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Creative WebCam Live! Ultra for Notebooks

Notebooks owners haven’t been forgotten by Creative. The company offers a special range of five web-camera models for them. Two models are included into this roundup.

Web-cameras for notebooks differ from others in having a special fastening mechanism. They don’t have a stand to be placed on a desk (you can only lay such a camera down, not to stand it on your desk). Moreover, web-cameras for notebooks have a short USB cord, no longer than 1 meter.

As opposed to the other cameras in this review, the Live! Ultra for Notebooks features a CCD sensor.

The camera consists of two parts: a miniature turnable lens and a body with the support electronics. It is fastened to the notebook by means of a clip. The lens can be turned around horizontally by an angle of 180 degrees.

Like with the Cam Voice model, the driver of the Live! Ultra offers three image view modes: Normal, Letterbox and Pan-Scan. Here are shots made at the full physical resolution (i.e. 640x480) of the camera in the three operation modes:

Normal mode – wide angle with typical distortions
but with maximum coverage.

Letterbox mode – 3:2 sides ratio

Pan-Scan mode – 4:3 sides ratio

The ISO Resolution Chart is reproduced without strong geometrical distortions (except for the Normal mode in which the camera’s lens resembles the “fish eye” photographers should be familiar with) and with a good level of detail. This is indicative of a good optical system.

WebCam Live! Ultra for Notebooks: ISO Resolution Chart

The minor defect in the color reproduction – red looks like the color of a carrot – can be put up with. The Live! Ultra reproduces colors better than the other cameras in this review, probably due to its CCD sensor.

Almost ideal color reproduction

So, the WebCam Live! Ultra for Notebooks looks like a good accessory for a notebook. My only gripe about it is that its physical resolution is limited to 640x480 pixels.

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