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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars549
4.5 out of 5 stars
Package Type: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:£20.13+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 23 November 2013
This is the first webcam I have owned and I bought it on the strength of positive reviews here on Amazon, as well as some video reviews of it on YouTube. It is small and the flexible stand feels a little flimsy, but it works well and the stand is very adaptable to different uses, from on top of your monitor to table top, or anywhere you can stand it or get it to grip on. The camera also can be rotated left and right a fair amount, while the flexi stand holds it in place. It isn't suitable for use anywhere that is subject to a lot of vibration as it is very light and that can also cause a few problems with the USB cable as if moved it will move the camera, but careful setup and placing of the camera will help minimise any problems, a bit of tape or a clip on the stand or cable works well. The camera can also be easily hand held and moved around while in use. The USB cable is more than 1m long, but that can also be extended with a USB extension cable.

Installation on a PC (Win7 64bit) was much like any simple USB hardware, but for full driver and free Microsoft Lifecam software visit the Microsoft website and download the software (no registration required) it only takes a few minutes with a good internet connection. It is fairly easy to install and very easy to use the software, but you may notice that Windows update offers several minor software updates related to background software soon after installation. Without the Lifecam software the picture quality will be limited to 640x480 - with the software you get 1280x720 HD and 4xHD photo capture for still photo snaps. Lifecam is very easy to use so you can set the camera how you want it, low resolution if you have a slower internet connection or HD if you have a faster connection - if you have the resolution too high for your connection speed it will cause the video feed to break up and jump about instead of being smooth. If you want to edit captured video or make mini movies then also get the free Microsoft Windows Essentials package (you can choose which bits you install) the Movie Maker software is what you need for simple video editing and upload or sharing options (it isn't included as a standard with Win 7, like it used to be with XP, but it is much improved over the old XP version).

If you want to capture time lapse or video triggered by movement or sound then you will need other software such as the free software iSpy. iSpy allows you to use a webcam like the HD-3000 to monitor your home from a remote location or be alerted to activity in your home, such as a break-in or pets activity when left alone. The software is totally free and open source (no registration or email required) and they only charge a small monthly subscription for alerts, if you want to use that service. iSpy allows monitoring and recording from multiple web or wi-fi ip cameras, and allows individual settings and triggers for each camera. iSpy is easy to download, but needs fairly careful setup, but a good help guide is included and there many users on the web too. ispyconnect.com

The only limitation of this webcam I have found so far is one that affects all webcams - when using the camera in a constant record mode with any of the software available it appears to be limited to around 2GB file size, which on full resolution is about 2 hours or so. Other than that I am very pleased and impressed with this very reasonably priced webcam - it may take me a while to discover all that I can do with it. I would recommend the HD-3000 for most standard webcam uses and a few non-standard ones too!
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on 28 December 2012
The item arrived fast and i am extremely happy with the product. It's packaging looked great and kept the item safe. The webcam itself is great, the quality of the webcam is great and never lags. For the price i paid i am extremely happy and would recommend this webcam to anyone.
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on 8 September 2012
Good quality cam with nice easy software that has lots of funny effects and some good options in the setting menu to tweak the picture the stand is actually bendy so can be made into many shapes and grips the top of a laptop
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on 25 May 2013
This came without any installation CD or instructions except for a picture showing it being plugged in to a USB port. That's the new packaging- proper quality Microsoft box, but no drivers or info. And it works fine if you just plug it in- it installs itself as a USB Video device and works in 640x480 resolution.

However, you can go to Microsoft online and download a package of drivers and software which will enhance the abilities of this camera, to give higher resolution and so on. Here is the link:

https://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/lifecam-hd-3000 (then select your operating system to get a download link).

Having done that, though, I found the "Lifecam" utility software crashed and stopped the camera working, so I had to uninstall it (on both computers I tried it on). The HD-3000 specific driver remains in place though. I still don't have HD resolution in Skype.
33 comments|54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 April 2013
When I first connected the camera, it worked fine with skype. When I made a restart of my PC, however, it asked me to install its software, so I had to disconnect the webcam, let it install its software, and connect the webcam when it would ask me to do so during the installation of its software. But there was no problem. It worked absolutely fine. It has a nice picture unless you do not make quick movements in front of the camera. When you use it with skype, you have to specify through the skype that the webcam' s microphone is the selected option so as others can hear you when you talk to them through skype.
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on 26 December 2012
What can I say, for £17 I cant fault it, mic is good and picture quality is excellent for the price :-)
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on 17 June 2014
While the quality of the hardware and camera picture quality both seem excellent I'm afraid that currently Microsoft supporting software has taken a significant step backwards when it comes to Windows 8.1 support.

While the basic camera does auto install drivers and will get you a picture for Skype, etc I found on Windows 8.1 the boasted 'TrueColour' option which enabled by default gave me a garish over saturated look. The camera then didn't respond to me altering the contrast setting built into Windows 8.1, and when I went into Windows 8 Metro control panel and found the camera under 'Devices' it tried to send me to a non-existent LifeCam app on the Microsoft App Store.

Hunting around on Microsoft product support pages [...] I downloaded and installed the latest official Windows 8 v4.2 drivers but these seemed to do nothing extra and did not install the expected LifeCam camera configuration options.

After further searching I found others reporting the same problems under at least Windows 8.1 and eventually was only able to tweak the colour/contrast settings for the camera to my liking by downloading the Windows 7 v3.6 drivers and then right clicking on the downloaded LifeCam3.60.exe > Properties > Compatibility Tab > Run in 'Windows 7 Compatibility Mode' - Saying Okay and then running as normal.

That got me a desktop installed LifeCam Studio program which if you look in the right hand side Settings section allows you to tweak the colour/contrast settings - although I found that the colours in there did not 100% match those that Windows Camera app or Skype saw, so required some trial and error opening and closing Desktop LifeCam and Windows Camera until I was happy.

Hopefully Microsoft will further update their software and then all will be okay again. I was shocked and surprised to have to go to so much effort with a Microsoft hardware product on Microsoft latest OS software, trying to use with latest Microsoft Skype app.

Likely fine for use on Windows 7 and maybe even Windows 8.0, but beware of being made to look Nuclear on Windows 8.1 until Microsoft further updates their drivers/utilities.
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on 5 January 2013
I bought this mainly for skype but the picture quality is very good. Should anyone need a good cam for video reviews etc but doesn't want or can't afford a camcorder this is definitely a cheaper alternative.
0Comment|27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 February 2014
A few years ago, each webcam needed its own driver software. If you changed OS and the manufacturer didn't do a new set of drivers, choosing to abandon any support and hoping you'd buy a new one from them (yeah, right!) you were stuffed.

The publication of the Device Class Definition for Video Devices ('UVC') changed that because it means that - in theory - you can stick a compatible webcam into anything with UVC drivers and it will work. And, in this case, it does.

You can plug this into a PC running Linux and it will happily communicate with the video bits and discover it will do MJPEG video (a stream of JPGs, basically) at 1280 x 720 resolution at 30 fps. Or 10 fps if you want YUV 4:2:2 (YUYV) video. Or that it will also do four other video formats between 1280 x 800 and 160 x 120, usually at the faster speed. And it will happily capture that video, no problems. Result!

Much the same applies to Macs running OSX, I understand. Windows, of course, needs you to download some drivers before it will do more than 640x480, but that's Microsoft for you.

The problems come with the sound. Even on Windows, it's not terribly good, but at least the drivers get it in sync with the video. On anything else, it turns out that the USB sound source it presents as takes an awfully long time to initialise - every single time you try to record from it - and then to start recording sound, by now many seconds out of sync with the video. Other USB sound sources don't have this issue, but it makes sound unusable if you're not using Windows.

So... you can get a different webcam whose sound works properly, or you can get a microphone and plug it into your sound card, and just use this webcam for video. Because by this point I had this one, I've gone for the latter. But if you're not using a version of Windows that Microsoft has done the drivers for, this is not the webcam you are looking for.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 22 February 2015
I just recently started using Skype and it struck me immediately that I was really enjoying the experience of being able to see my cousin and even her house on my screen. She, on the other hand, seemed slightly uncomfortable looking down at her feet or out the window, obviously bored of staring at my static profile picture. Clearly I needed to get a webcam, and so the search began.

I finally chose this Microsoft LifeCam based on the picture and sound quality evident on some of the YouTube videos that people have kindly posted. This camera seems to handle low-light conditions really well and the quality of both picture and sound is great (it has a built-in microphone). The wide-screen picture format is handy if you decide to use it to shoot video and it offers HD resolution. The software worked instantly on my oldish pc running Vista and it interacts flawlessly with Skype.

The clip can be moulded into a range of shapes; at first I shaped it like a little stand but my cats soon showed me the error of my ways and I found that it sits perfectly well on the top of my LG monitor, despite the fact that the screen has a curved shape. There are many webcams available at many times the cost of this one, but for me it makes no sense to spend more when you can get this quality at a very low price. Really happy with it.
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