I was looking for a simple webcam. My computer doesn’t have one and my son is going overseas, so I wanted a way to Skype with him without having to be a technical geek to make it happen. I decided to try the affordable
Creative Live! Cam. I figured if it didn’t work, I hadn’t wasted much money.
I purposely didn’t read the directions before installing it, wanting to see how intuitive the process was. The webcam sits on top of the monitor. There’s no velcro or sticky, but it is stable. I wouldn’t trust it in a California earthquake, though. The cam attaches to a USB port. The cord isn’t overly long, but sufficient for my needs. You wouldn’t want the CPU too far from the monitor, though. I installed the software, sat down and went to work. Hooking to Skype was a snap. Sound was good, as was the 10 MP pictures and 2MP video. The auto-focus worked quite well.
Once I got over the distraction of calling everyone I knew and adding them to my Skype address book, I returned to the features of my Live! Cam. Without any difficulty, I took photos and videos, grabbed an avatar and added special effects (like fire from my head). I shared my desktop both in its entirety and part. I love that–so many uses for screen sharing as a teacher. Videos were easily uploaded to YouTube with the push of a button, as were photos to Photobucket. You can also email any video/photo directly from the Live! Cam application. The video and photo quality is fine for my needs (go to https://askatechteacher.wordpress.com; scroll down to my blog entry and you’ll see the photos I took), though I’m guessing a pro would want a more robust platform.
Overall, this is a wonderful tool to enrich communication. Normally, I wouldn’t trust anything this cheap to work this well, but the Live! Cam did everything I expected. I should also mention: This is the first webcam I’ve ever used, so I didn’t have expectations except that it perform as promised.
Here’s a slideshow of some of the pictures I took with my Live! Cam:
Note: This review written as part of my Amazon Vine Voice series
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, an Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller she just finished. Any ideas? Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab.