sea 18 2009

DealExtreme: USB PC Webcam with de 1.3Mpixel 6 LEDs (USB PC Webcam (1.3MPixel with 6-LED))

The review today is the USB PC Webcam with de 1.3Mpixel 6 LEDs (USB PC Webcam (1.3MPixel with 6-LED)), the famous webcam that costs only 6 na U.S. dollars DealExtreme. She came among the items last packet that veio of laser.

The webcam is smaller than it appears in photos of DX and quite light, only comes in a plastic bag with a small instruction manual and a mini-CD with driver, one of those mini-CD-Rs with a teddy bear, common in Chinese products. Does not have any packaging or box, nor any indication of who the manufacturer.

She moves in all angles on the base, a clip that can be used to fasten it to laptops (ou monitores LCD bem finos) or may simply stay on a flat, as a CRT or the CPU. In the USB cable there is a potentiometer as the volume that exist in various microphones, it serves to control the intensity of 6 LEDs, from off to a very strong brightness. There is no way to adjust the LEDs or automatically via software.

When you connect it arises the first problem, Contrary to what a user reported in the forum DealExtreme, the camera does not work in Windows Vista 64 sem bits Gambiarra. The driver is not signed, and Windows Vista x64 does not work with unsigned drivers. The installation program installs the driver CD that does not work and a program called VideoCap. The driver is called only “USB Video Camera Driver v1.54”, again without any indication of who the manufacturer, except for the hardware ID, as é 17A1:0118, or more precisely: “USB VID_17A1&PID_0118&REV_0100”. Searches with this ID does not reveal much, except that several drivers were tested, but none worked. The Everest also said that it was a “TASCORP 2.0 USB2.0 WebCam (USB2.0 WebCam)”, but this information is not reliable, mainly because it is a USB camera 1.1, as finds itself Everest. Cameras with the same housing that abound in the market, but internally they may be quite different, DX has sold itself and several different cameras with the same sku, and can not be a coincidence that the price has dropped so much, quality must have fallen along.

The only solution I have found to make it work on Windows Vista x64 was the tool “Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider 1.2“. Basically, is a tool that puts Windows Vista in a test mode, intended for developers, in which the developer himself can sign drivers with a certificate unchecked. It was found that the best solution, whereas others involve removing important security updates and / or have to press F8 each time you log into Windows. Nevertheless, is a solution with some drawbacks, stand as an inscription “Teste Mode” the four corners of the desktop. But it was the only way to work the camera, without it she turns a simple flashlight USB 6 LEDs. Once installed it worked normally with programinha installed along with it, or that VideoCap. It worked perfectly in Windows Live Messenger also, but there was a problem in Skype: the entire image is distorted to the user himself, despite appearing perfectly for the person on the other side.

The image quality is passable, getting to be worse than a Creative WebCam Go fabricated 1999, serves only as a stop-gap for those who are not willing to invest in a higher quality camera, such as Microsoft or Logitech, that cost easily over 10 times higher than that. The resolution is terrible, Chega to 640×480 quite blurred, the 1.3 megapixel title is obtained with a beautiful gambiarra counting: 640x480x4, apparently because each pixel is formed by 4 sensors (one for each RGB color and a repeated more). The image has a terrible lag and any movement results in a blur, in the driver's option to choose better quality, more speed or a medium term. There are also options to define the type of light (solar, incandescent, fluorescent), besides the traditional settings of brightness, contrast, etc. Finally the lens is also horrible, need to be 1 meter of the camera so that it can fit my whole head. There is a little hole on the front that would be for a microphone that exists in earlier versions, but it no longer exists in the current version (probably to make it cheaper). All these problems do not exist in a Microsoft VX-3000, more repeat, one VX-3000 costs the equivalent of one 10 a 15 webcams of this DX. Furthermore, the quality is probably the same as found in other cameras Chinese quite sold here.

I conclude the review with some pics:

Webcam, com o folheto de instruções e miniCD de driver

Webcam, with instruction booklet and MiniCD driver

Webcam USB de 6 dólares na DealExtreme

Webcam USB de 6 DealExtreme na U.S. dollars

Controle de intensidade dos LEDs da Webcam

Control the intensity of the LEDs Webcam

Webcam com o clip posicionado para ficar sobre alguma plataforma

Webcam with clip to be positioned on any platform

Parte traseira da webcam, mostrando o clip e o fio USB

Rear of webcam, showing the clip and USB cord

Wait for the review of other products. If you also want to shop in DealExtreme, directly from Hong Kong, click here and good shopping.

Update: Since Leonardo's request, I provide the contents of the CD that accompanies this webcam.

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