Customer Reviews: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD Webcam - Black
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon September 24, 2009
I'm a big Skype user and have used the QuickCam Pro 9000 for quite some time. While Skype doesn't recognize this Microsoft cam as an "HQ" cam (or at least not yet, if ever), I have found that this cam excels as compared to the QuickCam Pro 9000 in three ways:

1. This cam produces much richer colors. Some may say it borderlines oversaturated or "technicolor" but I really enjoy the brilliance of the colors
2. Low light conditions keep rich and bright color. I find with the QuickCam it loses contrast to brighten up the picture.
3. Launch time. I find with the Quickcam Pro 9000 the "ramp up/turn on" time is undesirably long when receiving an auto answer Skype call. This cam is ready to go immediately.

As far as focusing goes, both the QickCam Pro 9000 and this cam aren't great at it in dark lighting conditions.

The widescreen view is a really nice change from the normal 4:3 perspective. It really helps show your surroundings more and give a better feel to where you are.

Installation was easy, and the cam itself seems far smaller than I was expecting.

Under some conditions Skype callers on the receiving end prefer this video over the HQ Skype capable Quickcam Pro 9000. In some cases they prefer the Quickcam.

I saw that some people mentioned the high hardware requirements so I wanted to let you know what I'm using it on:

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
Core i7 2.66
3 GB memory

I'm not going to outright say that this is a better webcam than the QuickCam Pro 9000 but it definitely gives it a run for it's money, and offers a few unique features that the QuickCam Pro 9000 does not, all in a smaller more attractive cam size & style.


After several months of use, I have found that I'm using this cam more than the Logitech Quick Cam 9000. They're both equal in stature in my mind, but this one is better at low light use. I often Skype at night when the room is comfortably dim, so this has become my preferred camera. Even though it's not listed as an HQ cam for Skype, it still provides better overall performance for the way I use it.
1111 comments| 244 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 7, 2009
Summary: It's a great product, but the software is lacking. It does require a lot of processing power to produce decent videos, so do everything you can to let the capture software have all of the processing power.

For reference, I was using an AMD Athlon 64 XP Dual Core 6400+ CPU with 4GB of RAM when recording this video. I am running the software on a Windows XP 32-bit machine.

This video was recorded with minimal software interference, but I'm also happy with the quality of the processing for low-light conditions. In this case, I was looking to get the best motion performance, so I turned off all of the auto features in order to get the best picture with the light I was using.

As you will hear in the video, the built-in microphone isn't terrible, but it does have a pretty high noise floor. That is fine if you're using Skype, but lousy if you are trying to record higher quality videos. In this video, I used the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser USB Microphone (except for the built-in mic demo).

All in all, it's a great webcam for producing online videos. If you don't have external software, or don't have a top of the line computer, there may be a webcam that does what you need without so much hassle. For high quality stuff, this may well be the best hardware on the market.
5151 comments| 824 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 30, 2009
I like the Lifecam Cinema webcam because it is the best webcam in very low light. With only the computer and TV on at night, the Lifecam Cinema webcam produces a viewable video for chat. In this same light settings, the Quickcam Pro9000s video is all black.

In better light conditions, the Lifecam cinema will produce a good video with good color.

This camera will focus as close as 1 inch. Good to play around with as a microscope, but a hassle everytime it does an autofocus. I turn off autofocus most of the time.

People mentioned that this camera takes a powerful CPU. It only uses a lot of CPU power when you turn on the video effects, such as modifing the eyes, nose, face, and others.
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on March 10, 2010
I just want to start out and say that this is a REALLY great webcam. Of all the webcams I have used in the past, this one blows them out of the water. The standard quality is more than anyone can ask for, and Skype calls are crystal clear. Movement is captures very well. There is a small delay, but only noticeable during fast movements. The typical users would never notice.

Why did I give it 4 stars? The HD quality is fantastic, but it does come at a cost. I own a quad-core processor with 4GB's or ram. My computer is VERY fast and can handle nearly any program you throw at it (I'm a web programmer and designer). This camera WILL take up the majority of your resources when capturing the HD video. My quad-core is hovering at about 40% cpu usage when the HD camera is running. Standard definition works without this additional load.

I recommend this camera to ANYONE that has a Pentium 4 and above. I only recommend using the HD capabilities if you are running a high-end dual core or any quad-core processor.

This was my first review of any product. Please be gentle ;)
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Package Type: Standard Packaging|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This tiny, well-made webcam has great video and audio, as I hope you can tell from this review. Drawbacks include a single save format (.wmv) that may not be recognized by programs that use .avi or other types; no Mac compatibility; and a prominent window that seems to indicate that you must use Windows Live Messenger with it, even though it works flawlessly with Skype, AOL, Yahoo. etc. Pros: size, metal housing construction, bendable base, fun features (some of which I demonstrate in the video), and yes, clarity.

-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
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on April 17, 2010
A web cam is a web cam is a web cam, right? Well, not exactly. I've messed around with a few web cams in the past, all of which had less than stellar picture quality. Life Cam is easily the best web-cam I've used. It's actually affordable and it's in 720P-hd no less. Well, let's not jump the gun. It does do 720P but it doesn't do it to the full capabilities some would expect or want. It's a feature you'd probably find yourself not using since the resources it takes to actually run it and calibrate it are a little daunting. I'm actually willing to bet that many who bought this cam just got it as a web cam and nothing more. And it is "just a web cam" but it's a damn good one.

As I said, many probably don't even know how to get the thing calibrated right to even take advantage of the higher end options the device has. And that's fine. Because at the end of the day, this is the best web cam you can buy for the price. Sub-HD. Buy it and don't regret it. If you use a webcam for shows. Talking on skype. Animating. Whatever you use it for... This will do the trick.

(side note) Make sure you TURN OFF THE AUTO FOCUS... IF YOU DON'T YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE A FIT TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY IT'S BROKEN. Many people assume it's broken cause it keeps zooming in and out. It's not broken it's just got a little too high setting for the auto focus out of the box.
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on October 21, 2009
Yes that's right! Linux and Mac Compatible!!!

I plugged this camera into my Fedora Core 11 machine (praying all the while) and was amazed that it was not only recognized immediately, but that it provided a stunning picture in Camorama, Cheese, and Skype. Not configuration needed. It was true plug and play! Same goes for my MacBook Air (Late 2010).
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on January 27, 2010
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on February 16, 2011
On Amazon site, it claims

Windows® 7/Windows Vista®/Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 or higher)
Intel Dual-Core 1.6 GHz or higher and 1 GB of RAM (recommended: Intel Dual-Core 3.0 GHz or higher and 2 GB of RAM)
1.5 GB free space
USB 2.0

I bought it and find the driver does not support xp64. On Microsoft site, it claims

Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or higher (Excluding Windows XP 64-bit);
minimum: Intel Dual-Core 1.6 GHz or higher, 1 GB of RAM;
recommended: Intel Dual-Core 3.0 GHz or higher, 2 GB of RAM

Almost everything is same, they just deleted (Excluding Windows XP 64-bit) on amazon.
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VINE VOICEon March 5, 2011
My wife is from Germany so she lives on skype to keep in touch with her distant family. This camera has allowed us to transition away from Macintosh to PC. We had to switch due to an issue with mac that could not be resolved by anything other than a PC. So reluctantly we built 2 desktop PCs. We needed a camera so we came here and did a search for some good ones. This one came up several times in our search. We decided to try it out and I must say we are very pleased.

(+) The installation is very easy.
(+) It has a much larger lens than some other cameras it allows more light in. This means it works well in low light conditions.
(+) We have 25MBps broadband connection we are able to transmit at very high quality. Everyone we have connected to on skype has mentioned how good the quality is.
(+) The funky foot thing allows it to be mounted in a variety of strange positions.

(-) Video software tries to force you to use MSN to chat.

Overall this is a great camera to get for any video conferencing you might do.

Thank you for reading my review.
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