Review: Microsoft Lifecam Cinema HD

This is a webcam that’s ahead of its time. Not because it has quality that’ll make your face melt, but because it’s capabilities surpass that of the software its...

Microsoft Lifecam Cinema HD

This is a webcam that’s ahead of its time. Not because it has quality that’ll make your face melt, but because it’s capabilities surpass that of the software its intended to be used with. Common applications include Windows Live Messenger, Skype and other messenging clients.

The LifeCam Cinema HD is capable of 720p video at 30 frames per second, unfortunately most messenging clients still in 2010, only support the old 4:3 aspect ratio. With Skype’s announcement of 720p capable TV’s and Windows Live Wave 4, lets hope these apps realize the camera technology that’s available today. With that said, this camera is really an investment for the future.

The applications where you can take advantage of the higher quality of this webcam over your standard integrated laptop webcam is live streaming applications like uStream or to record video locally. For those concerned the base looks a little awkward and may not fit your setup, fear not, the stand is actually flexible, with the front lip clipping on the front of your screen, while the flexible leg bends to curve over the back of your screen to make a snug, secure fit.

There is some adjustability of the tilt and pan of the camera via the LifeCam software, but the more noticeable adjustments will be in the area of white balance, focus, brightness, contrast etc. Of course there’s the auto settings, but you should spend the time to experiment with this as the results of better picture quality are well worth it.

Overall I’m really happy with this camera, it has now replaced a Logitech Orb that I had been previously using. I picked mine up at JB Hi-Fi for A$126, but look around, you may find a better deal.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.