Bridled far by video conferencing software, HD webcams are starting to take their meaning with new applications last operator performance. We tested nine models signed Logitech, Microsoft, Creative and Hercules.
In 2009, the first HD cameras such as the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema had emerged. However, if some of them actually showed an image of very good quality, they showed their limits and especially their little use in the context of videoconferencing Skype or Messenger were limited at the time to resolution 640×480. A limitation bypassed by manufacturers who then put forward the advantage of HD for other uses, including the creation of video blogs or podcasts.
The situation is changing: the release of Skype 5 and Windows Live Messenger 2011 opens the HD videoconferences and it finally seems possible to enjoy these high definition webcams. Luckily since the models are increasing, especially among Logitech has renewed its range this year. Among the new models, there are two cameras 720p HD Webcam C310 and C510, and impressive webcam 1080P HD Pro Webcam C910.
As for competitors, it also moves with a replica of Microsoft that was quick: the LifeCam Studio, offering 1080p (on paper), and a more successful design than the LifeCam Cinema. Recent models alongside those already tested in our previous comparison. We have therefore taken these (Microsoft LifeCam Cinema Webcam C600 Logitech, Creative Live! Cam Socialize HD Hercules Dualpix HD720p for Notebooks), and the Microsoft LifeCam HD 5000 and the Hercules Dualpix Emotion.
Point on the video conference in HD
Messenger 2011 as Skype allow 5 to make HD video calls. Nevertheless, it should be noted that compatibility depends webcams used. Thus, if the Logitech C310, C510 and C910 is now possible to enjoy HD on Skype 5, it will not be the case for non-certified webcams. Microsoft obviously his side optimizes webcam for HD video in Messenger 2011. Similarly, Logitech webcam comes with its latest version of HD Vid, its proprietary software for simplified visio conference, but that is not compatible, such with the Logitech C600 although the latter supports video capture in 720p. Finally, in all cases, it is obviously important to remember the importance of speed: for smooth HD video, it will be necessary to have a good connection. Skype calls eg 1MB symmetrical (in download and upload so) for a resolution of 1280×720 and 30 frames / second.