Customer Reviews: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
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VINE VOICEon May 19, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First of all, let me get this out of the way: despite what another reviewer said, the HD-3000 most certainly DOES have a microphone.

That said, I think this camera is great. I've never been a fan of most built-in cameras because they're tough to aim without having to move your entire laptop or computer. Yes, they're convenient, but who wants to be a slave to viewing angles just to make sure you're broadcasting well. So I like stand alone cameras.

The problem is that most of them are lousy, or are hard to get pointing the way you want. In this case, neither of those things are true. I found the picture to be excellent and easily adjustable even in what I would consider to be low light. The auto-lighting works great as well, allowing a user to point it anywhere in the room and get good results quickly.

Also, placement is easy to change thanks to a sufficiently long USB cord and the awesome flexible base - curve it into an inverted "u" for monitor-top use, or bend it into any other shape to put it on your desktop. I love that about this camera.

Software and hardware installation were a snap, and the included LifeCam software is great; I found the effects to be more fun to play with than those included with Photo Booth on the Mac. My 14-year-old daughter also gave it a seal of approval, saying "that's a REALLY cool camera." What more can I say?

Sound is a slight letdown as it's a bit lacking in upper-mids and highs. O.K. for a conversation, but don't expect to record a video with it. Also, there doesn't appear to be a metering system to set inbound levels, which is a bit of a drag, making you have to try a setting, test it, then adjust. While the audio quality isn't enough to make me give the HD-3000 a poor review - it is enough to drop what would otherwise be a five star review to a four.

But don't get me wrong: it's a great camera. It's flexible, extremely adjustable, shoots in HD, and is easy to use. Particularly for the price, I don't see how you can ask for much more than that: definitely recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 18, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is Microsoft's latest budget HD webcam offering ($39.95 MSRP). As far as webcams go, it's pretty much been a two horse race for the past few years, with Logitech being the other horse. The HD-3000 boasts 720p support and other enhanced quality features. The last budget Microsoft webcam I reviewed was the LifeCam VX-3000, which was an outstanding webcam value at the time. Can the HD-3000 equal or even best the old king of budget webcams? Let's find out.

- Budget price
- Flexible mount(literally)
- Decent video chat quality
- Good mic

- Only VGA quality for chat
- High requirements for 720p video recording
- No lens cover
- Does not swivel up and down
- LifeCam software is a resource hog

The first thing I have to mention is that the 720p HD designation only applies to local recordings. For video chats, only VGA is supported. I think Microsoft should make this clearer as I'm sure many people think that the HD-3000 supports chatting in HD. This is not the case. Still, I found the VGA quality to be improved over the older VX-3000. The fixed focus lens did pretty well at keeping everything clear and focused. For recording, I thought the video quality was acceptable, but certainly nothing to write home about. I also experienced some sync problems where the audio was not in sync with the video. My system did not meet the CPU requirement for 720p HD recording, so that may have been the culprit. I think an Intel Dual Core 3.0 GHz CPU is a hefty requirement for a webcam. The software effects were pretty useless and caused my system to display low resource warnings whenever I used them. By the way, I have an Intel Core 2 Duo running at 2.53 GHz with 4GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT graphics card. Still photos at 4MP were okay but my Android smartphone takes better photos, by far.

Microsoft designers seem to be in love with bendable hardware. Their Arc Touch Mouse has a bendable section of the mouse and the HD-3000 uses a bendable mount that works pretty well. It fit over my 24' Samsung LCD monitor and my laptop lid just fine. The rubbery surface kept it from sliding around too much and can be folded to allow the webcam to sit on a flat surface.

The mic on the HD-3000 worked well in my tests. Background noise was audible, but my voice could be heard over the background noise without difficulty.

While the HD-3000 swivels from left to right, it does not swivel up and down. The blue LED light turns on during webcam use and is bright and distracting. I also wish webcams would come with lens covers. I think I once had a Kodak webcam that had a lens cover and I feel that all webcams should come with one. Have you read about that tech support guy who installed some nefarious software on women's computers that allowed him to turn their webcams on remotely? Or the IT guy of a school district that spied on kids? Yes, I am paranoid and I would like the option to cover the lens. Lastly, I wish Microsoft would get rid of that Windows Live Call button. While adjusting the webcam, I kept pressing it accidentally. Each time, a popup message would appear asking me if I wanted to install Windows Live Messenger 8.1.

The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is an okay value but it hasn't been improved a great deal from the old VX-3000, which is about four years old. I expected more in four years. Unless you absolutely need the ability to record 720p videos with your webcam, or take 4MP stills, I recommend saving a few bucks and going with the Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000. You might even consider spending a few *more* dollars to give the Logitech C310 a look.
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VINE VOICEon May 28, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Easy to install, even for a techno-idiot? Totally. Easy to use? It was better than pre-installed or even integrated webcams I've had in the past. Vid quality? Up there with the best. This is like getting Windows after years of using DOS (if anyone remembers that a$$-pain). This is totally intuitive, works great out of the box and does what it says it will do. I'm techically pretty competent (forensic computing is a big part of my business) but not awfully patient with fiddly hardware. THIS is what plug-n-play means to me. Good stuff.
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VINE VOICEon March 19, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been using this on my Mac for several months now and It's actually the perfect camera for a variety of reasons. I'll just list them off as it seems simpler to pin point the pros and cons.

1. The depth of field is excellent. You can be up close or far back and you'll still get a good, well-lit image. I believe the maker was shooting for a lens that would give you a nice picture in a variety of lighting conditions and they have achieved it.

2. It's flexible enough to be wrapped or temporarily mounted onto anything that has an edge. This is ideal for using this device on the go. I found myself using this on the road many times via Skype, at School and elsewhere.

3. It has an excellent microphone that picks up the speakers voice and somehow tries to manage to focus on the voice rather than the background noise.

4. You can install the software and drivers if you want, but I just plugged it in on my Mac and it was ready to go and ran perfectly with every app I had that required a camera.

5. The blue light letting you know the image is 'active' is a plus and it isn't intrusive or an eye scorching LED that requires a piece of tape.

I'm hard pressed to find anything negative to say about this. I think some people see the HD on the packaging and they think they can do all kinds of high-end stuff with this like making edited movies in Final Cut Pro or something silly along those lines. Everything has its limitations, especially at this price point. This is an excellent stationary camera which does exactly what it's supposed to.

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on July 15, 2011
I love this cam, it has been great while my sister is away for the army and her 2 toddlers are with me, so they get to see their mom and talk to her. The Mic is awesome, great clarity, volume. I would totally recommend this camera to someone, in fact we are getting one for my in-laws.
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on November 27, 2012
For the price, this is one great little webcam. I use it for Google Hangouts and it really does the job - it's clear and smooth and works remarkably well in my low light environment. The audio pick up is very good too - I actually remote to my PC via my Android phone (using PhoneMyPC) and "listen" into my house. I can hear several rooms; great to check on the babysitter or just to make sure everything is ok. As usual, these Microsoft cameras require a big bulky LifeCam software installer but it is really the only negative thing I have to say about it.
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on October 2, 2012
The camera was easy to install and works well on a Win 7 64 bit computer. Use primarily for Skype, where it performs as expected. Design would have been greatly improved if the USB was a couple of feet longer, (long reach from the back of a tower on the floor to the top of a monitor on the desk). The system to fasten the camera to the top of the monitor could have also been made to be more reliable/secure. If you move your monitor, be sure to remove the camera first, because it does not hold well, and will fall off if any pressure or strain is placed on the USB cable.
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on May 25, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In a webcam I am not necessarily looking for video camera quality. I want to be able to transmit a clear image that focuses well. My demands are on the low side, so an inexpensive webcam is what I am looking for. This lifecam fits the bill. At the price of this camera I get a clear image that is in focus and with the color adjust, looks nice. As with more of these peripherals the installation is easy and once installed you just forget about it. I would highly recommend this web cam for those with general needs.
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on August 8, 2012
This cam is great:

*It's cheap
*It has a very very good quality picture.
*It works great on dark rooms even at night with just the light of my monitor I can still broadcast with no problem.
*My pc is kind of old (7 to 9 years old) and it works perfect.
I can't give it 5 stars because nothing is perfect but this one is like 4.89 stars out of 5.
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on October 26, 2012
ok, viadeo calling with this camera is great. Keep in mind that the conection must be good in both sides for it to be clear and fast.

its really small and portable. the stand for it is awesome too.
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