Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 webcam
Microsoft's LifeCam HD-6000 is a great high-def webcam for laptop use
- Plenty of customisable video-capture options, 360-degree rotational swivel
- Requires refocusing with every subtle movement, picture is often extremely bright
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 shoots 720p HD widescreen video and includes in-depth features in its software.
Price$ 129.95 (AUD)
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 delivers great video at a fantastic price--and its smart design makes it perfect for use with laptops.
The LifeCam HD-6000 shoots in 720p HD at frame rates of up to 30 frames per second (the best high-definition Webcam in our rankings, the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910, supports up to 1080p capture). The Microsoft Webcam has an autofocus feature, and its built-in image optimisation technology helps keep colors bright and vivid in different lighting environments. The camera itself has 360-degree rotation. You can capture still images in high definition, too, so long as your computer meets the basic system requirements.
The LifeCam HD 6000 is square and lightweight with a visible wide-angle lens--an ideal design for laptop use. It swivels across a full 360 degrees and can tilt slightly upward or downward. A clip on the bottom of the unit attaches it tightly to the top or side of your open laptop, but it won't fit on most freestanding LCD monitors. A button at the top of the unit turns it on and activates Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft's recommended video messaging system. (You can use the Webcam with other services, such as Skype, too.)
The bundled Windows Live software isn't preloaded onto the device, and the camera doesn't automatically turn on when plugged in. As is the case with its sibling, the LifeCam HD-5000, you must first install Microsoft LifeCam software and Windows Live Messenger from the included CD-ROM--a process that took me about 10 minutes on my desktop and close to 20 minutes on my laptop. The software will prompt you to plug in the LifeCam HD-6000 via the attached USB cable when the software setup is complete.
To support high-def video chat with the LifeCam HD-6000, your PC must run Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher, with a 1.6GHz Intel dual-core or higher CPU, and at least 1GB of RAM. You'll need a CD-ROM drive to load the included Microsoft LifeCam software (alternatively, you can download the software from the Web). Because it lacks an onboard video processor, the LifeCam HD-6000 does not support HD video chat via Skype.
The only way to adjust the HD-6000's settings is with Microsoft LifeCam software, so if you're plan on using this device with AIM, Google Chat, Skype, or even Windows Live Messenger, you'll have to fiddle with the settings before you initiate chat. The Webcam shoots at various sizes and levels of image quality, from 160 by 120 to 1280 by 720 HD.
The Microsoft LifeCam software permits a number of other image settings for the HD-6000. The Webcam automatically adjusts to the amount of light present to provide the most vivid color possible; but you can turn off the TrueColor feature that automatically adjusts the image and then manually adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, white balance, and background composition to achieve the optimum image. You can also zoom in or out with the desktop controls located in the main window of the LifeCam software. Once zoomed in, you can pan left, right, up, or down to focus in on a specific object. Unfortunately, you can't use zoom in HD mode.
In my tests, certain items appeared to be a little off-color in HD mode. For example, the grey carpet in my office appeared to have tiny multicoloured specks. I also noticed some pixelation and graininess in areas of a single colour. And finally, my face seemed a little fuzzy until I manually adjusted the brightness, but in eliminating the fuzziness I made my image appear unusually bright and lit up. Overall, TrueColor made objects in the shot look much brighter than in real life--great for low-light settings, but less so in an already bright room. I had to adjust the brightness scale to a level considerably below the default setting.
The autofocus on this Webcam was in continual action, updating and refocusing in response to every subtle movement. The people I chatted with found this to be very annoying--one moment I would look well-defined and normal, and the next I would be fuzzy and bright blue, even if I remained seated and scarcely moving the whole time. My chat partners reported that they could hear me loud and clear when I was seated directly in front of the camera, but as soon as I turned my head or moved slightly to the side, they noticed an echo and had a harder time hearing me.
Despite its colour quirks, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 is a solid choice for casual video chatting, and it has a great price to boot. It looks great perched atop your laptop and is easy to adjust as you power your machine off and on. Another bonus: The system requirements are not as demanding as they are for 1080p-compatible Webcams, and the 720p capture makes for a pleasant video chatting experience.
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Apple iPhone X
Toys for Boys
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Xbox One X
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- 2 Acer Spin 5 review: Value for money but conditions apply
- 3 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 4 Sony LF-S50G review: Google Assistant and then some
- 5 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
Latest News Articles
- CES 2018: Ring Bolster Security Offering With Cameras, Lights, Alarms and Subscription Service
- Keep Watch Day and Night with Uniden’s Two-In-One Camera and Spotlight
- Sony make shooting in HDR easy with new 4K camcorders
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories
- CES 2018: Alcatel Embrace 18:9 Aspect Ratio In 2018
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTIT Security OfficerACT
- FTOpenText ConsultantQLD
- FTConsulting Project Manager (Agile)ACT
- CCNetwork Engineer (Juniper)QLD
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- CCMining Planning System EngineerQLD
- CCTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- CCPresales Network Solution ArchitectWA
- FTRail Program Manager/ Senior PMOther
- CCLead Technical Specialist ? Storage & BackupsVIC
- CCFull Stack Developer (Angular / .Net)NSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperWA
- FTService Desk Operators (Part Time and Full Time)SA
- CCSenior MySQL Database AdministratorNSW
- FTAgile Business AnalystACT
- CCJunior to Mid Level Java Developer - BankingQLD
- CCHFC Project Officer - Governance and ReportingVIC
- TPProgram Scheduler | 12 Month Contract | Qld GovernmentQLD
- CCJunior Cyber Security AnalystACT
- FTSoftware Implementation ConsultantOther
- CC.Net DeveloperWA
- FTScrum MasterOther
- CCImplementation SupervisorWA
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- TPCRM Dynamics DeveloperACT