Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

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Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

Share every detail with friends and family in HD. This full featured webcam delivers smooth, detailed video and crystal clear audio.

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70% positive

2 reviews from the community

Review of "Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000"

published 10/09/2015 | craggybuk
Member since : 15/02/2007
Reviews : 133
Members who trust : 89
About me :
Tempted to write a new review. Been away for so long, I'm a little bit rusty.
Super
Pro Excellent quality, flexible
Cons Cheaper alternatives on the market
exceptional
Picture quality
Video capture rate
Resistance to colour bleeding
Colour sensitivity
Design

"Life captured with the Microsoft Lifecam HD 3000"

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

In my role as a software project manager, we have a requirement to write ID badge software so that our students are easily identifiable and also to comply with safeguarding legislation. Over the years we have captured the photograph for these ID cards with many different types of webcam. The current one we use is the Microsoft Lifecam HD 3000. This webcam provides us with an easily installable solution that is also portable which is a key requirement for us, due to having to deploy our enrolment software on multiple campuses. Although the webcam is not one of the cheaper options on the market, it will still be affordable to most users.

A look at the Lifecam HD 3000

In the past we have used webcams that are a lot more sturdy than the Lifecam 3000. This is not really a disadvantage of the Lifecam though, instead it allows for more flexibility when it comes to placing the camera in an optimum position. The base of the Lifecam is bendy with three points of movement allowing you to position the camera on a desk or fix it to your monitor with absolute ease. With previous models that we have used, we have found that they have either been designed as desktop webcams or monitor webcams but have not had the flexibility to be either.

On the front of the webcam, as with pretty much every other webcam on the market, you will will find the lens which is capable of taking still and moving images upto 720p HD quality in either 4:3 or 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Above the main lens, there is also a built in microphone which is also capable of transmitting HD sound, making this the perfect camera to use for video conferencing via applications such as Google Hangouts or Skype. The back of the camera contains a fixed connection to the USB cable. This cable is approximately 1 metre in length. This is plenty long enough to cover the distance between most desktop PC’s and monitors. It also gives you the flexibility to pick up your camera and move it to another location in your room if you want to focus on another aspect, other than what is directly in front of the keyboard.

Installing the Lifecam HD 3000

There are two ways to install the Lifecam HD 3000, each of them as simple as the other. The preferred way is to install the driver and application software from the CD that is provided with the camera. This is a quick install that takes about five minutes and requires the user to go through a series of wizard screens before finally plugging the camera in to finalise the installation.

An alternative way to install the camera is to plug it in to a free USB port on your PC or laptop and let Windows discover the webcam and automatically download and install the latest version of the software. This will eventually bring you to the same wizard screen as the CD installation.

Installation is extremely easy whichever method you choose and will be easily accomplished without any real technical knowledge.

Using the Lifecam HD 3000

Assuming that you always leave your Lifecam HD 3000 plugged in to a USB port, the webcam will automatically turn on as soon as you launch any software which it is compatible with. To start you off, Microsoft give you a nice utility to play around with the camera, allowing you to take still and moving images and then edit them by adding special lighting effects or overlays such as silly hair styles or cool shades. You can even change the curvature of the camera, giving the same kind of effect as you would expect if you were in a hall of mirrors which is always good for a laugh.

The webcam is also capable of automatic zooming. This feature is great when it works well but occasionally, you will find that the camera will zoom when you don’t really want it to, giving an unflattering view of your nose. Fortunately, this functionality can be switched off, giving you manual control of the zoom. Personally, I find the auto zoom a bit of a gimmick and while it is fun to experiment with, I’m struggling to find a practical reason as to why you would use it.

The Lifecam HD 3000 is also pretty good when it comes to capturing moving footage. Recording at upto 720p HD at 30 frames a second, you are going to get high quality output whether you are just having a skype conversation or if you are streaming yourself to an online service such as Twitch or YouTube. In most cases, 30 frames a second is going to be more than adequate. Bear in mind however that if you are broadcasting game PC or console game footage, your video may appear choppy as these games are capable of running at higher frame rates. This is not really a limitation of the webcam however as it is not really designed for this purpose.

Is it worth the price?

The Lifecam HD 3000 sells for anywhere between £20 and £30. In my opinion this isn’t exactly cheap but you are getting a high quality webcam which will deliver crisp audio and visual output. The camera works well in most light conditions but can start to look a bit grainy when the light fades. Audio quality is excellent and the webcam is able to block out background noise well although it is unable to block out all unwanted noise.

As previously mentioned, we use these webcams for ID card photo production where clarity is vitally important. I have to say that the Lifecam HD 3000 delivers to the highest quality on this count. We also use these webcams to hold virtual meetings via Google Hangouts. This means that we can hold inter-campus meetings without the need for travelling, thus cutting down on expenses. If the audio and video quality provided by the Lifecam HD 3000 was poor, we would not be able to do this. The fact that meetings of this nature have now become commonplace, demonstrates how highly rated the webcam is amongst staff.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the Microsoft Lifecam HD 3000 if you are looking for your first webcam or even if you are looking to upgrade from any webcam over two years old. It might look a bit flimsy but once you have bent it into position, it will stay that way until you decide to move it again. I would say this is the best webcam we have used at work. It is definitely worth a look.

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This review was read 1178 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • StewwyB published 12/11/2015
    very well reviewed
  • shellyjaneo published 26/10/2015
    vh x
  • jimmychoogirl published 16/09/2015
    Fantastic review :) x
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Product Information : Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

Manufacturer's product description

Share every detail with friends and family in HD. This full featured webcam delivers smooth, detailed video and crystal clear audio.

Product Details

Product Description: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 - web camera

Device Type: Web camera

Audio: Yes : built-in microphone

Connectivity Technology: Wired

Camera: Colour

Max Resolution: 1280 x 720

Interfaces: USB 2.0

Features: 16:9 widescreen mode, Skype compatible, TrueColor Technology

Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years warranty

Microsoft Certification: Compatible with Windows 7

Environmental Parameters (operating): 0 °C - 60 °C ; 5 - 95% (non-condensing) relative humidity

Weight: 89.9 g

Dimensions (WxDxH): 4.45 cm x 3.93 cm x 10.9 cm

Focus Adjustment: (min distance 30 cm )

Optical Sensor Type: CMOS

General

MPN: T3H-00003, T3H-00012, T3H-00013, T3H-00002, T3H-00004, T3H-00001

Device Type: Web camera

Audio Support: Yes : built-in microphone

Connectivity Technology: Wired

Weight: 89.9 g

Height: 10.9 cm

Depth: 3.93 cm

Width: 4.45 cm

Camera

Type: Colour

Max Digital Video Resolution: 1280 x 720

Features: 16:9 widescreen mode, Skype compatible, TrueColor Technology

Digital Zoom: 4

Interfaces

Computer Interface: USB 2.0

Expansion / Connectivity

Interfaces: 1 x USB 2.0 - 4 PIN USB Type A

Miscellaneous

Compatible with Windows 7: "Compatible with Windows 7" software and devices carry Microsoft’s assurance that these products have passed tests for compatibility and reliability with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.

Cables Included: 1 x USB cable - external - 1.8 m

Software / System Requirements

OS Required: Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later, Microsoft Windows Vista

System Requirements Details: Windows XP/Vista/7 - Pentium 4 - 3 GHz - RAM 1 GB - HD 300 MB

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support: 3 years warranty

Service & Support Details: Limited warranty - 3 years

Environmental Parameters

Max Operating Temperature: 60 °C

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Relative Humidity (operating): 5 - 95% (non-condensing)

Lens Construction

Min Focus Distance: 30 cm

Image Sensor

Type: CMOS

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