Yesterday Afternoon we received one of the latest Webcams from Creative, the Socialize HD AF. There are a ton of great features with this Webcam which go beyond the clear picture and small footprint of the webcam. We know that the average user for this webcam will be getting it to connect with friends and relatives across the country or in some cases, calling the user from the garage home studio to the dinner table (Sorry Gloria!).
I connected the Socialize HD AF to my laptop first to see how it would work with a minimal of settings. The Minimum system requirements for the camera call for an Intel Pentium Dual Core or AMD Equivalent at 1.6ghz with 1GB of RAM and Windows 7, Vista or XP SP2 or Higher but will also work on the Mac OS X 10.5 AND Linux Kernel 2.6!
The settings on the laptop were basic with 1Ghz AMD 3200, 2GB of RAM and we were able to install the camera without running the install CD. To benefit from integration with the Socialize HD AF, users will want to install the included software which allows for one touch recording or photo taking and installing to YouTube or Photo Bucket. I wasn’t a fan of the integration of the facebook uploads which were giving the Creative App a little too much freedom with my wall. The ability to take photos with the Live Central 3 Interface is non complicated to use and gives users the option to record video or snap a photo and even adjust the quality in which to do so. Even on the Laptop with the minimal requirements we were able to use the photo overlays to create some fun graphics as well as video avatars to enhance a fun creation. We only had a couple of them on the laptop that wouldn’t allow it. On our Production Behemoth in the office we were able to use all the features and the results of streaming video in 720p was impressive.
I was also impressed with the Wide Angle glass lens which captured more and provided a nicer picture then the previous webcam on our desk. Photos are capable to capture at 10MP which means users could blow them up to 8×10 rather easily. This is not native however and is handled through software enhancements. A Responsive auto focus feature can be used for those that do not want to manually adjust focusing. A 4x Digital zoom is also available with this camera which featured a lengthy USB 2.0 Cable. While more powerful, the camera features a smaller footprint then previous webcams and folds up nicely for transport with your mobile computer. A microphone on the camera picks up audio quite well and allows the user to speak at regular levels and still be heard. for those parents concerned with the kids accessing a web-cam, Parental Control with password protection is also available with this unit.
For those looking for 1080p HD Video, Creative has another camera on the market for this type of capturing, the InPerson 1080. The Suggested retail pricing for the Socialize HD AF is 69.99 on the Creative Website. For More Information take a look at http://www.mylivecam.com