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If you just need the best webcam for Skype, the best webcam for streaming, or the best webcam for Youtube, you’ll find it in the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. Professionals, or those looking to become professionals one day, will need something with a bit more kick to it.
The Microsoft LifeCam is a great, budget-friendly alternative to the normally Logitech-dominant HD webcams. Featuring 720p video, a long-lasting lithium-ion battery, and a 16:9 widescreen, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 should still be able to handle whatever you throw at it as long as you’re not looking to get into professional streaming. For a 1080p model, you can check out our Unzano Full HD webcam review to see if it meets your needs. Additionally, if you are thinking of streaming, we have a great list of the top streaming cameras for Xbox One.
Related: For those who plan to have a video conference, check the Logitech TV Cam HD review
The LifeCam HD-300 records video in 720P and at 30FPS. It’s a budget webcam and an alternative to more expensive Logitech HD webcams. As such, you won’t be able to get 1080P video quality. But it can still function for casual use if you don’t see yourself having to jump in webcams for important meetings and the like. But if you do need something better, consider the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 Widescreen.
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000, like the Microsoft LifeCam Studio, is a difficult camera to get positioned properly. The mount doesn’t really fit strongly enough onto your laptop or desktop computer to stay still or attached during movement. And even if you do find an optimal position for it, the tension of the USB cable could knock it out of whack again. For something more durable, check out the Logitech C270 Widescreen HD Webcam.
Related: Also read the Microsoft Lifecam Studio review
The HD-3000 comes with one Lithium-Ion Battery, lasting for two to three years or 300 to 500 charges. Whichever comes first. That’s the going rate for lithium-ion batteries these days. But in two to three years, considering the speed at which technology is advancing, they should be even better, and you should be able to afford a new webcam if this one needs replacing.
While it doesn’t come with a tripod, the flex mount can double as a camera stand if you want to place the webcam on something other than your computer monitor. It is made of plastic, but considering it’s only a casing for the camera, it should be okay. Still, something slightly more durable, such as the Logitech HD Webcam C525, is always welcome.
Despite its ‘budget’ title, the LifeCam HD-3000 still comes equipped with TrueColor Technology for vibrant and crisp images. Audio is loud and clear, and your voice will surely shine through, but the webcam does have a tendency to pick up other noise as well. And despite its widescreen format, the camera will capture only you and just part of your surroundings, leaving your home and personal data safe.
The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 Webcam is an inexpensive alternative to other HD webcams. But it’s also the reason why the saying “you get what you pay for” exists. Personally, I would have liked to see some 1080P video resolution and better camera control. If that costs me $10 more, so be it. It would still be $30-$40 cheaper than most other webcams.