The Creative Live! Cam Optia may lie at the cheaper end of Creative's Live! Cam line-up, but we were pleasantly surprised by its performance.
Creative Live! Cam Optia is a budget webcam that provides relatively impressive image quality, smart face tracking, a useful software bundle and excellent plug-and-play functionality.
Indeed, the Creative Live! Cam Optia adheres to the UVC (USB video class) specification, which means it can be used by any UVC-supported OS - without drivers.
We liked the overall build quality of the Creative Live! Cam Optia. The combination of a manual focus ring and Auto Tuning technology, plus up to 270 degrees of vertical swivel and 15 degrees horizontal tilt, allows the Optia's 1.3Mp precision lens to capture half-decent images. And while the Creative Live! Cam Optia might look like a stapler, with its thick, acrylic casing and its 'multi-attach' base, it's a classy stapler that'll fit almost any display.
But the Creative Live! Cam Optia remains a budget model, and 1.3Mp is pretty standard; 1,280x960 still images are achieved through software interpolation, and face tracking is erratic. There's no built-in mic – Creative has bundled a handsfree stereo headset – and we weren't impressed with autoProducer's Advanced Video FX.
That said, video quality is pretty smooth at 30fps (frames per second).