Creative Live! Cam Sync V3
Creative Live! Cam Sync V3 Review
Unlike Poly’s Studio P5, which reimagines the webcam, Creative refines the entry-level webcam by making it more than entry-level. The $49.99 Creative Live! Cam Sync V3 ups the video on even top-notch laptops sporting full high definition (FHC) 1080p with a 2K QDH sensor and 4X Digital Zoom. That translates into 2560 X 1440 @30 frames-per-second. Accessing the full 2K quality of the camera requires a compatible 3-party app like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).
A tripod-mount compatible base also includes a hinge for sitting the camera atop a laptop display or external monitor. A swivel base supports 360-degree movement. Some reviews complain about the standardish bracket and that moving a monitor makes it come loose. Let’s be serious; the only people that jostle a monitor during a conference call are hardware reviewers. When I’m on with clients, the only things I move is my head to acknowledge I’m hearing them and my Apple Pencil 2 across the surface of my iPad Pro to take notes.
Alongside the lens, Creative installs two omnidirectional microphones, eliminating the need for an external microphone in most cases. And unlike hard-to-find lens caps, the Creative Live! Cam Sync V3 puts privacy first with a convenient flip-down lens cover that stays out of the way when not needed and makes privacy protection easy to confirm when it’s in place.
4X digital zoom allows cropping images to focus on what is needed, from expansive views when selling a home to head and shoulders for conference calls. The default zoom level is 1920×1080.
I found the images crisp and clear, especially when compared to built-in webcams. Keep in mind this camera is competing with $100 cameras, not more expensive cameras. Low light performance could be better, but again, it’s better than the laptop cameras by a long shot. With good lighting, Creative Live! Cam Sync V3 consistently produced great-looking streams. The expansive 95º field of view makes for a more professional-looking output, accommodating more than one person on a call.
The Creative Live! Cam Sync V3 requires no drivers. It works just as easily with a Mac as it does a Windows PC. Unfortunately, the Creative app is designed to manage background noise, and record directly from the camera plus other features only run-on Windows. Not only would software for the Mac be welcomed, but a more integrated approach to controls on the app that supported previews of setting changes would make for a more powerful video companion. Making the app a tool in the taskbar rather than an app would be useful so that adjustments could be easily made on the fly.
The compact size and lightness of the camera make it easy to tuck into a bag for travel.
Creative Live! Cam Sync V3 Specifications
- Digital Zoom Range: Up to 4XC
- Resolution: Max: QHD (1440p) @ 30 fps / FHD (1080p) @ 30 fps
- Field of View: Up to 95°
- Microphones: 2 omnidirectional
- Dimensions: 82 x 53 x 58 mm / 3.23 x 2.09 x 2.28 inches
- Weight: 95.7g (3.38 oz)
- Cable Length (end-to-end): 1.8m / 5.9 ft
- Built-in privacy lens cover
- Works with: macOS and Windows
Creative Live! Cam Sync V3: The Bottom Line
Creative delivers a solid webcam with the Creative Live! CAM Sync V3. It’s a stronger play on Windows with the additional app, but it also works well on the Mac, even less the bells and whistles. At sub-$50, buyers will not regret the investment; in fact, they may think they got a bargain.
I would also love to see Creative drop the exclamation mark from the name, as it plays havoc with SEO, an issue I’m sure their web team has already raised.
Creative provided the Live! CAM Sync V3 for review. Images courtesy of Creative.
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