PROS / The wide field of view captures many subjects in one shot.
CONS / It tends to show grain in low light.
VERDICT / The F100 boasts specifications that are competitive with the best cameras on our lineup, but it’s wide field of view means it’s somewhat more specialized than most. If you want a wide-angle look, this cam is the best choice. If you’re looking for a more standard look and feel, there are better options out there.
The Genius WideCam F100 boasts solid image quality and a sturdy design. It’s easy to set up and can be placed directly on a desk or mounted on a screen. But what really makes the WideCam stand out is its field of view. As its name suggests, this PC camera offers a much wider view than most webcams can capture. This makes the WideCam a great choice for a conference room or if you’re just looking to capture a little more in your frame. Just be aware that the wide field of view creates some fish-eye distortion.
Although it’s not the most feature-rich camera out there, its resolution specifications, convenient design and unique field of view are all great reasons to go with the Genius WideCam F100. Although it might not be for everyone, we found it to be a solid choice overall and gave it our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
As far as raw specifications go, the WideCam is tied for the best resolution-framerate combination in our review. It’s one of the few web cameras that can shoot in 1080p while also maintaining 30 frames per second. Typically, this means that your video will be smoother, more natural and more detailed than cameras that shoot 1080p at 15 fps. Unfortunately, the footage we shot with this cam didn't live up to the specifications.
Although it’s video capabilities were pretty good overall, they weren’t that much better than webcams with 15 fps performance. In fact, some of those cams produced much more appealing video. The WideCam seems to struggle a bit in low light, which introduces grain into the video, hurting clarity and detail.
Audio quality, on the other hand, was very good. It was a little quieter than most of the other cameras that we reviewed, but voices sounded clear and natural. Noise wasn’t really an issue with this camera either – it seemed to do a really good job of keeping hissing and ambient noise to a minimum.
The WideCam offers manual focusing rather than auto or fixed focusing systems. You adjust the focus by twisting the ring around the lens, which feels a little cumbersome. Once set, the focus shouldn’t require much adjustment, but if you move closer or further from the lens, you’ll always have to readjust to make sure you’re in focus.
The F100 is lacking any digital zooming capabilities and sophisticated features like face tracking. Considering that this camera is designed to offer a wider view than most webcams, it’s not surprising that digital zoom is missing. Its lack of face tracking just means the camera won’t be quite as proficient at adjusting settings in reaction to changes in light or white balance.
The F100 has a pretty typical design with a stand that can either be used on a desk or adjusted to mount onto a monitor. The stand also allows the camera to swivel freely – left, right, up or down – giving you a little more freedom in how you position your camera. It also comes with a 5-foot USB cable as well as an extender that doubles that length if you need it. Unfortunately, however, there is no tripod mount.
Like most of our top-rated cameras, the F100 uses a glass lens cover. While the differences are small in cameras of this size, they are there, and a glass lens always looks better than plastic. In addition to that, it’s more durable, so you’re less likely to have to deal with scratches.
Help & Support
Genius offers good support for the WideCam F100 with a one-year warranty and access to support staff via phone and email. Typical warranties for webcams are between one and three years, though a few of them offer lifetime warranties and a couple offer none at all. If you’re just looking for quick answers to simple questions, it’s not a bad idea to check out the FAQs section on the Genius website, or you can consult your manual.
The Genius WideCam F100 is a great camera for those looking to use a webcam in the conference room or who just want to capture many subjects in one shot. It’s not as great for those just looking to frame one person per shot. It has good image quality, with a little grain in low light, and a solid design. If the wide field of view appeals to you, the F100 is a great option.