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Webcam Quality Test Shootout

Webcam Software

All five webcams come with software for snapping pictures and recording video. There are third-party applications, such as Active WebCam, that provide more features. We will be reviewing those applications in future articles.

Creative WebCam Center

All of Creative's webcams use the same WebCam Center software, which provides a very polished interface for controlling the webcam. Not only can you capture still shots and video, but you can do remote monitoring, motion detection and time-lapse video.

Video capture can be set to turn on and off according to a schedule. This is a great feature for keeping track of small children or possibly monitoring a closed store. The snapshots can be emailed or FTP'ed from the software.

By default the video capture doesn't use any compression and doesn't turn on audio recording. We were shocked when a ten second video capture created a file almost 100 MB in size. After turning on the compression, the same length capture was less than 5 MB.

Camera settings are easily controlled by clicking on the Source button in the main window. Here you can change your basic brightness, contrast and saturation settings. In the advanced window you can set the white balance and flip the picture vertically and horizontally. This is a useful feature if you are mounting the webcam in strange positions.