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Microsoft Lifecam Studio review

It might not be pretty, but the Microsoft LifeCam Studio is a powerful device

Our Verdict

For

  • Good features
  • Good video quality
  • Decent price

Against

  • Needs a powerful PC for max settings

Microsoft's LifeCam Studio looks like a CCTV camera from a dystopian nightmare – forget the eye of Sauron, this feels like the eye of Microsoft, and it's pretty terrifying.

Perched on top of our monitor, we were frightened to use our iPads and iPhones while in its gaze, lest a warning light went off in Steve Ballmer's office and Microsoft employees swept into our office to force Zunes into our trembling hands.

Of course, looks aren't everything, and underneath the LifeCam Studio's rather austere surface is a very decent camera. With a maximum resolution of 1080p, the detail and quality of the video it produces is exemplary.

The Truecolor technology included with the device makes subtle changes to lighting and colour that help improve the overall quality of your footage, and can be tweaked to produce the best looking video for your environment. There are also some fun video effects and augmented reality objects that can be added to the live video.

All of this comes at a price. If you're recording at full 1080p HD resolution with effects turned on, your PC's CPU usage will spike, and if your machine isn't powerful enough to cope, your footage will more closely resemble a slow PowerPoint slideshow than smooth, DVD quality video.

It performs perfectly well as a webcam for video chats at lower resolutions, but unless you and your contacts have fast internet connections and no data caps, broadcasting at full HD is out of the question. The LifeCam Studio is much more suited to video blogging.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeWebcam
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Product FamilyLifeCam
Brand NameMicrosoft
Device SupportedComputer
Host InterfaceUSB
Country of OriginChina
ManufacturerMicrosoft Corporation
Product ModelQ2F-00003
Product NameLifeCam Q2F-00003 Studio Webcam
Product LineLifeCam
Manufacturer Part NumberQ2F-00003
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.microsoft.co.uk
Marketing Information

Experience the amazing clarity and detail of HD video. With brilliant color and crystal-clear audio, this webcam with a 1080p HD widescreen sensor and high-precision optics brings your far-away friends and family closer than ever before.

Package Contents
  • LifeCam Q2F-00003 Studio Webcam
  • CD-ROM LifeCam 3.5
  • Hardware Product Guide
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Card LifeCam Studio Port Faceplate
  • LifeCam Studio USB Port
  • Electronic License
Limited Warranty3 Year