It is amazing to me that portable webcams with decent picture quality at an affordable price are still hard to find these days. For customers such as traveling business men/women and broke college students; catching up with customers, bosses, significant others, or that hot fling is an essential part of everyday life. The Rosewill RCM-8163 webcam provides these consumers with a good product at a very reasonable price.
Here’s the features and specs:
Image Sensor: 1/4″ CMOS
Max.Image Resolution: 2560 x 2048 (By Software)
Effective Pixels: True 1.3 MP
Video Capture Resolution: 1280 x 1024
Frame Rate: 30 fps
Operating Systems Supported: Windows XP / Vista above, MAC 10.4.7 above
Lens Sensor Area: 1/4″
Max Image Circle: 5.6mm
Back Focal Length (BFL): 1.3mm
Effective Focal Length (EFL): 3.99mm
Total Length (TTL): 9.21mm
Angle of View(FOV): 70.1°
Optical Distortion: < 0.6%
Lens Construction: 3P + IR
IR Filter: 650nm±10nm cutoff
Lens Material: Glass
So what’s the hype on this webcam? Well, it can take still pictures with a resolution of five mega pixels (when used with the software)… which is definitely better than most of our lame camera phones. Also, for the consumer on the move, this webcam is plug-and-play, which means you don’t have to install any of the drivers unless you want to use some of the more advanced features of the webcam. If you do want to use the drivers, they are available on the included installation disk as well as downloadable from www.rosewill.com.
The wee webcam can do a full 360 degrees and is fully articulated. It is small enough that it can be mounted anywhere and transported very easily, and the base has a rubber grip on the underside to help it stay put on your desktop. If used with a notebook the base opens allowing the webcam to be mounted. The hinge is tight so your webcam won’t go skydiving from your notebook during those intense business meetings. The user can take pictures using software, but the webcam also features a shutter button on the top of the webcam that can be used as well.
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The webcam is compatible with MSN, Yahoo, and Windows Messengers, as well as Skype. It also has a built-in microphone to help ensure that all of your online dates go as smoothly as possible…
So what are the cons of using this webcam? During video, the webcam cannot tolerate any fast motion. The result is a blur on the screen, meaning any movements that you make have to be slow. Any attempt at expressive gesticulation will have your chat partner wondering what you are doing, exactly. The photos captured in bright or dim light do not turn out well. They are on par with some of the most basic camera phones. Objects appear washed out in bright light and fuzzy in dim light.
I appreciate the ease of using this webcam and the portability of it. For a retail price of $30 (or less depending on where you look), this basic webcam is a great deal. I’m not sure that you could get a webcam that provides better picture quality for the price. This webcam is probably not appropriate for those doing serious “business” transactions using Skype or MSN, but if you just need a webcam to get the job done the RCM-8163 is more than adequate.