Friday 25 May 2012

Targus USB 2.0 Micro Webcam

My Targus Micro Webcam just arrived a few weeks back - the link is for Amazon where it is currently £8, you can get at a similar price on Misco too, but I got lucky on eBay for just £4 while looking for an economical USB webcam with a USB based microphone. The Targus website says model number AVO05EU is now discontinued - so similar good deals might be available for a while.

According to the box this does 1280x1024 pixels (real 1.3 megapixels), and says "Ready to use; no drivers to install". That is usually a clue that you are dealing with a UVC webcam, and despite the "PC Only" label on the packaging, and it works fine under Mac OS X (both camera and the microphone). Here's what system_profiler SPUSBDataType says:

            USB 2.0 Camera:

              Product ID: 0x0332
              Vendor ID: 0x0ac8  (Z-Star Microelectronics Corporation)
              Version: 1.00
              Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
              Manufacturer: Vimicro Corp.
              Current Available (mA): 500
              Current Required (mA): 500

It came with a "Documentation Notice" which included the URL for the "User Guide", which was also included as a black & white leaflet. This and the label on the included base unit refer to it as Targus webcam model AVC05EU.

As you can tell from the shape, it is designed for use with a laptop, plugged into the side and then twisted to point at the user. However, I'm using it with a desktop (and my monitor lacks any handy side USB ports). I had to use the included stand which doubles as a USB extension cable. Sadly this won't balance on my monitor but it does the job:

I was looking for a webcam with a USB microphone to use on a Mac Pro which doesn't have a microphone-in socket, just an unamplified line-in. This works fine, so overall I'm happy with this purchase.

The only refinement would be somewhere to stick the USB cap when not in use - ideally on the webcam itself, or even on the stand. I'm not the first person to comment on this, and I won't be the first owner to lose the cap because of it!


  1. Hey Peter. I am considering to buy this device, yet it will be mostly for the microphone. It's so nice and small. Would you say the sound quality of the microphone is okay? Maybe we could test this on Skype?

    1. I've used this for several International Skype and Google Hangout video calls and it seems fine. If you can get it at the kind of price I payed you might as well just try it.

      Right now I'm trying an alternative, but only because the Targus micro webcam doesn't attach nicely to my desktop monitor.

    2. Thanks for responding so soon :). I don't think the latter would be a problem for me, because it is for use with a laptop anyway.

  2. I have the AVC05EU webcam, but it does not work even though I have checked every possible fault, IE device Manager, update driver etc. I am using it with Arcsoft, and I know that's OK because I transfer my Sony DV tapes through firewire with perfect results. Just can't understand why my webcam does not work!

    1. Since it is a USB web-camera, the fact that your firewire works fine is irrelevant. Maybe you were unlucky and yours is simply broken? You could try it on another computer with a different OS just in case this is a driver issue on your Windows computer.