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iHome Notebook Webcam Pro,
Purchased April 26, 2009, $49.99

A fairly new entry into the webcam world is this company with the Mac knock-off name, iHome.

The front of the box leads one to believe this is a 5 mega pixel (Max resolution) camera but close examination of the specs reveals it really has 1.3 mega pixels and the 5mp is obtained through interpolating software.

This camera performs quite well in bright light at the 1.3 mega pixel resolution. I had some difficulty at the 640x480 resolution in low light conditions, when I found the image was somewhat dark and rather grainy.

In bright light I was impressed with the image. Sharp, clear, great color, fast response, and it deals well (compared to other similarly priced cameras) with the wide brightness variations of my full daylight tests (see large image).

The 18 inch cable plugs into the bottom of the camera which works quite well when mounted on a notebook. However, the fact the cable comes in on the bottom, means the camera can not be used anywhere except mounted on a thin notebook screen. It can't be used on a regular monitor and the holding bracket will only expand to 3/8 inch so it won't work on thicker screens. The notebooks I use for my testing have a lip around the top of the screen to keep dirt out when the cover is closed. This causes the camera to tip down in the front so it is difficult to aim. There is virtually no way to adjust the camera in any direction except by tilting your notebook screen.

I would love to use this camera as one of my permanent units but I can't figure how to mount it solidly without creating a messy setup. I'll keep trying and maybe this camera will find a window somewhere to look out of.

Sample images showing how this camera performs under different lighting conditions

Large image taken under bright light. 1280x1024
(for optimal viewing of the large image, turn off automatic image resizing in your browser)

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