Creative Labs WebCam Live!
- Low cost, Useful software options, Snapshot button
- Suffers from grainy images & lag, USB 1.1 connection
A small step up from the Creative Vista Pro, the Creative Webcam Live! offers users a basic digital video package suitable for messaging.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
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.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Netflix stops insisting it will never support offline videos
- YouTube rolling out live 360-degree videos with immersive Coachella experience
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- How a Canberra specialist is helping digitise valuable Nelson Mandela footage
- Toucan promises to convert your simple porch light into a high-tech security system
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
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.
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.
- CCContract Analyst/Programmer II (Drupal 7.39/PHP) 160427/CAP/vccAsia
- FTFront End DeveloperSA
- CCSr System AnalystACT
- CCChange Lead/Senior Change Analyst - Transformation projectNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (JAVA/Windows Programming) 160428/AP/143Asia
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Revenue Systems Functional AnalystSA
- CCSenior Analyst, Applications - GDWVIC
- FTWeb DeveloperSA
- CCSenior Oracle DBA- Part time 20 hoursWA
- FTSenior Project Manager - Payroll IntegrationVIC
- FTTechnical/Team Lead - .NetNSW
- CCSenior Technical WriterVIC
- FTData AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- CCIT Program Delivery Office Lead- Government BackgroundNSW
- CCSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- CCWebOps EngineerVIC
- CCContract Snr IT Assistant (IT Operation/UNIX) 160504/SITA/982Asia
- CCTest Analyst - Contact Centre TechnologiesVIC
- CCSenior Implementation AnalystNSW
- CCRelease Management LeadNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - Digital/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCSolutions Architect - Network and InfrastructureNSW
- CCSenior Front End / UI Developer (React.js / LESS / SASS)NSW