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July 27, 2007

Forget about the Microsoft LifeCam NX-6000 for hi-res video

Microsoft NX-6000 LifeCam
Microsoft NX-6000 LifeCam

There’s no shortage of webcams for PC attachment and Microsoft has a good reputation for PC peripherals like mice, keyboards, and webcams, but they have missed the mark with their NX-6000 LifeCam which promises but fails to deliver high resolution video.

The NX-6000 lists for $99.95 and is, of course, available for less (Amazon has it currently for $62.39) but it is still considerably more expensive than most webcams on the basis that it provides video resolutions up to 2 megapixels. The problem is that the NX-6000 frame rates are so low at high resolution as to be useless.

Catherine Holahan at BusinessWeek:

I tested the LifeCam on a Dell Latitude D610 Notebook with two USB 2.0 ports, but there were significant jumps in the footage when capturing video at 1.3 megapixels or higher. I’m not talking about a small blur during a fast hand wave either. Sometimes, when playing back the video, I heard words emerge from my mouth several beats before my mouth actually opened.

Everything USB:

To make matters worse, the LifeCam NX-6000 is only able to pull 15 frames per second maximum, and at resolutions of 1024×768 or higher, that number will drop to an incredible 4 fps, which is unbearable for anything, causing huge motion blurs. (I can see the blur when my eyes blink in live video).

Kevin Reynolds at Hardware Pacers (who has some sample video):

2.0 megapixel video certainly is a feature worth bragging about, but in this case, Microsoft maybe should have gone for less. The 2.0 megapixel video is quite weak without a frame rate that is worthwhile.

This is too bad since the the LifeCam NX-6000 is quite good at lower video resolutions and quite likeable in other ways: it is compact, rugged, and well integrated with Microsoft’s Windows Live video chat software. However, the premium price for a feature that barely works gets it a thumbs down.

Posted at 10:20 am. Filed under Brands, Companies, LifeCam, Microsoft, Webcams

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