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Creative Live! Cam Notebook Pro Webcam
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 26 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 26 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Low-price web cam, simple to use, does it's job and as basic as it can get!Apr 23, 2009
By Dennis A. Amith
Having tested several webcams from the $40-$100 range, this is the first of the budget-priced webcams I have tested under the $40 range.
Where the $40-$100 feature 1.3MP to 2.0MP and additional bells and whistles, Creative Labs didn't skimp on extra features but its very important to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your web camera and is this Cam Pro VGA for you?
SOFTWARE INSTALLATION: By installing the software from the CD, you are asked if you want to install a good number of software. Typically, I am hesitant because I don't want any spyware on my system and what makes it difficult is you really don't know what the software being installed is all about. Fortunately, you can select custom and not install the additional software but for the beginners, they probably will install it and learn that it takes around 15-20 minutes for the full install.
HARDWARE INSTALLATION - This is the positive about the Creative Labs Live! Cam Pro VGA Webcam. It's very small and you can put it in your pocket. It's also the type that is easily clipped to your laptop screen and also the kind that can easily be clipped on your pocket and bag strap for those who want to do mobile streaming. Wire is not long such as the higher end Creative Labs web cams but this is a simple web cam that you plug into your USB.
LOW-LIGHT CONDITIONS TEST: In low-light or darker room conditions, the Cam Pro VGA was dark. You definitely want to have a lamp nearby.
GOOD LIGHT CONDITIONS TEST: One thing you will learn that during good light conditions, there is less vibrancy in the colors. It's rather pale in terms of colors. But its what is expected from a lower-priced web cam.
SCREEN RESIZING TEST: Testing the video and screen capture, you will benefit with the smaller the screen. Increasing the size and picture quality definitely gets blocky and blurry. Anything under 320 is good but higher than that....640 or higher just doesn't look good at all.
LIFECASTING-STREAMING VIDEO: Well, it's a bit unstable for those who are movers and shakers. Walking with your laptop or sticking the webcam on your car, this is not the type of webcam you want for that. But for standard communication, it works OK. It just all comes down to if your area is well-lit.
MOTION DETECTING/SECURITY - This camera if left stationary can do the job. But it depends if details are important. It does the job but for example, if you need detection of license plate numbers or better quality of things from a distance, this camera is not it. Viewing things big, just doesn't look good. And if you look at the video/picture sized small, then quality is better but it kind of makes the point of motion detecting quite moot.
INSTANT MESSAGING: Tested it with several computers on AIM and when small, picture was fine but similar to the lifecasting, if you are the main focal point and not showcasing your surroundings, it works fine. But make sure you are in a well-lit room.
EASE OF SOFTWARE: Software is easy to use but compared to other Creative Labs software, it took a while to get started. But by the time it worked, pretty much, it's a straightforward program with menus to capture video or pictures and more. Now finding your videos or photos requires you to click on folders, unlike higher end software for web cameras where it's easy to find. Computer novices should be able to figure this out but it may be a bit difficult at first for newbies to computers.
All in all, I like the portability of the Cam Pro VGA Webcam and personally, this webcam does the job for its price. If your goal is to communicate with a friend or love one via webcam, it does the job. But you get what you pay for and the camera is not going to give you crystal clear quality, nor will it give you great images during lighted or low-light settings. Also, if you like your picture or video screens big, this camera is not the best for that. This camera is best if looking at smaller screen size.
If this is OK for you, then by all means, give this camera a try. It's a simple camera, easy to use and does its job. But if you want crystal clear images and video, bells and whistles and good performance, look for a 2.0MP web camera or higher which is about $30-$35 more.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Nice Cam, room for improvementApr 20, 2009
By Sarwat Ezzeldin
Installation was fast and easy from the included CD, which also included some other movie making / editing programs. The package also included a hard carry case which will protect the camera very well, however, the USB wire which is permanently attached to the camera will not fit inside the case, and will be dangling through a notch on the center top of the case. I wish if that wire has the mini USB on one side instead. It also has a built in spring loaded clip to hold it on top or either side of the LCD screen, the image can then be rotated accordingly.
The camera in itself is not bad at all, aside from being used for live video chats (with its built in microphone), it takes good quality snapshots, which it can be organized and sent via email. It can also be used for video recording, or for remote monitoring; either continuous or triggered by motion (motion detector). Another nice feature is the ability to use it for time laps video, where it can be set to take a picture every so often (like a planted seed) over a number of days, then convert that to a video, so you can see the plant growing in the captured video.
Over all, this is a nice, feature loaded easy to use camera. One star off for the fixed USB wire.
6 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Garbage.Jun 04, 2009
By Laura I
This webcam is garbage, pure and simple. The process for installing the software was exhaustive, and not user friendly. When I finally got it installed and went to use it, a box popped up that said "Creative ?????????-?????" and had the option for "ok" or "cancel". I hit 'ok' and the error message just kept popping up over and over again, so I hit 'cancel' and tried again. Same problem. I uninstalled and then reinstalled. Same problem. I went to the creative website and tried to update the driver. It said the old driver needed to be uninstalled first, I clicked 'ok' and then got that weird question mark error message again. I went through hell and back trying to uninstall the old driver before being able to finally install the updated one. Once I got the new driver installed, it worked.
The image was blurry and shaky. It says it auto focuses, but I had to manually focus it by turning the lens to get it anywhere near decent. At it's best, the image quality is still very poor and dark. The included software is just filler and not very good in my opinion. In case you're thinking that maybe I'm just too computer-illiterate to use this webcam, I should mention that I have a degree in Imaging Digital Arts.
Aside from that, the clamp will not work for a notebook thinner than 3/8". So for something like a Macbook Air, this wont work. It also wont work for a screen thicker than 5/8". So if you thought you would use this with an LCD monitor on a desktop, it probably wont fit.
In conclusion, for $20 more you can get something like the Microsoft Life Cam Show, which is what I would recommend. The picture quality is 100 x's better, and installation is extremely simple.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
painful installation, lousy performanceApr 22, 2009
When you try to install the Live!Cam Notebook Pro, it gives you the option of installing one or more of the following: Live!Cam Notebook Pro, SightSpeed, MuveeNow 2.0, and LiveCam Drivers. None are described or explained, so I installed them all. It installed many things, taking about ten minutes, then asked for the camera to be plugged in, and then rebooted. It then pestered for me to register it, saying it could not download updates otherwise. I declined to register, but it downloaded updates anyway. It then needed the camera to be unplugged, installed updates, and asked for the camera to be plugged back in. Vista then stepped in and repeatedly asked for a password to be assigned before the camera could be used. I declined. A dialog box appeared with the bizarre message that "You may retrieve your data from the \something\something\something\cache folder," and then the computer needed to be rebooted again.
That nonsense completed, the Live!Cam Notebook Pro software could be run. It defaults to a resolution of 320x240, which looks very 1996. In theory it can go up to 800x600 but all efforts to do so resulted in a black screen.
For me, the drivers and associated software seem like garbage. As for the hardware? This is a petite plastic camera with a little clip on the bottom that may allow it to snap onto the top of your laptop's screen. It did not fit mine.
It ships with a 'travel case,' which is an ill-fitting plastic box with a fragile hinge. I suggest throwing this away immediately. Actually, you would be better off throwing away the whole camera.
p.s. I tried the Live!Cam Notebook Pro also on a Mac, which recognized the camera as a microphone but could not get video off of it.
A good, but unspectacular webcamJun 18, 2009
By Gaz Rendar
The Creative Labs Live! Cam Pro VGA Webcam will get the job done, just don't expect any awesome features.
The install was relatively simple and nothing out the ordinary. I did have to perform a mandatory restart on both Vista machines I tested it on, though. You have the option to install several software programs, as well as the cam's drivers. It took around 5 minutes total for the install to finish. You get the basic Creative Webcam software that allows you take pics and videos. The Creative Webcam software will also take a pic at a set interval and post it to a webpage or FTP site so that you can monitor a room remotely via a web-browser. I checked this out and went through the motions, but I couldn't fully test out this feature because I don't have a dedicated FTP site for myself. There is also a video slideshow creator and a SightSpeed video/mic optimization tool.
The camera itself is pretty good. It has a tension grip that keeps the camera on your laptop screen. However, it was unable to grip the top of my 24" LCD screen for my desktop computer so if you are hoping to use it for a laptop and desktop, you might be out of luck. Once mounted on your screen, though, the camera can tilt up and around, almost in a full 360. There's also a microphone on the device that works as well as any webcam mic in the $50 and under range.
The video and capture ability is exactly what you'd expect for a webcam in the $40-50 range. It shoots solid video at 320 x 240 resolution, which was ideal for my Yahoo and AIM instant messaging tests. You can shoot native resolution video at 640 x 480, but it didn't look as clean. If you step it up to the max 800 x 600 interpolated resolution the image appears blocky and pixelated. Same goes for images. You can take good snapshots at 640 x 480, but once you start to go higher than that the image quality takes a noticeable hit. These resolution limitations are similar on most webcams of this price range.
To summarize, this webcam is the epitome of "you get what you pay for," nothing more, nothing less. The camera works and gets the job done for IM programs and making short video mail clips. It doesn't have any fancy bells and whistles, but that's ok at this cost. The only thing that might be a difference maker is that it does come with a cheap plastic case to house your camera (the cord has to be wrapped on a track outside of the case) when you take your laptop on the road. If you are loyal to Creative products, you won't be disappointed with dropping $40-50 for this device. However, if you strongly prefer other brand names, you probably won't be missing too much (except the case) if you decide to go in another direction here.
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