CNET First Look
Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000The Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000 Web camera offers excellent high-def video and sound quality at an affordable price. Despite using a good deal of system resources at higher resolutions, it's certainly an improvement over stock Web cams. We recommend it...
-Hi, I'm Justin Yu, Associate Editor for CNET.com with a first look at the Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000 web camera. It offers 720p HD video at up to 30 frames per second. But before you run out to buy one, make sure that your computer meets Microsoft's system requirements which include at least a dual core 3 gigahertz processor, 2 gigs at REM, and a gig and a half of free storage space. So, as far as design, the HD-5000 is small enough to fit on your laptop screen while you chat and it features a wide-angled 360-degree rotating lens and a small button at the top for Windows Live Messenger, although you can use it with other video programs as well. The LifeCam software acts as a central hub for changing settings like image quality and microphone volume, and it has a range of quality settings from 160 X 120 all the way up to 1280 X 720p HD video. We also enjoyed using the software's range of kitschy 3D overlays that apply visual effects to capture the video in moving images; things like funny hats, masks, and glasses that actually move along with the location of your face. Our big critique of the LifeCam though is the auto-focus feature that detects what it thinks is your face and adjusts the focus as you move, but we noticed that the sensor is a little too delicate and it constantly refocuses even with the slightest movement. Once you have the proper settings tuned in, the webcam is fairly straightforward to use. We did detect graininess at lower resolutions but, overall, the camera should be a big upgrade from your stock webcam, and we fully recommend it to anyone shopping for an after-market web camera. Check out all the full details on the review at CNET.com, but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu. This is the Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000 and that looks good too.