Date: January 15th, 2006
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Cyber Snipa
<--SHOP FOR A CYBER SNIPA SPOTTER USB WEBCAM HERE
PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
The Spotter makes some diversions from the typical webcam, the first being that it can be mounted on a tripod. The tripod itself is fairly sturdy, adjustable, and since it uses a standard tripod screw just about any small camera can be mounted to it. Likewise, the Spotter can be mounted to just about any tripod. On top of the camera is a red LED indicating when it is in use and also a button for taking still shots. Focusing is done by turning the ring on the front of the camera.
As if the Spotter wasn't already unique looking enough, there is a detachable zoom lens that (when attached) gives it quite the rifle scope look. Attaching the lens is easy - it simply screws into the camera itself. Cyber Snipa claims the lens is able to magnify 7 to 18 times, although during my testing I found that to be not exactly true. It's not possible to adjust the magnification levels; it's simply either zoomed in or it's not. The only adjustment to make is the focus, and the zoom lens does have it own separate focus ring.
Before using the Spotter, the included software must be installed. Upon inserting the install CD, a 4-step splash screen appears. Step 1 is the DirectX 9.0c install, which many of you might be able to skip since it's possible it's already on your machine. Step 2 is the driver install, and note that it's entirely possible to quit after this step and use the camera with Skype, Netmeeting, or an instant messenger program. Step 3 is the Video Center software used to interface with the camera. Step 4 is the optional VP-EYE application which gives more options for video capture, surveillance, photo albums, and other things.