LifeCam HD-3000 front right side views

Best Budget Webcam Review: The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

Watch the video to see a demo of the webcam’s 720p resolution

I’ve been a YouTuber for a while, and I’ve been looking for a webcam to use. I’ve produced many different types of videos before on my YouTube channel, but I want to try something similar to daily vlogging as a means of growing my channel through consistent high quality videos. But obviously that requires a good camera. The webcam that came with my old monitor recorded video really bad, especially if the ambient lighting was a bit dim. Also, I didn’t have the budget to invest into a whole set of high quality professional camera gear. So I settle with buying a decent webcam, namely the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 model T3H-00011, that easily fits on top of my monitor.

LifeCam HD 3000 proper close up view of boxed camunboxing LifeCam HD 3000 red lid white inner box profile camLifeCam HD 3000 sitting ontop of the monitor

The reason why I went with a webcam vs. a regular video camera is that a webcam easily integrated with my workflow & workspace, and interviewing or chatting with people online via skype or other means opened up as an option.

A webcam is good for my workflow because if I wanted to make a quick vlog, I don’t have to worry each time about my current surroundings in terms of lighting and background noise because I only plan to use the webcam in my workspace. I work most of the time in my own room at the PC, so I have control over the lighting every time and I have a good idea at which times the area around my workspace is quite enough to shoot video and properly record the sound of my voice.

So after doing some research, I decided to go with the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 over many other different webcams. Some webcams were labeled with 1080p, meaning that they took 1080p still shot photos- but actually recorded in 720p. So I avoided those.

The LifeCam HD-3000 uses 720p HD video; that’s a resolution of 1280×720 pixels to be exact. The aspect ratio is still 16:9 which is the standard for most monitors & is pretty much the standard format of most YouTube videos.

For video content creation, a high resolution like 1080p is certainly a better choice, like the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. But for 3 times the price I decided that 720p Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000 would be better for my budget.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 close up view on camera lense and audio

The Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam is really nice, if it fits your budget

But after some research, I kind of regret making that choice. The Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam has much smoother focusing and 1080p really is the standard for YouTube videos. Also, It comes with a mounting hole in the base that allows you to screw it into a tripod if you so desire.

Otherwise, most video calling programs like Skype lock the resolution to 720p in order to keep the communication fast & lag-free in real time. A higher resolution comes with a higher data transfer requirement. So if your bandwidth isn’t good on your side or the recipient’s side, then you’ll experience substantial lag & freezing. So for Skype video calling, you don’t need a better webcam than the LifeCam HD-3000.

Another really cool thing about the LifeCam HD-3000 is that it has a color-contrast correcting technology that allows you to improves the quality of the video coming from the webcam. This is especially useful if the lighting in your room isn’t all that great.

The LifeCam HD-3000 has a nice rubbery and therefore grippy attachment base designed to work for all types of monitors; whether it be your desktop, laptop, or notebook monitor. The rubber-base attachment is loose enough so that it doesn’t damage the top of the monitor, and the cable is is light which prevents the base from dragging.

I noticed that the attachment base kinda sits on the top of the monitor, which is just fine actually. In other words, it’s not a clamp, but it doesn’t need to be given that I don’t move my monitor around vigorously. I also noted that the rubber base will not sit properly on a very thin screen, so keep that in mind.

LifeCam HD 3000 almost fully extended straight flatZoomed in LifeCam HD 3000 close up of shutter cameraLifeCam HD 3000 behind view camera photo shot wire coming behind out fo LifecamLifeCam HD 3000 lifted off the desk at angle camera photo shotLifeCam HD 3000 side view sitting on the desksitting on desk LifeCam HD 3000 with USB wire cable infront

The LifeCam HD-3000 is in focus from about 6 inches and above, so that auto focus is not necessary if you sit far back from your computer display. Video is stutter free. Microphone is pretty good. The sound volume can clearly be heard even if you sit 4ft from the screen.

The camera is small, with dimensions of 1 inch width and 1/2 inch height.

Overall, I’d say that if you need a webcam for chatting with friends while playing a video game, or video calling someone on Skype, then the LifeCam HD-3000 is all that you really would need. If you are looking to make vlogs or talk about various things in YouTube videos, or other content creation related-videos, I would suggest buying the LifeCam HD-3000.

The Revisionist

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