Creative has fitted a wide angle lens to the WebCam Live! Motion which gives a slight fish-eye effect to both video and stills. This can be removed in the driver by cropping the picture, but it means that you loose out on detail that would otherwise be seen. A pretty cool feature is that you can take automatic panoramic shots with the supplied software. This is done by having the camera move to three locations, while taking three images which are automatically stitched together by the software.
The horizontal movement is 200 degrees from the centre position and the vertical movement is 105 degrees. This is an improvement over the QuickCam Sphere by a few degrees each way. Besides using the automated head tracking software, you can move the camera manually with the supplied software.
You can of course use the WebCam Live! Motion for taking still shots as well and although the native resolution is still only 640 x 480 the camera and software interpolates the pictures up to 1.3megapixel. Interpolated pictures are not going to look as good as a native resolution image, but this isn’t really a device for high quality portrait shots.
Installation couldn’t be much easier, pop the supplied CD in your optical drive, follow the instructions and you’re halfway there. Pop the camera into a USB port on your PC – preferably USB 2.0, although it still works with USB 1.1 – place it on top of your screen or a similar location and you’re done. The stand allows you to hang it on an LCD display as well as standing it on any smooth surface.
The supplied software consists of the drivers, Creative’s WebCam Center, Photo Manager, Video Impression 2 and SightSpeed. The WebCam Center allows you to play around with all of the features that the camera has on offer. It also doubles as a video capture utility, a remote monitoring tool, motion detection capture and time laps recording. You can also use it for playing back recorded content.
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