- Brand Name: Microsoft
- Model Number: 7ND-00001
- Item Package Quantity: 1
- Hardware Platform: Pc
- Video Capture Resolution: 720p
Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000 720p HD Webcam - Black
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- True 720p HD video
- Auto Focus
- 16:9 widescreen
- TrueColor Technology
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From the Manufacturer
Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000
Sharp video with Auto Focus
Get the HD webcam features you need to share each moment as it happensat a reasonable price. The LifeCam HD-5000 offers a 720p HD sensor and automatically sharpens your images with Auto Focus, while TrueColor adjusts exposure for bright, vibrant footage. Plus, the widescreen presents a remarkably cinematic feel, right from your desktop or notebook PC.
720p HD video chat
For a true HD-quality experience.
TrueColor Technology with face tracking
Automatically controls exposure for bright and colorful video.
Images stay sharp and detailed, even close-ups.
16:9 format offers cinematic video recording.
Find a Webcam That's Right for You:
|Webcam||LifeCam HD-3000||LifeCam HD-5000||LifeCam HD-6000 for Notebooks||LifeCam Cinema||LifeCam Studio|
|Product||HD Video||Good HD Video||Mobile HD Video||Better HD Video||Best HD Video|
|Video Resolution||720p (1280 x 720)||720p (1280 x 720)||720p (1280 x 720)||720p (1280 x 720)||1080p (1920 x 1080)|
|Lens||Plastic Element Lens||Plastic Element Lens||Plastic Element Lens||Glass Element Lens||Premium Glass Lens|
|Microphone||Digital Microphone||Noise Reduction Microphone||Noise Reduction Microphone||Noise Reduction Microphone||High-Fidelity Microphone|
|360° View Range|
|Lens Cap|| |
- Computer/Operating System
Windows 8, 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
- Hard Drive
1.5 GB free
Windows-compatible speakers or headphones
Top Customer Reviews
A couple of other things I didn't mention. It has a built-in microphone, and records very good sound quality, as you'll hear if you play the video.
There's quite a bit of included software, including some that allows you to perform basic video editing on your footage.
You can also download directly to YouTube, Twitter, and other sites and apps.
Download and installation was flawless, and I run Win 7 64-bit (I noticed in some reviews that others running that OS seemed to have problems; I didn't).
All in all, 5 stars.
I first like to look at the manual when I get a product. The Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000's manual consisted of a single 5 inch square sheet with illustrations (no text)in boxes labeled one through four. The first box was a picture of the enclosed CD, the second a picture of a USB connector with an arrow pointing towards a USB jack, the third showing you can place the webcam on top of your monitor or on a flat surface, and the fourth showing you can twist the camera on its base. That is the entire manual. I should also mention here that a label covered the USB connector coming from the webcam instructing you to install the software from the disc first. You physically must remove the label in order to insert the USB connector to your computer. I guess this is just in case you did not have the time to look at the the four squares. Oh, you also get a useless "Microsoft Product Guide" which looks like they throw in with every product, since it mentions Lasers, headsets and Radio Frequency devices. This guide is just full of warnings and precautionary measures which they probably legally have to enclose. The only thing is mentions about "Webcam Devices" is that the adhesive attachment disc may leave an adhesive residue, something that does not pertain to this product, and therefore this guide did not need to be included at all.
It took an usually long time to install the software. At times the install window disappeared completely, and I was not sure whether it crashed or what it was doing. After that I decided to install it on another computer, but this time I checked Microsoft's website to see if there was an updated version, and there was. The enclosed disc was version 3.0, but the website had version 3.5. Once I downloaded the newer version and ran it the install time was almost cut in half, so do yourself a favor search Microsoft's website for the latest Lifecam software before using the disc.
After I installed the software, I was informed that I needed to upgrade the firmware of the camera which only took a few minutes and was much more informative than the software install.
Once the new firmware was installed the Microsoft LifeCam software popped up and the blue light on the cam turn on. The default resolution is 640 X 360 which is what is recommended for my video card, other resolutions have the warning indicator saying that they are not recommended for my equipment and may cause performance issues. This is no surprise, since I am running it on an older system. Since I cannot put the camera into a high definition setting I cannot attest to quality of anything above 640x360.
The video quality of the camera is excellent, though slightly saturated using the default tru-color setting. You can adjust the settings manually if you wish, but for most people the tru-color setting will be just fine. What you absolutely must turn off is the autofocus on this camera, since it does not function properly AT ALL! It constantly adjusts, blurring your picture and gets very annoying. Once you go to the advanced setting and click on properties, then camera control you can shut off the autofocus by clicking on the "Auto" check box in the Focus section. By sure to hit apply, then ok. I had to do this twice but finally got the autofocus to turn off, and that's a good thing, otherwise I would have thrown this webcam in the trash. You will also find controls to "zoom" the camera (though this is done through software interpolation, not an optical zoom), Pan, and Tilt (which only seem to do anything when you have zoomed in the picture, confirming that the zoom is entirely software based). There is another tab in the advanced controls that are video settings allowing you to manually control Brightness, White Balance, Saturation, Exposure and Contrast (the last two are greyed if you have Tru-Color tuned on). The exposure on the camera is quite good even in low light conditions. With the exception of the auto-focus issue the video quality is excellent on this camera.
The stand alone software allows you to make video captures, audio captures and still captures, then send them in an email or share them in Windows Live if you wish. There is also an effects function which allow you to add various filters or overlays to your stream or capture which is very COOL! My favorite is the afro with the headband. The software does a great job of tracking your movements and keeping the overlay in place if you move your head. This is something that is hard to explain, you really need to see them in action to appreciate the effects. Microsoft includes many of them, and they are fun!
I generally got this webcam to use with Skype, though Microsoft REALLY wants you to use it with Windows Live. When you install the software it prompts you to install Windows Live, which I declined. There is even a "Windows Live" call button on the top of the camera. Anyway, I'm not using Windows Live, so I tried it with Skype. One thing I forgot to mention was that the webcam also has a built in microphone, so there is no need to search for your misplaced mic or wear a headset. You can even use the mic on the webcam for audio only Skype calls. Keep in mind the blue camera light will illuminate even if you are just using the microphone only, so don't be alarmed. The same rule applies if you are on a video call and kill the video portion and just use it for audio, the light stays on.
I was quite impressed with both the video and audio quality on Skype with this webcam. It did not display in the widescreen format that the stand alone software used, but I am not using Skype HD, so that is probably why. Once communications were established, the quality was apparent by the other party who commented on it. There was absolutely no problems with Skype, it worked right out of the box (After the software was installed that is). Oh, one thing, just be sure to go into the Skype settings and change the audio settings to the webcam's mic or you will get no audio.
In conclusion, the camera's video quality is great, its auto-focus sucks and is annoying - turn it off!, the video effects are COOL, the audio quality is fine, it works great with Skype, even as an audio only device, the stand alone software is fine for sending a video email, recording an audio message or taking a still, plus you can add the effects. The camera does drive up your resources, so be sure to turn off unnecessary services and programs before using. I would not recommend this webcam for older computers. Be sure to read the system requirements on the product page before ordering to be sure your computer can handle the processing power needed.
Despite producing quality video and stills, however, the HD-5000 is far from perfect. Firstly, the auto focus implementation is TERRIBLE. Not only is it SLOW to focus (up to 4 seconds), but it is also triggered very easily. Second, the lack of hardware acceleration makes for high CPU usage. Simply looking at myself at 720p consumed 30-40% of my laptop's CPU and recording 720p video ate up 70-80%. (I am running 32-bit Windows XP with 4GB RAM with a Pentium Dual Core T4300 @ 2.1 GHz - 800MHz FSB, 1 MB L2) To add insult to injury, the 720p video was captured at only 15 FPS, which is only half of the advertised "true HD-quality video at up to 30 fps."
The LifeCam software is pretty basic, but has a few fun features. Besides allowing you to set the capture resolution for photos and videos, the software lets you perform basic transformations such as making your head square, making your eyes extra large, etc. You can also overlay various objects such as big hair, a cowboy hat, etc. It is worth noting that the HD-5000 didn't work out of the box with SkypeHD, but it did work with regular skype, and internet video-chat.
As it stands, I am a bit torn about the HD-5000. I am absolutely delighted with the picture quality and the fact that auto focus is available at this price point, but I am also disappointed by the auto focus implementation and high CPU usage. I like the new widescreen format, but be aware that 16:9 isn't universally supported yet. Some software and websites still assume your webcam is the traditional 4:3 ratio and may distort the output. I'm glad that the HD-5000's firmware is updatable, so perhaps some improvements can be made down the road.
...and you'll see why after you watch this video.
Hope this helps!
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