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(Pocket-lint) - Sometimes we don't want the top of the range model. For those on a budget Creative's entry-level digital camera, the Creative WebCam Instant offers a basic setup, but doesn't overstretch itself like other models in the range in what it can and can't promise.

Like the WebCam Live! Pro, the unit has been designed to sit on both a flat surface and hang from a flat screen display. Focusing is done manually via a simple bezel on the lens and the top of the device sports a still capture facility giving you the option of catching the odd 640x480 VGA quality still image if need be.

The WebCam instant isn't as tech spec heavy as the other models in the range. There is no USB2.0 support, no Mac support and the highest resolution achievable is only 352x288, but then the price isn't top of the range either (it's half that of the WebCam Live! Pro).

Live video capture is 352x288 and not surprisingly the results from the tests we carried out over a 256kbps broadband connection to another 256kbps broadband the video feed were better than then Live! Pro, purely because the demand wasn't so high.

Software included in the box isn't as rich as the top of the range and it's here Creative has saved some of the money but not bundling some of the ArcSoft applications found in the other two models in the range.

However you do get the same software from Creative offering Motion Detection, Time Lapse Video, and Remote Record with results posting to a web server of your choice. There is no face-tracking element here, but then as you've probably gathered if you've read our WebCam Live! Pro review this doesn't really bother us.


Put the two together and while the resolution on this model isn't as high we certainly like it more than the top of the range model. The Instant is just that and with a cheap price and simple functionality this should appeal to those looking for nothing more than those just wanting to add a bit of video calling to their Instant Messenging chats.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 15 February 2005.