Creative Labs VF0280 Live! Cam Optia AF 2.0 MP Web Cam with Auto Focus
Creative Live Cam Optia combines highly sophisticated style with true plug and play simplicity. Its translucent white design complements modern LCD screens or notebook displays, and lifelike images are assured by the high-quality precision lens. Fast, smooth video is maintained by the high-speed connection to the PC. NOTE - actual color of this product is orange, picture shown is for reference only. Just when you thought all webcams were created equal, along comes the Creative Live! Cam Optia AF--the first webcam to offer an autofocus lens and a ceiling-busting 2-megapixel resolution. But that's just the start of the technical enhancements, which also include dual microphones with noise cancellation capability, a wide range of visual and audio effects (which you can also create), parental controls, and still image capture up to an interpolated 8 megapixels. This screenshot was taken with the Apple iSight... ...while this was taken with the Optia AF--notice the deeper shading of colors compared to the iSight. The Optia AF offers easy plug-and-play operability on either a Windows PC or a Mac--just slide in the USB 2.0 plug, select the camera from your chosen video chatting program (it works seamlessly with Skype, Yahoo!, Windows Live, SightSpeed, and iChat), and you're good to go. The Optia's autofocus feature gets engaged whenever you make movements more pronounced than just moving your head from side to side--the picture mildly blurring for about a second before it adjusts to a crisper focus. We found it best not too move too much, otherwise the picture tended to constantly adjust itself, which was frustrating for our chat partner. However, our chat pal did notice that the colors from the Optia AF were much richer when compared to a test we did with the Apple iSight (see images at right), and that the flow of video was smoother with the Optia's 30fps (frames per second) capture. He also noted that my voice seemed to come in clearer, thanks to the dual adaptive array microphones. While the Optia AF works as advertised right out of the box, you'll benefit from installing the Creative software package, which includes the Cam Console from which you can make a wide range of adjustments. (Note that this software is available for Windows users only; it's also Vista-certified.) From the Autofocus section of the console, you can specify a focus area from an Advanced menu that will help cut down on refocusing, or choose to manually focus on one point if you're going to be more stationary. Add special effects such as crocodile eyes, which will follow your face around the screen. The
Cam Console is also where you can select from a host of special effect add-ons that range from draping a background around you (such as the Eiffel Tower) or adding elf ears or crocodile eyes, which will follow your face as you move. Unfortunately, it seemed we needed a green screen behind us as we could never get the backgrounds to fully form. But we were much more successful with the facial additions and such whole-scale manipulations as half-tone and mirror image. The included CD-ROM also includes Muvee Autoproducer software, which can help you stitch together a movie from different clips captured from the Optia AF, as well as Orb, which enables you to broadcast your video feed to a Web page that friends and family can check in on. Coupled with the Optia AF's parental controls, the Orb service could be handy for parents who want to remotely check in on what their tykes are up to in another room, or back at home with a babysitter. Like its predecessor, the Optia AF's stand can sit freely upon a desk or older CRT monitor, and the rubber grips on the bottom help to keep it from slipping. A clip is included on the bottom to stabilize the stand on your laptop's screen or LCD monitor, making the Optia one of the most secure webcams we've used. You can twist the black high-gloss camera body around 270 degrees, and the image automatically flips when it's rotated more than 90 degrees. Adding to its stylish looks is an inner ring that lights up in blue when the camera is turned on. Swiveling the lens so it's pointing down turns the camera off for when you need privacy. Overall, the Optia AF is a welcome advance to to the world of webcams, thanks to its sharper focus, richer colors, and clearer audio. But it's also chock-full of extras that will add fun to your chats with family and friends. --Agen G.N. Schmitz Pros: 2-megapixel resolution helps improve the tone and depth of colors Noise-cancelling dual microphones handy in loud environments like coffee shops Plug-and-play operability on both Windows PCs and Macs Cons: Autofocus can overcompensate if you move around too much
Products Feature 1. Smooth, full motion 30fps digital video streams and top quality images with High Speed USB 2.0 throughput 2. Fits easily to almost anything - notebook displays, CRT monitors and flat panel displays 3. Spice up your chats with fun audio and video effects including Live! Cam FX Creative and Live! Cam Doodling 4. Edit and organize your photos easily & create fun photo calendars with Creative Live! Cam Suite 5. Certified for Windows Vista
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Published on Dec 27, 2010
Published on Dec 27, 2010
Just when you thought all webcams were created equal, along comes the Creative Live! Cam Optia AF--the first webcam to offer an autofocus le...