For a quality test of the Genie, I took a picture with stark black and white, and some bright colours. I also took a picture using the camera we use for all review pictures, a Canon DS6041. Obviously the Canon’s picture will be better, but how much better is what I wanted to see.
As you can see the main difference is in focus and contrast, though I think the Genie does a pretty good job considering it’s only a 1.3mp camera, whereas the Canon is more like 7mp.
I then wanted to take a look at the effects that pressing the second of the front two buttons offers you. For some reason though, those buttons refused to work for me no matter what I tried. I have been assured that this is a one off fault and that no other cameras have displayed this problem. For an idea on what kind of effects you are able to use on your pictures, check out SorX’s look at the clip-on Starcam’s effects here.
I then had a quick webcam conversation across the miles of desk between myself and SorX (ok, 2m but still) and got him to screenshot my fine visage to show the Genie’s quality when actually performing it’s duty as a webcam.
Think I need a shave…
To ascertain the Starcam’s ability to detect movement and report it to my email address complete with pictures with the MyGuard application, I decided to do a small test. I placed three priceless objects in the centre of our office floor (ignore the stains, they were there before we got here…honest) and get the cam to keep an eye on them for me. The objects were: A whiteboard eraser, a copy of “The Core” on DVD and a pack of Mcvities caramel digestives. I knew that sooner or later SorX would try to steal one of these items, so I had to get everything ready.
Having setup the items I needed to choose what areas would be my trigger for the alarm. You can either set it so that anything entering the Starcam’s view will set it off, or you can select certain areas. Since I didn’t want general movement to set the alarm blaring, I used the handy coloured markers at the bottom left of the window, to select certain zones around my prized possessions.
I then sorted out the email and alarm settings to blare at the sign of any thievery, and to also send me several images to help identify the culprit; then all I had to do was wait.
It wasn’t long before the alarm brought me back to my desk. At first glance everything seemed fine, on closer inspection it turns out the Mcvities had been switched for a NOIDPad tube – the old “switcheroo”. Unfortunately I only got the hand of the culprit in the shot – perhaps, somehow, they knew about the camera – but if it hadn’t had been for the alarm, I might not have noticed at all.
I bet it was SorX…