For video messaging, you want a Webcam that can display accurate, high-quality images in both light and dark environments.
The Logitech and Creative Webcams we've looked at lately
all give adequate low-light performance and display accurate colors and smooth images, which make for quality video IM conversations.
However, video quality also depends on the IM client you're using. We've had the best and most consistent video quality using MSN Messenger 7
. The images look smooth and clear, and you can view them full-screen. Yahoo Messenger's
video IM capabilities are hit-or-miss. If users on both ends of the conversation are using broadband Internet access and have no firewalls, you'll be able to use their Super option, which produces smooth and clear video. However, in most of our tests with Yahoo's video IM, the Super button has been grayed out, resulting in very, very choppy and grainy video. With AOL AIM Triton
, the video is fairly smooth, but the video windows are small.