Purchased December 8, 2008 $39.99
A decent camera that should satisfy most people for Instant Messaging type use. The camera is available in several colors to coordinate with your room or computer.
In my night test shots the image is fair, with good color. However, in the daylight tests the image is over exposed and badly clipped. Trying to adjust the brightness and contrast controls just made the image muddy. In the monitor simulation test the subject is visible, but not very clear.
The stand is similar to Logitech's Fusion and Communicate cameras, consisting of a flat rubber bracket which can be bent around the back side of your monitor. The camera itself is fastened with a hinge which allows it to swivel right and left, with any up and down adjustments done by bending the stand. However, I found up and down adjustments to be a bit difficult.
I would definitely go with this camera over some of the generic brands within the same price range, but make sure you check the other major brand name reviews before deciding on the VX-5000.
As of this writing it appears that Microsoft may have replaced this camera with a VX-5500 but I have not seen them on the shelves yet.
|Sample images showing how this camera performs under different lighting conditions|