The Hue HD pro is an ADJUSTABLE MANUAL-FOCUS webcam. You can quickly adjust and tweak the sharpness of it's focal point by a twist of the lens housing. These days, most cheap UVC webcams are simply Fixed-Focus peripherals, and high-end premium cameras tend to be auto-focus. However, for use as a Document or Animation / Stop-Motion webcam, a manual focus camera may prove to be more optimal for the task.
Some are conventional computer lab microscopes for medical or biological uses that combine both optical eye-pieces plus a digital camera sensor for capturing and recording whatever it sees under high magnification. Windows users will likely find snapshot and video capture apps more readily available, but Linux and Mac OS users will find any general purpose still image or video capture program will let them capture images from the digital computer microscope's sensor.
There are also many UVC compatible inspection microscopes for business, industrial, construction or hobbyist uses. Some are handheld such as dental cameras, some feature a mounting stand, others may have a long or extended cable for, say, automotive engine or in-wall construction inspections.
While there are other document cam suppliers, many are very high-priced and out of the price range of the average consumer or budget-strapped school district. You can find specs and pricing here for the full line of iPevo Document Camera Products currently available.
IPevo offers a range of very affordable UVC doc cams from a basic adjustable manual focus USB cam, to a USB + VGA camera with Video Out jack to connect to a meeting room or class room TV or display. Another model offers Wi-Fi wireless connectivity to support presentation or class environments where that's a desirable feature that even works with Apple iPads and other tablets. All feature adjustable armature to position the camera precisely on objects or documents. All their camera's feature 2MP or higher webcam sensors for detailed, high-res images, auto white balance for adaptable light response, and onboard buttons for zoom or snapshot features depending on the model.
Microsoft's CURRENT web cam hardware lineup is now UVC compatible and make excellent choices for cross-platform, multi-operating system use on Mac computers, PC's or Linux boxes when attached to a USB 2.0 or 3.0 speed port.
Of the above camera's, the LifeCam Studio pro is Microsoft's premium UVC webcam. It features full 1080p HD resolution, very high-quality lens optics, auto-focus and a wideband, noise-canceling microphone. It also features a standard camera tripod mounting hole for ultra-stable cam placement. In many ways it rivals Logitech's premium C930e and C920 UVC compatible webcams - often at a significantly lower price.
The HD-5000 is a high-quality USB Video Class compliant 720p HD camera with hardware autofocus. The HD-3000 is a lower-cost version with 720p HD resolution and a fixed focus lens. Often available for $25 USD, the HD-3000 delivers a sharp, accurate image at a very low price. All three of these cams have notably accurate color fidelity thanks to their TrueColor(tm) technology.
and the slightly cheaper Live! Cam Sync HD are budget 720p HD cameras at very reasonable prices.
Gone from their online store are any of their (now discontinued) truly premium cameras. Both lack full 1080p resolution, optical glass lenses, H.264 hardware video compression or autofocus features that several of their now-discontinued high-end cameras offered.
The dwindling of Creative Labs as a top-tier USB Video Class compatible web camera supplier leaves only two major competitors. Logitech of course already has the lion's share of the market, both for general purpose consumer chat cams and higher-end business UC User Collaboration group conferencing systems. Ipevo, a specialist in the educational market dominates with it's documentation and presentation webcams.
Without stiff, active competition from Creative Labs, Logitech will get most of the spoils. The remainder of the market is left to 2nd-tier and cheap, no-name Chinese import cameras. It remains to be seen if or how committed Creative Labs remains to the webcam market. After all, their primary business is and perhaps should be premium computer audio products.
Budget Webcam Choice: The fact that this value cam doesn't have Logitech's 'RightLight' technology is an advantage here. Users with other Logitech RightLight enabled cams in low-light situations often experience SLOWER frame-rates in low-lighting conditions. But because this 250 model webcam doesn't have it - it tends to perform more consistently.
Logitech C250 Cross Platform Webcam
This VGA/1.3MP cam doesn't push resolution to extremes, so it also performs well on a wider range of computer processor speeds. (Something that cannot be said about 3MP+ HD web cameras which demand high-speed dual-core computers!) It does have a built-in microphone, but only uses a plastic lens, so this is decidedly not a razor-sharp image like you get from Logitech's top-end Carl Ziess lens models.
In the midrange - The Logitech C600 delivers noticably higher image quality with a glass lens - but because of it's higher 2MP resolution and RightLight technology, this webcam may deliver sluggish frame rates on slower computers - or in low-light situations.
From Left To Right:
Socialize Mid-Range Model
Creative Labs Live! Cam Socialize Webcam
Socialize HD - With Wide-Screen 720p HD Support:
Creative Labs Live! Cam Socialize HD Webcam
Live Cam Sync - Low-Quality VGA at a Low Price:
Creative Labs Live! Cam Sync Webcam