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Product Review: Get animated with the Microsoft LifeCam Show

After testing the Microsoft LifeCam Show, I think my dinky webcam is in serious need of an upgrade.

Go to the story in today's MiamiHerald or just watch the video below to see the webcam's video and sound quality, as well as some fun special effects:

It has a 2-megapixel video sensor with a wide-angle lens and takes photos at a 8-megapixel resolution. It has 5x digital zoom, a wide-angle lens, a side button to connect with Windows Live Messenger, and the option to just record audio with the built-in microphone. It works with services like Yahoo! Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger and Skype. Software comes with 79 of those fun video effects you saw me mess with in the video, like facial exaggerations, filters and 3D accessories.

Microsoft_lifecam_show_2A bit of a downer was that it automatically saves videos in a folder within ''My Pictures'' and there isn't a way to change that. Also, it limits what types of changes you can make to the video settings. You can mess with things like brightness, contrast and saturation, but options to change hue or white balance are grayed out and unclickable, which is a strange quirk. If I can't change certain settings, then don't tease me with unclickable boxes!

If you're in the market for a webcam, remember that you can find similar high-quality webcams in other brands, like Logitech, so shop around. And I do like Logitech's interface a little better when it comes to changing the video settings. But these special effects Microsoft has are really fun, and the camera itself is well designed when it comes to portability and being able to set it up in any environment with the magnet connectors.

But if a high resolution video and a travel-friendly design isn't important to you, then I'd say you should save a few bucks and get a cheaper webcam.

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Leonard

These video reviews are wicked awesome. Keep it up.

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