Okay, from the title you can probably guess that I’m not happy with the Microsoft cam. I hooked it up on my Laptop first, my main PC (Pentium 4/3.06Ghz/1GB Ram) and it worked okay. Yes, only okay. I immediately noticed the quality was a bit sharper than the original QuickCam that I was using, but it still looked pretty grainy. I loved the fact that it was a wide-angle lens. but the grainyness disturbed me a bit. Raising the quality of the cam did not improve the graininess. It only made the picture larger, with the same graininess. I then tried to run the cam on the camera server in my livingroom and after a half hour (or more) trying to get it to start up, i pretty much gave up. It runs SUPER-SLOW because all video processing is done by the software. I would rather spend $100 on good optics than software that makes the camera zoom and pan into your face (which worked moderately well on my laptop, I didn’t even try it on the camera server)
Webcam makers should work on making better cameras and not software to enhance a poor/noisy image. I may try one more cam, or maybe just get a video capture card and a good quality CCTV camera which I can pick up for under $100 easy.. MUCH less if I go for a used one.
I’ve watched a few people who also lifecast and asked them what they were using. One girl who had a super-sharp image was using a QuickCam Fusion.. I’ll have to check it out. The fusion is also less than the one I got, or if it doesn’t have a wide-angle option I may spend the extra $30 ($130) for the Super Vision which has been getting rave reviews, better than the fusion.