Creative Labs Live! Cam Vista IM

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Creative Labs Live! Cam Vista IM
  • Creative Labs Live! Cam Vista IM
  • Creative Labs Live! Cam Vista IM
  • Creative Labs Live! Cam Vista IM
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Easy to use, price, good quality image

Cons

  • USB 1.1, relatively slow frame rate at 640x480 and 800x600

Bottom Line

A well priced and well performing, yet basic, webcam.

Would you buy this?

Creative's Live! Cam Vista IM is a simple yet effective Web cam. It doesn't do anything particularly special, but it does the basics reasonably well. A couple of nice extras and a low price make it a great package for anyone who is a fan of talking over Skype or MSN Messenger.

As one of the lower priced models in Creative's range, the Live! Cam Vista IM is a basic device. It's dead easy to set up: plug the USB cable in and install the software. The Vista IM is certified as compatible with most popular instant messaging programs, such as Skype and MSN, so shouldn't require much in the way of additional configuration. The included software also gives the ability to record video files in either WMV or AVI formats, which is a nice touch.

The neat little device sits atop a hinged tripod, allowing it to perch upon a flat surface, or alternatively to fold up and cling on to a shelf. The lens can then be positioned to point in the correct direction. You'll also need to turn the lens ring to ensure the picture is in focus. Once all that's done the camera is good to go.

Picture quality is fairly good for a basic Web cam. Colours are well balanced, avoiding the washed out look seen on many other models. There's also little in the way of picture distortion, so you'll be able to tell what's going on without a grainy haze obscuring the image. Low light performance is about average. The maximum resolution of 800 x 600 pixels is adequate for most uses, though it operates at a somewhat disappointing 15 frames per second. Dropping to 320 x 240 pixels raises this to 30 frames per second, though at this size it becomes a little hard to discern what's going on. The other problem we had with the camera was that it only utilises a USB 1.1 connection, rather than the more modern USB 2.0.

Creative also bundle a clip on microphone with the camera, in the style of a mobile phone hands-free kit. This is a useful addition, and simply plugs in to the microphone jack on the computer. Overall Creative has come up with a simple but useful Web cam, and it should accommodate the needs of most users.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?