Webcams for Windows 7

Category: Gadgets , Video , Windows-7

I recently upgraded to Windows 7 and my webcam doesn't work. It wasn't the best quality anyway, so I'd like to buy a new one. Can you recommend some good webcams that are certified to work on a Windows 7 computer?

Choosing a Webcam for Your Windows 7 System

Webcams are used for fun, home security, creating social media videos, video chat, and many other applications. Windows 7 supports webcams, and there are many excellent webcams for Windows 7. Prices range from under $20 to several hundred dollars, depending on what you want your webcam to do.

If you want a webcam for informal instant messaging videochat, don't sweat the resolution too much. A good 800x600 resolution webcam with a built-in microphone may be all you need. On the other hand, if you plan to use a webcam for business you may want a sharper high-definition image, fast refresh rate for smooth motion, and amenities like face-tracking to keep your face centered in the frame. Laptop users will want a very compact webcam that attaches and detaches easily to their screen's upper edge. Home security calls for webcams with high resolution and motion-activation, so they start recording only when something moves in their field of view.
Webcams for Windows 7

One of the best places to start looking for a Windows 7 webcam is Microsoft's Hardware Compatibility page. As of this writing, it lists 275 webcams certified as compatible with Windows 7.

Microsoft itself sells webcams under the LifeCam brand name. With nearly 50 LifeCam models, it should be easy to find one that meets your needs at a price you can afford. The LifeCam HD-5000, for instance, is a high-definition webcam ideal for smooth-moving video chat, with a street price of less than $50. The HD-5000 sports Microsoft TrueColor Technology, as do the LifeCam models HD-5001 and HD-6000 for Notebooks. TrueColor Technology constantly adjust colors to adapt to any lighting situation, even if lighting changes while you are videoconferencing.

Other Leading Webcam Brands

Logitech is a leader in computer peripherals, and webcams are no exception. The company offers nearly 100 different models, ranging from $38 up to $180. At the high end, ($110-$120) the QuickCam Orbit offers an innovative face-tracking feature to keep your face at the center of the video display even if you move around a bit. Its resolution is 1.3 Mpixels. The $134 QuickCam Orbit AF has a resolution of 2.0 Mpixels.

Creative Labs is another innovator in webcams, with about 35 products compatible with Windows 7. They range in price from about $25 to $60, with high-def resolutions up to 1600x1200 pixels. The $53 Creative Live Cam Voice is a favorite for instant messaging chat and videoconferencing, with souped-up audio quality and 1.3 Mpixel resolution.

Micro Innovations may have the cheapest webcam for Windows 7. Its VGA quality Compaq Webcam costs just $9 on Amazon Marketplace. At the high end is the In-Sight Motion Webcam IC825C, a motion-tracking webcam for Windows 7 that costs around $65.

Do you have something to say about webcams? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Webcams for Windows 7"

Posted by:

16 Apr 2011

Hello Bob. Long time reader. I have a question I'm getitng a SSD Hard drive. I want to load the OS of a new computer on it. I've been told you need to align the drive first for speed. Ok I have never herd of this. Can you explain what I need to do? The New hard drive will be a OCZ Vertex 3 sandforce 128GB. I will be running windows 7 64bit with 16GB of ram .

EDITOR'S NOTE: I've read that Vista and Win7 handle the alignment issue correctly. Here's more info:

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