Recently, Freetalk® has come out with a new webcam that broadcasts and records in HD. The Everyman HD is made to work flawlessly with Skype and is also Skype certified. You can use this webcam either on your monitor or sitting on a table. The quality is breathtaking at 720p at 22 fps (frames per second). While the Skype website says that Mac users will only get VGA output from the Everyman HD, I was able to get the full HD with no problems. Surprisingly, with the reports that the cam was only VGA on Mac, I had to do nothing to get HD results. The webcam also has built in auto focus; this is nice if you are trying to show something off or you want to be crystal clear from either a distance or up close. The device is compact and will pack almost flat, making it easy to throw into your laptop bag and go. I actually recorded a video using the Everyman HD cam and it worked great. However, since this records HD footage, file sizes can become an issue really quickly.

Here are the specs:
  • Product dimensions (W x D x H): 70 x 65 x 29 mm
  • Connectivity:
    • Interfacing: USB 2.0
    • Cable length: 180 cm
    • Power: supplied via USB cable – 5V
  • Lens:
    • Focus: autofocus
    • Depth of focus: 50 mm ~ infinity
    • Field of vision: 58° diagonal angle of view in HD, 52° diagonal in 4:3 resolutions
  • Sensor:
    • SNR: 39dB
    • Dynamic range: > 69dB
    • Pixel size: 3 x 3 µm
    • Image area: 1280 x 800
    • Sensitivity: 3.3 V/(lux*s)
  • Video format:
    • Resolutions: 1280 x 720, also supports smaller resolutions like 640×480, 320×240 and 160×120. Skype uses lower resolutions in case of degraded network or when low-performance hardware is used on either end of the video call.
    • Frame rate:standard definition: 30fps, HD 22.5fps, low light 15fps. Skype may reduce frame rate in case of bad network conditions or high CPU usage on either end.
    • Colour depth: 8-bit
    • Video formats: H.264, YUV2 – Skype automatically switches between the two to grant best video call quality in the given circumstances.

I really think this is a great webcam. It is hard to find any flaws with it. However, there are a couple of flawsthe Everyman HD does not have a built in microphone. This is really unfortunate, especially if you are wanting to use the webcam to record a video. The lack of the microphone along with the lag that comes with recording HD makes for audio that doesn’t sync up properly. Luckily, if you are on a Mac, you should have iMovie or Finalcut and can get the audio back inline.

I definitely recommend the Freetalk® Everyman HD webcam. Great quality, plug n’ play and compact. The price for this great device is $59.50 and available only through Skype. If you’re interested in more information visit Skype.com.

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