Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000 720p HD Webcam
I am currently using LifeCam for Skyping my mother. She’s borrowing my Creative Labs Live! Cam Video IM Ultra 1.3MP Webcam, which I love. LifeCam is a good webcam, but it just doesn’t compare.
OUT OF THE BOX
I would normally just stick this webcam in the USB port and start using it, but it came with a cardboard tag over the USB plug instructing me to install the CD first, which was a pain, but I did. It was easy to do.
I quickly tried to mount the LifeCam onto my monitor. It didn’t mount well at first, when I tried to do it as instructed on the instruction manual (bend foot into a wide U shape). I then tried it in an L shape and pressed the bottom bend of the L to the back of my monitor so that the weight of the foot is holding my webcam down. That works better.
On the table, it’s great. Bend the foot into a C shape. The rubber food provides weight and traction to keep it in one spot.
The head of the webcam does not freely swivel like my Live! Cam. That is a drawback, in my opinion. It is not easy for me to balance the webcam on my monitor in any other manner than what I have described, which means I have very limited angles when it is mounted on my monitor.
The LifeCam software gives us the ability to do video and sound capture and save it to a file. There are special effects that can add a mask or change our heads to alien shapes. Only one effect is possible at a time.
Also included are controls for the LifeCam. When True Color is activated (it is by default), it will constantly readjust the focus, lighting and color. I find that highly annoying, since this causes a lot of flickering and blurring as the webcam adjusts. I turn it off and then go into “properties” to TURN OFF ALL THE AUTO ADJUST FEATURES. That gives me a more stable image.
Once I’ve got True Color turned off and the properties manually set as I like (saturation, white balance, etc.), the webcam image is great. I don’t have any problems with it. My number one tip for this product: **TURN OFF AUTO FOCUS**.
When I test sound on Skype, it works well. It’s also good when I use the audio capture feature of the software.
Sound quality when Skyping is a problem, though. I’m not sure why, as my mom cannot seem to verbalize the problem. In comparison, my mom only uses the mic that comes with her Live! Cam and her computer speakers and we can hear her just fine.
When I switch gears and Skype with just the LifeCam and a headset, she can hear me well.
+ foot has weight and grip for desktop use
+ picture quality is good
- head doesn’t swivel freely
- mic may not work well for Skype
This webcam isn’t bad, it’s just not great. Given the choice between LifeCam and Live! Cam, I would choose the latter.
Live! Cam has a better monitor mount and the head swivels to just about any angle. It doesn’t sit on the desk as well, but I don’t use it on my desk. And lastly, Live! Cam seems to have a better mic for Skyping. We have no problems hearing my mom when she’s using it.
This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.