|Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-Webcam|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: WebCam | Camera|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Tuesday, 19 January 2010|
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Microsoft H5D-00001 Detailed Features
The Microsoft LifeCam Cinema H5D-00001 webcam features a stunning top resolution of 1280x720p. It does so at 30 frames per second. While that may not sound like all that much, it's pretty impressive as far as webcams go. If you thought about playing your favorite first-person shooter game at 30 frames per second, you probably wouldn't be very happy. That is quite understandable. But many webcams struggle to offer video at much, much lower resolutions than the LifeCam Cinema, and at far lower frames per second. In reality, 30 FPS at 720p resolutions would be quite a feat, if the H5D-00001 can live up to it.
While it would be pretty amazing to chat with your friends and family at 30 FPS and 720p resolution, like I said before, that's not very possible right now. The main uses for the high resolution and fast frames per second offered by the LifeCam Cinema H5D-00001 can, in reality, only be experienced to the finest degree when capturing videos. That being said, if you post a lot of video to youTube, your blog or website, or if you have another use for recording videos from your computer, then the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema H5D-00001 is just what you have been looking for. And, as I mentioned, even if you haven't found a work-around to make Skype compatible with 720p, I think you will be quite impressed with the great video quality that the LifeCam Cinema offers at lower resolutions. In fact, with the higher frame rates, I find the lower resolution video for chatting to be quite superb.
I mentioned earlier that the LifeCam Cinema was much smaller than I had anticipated. Since I had seen pictures of the product before, I want to give you a realistic look at exactly how small the camera actually is. The LifeCam Cinema sits just over 2" tall when the rubber mounting fixture is curved under the device, as seen below in both images. If the stand is extended outward so the LifeCam Cinema can be mounted on a monitor, it loses almost an inch and stands less than 1.5" above the monitor. From front to rear, the main body of the LifeCam Cinema is under 2" long. That huge looking microphone mounted on the top of the camera is under half an inch long. Finally, the LifeCam Cinema measures almost exactly 1" in diameter.
Despite the tiny size of this beast of a webcam, the LifeCam Cinema was very impressive during performance tests. I will share the results of those test with you later, but I want to make sure that you don't underestimate the power of this little device prematurely and based solely on the fact that it is smaller, even, than the $30 Philips SPC710NC webcam I tested it against. While that microphone is in actuality so much smaller than it looks in the pictures, it really has a kick to it. It picked up even the smallest of noises with precision. There were some unexpected setbacks with the microphone, but we will explore those later as well.