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39 of 42 found the following review helpful:
Creative scores a home run with this new WEB Cam - Mac OS X ReviewApr 22, 2009
QUICK UPDATE Before you read the review:
The listing states that a Creative headset is included...it is NOT!!!! There was no headset in my box. Come on AMAZON/CREATIVE at-least get the listing right. I would downgrade to 4/5 for that mis-information.
First of all...yes I have received this camera for free under the Vine program at Amazon. However, my review is unbiased and honest. I am comparing this to a Logitech Webcam that I already have.
So it begins. I received the camera this morning and immediately broke it out of the box so I could start using it.
THE BOX INCLUDES:
The Camera, simple one page documentation and a CD with software.
The Creative Optia AF has an autofocus lens,
A 2mp (1600x1200)sensor which can take photo's at 8.0 megapixels and video at 2.0 megapixels,
A noise canceling microphone.
****(NOTE: Photo's are taken at 2.0mp and upconverted using the software included with the camera. The pictures are captured at 2.0mp.)
This unit was plugged into a USB port on a dell monitor connected to a MAC pro running OS X version 10.5.6. Also, I am comparing this camera to the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro (Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac (Black)).
There are sample images attached of one camera taking a picture of the other camera in the same lighting conditions.
First things first, I plugged the creative camera into my monitor and it was immediately recognized by MAC OS X. I used photobooth to take pictures from both cameras. What I found interesting at this point was that when the creative was plugged in, it took preference and was the default camera...even though the logitech was still plugged in. Very interesting.
The pictures: I can tell you that, without a doubt, the creative has better autofocus control and the lighting looks better. The logitech looks 'yellowish'. My untrained eye suggests that the pictures from the creative web cam are far superior. Mind you, both of these units have small lenses and so no masterpiece will come out of them...but as far as web cams go the Creative seems to have more of a natural look and not an overexposed yellowish look.
The video: While I dont think that a web-cam should be used to capture high end video, this unit can be used to capture video at 640x480 and then up-converted to 1600x1200 using the included software. The upconversion is a useless feature for me since I believe that web-cam video at 640x480 is PERFECT for the time being. We are not doing HD broadcasts with web-cams are we? If we need higher video broadcast quality then we should be using real cameras that can send out hq video.
Skype Test: I am sure all of you know what Skype is so I wont get into any details. I made a test call with Skype to my office and made sure that the person on the other end was paying attention to the image detail. First it was the creative and then the logitech. Here are the comments from the other end: "The first video was much clearer and I could see that you have not shaved today, The second video looked like you were sitting in the SUN and hid the scruff on your face. The first was clearly better!" Enough said if you ask me. Now granted this was only one test call..but sometimes that is enough to tell you what you need to know. This was tested over a Cable Modem connection (Comcast) that has about 15mbps down and 2mbps up. A variety of other programs were running while skyping (is that a word?).
Background music was playing at a nominal volume so as to check if noise canceling and adaptive microphones worked properly, it did! The other party did hear the music when I was not speaking but said the music drowned out immediately when my voice was being transmitted.
The creative unit comes on a clear acrylic base which you can simply sit on your desk. It also does however have a curved design at the bottom which allows you to place it on top of a monitor. (The logitech also has these features, but the creative looks sharper!). The camera can be rotated about 270 degrees. It has two microphones to the left of the lens so that it can clearly pick up your voice and cancel out the noise...(this was also tested in the skype chat with background music playing).
Software: I personally do not feel the need to install extra software on my system but I must inform you that is available and adds a few features to the camera. Here are a few of the key points:
1. Parental Control - so you can lock the camera from being used.
2. Avatars - You are able to use avatars and add video and voice effects to your video chats. This feature also allows you to create avatars from your own pictures.
The software is not a necessity on any system that can recognize USB devices, primarily newer operating systems that have camera support built in. However, please note that the software will be required if you want to use the parental lock features and if you want your images to be upconverted (interpolated) from 2.0mp to 8.0mp.
Overall this camera has proven to be clearly superior to the Logitech and in my testing the video, still shots, and voice quality have shown vast improvements. Before you make the purchase, make sure you know what you are buying...it is a great WEB-CAM for your computer...it will not replace your digital camera and or high quality video camcorder. If you buy it with that in mind, you will be more then satisfied. However, if you are looking to start broadcasting HD video and High Quality images...stick with your regular hardware...this wont cut it.
I will be using this permanently from today onwards and will be reporting in from time to time.
Please share your comments on this review and ask any questions you may have so that I can investigate and answer them thoroughly.
16 of 19 found the following review helpful:
It works OK.Jun 11, 2009
By EMTP EJ
The overall video quality is comparable to the logitec camera I got for $20
The set up went fine -- follow the instructions, just don't plug and pray...
After set up, the device works well
The video seems a little slower than I would like to see.
It is good to have the indicator light so you know when it is activated.
It is good to have it rotate downwards so that you know it is not pointing at someone.
The backlight compensation worked ok for me.
The autofocus worked ok which may be helpful if you are moving around, but otherwise somewhat distracting.
The audio works OK.
The package did not include the hands-free headset as promised.
The mount did not fit our flat-screen monitor very well as I had to use tape to keep it in position.
The video frame rate seems somewhat slow.
The price point seems high for what you get.
I did not expect much and was not impressed or disappointed.
11 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Not So ImpressiveMay 20, 2009
By Y. Kim
I have been using Microsoft LifeCam Show which also is a 2.0 mega pixel high resolution webcam and have been very happy with it. Since Creative Labs has a great reputation in webcams (at least better than Microsoft), I naturally expected better quality from the Live! Optia AF than the LifeCam Show. However, the Live! Optia did not outperform the LifeCam Show.
First of all, the product description here is misled. There is no Creative stereo headset that comes with it. The Live! Optia has a built-in noise cancellation mic and does not need any external mic. The built-in mic works pretty well, and I do not have any complaint about it. Since I normally use a webcam in a silent room, the noise cancellation feature does not attract me much. I did not feel much difference when it is on or off.
For the picture quality, yes, it provides a pretty decent picture, but not the best one I have seen so far. The auto focus feature sounds great, however, I do not have any focus issues with the other web cams I have (I currently have 4 webcams and 2 built-in webcams in notebook computers). You can turn off the auto focus and set the focus manually. By the way, the Live! Optia provides very detailed setting through Creative's Live! Central software. You can adjust anything you can imagine. But the backlight compensation of the Live! Optia was disappointing. We do not use a webcam in a perfect lighting condition, so the ability, like the backlight compensation, is important not to show your dark face to others. The LifeCam Show I used works pretty well for a backlight situation, however, the Live! Optia does not. The Live! Optia has a backlight adjustment control, however, it did not help much, no matter how I set it.
I would give 5 stars for the mount of this webcam. I have an LCD monitor from Sony and no other webcams fit on top of this monitor. The Live! Optia is the first webcam that sits on my Sony LCD without a problem.
As far as the compatibility is concerned, the Live! Optia works with every messenger I use, such as Skype, Yahoo, and MSN. It is from Creative and I already expected this. I have 2 other Creative webcams and they always show great compatibility.
The one thing that I miss is a motion capture software. Other webcams provide this type of software and I sometimes use it for security purposes (take picture if something is moving and send it by email).
As other reviewers stated, you should not expect 'HD' video from this webcam. It does make decent videos, however, it is way far from the HD video. I did not test the Avatar creator software and the muvee (make music video within few minutes) software, since I use the webcam solely for a video conference or a video chat.
If I did not use other 2.0 megapixel webcams before, I might praise the Live! Optia for its good picture quality. But with a $85 price tag, I think the Live! Optia should provide more than the average 2.0 megapixel webcam. For some people, the auto focus and the dual mic with a noise cancellation features might work great. But for me, it is a just another 2.0 mega pixel webcam with a high price tag. I really like the flexible mount, though.
7 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Good effort, but is misses the markMay 14, 2009
By JC in OKC
I've used this camera daily for almost a month now. I've tried it with the included Creative Live! software as well as surveillance/security software (good for cubicle warfare defense).
I am very happy with the physical appearance of it. The plastic is durable and has a nice finish. You can use the included clip to attach it to your monitor, etc. It does not fit the Dell flat panel line of LCDs. They're too thick and the clip arm doesn't hold well.
The frame rate is not good. I found it get significantly less than 30fps. The picture quality is very good, but the auto focus drives me nuts! It actually zooms in and out slightly to help it focus. It's very distracting.
At this price point I cannot recommend this camera. I really wanted to like it because of the 2MP resolution. Others may find the auto focus/zoom tolerable, but I just can't.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Parental Control!!Feb 17, 2010
In this day and age, I expect to have parental controls on any device that can connect to the internet. This is the only webcam I have found that offers this feature. It allows you to set a password so that ANY time the webcam is going to be connected to the internet, it requires the password. Awesome!
All the little fun features are strictly for kids and as an added plus, has helped me to get my 4-year-old to sit down for long distance video chats with his grandparents for more than just a few minutes. I'm not sure Grandma is so thankful, however! It is cute to watch him play with the considerable variety of voices and video effects but isn't something most people would use in their regular video calls.
This is the first real webcam we've had in a while. Others have died on us and we've been left with only the one in our little Asus netbook, which leaves much to be desired. It has been amazingly refreshing to upgrade to this great little cam. The autofocus seems to work well and in our test calls we could see the video was MUCH more smooth and clear. I used to joke that we should put up a still picture and see if they could tell the difference. As for the mic, the mic on our netbook webcam has always been a sore spot as I am generally a soft spoken person and always feel like I have to shout for the in-laws on the other line to hear me. The mic on this cam seems to have completely alleviated this issue and I don't get anymore "I didn't quite catch that!"
I've noticed a few reviewers had issues with mounting it on a flat screen monitor but we didn't have any issue. I also really like the look and size of the cam. We've had several that are just big and obvious and ugly and look like some kind of robotic creature. This one has a sleek look to it and I'm looking forward to many years of use.
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