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Genius eFace 2050AF HD webcam

Author: Craig Harris
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Poor-quality video in high definition

The term high-definition (HD) is so popular it sometimes feels as though the title for every technology product is affixed with it. The latest category to get the HD bug is webcams, with a wide range now available.

The Genius eFace 2050AF supports 720p HD video. The device is light, smart looking and inconspicuous, but it feels flimsy – the cheap plastic frame felt particularly precarious.

When it came to video quality the device didn’t fare well. The eFace may well be capable of recording video in HD at the 720p resolution, but it can only capture footage at nine frames per second (the norm is 25-30). This made everything noticeably blurry. And it cannot add HD video to Skype conversations as this requires hardware the eFace 2050AF does not include.

The eFace 2050AF can also capture 8-megapixel still images and incorporates a microphone. Before you start using the webcam’s features, though, you will need to install the Crazy Talk software included with the device on your Windows PC (unfortunately the software is not compatible with Macs).

The software that came with the Genius eFace 2050AF was easy to install, but setting up its features took some time. We spent a while altering the settings but achieving a good picture was difficult and we did not find a way to completely eliminate colour and brightness problems.

The software includes an extensive range of tools that allow users to share and record videos with ease. It also comes with some fun and clever features including Avatar mode. This allows the user to select an animated cartoon character that overlays webcam footage and replicates the user’s movements.

Similarly, the Magic Mirror mode can be used to transpose effects over your webcam pictures, adding text or images, and there is even an effect that contorts your face on-screen.

Overall, though, we were disappointed with the quality of the eFace 2050AF. It includes some great software, but between the terrible frame rate and the time it took to get a decent picture out of it, we recommend buying one of the better high-definition webcams available for a similar price.

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