Genius WideCam F100 Review

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 atop a monitor.

Our 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.

For

  • The wide field of view captures many subjects in one shot.

Against

  • It tends to show grain in low light.
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The webcam has dual built-in microphones, which helps create a fuller sound.

The webcam has dual built-in microphones, which helps create a fuller sound.
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The webcam can rotate 360 degrees.

The webcam can rotate 360 degrees.
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You can mount the webcam on nearly any monitor or TV.

You can mount the webcam on nearly any monitor or TV.
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Before you plug in the webcam, you should run the installation program.

Before you plug in the webcam, you should run the installation program.
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This is the main hub of the webcam software.

This is the main hub of the webcam software.
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You can take pictures in standard definition. This image was shot in 480p.

You can take pictures in standard definition. This image was shot in 480p.
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You can also take pictures in full HD. This was shot in 1080p.

You can also take pictures in full HD. This was shot in 1080p.
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You can view any of the pictures you've taken in the gallery.

You can view any of the pictures you've taken in the gallery.
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The V-sign function takes a picture when you get close to matching this animation.

The V-sign function takes a picture when you get close to matching this animation.
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You don't have to be 100 percent accurate, as long as you're holding up a peace sign.

You don't have to be 100 percent accurate, as long as you're holding up a peace sign.
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The software offers some frame effects, but they are not very impressive.

The software offers some frame effects, but they are not very impressive.
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You can adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation on any photo in your gallery.

You can adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation on any photo in your gallery.
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The only software option we saw was the ability to change the background.

The only software option we saw was the ability to change the background.
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You can access a web-based help section from the software.

You can access a web-based help section from the software.

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 atop a monitor. 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.

Despite not being the most feature-rich cam 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 webcams that shoot in 1080p while also maintaining 30 frames per second. Typically, this means that your video will look smooth, more natural and more detailed than cameras that shoot at lesser fps rates.

Although its video capabilities were decent 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, as well, which introduced grain into the video, hurting clarity and detail.

Audio quality, on the other hand, was excellent. Though it was a little quieter than the best webcams we reviewed, voices still sounded clear and natural. Background noise wasn’t an issue with the webcam either – it seemed to do a great job of keeping hissing and other noises to a minimum.

The WideCam offers manual focusing rather than auto or fixed focusing systems. You adjust its focus by twisting the ring around the lens, which felt a little cumbersome to us in testing. Once set, however, the focus shouldn’t require much adjustment, but if you move closer or further from the lens, you’ll always have to readjust to ensure that 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 that the camera won’t be quite as proficient at adjusting settings in reaction to changes in light or white balance.

The F100 has a fairly 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 the camera. It also comes with a 5-foot USB cable as well as an extender that doubles that length should you need it. Unfortunately, however, there is no tripod mount.

Like most of our top-rated webcams, 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, it’s more durable, so you’re less likely to have to deal with scratches.

Genius offers good support for the WideCam F100 and gives you a one-year warranty and access to support representatives via email and phone. 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 the manual.

The Genius WideCam F100 is a great webcam 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 looking to frame just one person per shot. It has good image quality, albeit a little grainy in low light, and a solid design overall. If the wide field of view appeals to you, the F100 is a great option.