7x zoom puts Webcam on steroids

Please use this product responsibly

If there's one technology that continues to remind us of the bad old days of dial-up modems, it's Webcams. The grainy transmissions often look only slightly better than night-vision camera images of a decade ago--especially if you try their useless digital zooms. But riding to the rescue is Hanwha's "Digital Cowboy" (with a name like this, it has to be Japanese). Its new offering, the DC-NCP130, is essentially a 1.3-megapixel telephoto Webcam with a removable 7x optical zoom that connects to your computer's USB port, according to CNET Asia. The camera is going on sale in Japan next month, but at its price--only $81, including tripod--we would expect to see it exported before long. One more reason to get those window coverings you've been putting off.

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by Bridget Carey