It may be small, but the Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro offers a large variety of functions and is the ideal family webcam.

For those in a hurry, the Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro comes with a wide angle lens and can be plugged straight into a USB port. It records video up to 1.3Mp and still images at 5Mp out of the box without the need to install any drivers.

The Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro rotates through 270 degrees, and has a built-in microphone and a sturdy hinged clip that allows the webcam to be positioned comfortably on top of your screen.

Installing the drivers and software, which takes around 10 minutes, takes you to the heart of the fun. Intelligent functions are included, such as smart face tracking technology. This lets the Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro identify a face and follow it, making it the main focus of the whole image no matter where it moves.

You also get some more lightweight, fun functions, including Advanced Video FX and Live! Cam doodling.

Morphing into a werewolf and adding elf ears to yourself are just some of the Advanced Video FX which can be added to live images and recorded on video or still image capture. Meanwhile Live! Cam Doodling offers big kids the chance to draw moustaches and other facial features on images. You can even add streams of glitter or bubbles to live images, although the effects are only temporary and can't be recorded.

The Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro's built-in microphone records sound and filters out background noise. The Optia Pro also comes with a headset for private listening. Audio FX can be added to sound. You can, for instance, morph male voices into female, and add a selection of strange accents.

Privacy-loving teenagers and security conscious home owners alike will love the motion-detector function that sends alerts to a specified email address if movement is detected on the webcam. Such video can be stored on your PC's hard drive and viewed at a later date, while the remote monitoring function lets you see live images from the webcam on a dedicated website. You can keep an eye on home, while you're away.

Compatible with MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), as well as Skype the Optia Pro will work with just about every video chat system there is. Embracing its family identity, the Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro also offers a parental control function for peace of mind.

Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro: Specs

  • 5Mp webcam
  • records 1.3Mp video
  • 4x digital zoom
  • USB 2.0
  • 5Mp webcam
  • records 1.3Mp video
  • 4x digital zoom
  • USB 2.0

OUR VERDICT

If you're after a webcam that offers fun for all the family and peace of mind where younger children are concerned, then the Creative Live! Cam Optia Pro fits the bill. But it's not cheap.

Find the best price