Purchased January 4, 2009 $29.99
As far as I know this camera is only available through Micro Center (my favorite computer store). I'm not linking directly to the camera purchase page because I don't know how long this camera will be available.
The box has the "Designed for Windows XP" logo but has an incorrect Windows Vista logo. The logo being used is intended for systems not devices, so I am not sure if this device has truly been certified or not. I have not been able to find this camera on the Microsoft Logo product list. However, while it should work with Vista, I'm not going to install it on my Vista machine because I am trying to keep my notebook clean.
One odd point, the front of the box says nothing about this being a true auto focus camera. It is only mentioned one place on the back in the specs. Most auto focus camera make a big deal out of this feature. Otherwise the box lists detailed specs including the true sensor resolution.
This is a very nice camera for its price range. As long as it has good light, the image is reasonably sharp, colors are very close to true and the grain is fairly low.
The body is an eyeball shape with 2 illuminated green bumps on either side sort of like ears. It rotates a full 360 degrees and the camera will tilt up and down within the housing.
The stand has 2 spring loaded wing shaped feet (see the parts that stick out the sides of the base in the photo) which should hold it on a notebook screen, even though I didn't test it that way. It sits nicely on a desktop but is just a bit unstable on a thick flat panel monitor. But more stable than the smaller WinBook WB-1620.
This camera is a UVC compliant device so it can be used without installing the included software.
I was pleased with the overall image, nice automatic color balance, good exposure at most resolutions, low grain under most lighting. For some reason, at night when I try the larger resolutions, (1024x768 and larger) I get a dark image. This can be compensated for somewhat by adjusting the video properties controls, but not fully. In bright lighting however, the image seems fine at all resolutions up to the 2mp size. If you plan on using it in the evening, I would recommend keeping it at 640x480.
The auto focus seems to work well given enough light. In my very low light tests it had difficulty in acquiring proper focus.
As with the smaller WinBook camera, I had some problems with the camera controls. Most 3rd party webcam programs like I use will reinitialize the camera after you change settings. In this case, the reinitialization tended to reset the exposure controls, which I had just adjusted. This case was opposite the WB-6120 in that it was the very low light adjustments that I couldn't get set right which can be seen in the monitor only simulation.
All around, this is a good buy, and for the time being, receives my best camera under $30 award. I believe this camera will be one I will use regularly.
|Sample images showing how this camera performs under different lighting conditions|