Mark Harris
10 BEST WEBCAMS - The Independent, 5 April 2005

As chosen by technology expert Mark Harris

Trust WB-3100P Portable £25
Add this compact webcam to your Wi-Fi-enabled laptop and you can make videocalls from wireless hotspots all over the world. A self-adjusting clip attaches easily to notebook or LCD monitors and a ball joint give added flexibility. While it isn’t especially tough or good looking, it does feature an integrated microphone.
Trust (no phone;

Logitech QuickCam Sphere £100 --- BEST BUY
Bring a robotic cameraman into your home with this sci-fi styled webcam. When you set it up on its 9-inch stand, it tracks your movements while you chat, ensuring that your face stays right inside the frame. It has a high quality VGA sensor for decent video and still images plus a built-in microphone for web conferencing.
Logitech (020 7309 0127,

D-Link's i2eye DVC-1000 Videophone £245
This clever video camera bypasses your computer altogether by plugging straight into a broadband internet connection (cable modem or DSL) and any normal TV. You can then place videocalls from your living room to other DVC-1000 owners or to anyone using standard videoconferencing software, like Microsoft NetMeeting, on their PC.
D-Link (02087315555;

Fujifilm FinePix F810 £330 --- BEST LUXURY BUY
This stunning six megapixel camera offers a tough metal casing, a 4x zoom lens and sophisticated manual photo features. But connect it to its PC docking station (included in the price) and, like most new Fujifilm digital cameras, it can also double up as a fully functional webcam. An excellent space-saving solution.
Fujifilm (020 7586 5900,
Logitech QuickCam Communicate £40
This simple webcam makes it easy to set-up live video calls with your favourite messaging software, or attach photos and video to e-mails with a single click. The fixed focus lens isn’t as advanced as some but at least it has a built-in microphone. Comes with 30 days’ free trial of the Logitech VideoCall software (normally £3.74/month).
Logitech (020 7309 0127,

Creative Labs WebCam Instant £30
Kids will love this interactive webcam. It comes with five motion-detection games that are controlled by waving their arms, legs and even head in front of the lens. For extra realism, you can even take their picture and paste their faces on to characters in the game. The WebCam Instant also works as a normal webcam, although there’s no microphone.
Creative Labs (no phone;

Nokia PT-6 Remote Camera £270
Although you can connect this stylish security camera to your computer, it really works better on its own, using the mobile phone network. When it detects movement, the Nokia automatically sends a still image or video clip to any mobile number or e-mail address. It works in the dark and you can even telephone the camera to hear what’s happening at the other end.
Nokia (0870 055 5777;

Panasonic BM-DT120 Iris Camera £330
The watchful eye of this webcam can also be used to secure your home computer. It scans every user using biometric iris recognition technology, granting access in the blink of an eye to those it recognises. It shoots at high resolution (VGA) quality and isn’t confused by glasses or contact lenses, but it doesn’t come with a microphone.
Panasonic (08700 100464;

Philips ToUcam SPC200NC £20 --- BEST BUDGET BUY
You won’t find a better value entry to video messaging than this new webcam. It shoots video at a smooth 30 frames per second and can capture basic still images, too. The lens isn’t autofocus but it does rotate to help with framing. An external microphone and USB cable complete a great starter kit.
Philips (0870 900 9070;

Apple iSight £99
Apple really does makes things easy. Just connect the aluminium alloy iSight to any Mac computer and Apple’s iChat AV software launches automatically. Video is smooth and colourful and the built-in microphone suppresses background noise. It comes with brackets for all kinds of Macs, including a cool magnetic mount for the latest flat-panel Apple Cinema displays.
Apple (0800 039 1010;

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