Creative Labs WebCam Live!

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 5
Creative Labs WebCam Live!
  • Creative Labs WebCam Live!
  • Creative Labs WebCam Live!
  • Creative Labs WebCam Live!

Pros

  • Low cost, Useful software options, Snapshot button

Cons

  • Suffers from grainy images & lag, USB 1.1 connection

Bottom Line

A small step up from the Creative Vista Pro, the Creative Webcam Live! offers users a basic digital video package suitable for messaging.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

See all prices

The Creative Webcam Live! is a low end web camera that is remarkably similar to the Creative Vista Pro in form and features.

With a video resolution of 640x480 at 30 frames per second, the Webcam Live! is an entry level model, suitable for moderate use with popular instant messaging programs, like Yahoo! and MSN Messenger. In our tests, we found the image quality shared the same flaws as the Vista Pro - suffering from substantial lag and having a grainy texture, although it did perform well in low light conditions.

If you pop over to the Creative website and have a look at the listed specifications for this product, you will notice it is listed as 'USB 2.0 compatible.' While this is technically correct, it's also disguises the fact the Webcam Live! has only a USB1.1 connection. Thus while the Webcam Live can be connected to USB2.0 ports (making it 'USB 2.0 compatible'), it will only function at USB1.1 speeds. This means the video quality and performance isn't as good as a webcam that supports USB2.0 speeds.

After you plug in the Webcam Live to your PC, you will have to install the accompanying software, which consists of Webcam Centre and two Arcsoft applications - Multimedia Email and PhotoImpression. Surprisingly, the installation took us quite a while and was particularly resource hungry, slowing down our whole machine. The installation process is quite simple, but also quite time consuming and be aware that PhotoImpression takes up 60MB of hard disk space, while Multimedia Email consumes a whopping 300MB.

Webcam Centre is the main application that manages the webcam and allows a few interesting options. The first is simple video or still image capture. The available resolutions and other settings are conveniently placed at the bottom of the screen, making configuring the camera a breeze. The next tab allows what Creative call 'Remote Monitoring'. This essentially takes a still shot at set intervals (which you can specify), which can then be automatically uploaded to an FTP site and accessed from the web.

Alternatively, you can use the Webcam Live! for 'Motion Detection'. In this scenario, if the camera detects any motion, it can record a video and either email it to you or upload it to an FTP site. We're not sure how practical this is, as we found a tiny 10 second video was around 12MB - not something that be easily emailed around. Webcam Centre also has Time Lapse function, which takes continuous still shots and then streams them into a video.

In the design department, we have no complaints about the Webcam Live! and appreciate the Snapshot capture button on top of the camera, although it is a little hard to press at times. While Creative has marketed the flexible three way stand quite heavily, we weren't as impressed. On the one hand, the flexibility means it can be used on a variety of surfaces. Yet at the same time, we would have preferred something which clipped onto the surface more securely, which is especially an issue when using a laptop as you may tend to move it. Still, at this price and with a few nifty features, the Webcam Live! is sure to satisfy users after a no-frills web camera.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest News Articles

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?