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Entry-Level Webcam With a Few Nice Features

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Key Takeaways

  • The Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam is an entry-level webcam with decent features, but its image quality is more like a 1080p camera.
  • The field of view is wider than many webcams, making it a good choice for conference rooms or large family video calls.
  • The webcam has a physical privacy cover and mic mute switch, but the audio quality is underwhelming and does not cancel out background noise well. Autofocus and backlight compensation features work surprisingly well.


You can get webcams in just about any quality level and price range imaginable, from dirt cheap at less than $20 to well over a few hundred dollars. The Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam comes in on the lower side of webcams, and the features line up with its $59.99 price tag. The camera delivers decent build quality, a physical privacy cover and a mute toggle, as well as both autofocus and backlight compensation. One of the main (but expected) drawbacks comes from the 4K sensor, as the quality of the webcam is more along the lines of what I’d expect from a 1080p model.

Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam

$55 $60 Save $5

The Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam is an entry-level camera that has several nicer features, though the image quality leaves a little to be desired. It features a 4K sensor (that looks more like a 1080p sensor) and a wide field-of-view, which can be completely blocked with the built-in privacy cover.

Brand
Creative

Resolution
3,840 x 2,160

Wide Angle Lens
Yes

Connection
USB-A

Pros

  • Wide field of view
  • Built-in privacy cover
  • Great backlight compensation
Cons

  • 4K sensor wasn’t especially high quality
  • Microphone has no background noise cancellation

The Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Is Geared Toward Entry-Level Setups

Front of the Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam with the lens cover off
Jason Montoya / How-To Geek

The Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam is nothing short of an entry-level webcam. While it has some nicer features, you’re not going to wow anybody with the output of the camera. It’s better than most laptop cameras, and is absolutely better than webcams that were put out even just a few years ago. But, while this camera boasts a “4K” sensor, the overall quality of the image is closer to what you’d expect from a newer 1080p camera. In fact, side-by-side with my Logitech StreamCam (a 1080p webcam), the images are very similar.

However, something that’s nice from the Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam is the field of view. Measuring around 30 inches away from the camera, the lens was able to capture around six feet of view. Compare that to my StreamCam which only spread around three and a half feet at the same distance, and you have a field of view twice as wide as many webcams. This can make the Cam Sync 4K a solid choice for conference rooms or even families that want to video call relatives and have everyone in the shot at one time.

The Privacy Cover and Physical Mic Mute Switch Are a Nice Inclusion

Buttons on the top of the Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam
Jason Montoya / How-To Geek

While I’ve seen cameras come with physical built-in shutters or magnetic lens covers, Creative went for a more budget-focused, yet still practical, approach here. If you’re someone who wants to keep prying eyes at bay should the worst happen and your computer get compromised, the Cam Sync 4K has a built-in rubber privacy shutter which you can simply use to cover the lens when not in use. It blocks out 100% of the light and view from the lens and ensures complete visual privacy when in use.

There’s also a mic toggle on the top of the camera which is connected to an LED, showing you when the mic is turned on or off. This might not be of the same physical level as the privacy cover for the lens, but being an actual toggle still provides some ease of use.

Speaking of the microphone, let’s talk about its quality for a moment. Webcams aren’t necessarily known for their audio quality, as the thing they focus on is video. And, being an entry-level unit, I didn’t necessarily expect stellar audio performance from the Cam Sync 4K. But, in my testing, the audio was a bit underwhelming from what I was hoping to hear. It worked and was clear enough that my words could be made out clearly. But, if there was any amount of background noise in the room (like a 3D printer running, for example), the mics did essentially nothing to cancel it out.

However, group calls do benefit from the mics being so sensitive and capturing any and all noise. If you’re using the Cam Sync 4K to video call friends or family, and want everyone not only in the shot because of how wide the field of view is, but want everyone heard at one time, then the Cam Sync 4K will do great at that. Also, it should work well for meetings too, though the person tapping a pen on the table might be heard louder than the people talking.

Autofocus Works Well Even When Moving Around

Something that I wasn’t expecting to work as well as it did was autofocus. Up until recently, only high-end webcams came with autofocus. Entry-level options typically were relegated to fixed focus which works fine in some scenarios but is limiting in many others. The Cam Sync 4K has built-in autofocus and, in my testing, it worked pretty well. I never really saw the camera hunt for focus and it seemed to always grab my face pretty well. Overall, this was something I didn’t expect to work well and was pleasantly surprised by.

Backlight Compensation Is Surprisingly Good

Another pretty big surprise was how well the backlight compensation worked. In the gallery above, you’ll see two wide-angle shots next to a tighter picture. The two wide-angle shots are high and medium backlight compensation on the Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K, while the tighter shot is from my Logitech StreamCam.

Next to the microphone toggle on top of the camera is a button. At first glance, clicking the button doesn’t do much. There’s no visual indication that it’s working, and the changes aren’t drastic. But, if you have a light source behind you, then, as you click the button, you’ll notice the entire scene start to change. It goes from very dim to extremely bright but keeps you nice and balanced. At the dimmest setting, I looked pretty low-lit despite the room being bright. However, clicking it a few times will result in the entire image brightening up and the camera essentially ignoring the backlighting source. I used a 1,000+ lumen LED flashlight mounted to the wall behind me and while the light was blown out during testing, my face never got dim by comparison.

This is a great feature to have as sometimes you might have your desk in front of a window or be using the camera in a room that has a brighter room behind it. No matter what the situation is, you should be able to find a backlight compensation setting to ensure you stay properly exposed, even at the risk of blowing out the background.

Should You Buy the Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam?

Front of the Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam with the lens cover off
Jason Montoya / How-To Geek

Most people should be well-served by the Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam. It might not win any awards with video or audio quality, but this $60 webcam is surely better than most built-in laptop cameras. And, of course, it’s better than not having a webcam at all, as most desktops or monitors don’t have cameras period. While the video and audio quality left a little to be desired, the overall function of this webcam worked perfectly. And, for larger families, it even lets you keep everyone in the shot at one time (with everyone being heard too), so that’s a plus.

If you’re a streamer or someone who records YouTube videos and voiceovers, this camera will work for you, but it’s not going to be the best. In the price range, it’s par for the course as far as quality is concerned. But, you likely won’t be making any award-winning YouTube documentaries with this camera and it definitely doesn’t rival DSLRs like other higher-end webcams.

Creative Live Cam Sync 4K Webcam

Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam

$55 $60 Save $5

The Creative Live! Cam Sync 4K Webcam is an entry-level camera that has several nicer features, though the image quality leaves a little to be desired. It features a 4K sensor (that looks more like a 1080p sensor) and a wide field-of-view, which can be completely blocked with the built-in privacy cover.

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