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Philips Vesta PCVC680K Web Camera

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    5 Reviews
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      04.02.2003 06:31
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      This camera is wonderfull, magnificent and a dream to use. Once you get it working. That last part is mainly for Windows 2000 and Windows XP users. There is a little issue where the operating system locks access to files required for updating during the installation process. This is a non-issue and the philips pc-camera homepage tells you how to get around this. It's also worth getting the updated drivers as the performance improves by about 25% when they're in and running. The quality at 640x480 is superb, so everything lower is greata s well. Audio quality is soo good from this that I use it with dragon dictate for dictation. Honestyl. I was doing a voice-over for a smal video project and my mic was duffed so I actually adjusted the recording levels manually, used microsoft sound recorded and got my WAVs that way through this very camera. The results amazed everyone. The look of the camera is also very nice indeed. I'm so pleased with it that I've got one in my study and one nestled between the XBOX and Sky decoding in my livingroom so my daughter (2.5 years old) can video conference with her grandparents in Ireland on the big-screen. Simply superb. Go get one. Don't wait, go out and do it now, you'll not regret it (Once it's working :) )

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      13.07.2001 04:28

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      Philips Vesta PCVC680K web camera A high tech, plug and play web camera, which is compact and easy to use (Via a USB Universal Serial Bus socket). With a built in microphone, this camera sells for about £100, and is in the higher end of the market. It is available from most good computer peripheral stockists. The camera and software are compatible for computers with a processor speed of 166 mhz and above. You are required to have at least 16 mb of ram and 10mb of free hard drive space to install and use the software that is supplied with the camera. Playback capabilities are an advantage as the quality built in microphone affords you the ability to record your own audio tracks. Designed to operate on Windows 98 and above,(Sorry ‘95 users) the camera and software are easy to install and use. The software is on a CD-rom, which can be read by either a CD-rom drive, or a DVD rom drive. In order to fully appreciate the spectacular picture quality a graphics card with a minimum spec of 64k is required. Quality prints taken by the camera can be reproduced via a printer. The Vesta web cam is compact and is supplied with a small bendy tripod, which is fitted on the standard tripod screw fitting on the underneath of the camera, and provides a stable base. No larger than a tennis ball the camera features manual focus and a snapshot button. There is a small green light above the lens to indicate when the camera is in use. The cameras capabilities are many from being able to capture up to 30 frames per second video footage, to taking good quality snapshot photos at a maximum pixel rate of 800X600. Any of these formats can be sent via e-mail, v-mail, or direct conferencing using the software supplied. Direct conferencing sites are readily available from the web as free downloads, and personally I recommend Paltalk, as the online support team continually monitor all rooms to avoid any u
      npleasantness. (But Paltalk is another review for another day) The software supplied is comprehensive and easy to use (When you know how). And includes programmes for video editing, video conferencing and a photo manipulation. You can even make the camera lie. (Who says that the camera never lies!) Costing around £100 this camera is not the cheaper end of the market, but for the more discerning computer user, I would have to recommend it. Philips does manufacture less expensive cameras in their range, and they are priced accordingly. I believe that the price has dropped since we bought ours, but I still like it.

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      31.01.2001 22:16
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      This web cam is selling in comet for 50 pounds at the moment, but a word of warning. Once it is runnings it's superb, great wonderful, however it did take me a few hours to set up. The problem I had was my sound card, it's an intergrated sound card, and the problem was that shared some of the DLL's with the camcorder's microphone, basically this meant that when I installed the camcorder it asked to put on later versions of DLL's. I said yes go ahead, but when rebooting my PC, the PC get on crashing and I lost sound. But don't worry after reinstalling the sound card driver and saying yes revert to earlier versions of DLL's everything works fine. The web came is a great product, the more light the better. Hope this helps if you get into any problems, but my fix was for my FUJITSU not sure about anyone elses soundcards.

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        30.01.2001 15:08
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        Following delivery of my new Dell Dimension 8100 I decided to invest in a Web Camera. Not knowing too much about these I took the advice of a good friend and picked the Philips PCVC680USB. Before going into details about this particular camera let me give you a brief explanation of how a web camera works. Basically a normal camera lets light enter through a lens which then makes contact with a light sensitive film, changing the film’s chemistry and capturing a negative of the image which is then revealed when developed. A digital camera captures an image with a light sensitive array instead of film. The most common array is a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD). Essentially a silicon chip that has light sensitive diodes arranged in a grid across its face. A CCD array can have millions of sensors; each registers the brightness of a colour at its position. An array with a million sensors is said to capture a “megapixel” of data. This brightness data is read, one row at a time, by an analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) that changes the brightness readings (captured by the CCD as differences in voltage) to digital data. By comparing data from adjacent red, green, and blue pixels, the ADC determines and records the colour of each pixel. The data is then colour-corrected, compressed, and stored in memory. For still photographs this is captured and uploaded via the USB connection to your PC. For Video image this data is refreshed up to 30 times per second and at each refresh uploaded via your USB connection to your PC. So why the Philip 680? All cameras on the market seem to have a fairly standard resolution of 640 x 480VGAfor still pictures, which provides an extremely sharp photograph. But it is in looking at the video imagery that the differences show. The Philips 680 has a refresh rate of 30 frames per second, which provides seamless video movement on screen. Most cameras carry 15 frames pe
        r second or 24 frames per second refresh rates that can appear stilted. The image provided by this camera is as clear as highly polished glass, utilising the 352 x 288 pixel maximum resolution for video transfer, many of the other cameras on the market provide a lot lower level of transfer. This camera also carries a built in Microphone giving speech capability. This brings you into a whole new dimension, not only can you send video e-mail but now you can videoconference in conjunction with NetMeeting or its equivalent. Hours of fun although it does mean slobbing out in front of the PC is no longer an option! Its compact size means it is unobtrusive on the desk, and the camera comes with a choice of plastic feet to allow it to nest on top of your screen or a metal tripod that screws into the underside. The flexible legs on this allow the camera to point at most angles. Remember to get your best side. The CCD sensor in this camera is set to give best resolution even in poor light although like any camera the better the light the better the picture. The variable focus lens produces a focus range of 0mm to infinity, and automatically adjusts for image contrast, hue, saturation and white balance, resulting in superior image quality. Plugging in the USB connection my PC automatically found the device and we had video connection. Running the installation disk gave us access to the editing program allowing still photographs to be taken as well. One word of warning the installation of this camera with Windows ME caused the default microphone to become the USB Camera mike, and it was necessary to go into my audio controls and reset the default to my own microphone. This camera is designed for Windows 98 or higher. I run it on Windows ME and find it easy to access the software via the my PC icon. The camera software itself is easy to use and photo editing can produce some shall we say amusing results!!
        This camera is at the higher end of the market at £69.99 but is not unreasonably priced. For the functionality provided it is worth every penny. It is compact and easy on the eye. The specification is top notch and on a par with cameras priced a lot higher. It is definitely worth paying the extra cash to get your hands on one of these. Steven Spielberg watch out !!!

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        16.10.2000 17:03
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        Philips Vesta PCVC680K web camera A high tech, plug and play web camera, which is compact and easy to use (Via a USB Universal Serial Bus socket). With a built in microphone, this camera sells for about £100, and is in the higher end of the market. It is available from most good computer peripheral stockists. The camera and software are compatible for computers with a processor speed of 166 mhz and above. You are required to have at least 16 mb of ram and 10mb of free hard drive space to install and use the software that is supplied with the camera. Playback capabilities are an advantage as the quality built in microphone affords you the ability to record your own audio tracks. Designed to operate on Windows 98 and above,(Sorry ‘95 users) the camera and software are easy to install and use. The software is on a CD-rom, which can be read by either a CD-rom drive, or a DVD rom drive. In order to fully appreciate the spectacular picture quality a graphics card with a minimum spec of 64k is required. Quality prints taken by the camera can be reproduced via a printer. The Vesta web cam is compact and is supplied with a small bendy tripod, which is fitted on the standard tripod screw fitting on the underneath of the camera, and provides a stable base. No larger than a tennis ball the camera features manual focus and a snapshot button. There is a small green light above the lens to indicate when the camera is in use. The cameras capabilities are many from being able to capture up to 30 frames per second video footage, to taking good quality snapshot photos at a maximum pixel rate of 800X600. Any of these formats can be sent via e-mail, v-mail, or direct conferencing using the software supplied. Direct conferencing sites are readily available from the web as free downloads, and personally I recommend Paltalk, as the online support team continually monitor all rooms to avoid any unpleasantness.
        (But Paltalk is another review for another day) The software supplied is comprehensive and easy to use (When you know how). And includes programmes for video editing, video conferencing and a photo manipulation. You can even make the camera lie. (Who says that the camera never lies!) Costing around £100 this camera is not the cheaper end of the market, but for the more discerning computer user, I would have to recommend it. Philips does manufacture less expensive cameras in their range, and they are priced accordingly.

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