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Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Products

  • Superior video quality and high definition still photos
  • Automatic face tracking software
  • Crystal-clear audio with built-in microphone
  • Video effects let you express yourself during chats
  • Optimized for Windows Live; Windows Live Call Button, LifeCam Dashboard, and One-Touch Blogging

Product Description
Take instant messaging with family and friends to a new level of sight and sound – with the Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000. This webcam is compatible with all leading instant messaging software, so it’s simple and fun to use. Great video quality and features, plus crystal-clear audio, make you feel like you’re right there!… More >>


Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000

Comments

5 Responses to “Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000”
  1. Mute208 says:

    My high-end Logitech Fusion webcam never worked properly on a consistent basis with my system. Logitech support wasn’t able to help so I finally gave up and decided to try the LifeCam VX-3000.

    The LifeCam VX-3000 is my 5th webcam since the late 90′s. So far, it’s the best I’ve ever used. My main purpose for the webcam was to communicate with my family in another state, in both video and audio. I have to say, mission accomplished.

    The size of the VX-3000 is more dimunitive in size than I expected. I included a photo so people get an idea. It looks a lot bigger in the photos than it really is. It also fits a lot snugger on my Dell 19 inch LCD monitor than did the Logitech. Because of the base design, I can put it flat on the desk or hook it on top of the monitor.

    The main review I read from PC Magazine states that the mic did a poor job so I was a concerned as the audio is almost as important to me as the video. The fear was unfounded as I tested it with my family for over an hour and they could hear me just fine with only a slight echo when I placed it too close to my speakers.

    The video resolution is 640×480, more than enough for my needs. The VX-6000 has higher resolution, but is also more than twice as expensive. I was very satisifed with the video and the low light support was excellent and worked better than the Logitech Fusion.

    The Live Call button on top of the camera is actually a nuisance when trying to adjust the angle of the camera. I don’t see myself ever using it and only works with Windows Live Messenger anyways. The cam itself swivels vertically and horizontally. The vertical swivel is actually quite stiff so you need to hold the cam with both hands to adjust. I guess it’s a good thing so that the cam doesn’t get out of position easily. The cord is also a decent length so if you want to pick the camera up and move it around, it gives you some freedom to do so.

    The only thing lacking that I would have wanted is a sliding lens cover, both to protect the lens and for privacy. I went back and forth on wanting the VX-3000 and the VX-6000. The comparison table shows that the VX-6000′s only benefits are 3x digital zoom, high-speed USB and a wide angle lens. I know that the video resolution is also higher. For me, I didn’t need the digital zoom. Also, I didn’t know that there was a difference in USB. I thought all USB 2.0 was “high-speed.” The instructions on the webcam recommend connecting to USB 2.0 so what exactly is “high-speed?” The wide angle lens would’ve been great, but not worth the extra cost. Certainly, the two most compelling reasons to get the VX-6000 is the wide angle lens and the higher video resolution. Based on my needs, the better value was the VX-3000.

    The version of the drivers that came on CD-ROM with the cam was 1.1 but I downloaded 1.3 from Microsoft’s website. I have to say that after some weeks of using Windows Live Messenger, it has a habit of getting disconnected quite often. My family has observed this as well. Until Microsoft remedies this, I may have to switch over to Google Talk with a video plug-in but the webcam itself, is exactly what I wanted.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Atanas Banov says:

    This so far is the most frustrating USB-connected hardware I’ve dealt with.

    As soon as I installed the software from CD, I was able to see the image while going through the config wizard but soon the image froze and half a minute later the computer crashed with BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) diagnostic, that said it was an USB related STOP condition.

    I searched MS support KB and found suggestion on limiting the USB bandwidth used – by unchecking “Auto” in configuration and decreasing the speed manually (I brought it from 6mbps to 3). After that the camera seemed to work more reliably and I could use it from Skype and Yahoo messenger.

    Funny enough, the MS own provided LifeCam software wouldn’t work with the camera. After I start it, I could go to the settings and preferences just fine, but the main window shows timeout message and all buttons are grayed out.

    In a hope software update can solve the issue, I went for it. The software it came with on CD is v1.10, after installation checks and asks you to download an update that bumps it to v1.20. No good. I checked on Microsoft Hardware site and lo and behold, there is v1.30, which they offer you for the vx-3000. OK, so I install it – tough luck, LifeCam still doesn’t work. At which point I decided that LifeCam is a heap of manure and uninstalled you – not to worry, the webcam drivers remain installed for use with Skype/Yahoo/other less fertilizing programs.

    Here is a troubleshooting advice I learned from MS KB as well: if the camera doesn’t get recognized anymore – which needless to say happened to me too, unplugging and re-plugging registers it as Unknown device and “Update Driver” couldn’t recognize it anymore. In such a case go to Device Manager and delete anything under “Universal Serial Bus controllers”, then let Windows rediscover and re-install the devices (eventually restart).

    Tip #2: annoyed by the button on top always trying to fire up MSN messenger which you never use? No nice way to turn that off (what! dare you think of not using Microsoft’s Live Messenger?!). So here is a hack: go to Program Files/Microsoft LiveCam directory, find and rename icepick.exe to icepick.ex_ . Ta-da – no more annoying popups while you were just trying to adjust the camera angle and hit that big button. Really advanced users can find in registry to path to icepick.exe and change it to a more useful program, like Skype.

    Caveat emptor: the tips provided assume good knowledge of what you are doing, for example if you don’t know what Device Manager is to return the camera and buy one that is not so darn difficult to install.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  3. I. Bajwa says:

    I bought this webcam for both audio and video functionality. What I like about this webcam is:

    1. Good picture quality (you can set low light mode from software settings if you want to use this webcam in average room light).

    2. Tracks your face (This is not very well built feature though and can create some issues in video)

    3. Good quality audio with room & speaker noise cancellation.

    4. Good price point.

    What I didn’t like:

    1. This is not a plug and play camera (as one of the other reviewer claimed it is). I like plug and play cameras because I can use them between different computers without loading 50MB software in each one.

    Over all if I had to I will buy it again – its worth every cent.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. Hi folks, I am certainly a challenged computer person but one of our grandson’s who is now residing on the west coast of Mexico–we think they are legal residents !!— requested that we get a webcam so we could comunicate via Skype. In fact there were several requests because I did not think I wanted more electronic gadgets to try and learn to operate. Well, I finally did order the vx-3000 and found that it was a pre-school exercize to get it set up –WOW ! I think it is awesome and highly recommend it!! Doyle
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Gadgester says:

    The new VX-3000 is one of the best webcams I’ve used. I considered the $99 VX-6000, too, but decided it was too expensive for my needs. The best thing with the VX-3000, compared to Logitech and Creative models, is it does *not* install tons of hidden drivers, hidden DLLs, and hidden spyware; the Logitech and Creative installation utilities place tons of hidden stuff on your hard drive. The VX-3000′s was a very clean installation.

    I use Windows Live Messenger (aka MSN Messenger 9.0) so I get seamless integration, although I’ve seen people use it painlessly with Skype. It has the best webcam image quality I’ve seen. Windows Live Messenger has been rated by various PC magazines to be the best video chat client software, and I always had good results with Creative and Logitech cameras in the past (using MSN Messenger, which has been rebranded as Windows Live Messenger, or WLM). The VX-3000 bests them all in terms of ease of use and video quality. The built-in mic is also lightyears ahead of the yesteryear models.

    In short, this is a great webcam that won’t disappoint you (unless you are a fanatical anti-American or anti-Microsoftie.)
    Rating: 5 / 5

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