When it comes to reviewing cameras, the thing you want to review is the result, not the physical hardware. With that in mind, last night, I learned a neat way to fold the paper sheath that restaurant chopsticks usually come in to make a nice little rest for them. Here is my tutorial and demonstration of the Microsoft LifeCam Studio webcam.

What I like about the Microsoft LifeCam Studio

As you can see, the LifeCam looks nice enough. While looks may not be paramount, I think they are worth considering for anything you (and your clients) are going to sit in front of whenever you are at your desk. More importantly, it is easy to set up and use. The software Microsoft builds for its peripherals is usually simple and straightforward, and the LifeCam software meets that mark. It captures photos and videos, and that’s about it.

Speaking of photo and video capture, the LifeCam Studio can perform those tasks at 1080p, although it depends on your hardware (more on that below). In fact, the HD video capture is the primary reason I was interested in reviewing this camera.

What I don’t like about the Microsoft LifeCam Studio

What I don’t like about the LifeCam Studio is not entirely the camera’s fault. My desktop is a few years old, and its 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 4 GB of RAM are a big sluggish by today’s standards. Still, I was disappointed to find out that 1080p was disabled for my camera (the above video is 720p, a lower — but still perfectly adequate — quality). I assume that is because my hardware didn’t meet the camera’s high standards. According to the box, you need a dual-core Intel processor (check!) running at 3.0 GHz or higher (doh!) and 2 GB of RAM (check!) to handle 720p.

So what I don’t like probably doesn’t apply if you have a newer PC.

And what I don’t like is evident in the video above. You can see the framerate is sluggish, which is the reason why my movements look slow or wobbly. The colors aren’t great, either. It feels like the camera couldn’t decide whether to saturate me or wash me out. The audio was weak, too. It sounds like I was recording this in the bottom of a well, instead of my carpeted office.

Most of that is probably due to the fact that my system didn’t have the requisite horsepower, so take that video with a grain of salt. If you’re like many of the lawyers I know, and using a system that is a couple of years old, though, your system likely won’t make the cut, either.


Microsoft LifeCam Studio

Reviewed by Sam Glover on .

Summary: If you have a newer system, give the Microsoft LifeCam Studio a try. It doesn’t get along well with older computers, though.

Score: 3 (out of 5)