Pros and Cons
- choice between 2 different interfaces
- lots of interactive features
- some super-definition cams
- mostly non-English speakers
- needs more performers, especially niche
- can't search by breast size
I'm always weary when we get a request to review a new cam site. The live cam space is very competitive and new entrants have to go against HUGE players whose budgets run in the millions. Which is why most fail within two years. It's not enough to just build a nice site. The tricky part is striking the right balance between the number of online performers and traffic. Too much traffic with not enough performers and users will leave unsatisfied. Too many performers and not enough traffic and the site will have trouble keeping its girls online.
Camplace is one such entrant, which seems to have managed to strike the right balance. Sure, it can't afford to have hundreds of performers live at any time like the bigger sites do, but it has a decent amount, around 50 at the time I checked (out of a total database of 3,000). It's a token-based site, so it's a direct competitor to the likes of MyFreeCams, BongaCams and others.
They certainly didn't spare any money on their design and features. Users have a choice between two interfaces: one highly charged with multiple features, navigation options and filters (a My Free Cams lookalike but better) and another that's more responsive and simplified (akin to Jasmin.com). Even though the classic version might seem overwhelming, I prefer it. It has some cool features and navigation that get lost in the more dynamic version, though the performer's profile pages look almost identical in both.
I will review the classic version since it's currently the default and also my favorite. It has everything I look for in a cam site, with only a few missing items. One, you cannot search by breast size. As a busty-girl fan, one of the first things I do on a cam site is head to its big-tits category. Well, there isn't one and even the advanced search doesn't let you find busty girls. Very bizarre. Second, you can add girls to your favorites and even befriend them, but what's the point? There's no notification system to let you know when they're online.
Now let me tell you what Camplace does have. Most of the girls use HD cams and I even saw a few using SD (super definition), which I've yet to see on other cam sites. Did I notice the difference between HD and SD? Not really. But it's nice to know that a site is pushing the streaming-quality boundaries even if the results are limited.
The majority of the performers are studio girls from Eastern Europe. Lately, as the site has grown in popularity, more amateur girls are joining, but they are mostly from Europe as well. Other than a small portion of U.K. girls, most of them are not native English speakers. That is not to say they don't speak English, but you can expect some language and cultural barriers.
The site sells tokens that you then use to tip the girls. The price is about the same as on all the other sites. At the time of this review there was no way to figure out how much the girls charged for a private chat (I was told they're adding this feature next week, but the review went to publication before then), but I expect it to be within the tendency of token sites to overcharge for such a chat. The performer has to approve your request for a private chat, which is unnerving for those used to non-token sites.
Group shows are also being offered and they'll be a less expensive option if you don't want to sit in a free chat and wait for something to happen. I like the fact that only three members are needed to start a group show and you can see how many are waiting for it. You also have a nice credit countdown at the top of the page.
There's a recorded cam show section and what I liked is that like most sites you need to dish out some tokens to watch them, but unlike most sites I also found many clips that were available for free. All your private shows get recorded for future access (for free only for yourself) and I guess the better ones become clips that are available to others.
The site hosts a cool social bar that hovers at the bottom of the browser at all times. It shows you how many of your favorite performers and friends are live and lets you chat with them. You can send private messages to any performer, leave them comments and befriend them. Unfortunately, the site blocks you from doing the same with other members.
There are a ton of filters and view options and I liked that I have access to them not only on home and category pages, but also on similar performers on the live chat page. The one annoying thing was that the text chat window allows people to post emoticons, images and all kind of distracting crap. Perhaps I'm too old for this kind of thing.
The mobile site is decent and on my iPhone the quality was good, but the motion was choppy. They're building an app specifically for the iPhone to get around these issues. The motion was better on an Android, but still quite choppy. I finally found my big-tits category filter - seems like it's only available on the mobile site. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any of the filters to work on the mobile site.
Overall, Camplace.com is a promising site that at this point should be focused on recruiting more performers. All the various features are nice (although some need a bit more work), but they won't replace the need for more performer variety.