Lights, Camera, Brew
The first webcam, introduced in 1991, was aimed at the coffee pot in the Trojan Room of the Cambridge University Computer Science Department, alerting its viewers to avoid dangerous caffeine shortages. It served the department faithfully for 10 years before it was finally turned off in 2001*.
The History of the Microsoft LifeCam Family
In 2006, Microsoft took Internet communications to the next level with the launch of the LifeCam line of webcams and LifeChat headsets optimized for Windows Live Messenger. Then, in 2009, we unveiled the LifeCam Cinema as the first consumer webcam to offer widescreen video with a native 720p sensor. And in 2010, we introduced the LifeCam Studio with a 1080p HD sensor, featuring TrueColor Technology, which delivers bright and colorful video, in virtually all lighting conditions.
An Option for Every Budget
Whether you’re a college student keeping in touch with friends over the summer on a budget, a professional who frequently meets with people by video conference, or a YouTube celebrity, Microsoft has a webcam for you. The LifeCam VX-800 is a great starter webcam, at only $19.95. If you’re looking to upgrade to HD, the LifeCam HD-5001 is a great choice. It comes with a 720p HD sensor, Auto Focus, and TrueColor. And for the highest quality experience, the LifeCam Studio offers the same Auto Focus and TrueColor Technology, but adds a 1080p HD sensor and ClearFrame Technology for smooth and detailed footage.
Tips, Troubleshooting, and How-To
Once you’re set up with the camera that fits your needs, check out our webcam how-to guide for help getting everything set up and running smoothly. If you run into any issues with your webcam, refer to our troubleshooting guide for help.
Then, when you’re up and running, read through our webcam video tips to learn how to avoid common mistakes and get the best picture you can.
Need a few creative ideas for what to do with your webcam now that you’re an expert? Here are 21 to get you started. And if you have any ideas to add to our list, leave them in the comments.
*Source: Cambridge University Computer Lab
- Hardware Team