Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 & VX-3000

by Jen McPherson on October 3, 2007 in Peripherals

Microsoft released two brand-new webcams last month, the VX-3000 and VX-6000, both of which have a huge feature-set. The better of the two even offers “high-definition” 1.3 megapixel video capabilities. We’ve been testing both webcams for the past month and relay our thoughts here.

Page 1 – Introduction

Webcams are a staple in internet chat, and rightly so. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people who live far away, and see them in person despite the distance. Microsoft has created the LifeCam series of webcams, each having various specs and prices that can suit the tech savvy to general casual users.

Today we are looking and comparing two models, the higher-end Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 and the mid-range Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000. We will be looking at how they compare in specs, overall use and price.

Specifications and Features

    Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000

  • Compatible with all leading instant messaging software.
  • High Definition Video (1.3 megapixels) and photos (5.0 megapixels interpolated)
  • Wide-angle lens: 71 degree field of view
  • 3x digital zoom
  • Automatic face tracking software
  • Automatically adjusts for low-light conditions for superior video quality
  • Crystal clear audio
  • Built-in unidirectional microphone with acoustic noise cancellation
  • Windows Live Call Button
  • LifeCam Dashboard- Add video effects and control your webcam all from the Windows Live Messenger window.
  • One-Touch Blogging- Upload your blog on Windows Live Spaces with any of your photos at the simple click of your mouse.
    Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000

  • Windows Live Call Button
  • LifeCam Dashboard
  • One-touch Blogging
  • Superior Video Quality
  • High Definition photos
  • Optimized for Windows Live Messenger
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Automatic Face-Tracking Software
  • Video Effects
  • Universal Attachment Base
  • Pan, Tilt and Zoom
  • Flexible Six-Foot Cable
  • Up To 30 Frames Per Second
  • Crystal-clear Audio
  • Broad IM Compatibility
  • Compatible with all leading instant messaging software.

Closer Look

Both cameras came in a nice box with a great deal of information presented. The cameras were packaged well as were their contents. They came with several pamphlets, installation instructions and the LifeCam 1.0 Webcam Software disc.

I began with the VX-6000. The installation for the webcam software was simple and like most software today quick and easy, and for any first time user the installation directions are straight forward. The installation places a shortcut to your LifeCam utility program on your desktop. Once the drivers for the cameras and the LifeCam utility were installed I plugged it into one of the USB ports on the back of my pc. It detected the camera immediately.

With the camera plugged in and ready to go I set it up on top of my monitor. The base on the camera folds open so that you can hook it over the edge of your monitor. It works especially well with my flat panel LCD screen, but because the base is versatile it can be set on even large CRT monitors, lap top screens or directly on your desk. The camera is quite flexible in design, and the camera can swivel and turn in just about any direction you need it to.

First I dabbled with the LifeCam settings in the utility program. It has some interesting video effects that you can use while in chat. I for one would probably not use them often, but it’s good to know that you can throw up something fun every now and then on your picture. These effects work with both cameras.

Within the utility you can also adjust the camera’s zoom and pan. I found that I rarely used the pan for either camera, as it’s just easier to adjust your camera. However I did use the zoom with the VX-6000 because when I first used it the camera was set a little far back, and in conversations it looked like I was sitting really far away from the camera. The zoom fixed this easy and quickly.

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