HD Webcam From Microsoft: LifeCam Cinema Does 720p Video at 30fps
By on August 19th, 2009

Tired of having blurry, grainy or bad quality video chats? Not immune to Microsoft’s PR department? You’re sold. Microsoft recently launched LifeCam Cinema, an HD webcam that does 720p high definition quality video at 30 frames per second. This thing is actually, umh, drool worthy.

Lifecam Cinema

LifeCam Cinema will give you a full 1280×720 resolution video and includes a 4x digital zoom. Also, there’s a noise-cancelling microphone that is present on the top of the cam. Microsoft has also put in something called as a ClearFrame’ technology that makes smoother and better video. We will have to see what this ClearFrame does, as no one currently knows!

The body of the camera is made of aluminium and thus can be recycled when you get bored of the gadget. Moreover, the stand is built to work with both desktops and laptops. The camera has also got a quick start button for Windows Live Messenger to initiate calls faster.

Microsoft mentions that the LifeCam Cinema is compatible with it’s Windows Live range of products, including Live Messenger, Movie Maker and Photogallery but what’s worth noting are the basic system requirements of the camera. Pocket-Lint observes:

The system requirements are quite high though, as you need at least a dual core 1.6GHz processor, but Microsoft recommends a 3GHz dual core processor and 2GB of memory, which are unusually high specifications for a webcam.

Moreover, not many video clients support video at 720p so you may not be able make the best use of the camera. We’re not sure about Skype, but Windows Live Messenger should be able to harness the best quality off the LifeCam Cinema. It’s not compulsory to use the camera for video chats or conferences, you could be making awesome youtube videos with this, after all, it’s 720p!

Microsoft is not the first one in the race to bring up a 720p camera that cranks out video at 30fps. The Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 has been there for some time now and it forks out 720p video at 30fps as well, albeit at a native resolution of 1600×1200.

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema will be available on September 9 for $80. It will be worth checking out its quality then, and how it stands against others in the bandwagon (like the Logitech counterpart, which is available for $89 currently).

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Author: Keshav Khera
Keshav Khera is a young freelance writer from India. Alongside writing for the web, he also attends school and tries not to bunk classes. He keeps interest in music, table tennis, reading and of course, twitter (@keshav)

Keshav Khera has written and can be contacted at keshav@techie-buzz.com.
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