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Facevsion TouchCam N1


Out-of-the-box...

Picture of the FaceVsion TouchCam N1 webcamNothing but cardboard separates you and one of the most expensive cameras on test. Presented in an elegant cardboard sleeve box, it's a straight forward affair to get it out and inspect the proverbial instructions.

Out of the box, installation is on-par with the Freetalk Everyman HD — extremely fast. Just plug the USB cable into the camera and computer and Windows will detect the webcam and get it configured for you.

The only slight fly in the ointment is the shortest USB cable on test - a mere 1.5 metres. While this sounds adequate enough, it only just reached 2 of our test machines. Our third test machine resulted in the swift move of our monitor so that it was close enough to our PC. However, all is not lost if your monitor is a mile away from your actual PC. FaceVsion appeared to have thought ahead on this matter and equipped the camera with a detachable USB cable. So you could always purchase a slightly longer cable to suit your needs.

Video quality...

Thumbnail image of the FaceVsion TouchCam N1 used in Nefsis

Image clarity would have been the best on test, if it wasn't for the Logitech HD Pro C910. While it was overshadowed slightly by the sheer quality of the Logitech C910, you would be wrong to completely write this webcam off. As with the Freetalk Everyman HD camera, it boasts an onboard H.264 encoder, which (depending on the software you use) can help compress the image to save bandwidth and help offload some of the heavy work from your computer's processor. With Nefsis however, we use our own MPEG4 compression to achieve very similar results. The resulting image is clear, quite crisp and detailed although the depth of field isn't quite as long as the Logitech; not a major concern, considering the detail should primarily be on the objects in the central field and not so much in the furthest background. Certainly the slightly more vivid of cameras when it came to managing lighting and colour, the TouchCam N1 was close to that of the LifeCam Cinema, projecting a more realistic image of the lighting in the room we were in.

Focus on the TouchCam N1 coped very well with a variety of up-close or far-away objects, with no obvious focus tracking, equal to that of the Freetalk and Logitech cameras.

Its field of view hits the first place spot against the competition in this review, just beating the Logitech HD Pro C910 with approximately 78-degrees of view. There really isn't much between these two cameras though. It was more than capable of capturing two of us and extra objects either side of us, resulting in a superb widescreen view that could have easily fitted 3-4 people. This therefore makes the webcam very adept, either in a one-on-one or in a small/medium sized meeting room with a row of colleagues facing the camera.

Likewise with the Freetalk Everyman, it handled a good 22 frames per second — its maximum published frame rate (according to FaceVsion), resulting in a very smooth image. We suspect this frames per second limit is governed by the built-in encoder, as the Logitech appeared to cope with a higher FPS.

Something to bear in mind with any HD webcam is the amount of bandwidth utilisation. Typically we'd recommend having 2 Mbps 'up' available for use. With the FaceVsion it varied from 650kbps with a stationary image to a peak of 1.2 Mbps with considerable head/hand movement. The combination of the wide angle lens and the onboard H.264 encoder (which in comparison with some other cameras on test, appears to compress the video slightly) puts the TouchCam N1 right in the middle of the HD cameras we have tested.

Overall...

Nefsis Review Rating is 5 out of 5While this is one of the most expensive on test (based on RRP), it's a force to be reckoned with if you're looking for pure ease-of-install, consistent detailed image and widescreen field of view. Since this webcam can operate at HD quality without any extra software, it's also ideal if you're on the road, or use multiple computers from time to time. If however, you're happy with installing extra software and don't regularly use a laptop for video calling or conferencing - you might want to look at the Logitech HD Pro C910, as it just beats it for overall image quality.

Related Webcams:
Freetalk Everyman HD | Logitech HD Pro C910 |  Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD

Our Review Ratings Explained

Our review ratings are based on our own objective findings. Since we are not tied to any specific vendor or manufacturer, we will always endeavor to be open, honest and impartial. We can't test every single piece of hardware out on the market, so we always value your input too! If you're currently using a good bit of equipment, do let us know via our forum.

Testing & Disclaimer Information

All prices correct at date/time of writing.
Equipment was tested on: Intel Core2Quad 2.33 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 512 MB Graphics, Windows 7, Nefsis Online Conferencing Service, 10 Mb business internet connection, 720p HD resolutions.