"CyberLink YouCam + PerfectCam"
Whether you want to spruce up official presentations for work or just have a bit of fun with your friends, CyberLink’s YouCam 5 is designed to provide a host of features that will let you get more out of your webcam. In short it is an entire suite of webcam enhancements – some of which are purely for a few laughs, while others are actual productivity tools.
Although the initial download is only 457.29 KB, that is really just the downloader and even that will need to be updated. Fortunately the updated downloader is only 933 KB as well, but after that has been downloaded and installed you’ll find that downloading the complete YouCam 5 trial is a whole 184.67 MB. If you’re on a slow internet connection, consider yourself forewarned.
Once the actual installation gets started however, you’ll find that it is a simple step-by-step process and there’s no need to worry about any adware being surreptitiously hoisted on you either.
YouCam 5 supports Windows XP, Vista and 7 – though some features such as the ‘face login’ may not work on Windows XP.
The YouCam interface consists of the main window which contains the webcam feed as well as options to take pictures, record videos, clear effects, and so on. On the sidebar however are the actual features of the product, such as the visual effects collection, the presentation functions, and the other utilities.
On the whole the interface is rather clean and icon-based but has excellent tooltips that appear when hovered over and a very well organized layout considering the sheer number of options that are available.
When you boil it down, the biggest advantage YouCam has going for it would have to be its impressive list of features. Some of the more prominent among these include:
- Numerous unique visual effects. This includes backgrounds, borders, filters and particles, gadgets, avatars, emotions, distortions as well as a new augmented reality option. If you like you can even draw right on the webcam feed.
- Tools to help create presentations. Either you can capture your desktop, use a PowerPoint file, or use two webcams to generate professional-looking presentations for work.
- Ability to integrate with most major messaging clients. Some of these include AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, and so on.
- Facial recognition to log in to Windows and websites automatically. It is a lot less hassle than remembering lists of passwords and usernames, and a growing list of websites are supported such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, eBay, Twitter, Flickr, and many others.
- Face-detection safety precautions. If you want you can set it up so that if YouCam doesn’t detect you in front of your computer it will automatically lock it.
Make no mistake there are other features too such as surveillance options as well as ample settings to help you control and improve the video feed quality from your webcam.
In all the only possible issue is that, if anything, the software is a little too varied and its ‘fun’ features contrast very starkly with the more serious functions.Generally most users may find themselves only using 'half' the features because those are the ones they're interested in.
It can be a little bit resource unfriendly too, and some effects may induce a bit of lag on slower computers.
There are many different tools to enhance webcam functions out there, such as ManyCam and Cheese – both of which are free but do not have anywhere near the amount of features as YouCam.
The bottom line is simple: YouCam is a feature rich suite of webcam enhancements that will provide you with a whole host of options. Its 15-day trial allows you to use all of the features before deciding whether or not to splash out $44.95 on the full version.
Considering how polished and easy it is to use, it is a natural choice particularly for those interested in using it for work presentations or for its other utilities.
Requirements: Web camera (built-in or external USB)
What's new in this version: - Incl. 12-month PerfectCam free subscription - Camera Shooting Mode: Capture photos in HDR , panorama and burst mode - Creative Photo Editing: Photo crop/rotate, paint tool, photo frames and photo preset - Face Tag: Organize your photos with FaceMe™ face tagging technology
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