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Received November 10, 2007, $99.99

Be sure to also read Common issues with Microsoft cameras.
Check the about my lighting page to understand the tests.

This is Microsoft's newest high-end camera and I must say it performs very well. Good quality, sharp images through all resolutions, and the images look good throughout most of the lighting tests. The one exception was for the monitor only simulation test which was a bit too dark even with pushing the brightness up. I found that in the evening my camera tended to give object edges a slightly green tinge and twiddling with the hue slider couldn't quite seem to get it right. But then this could be because of my red long johns and burgundy walls. In the daytime though, the color is fine. The primary drawback is the camera becomes rather grainy in the evening with normal room lighting. See an example of grain. (look around the wall and near the window)

During my testing phase, the camera sat on my second monitor and ended up pointing toward the window. It's winter time here now and quite a bit of light comes through this window. The camera performed very well, exposing my face so I could be seen easily. Example. The only general exposure problem was a slightly over exposed condition during the evening. Shutting down my webcam software, then restarting it, solved the problem.

The camera works on Windows XP and Vista only, no Mac's or Windows 2000 drivers are available. The camera requires the drivers to be installed. I am a bit disappointed in the current series of Microsoft cameras in that they are not USB Video Class compliant. Not a major problem, but Microsoft has been one of the front runners of standardization, so it would seem they would be the first to jump onto this category. From this you can assume I am a fan of Microsoft, so am hoping that their next series of cameras are USB Video compliant.

The camera mounting stand is well designed for functionality and looks pretty good folded up. However, the overall look of the camera is a bit post modern and reminds me of a cross between the 1960's and something we might be seeing in the next decade. Of course I grew up in the 60's so that is fine with me. The mounting stand fits on a flat panel well and can even sit on a desktop assuming you don't mind it looking up at you. It will not sit well on a high shelf to look down at you, but how often does one want to watch the top of your head. At the time of this posting I have a different live camera sitting on the shelf above my monitor which looks down at me from about a foot above my eyes. The VX-7000 camera will not tilt down that far.

I like the cable which is thin and very flexible. Many of the current cameras' cords are stiff and difficult to arrange the way I like without moving the camera. This one is perfect.

It has a blue online indicator and a flat glass-like black front.

If you like Microsoft, and are looking for a good camera with their branding, then this is the one to get. Sample images showing how this camera performs under different lighting conditions Large images taken under bright light.     640x480     600x800     1280x1024     1600x1200
Screen capture of camera     Settings     Controls

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