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MSI StarCam Clip
I just came back from a holiday in Kenya, which apart from losing my Pentax Optio S6 was an excellent experience. At one point, I managed to swap an MSI T-Shirt, for a large wooden Warthog and a small wooden Hippopotamus. So somewhere, a local Kenyan is either advertising MSI's range of motherboards, or trying to barter for some soap. Who knows, I might have just instigated the start of MSI's new clothing line – and to be quite frank, I wouldn't be surprised if they did just that. MSI makes pretty much anything you can imagine.
Today, I'm looking at MSI's latest budget web cam, priced at a £14.49 including VAT. At this sort of price, I would be inclined to just buy it and hope for the best, as the MSI brand is pretty reputable and webcams are hardly complicated devices. However, this camera has a few features and issues that make it worthy of review.
The StarCam Clip is named so because it comes with two different methods of mounting. The main camera body has a metal thread, which is good to see as plastic threads have a habit of damaging quickly. Both of the mounting bodies have a metal screw with on a rubber ball that screws into place.
This ball is inside a joint, giving an almost complete 360 degree mobility. Both of the clips have rubber bases, so they can be used to place the camera on top of a desk or CRT monitor. But what makes them unique is a parallel clip design. One of these is slightly wider for fitting to TFT monitors, while the other is much thinner and designed for smaller widths like you'd expect to see on a notebook.
The camera body itself is made of a white acrylic, with a 2-3mm thick outer layer of transparent acrylic. This makes for quite a stylish look that certainly goes down well in the Spode household. The CMOS sensor is capable of 800 x 600 at 30fps, but the lens is glass instead of plastic for what is very good image quality. This can be focused in the usual way of twisting in and out. At the back of the camera is a standard mini-USB port for connecting and a one metre USB cable is provided for exactly that.