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Microsoft Officially Unveils 720p HD Widescreen Webcam

Gordon Kelly by

Microsoft Unveils 720p HD Widescreen Webcam

Leaks have been flying around the Interweb all week, but now Microsoft has finally gotten official on its my powerful webcam to date.

The 'LifeCam Cinema' not only looks the part, but becomes the first dedicated consumer PC webcam to offer true widescreen video with a native 720p sensor (the Samsung Scopia VC240 doesn't count). This isn't a shorting chaning 960 x 720 pixels like we've seen in bridging solutions in the past either, we're talking 1280 x 720 at a full 30 frames per second.

Notable extras are a proper autofocus, which Microsoft claims will stay sharp whether the subject is the other side of the room or within 4in inches of the lens. On top of this is a 4x digital zoom, noise cancelling and Microsoft's own 'ClearFrame Technology', which boosts image processing. A 74 degree wide angle capture also means everything should stay in frame, no matter how far it may be sticking out...

"When we started working on LifeCam Cinema almost a year ago, we were motivated by the fact that new computer displays were predominantly widescreen and top social networking sites were allowing widescreen video," said Microsoft Hardware systems engineer, Stuart Milton. "LifeCam Cinema sets the stage for the next generation of webcam use: uploading widescreen videos with amazing quality to social networking sites and soon chatting live with friends and family in widescreen format."

And, err, other stuff.

Meanwhile a new beta version of Movie Maker has been launched on Windows Live this week to help make the most of the new model. The Microsoft LifeCam Cinema goes on sale in September with a predictably premium RRP of £69.99. It also comes with a three year warranty. Handy if you get it wet, or something.

Link:

Press Release

Go to comments

Chris2510

August 21, 2009, 4:15 am

My word... I had to check the byline to see whether that article had been written by finbarr saunders.

Mathew White

August 21, 2009, 4:46 am

Is this likely to work on a Mac? Anything would be better than the iSight webcam!

Ben 3

August 21, 2009, 4:49 am

"Meanwhile a new beta version of Movie Maker has been launched on Windows Live this week".





I thought it was the final release version? ;)

Gordon394

August 21, 2009, 7:16 am

@Chris I aim to please... something!


@Matthew - MS has said nothing, but at this stage I'd say highly unlikely.


@Ben - beta version for now. Final edition expected soon though.

stranded

August 21, 2009, 9:12 am

Wow!! 720p/30fps!! The first decent web camera! All web cameras are craps (until now).

needlegun

August 21, 2009, 9:57 am

@Matthew - there's a chance it might work on the Mac although you may not have access to features like the autofocus.





The Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 (Windows) works very well on the Mac, as does their dedicated Mac webcam, the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro.

Max

August 21, 2009, 11:13 am

Looks good, hopefully MS lower the price, £70 is a bit steep, but still a very nice looking webcam.





I wonder whether they will use 720p detection for Natal...

jopey

August 21, 2009, 1:44 pm

This camera is supposedly is very heavy on the processor and USB bus so unless you have a quad core system it might not be a good idea.

Geoff Richards

August 21, 2009, 1:53 pm

The Recommended Spec is dual-core 3GHz, so yes it's heavy, but don't feel bad if you only have two cores, not four :)

jopey

August 21, 2009, 2:21 pm

Oh I've got 4 cores thanks ;) Just thought I'd mention that the system draw for this thing isn't exactly trivial like with most webcams.

snooty

August 21, 2009, 2:48 pm

I was thinking this + an atom laptop would make a great hi def cctv camera.


Much cheaper than an axis solution.


However looking at the processor requirements - I think it is back to the drawing board!

Ben 3

August 21, 2009, 7:51 pm

@Gordon





You might want to tell Microsoft that then!





http://windowslivewire.spaces....





"19/08/2009


The new Windows Live Movie Maker &#8211 available today!





Today we&#8217ve released Windows Live Movie Maker from beta as part of a refresh to our Windows Live Essentials download"

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