun videos and photos.
The video is crisp and clear. There is no problem with video. In bright conditions, it’s great. In low light conditions, it’s still good. There isn’t the extreme graininess I sometimes see in webcams.
When compared to the VX-3000, VX-5500 audio shines. The VX-3000 audio was so poor, I added a microphone even though it came with one built in. The VX-5500 has one built in, too; but this one I can use! It’s crisp and clear, no static and no need for any other microphone.
AESTHETICS AND DESIGN
The faceplates are cute, but I prefer the look of the VX-3000 myself. Square isn’t my thing and I’m not into all changing colors, although my son liked choosing. Changing the faceplates is easy enough, just snap on and off, no screwdrivers needed.
The fold-up design does help with portability. If you need one to carry around, this one folds flat, unlike VX-3000.
+software is fun and easy to use
+video is crisp and clean
+audio is clear, no static
+faceplates for those who like to change colors
+folds up for portability
-impossible to install software from disc.
-square just isn’t as pretty as round
Overall a great buy. This webcam shines in every aspect but software installation from disc. You won’t be disappointed.
This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.