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Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910
10-megapixel 1080p high definition premium webcam

By Jon Deragon, Visca
Thursday, January 05, 2011; 8:30pm EST


Logitech has revealed the all-new C910 HD webcam, its entry in the next generation of premium high-definition webcams featuring full 1080p video capturing. Up until now 720p was about as good as you were going to expect from webcams, and even that usually came with fairly lack-luster performance and compromises. This latest generation promises a lot - 1080p resolution, better overall clarity, higher refresh, improved auto-focus and better microphone quality. Let's see how it lives up to the claims.

The device it's self is attractively styled, featuring a bold looking front design of two microphone pickups edged with blue activity indicators on either side of the rectangular center area containing the camera sensor. The webcam clamps to the top of typical monitors with relative ease, although to get it "just right" will have you tinkering around with it a bit. But once it is in place, it is stable and there to stay. Overall build quality is solid and of seemingly good quality materials, as we have come to expect from Logitech. Our major complaint is the insufficient length of the included USB cable. In a typical monitor on top of desk and computer case below setup, the cord just barely managed to stretch from the top of the monitor to the USB port – another foot or two would allow for much less restrictive webcam placement.

Setup software thankfully allows for a basic installation of only the necessities to get the webcam running, or the full complement of software that is included such as special effects software and other more "entertaining" items. Installation takes literally seconds and you are ready to use all the latest instant messenger clients almost instantly.

While the sensor is capable of picking up 1080p for local video capture to your hard drive, video chat sessions on instant messaging clients such as Skype are limited to 720p. Unless you have Internet bandwidth to burn, this limitation is only going to upset a very select few users. This implies that the webcam is optimal for use as a blog video camera at 1080p in addition to just regular video chat. Pictures can also be taken, with a (software enhanced 10-megapixel resolution) which works well for quick face shots for avator icons, etc.

The video quality has made a notable improvement over previous generations of webcams we have tested. Clarity is sharp and well defined; color rendering is good, if not a bit under-saturated as what is typically characteristic of webcam sensors; motion blur in medium to low light conditions has also been greatly improved over last generation webcams, although still present in very low light situations. There were no detectable defective pixels or other abnormalities in the sensor, which can sometimes be annoyingly present in lower quality webcams. Auto-focus is immensely better, taking a fraction of the time the previous models took to focus, and a major drop in the number of instances where the auto-focus became "lost" or unable to determine the focal point. In general the C910 does well in automatically adapting to its environment for optimal video quality, and the drivers have a smorgasbord of manual settings for tweaking video output if need be.

While the microphone is often a secondary factor when consumers are purchasing a webcam, it most likely gets used more than the camera itself as it is used not just for video chat, but all calling activity (such as Skype phone calls) and therefore greatly influences the overall acceptability of your daily communications. The stereo microphones of the C910 did an incredible job of curtailing background noises, reducing echo and overall doing a very commendable job making voices clear and with good dynamic range. Rooms with terrible echo problems and the sound of computer fans and outside street noise were mitigated to a very tolerable level in the audio output. It made regular use of instant messenger based voice chat a comfortable daily experience.

While the price is on the high end at $99.00 USD, you are also getting a high end webcam that delivers performance well beyond the price of the webcams in lower price brackets – in other words its worth those extra $10 or $20 to just get what you really want.

Logitech has built another category leading webcam yet again with the C910. There is lots to love with this feature rich and beautifully crafted webcam. If you are serious about getting a webcam that makes day to day video and audio chat pleasurable, the C910 should be at the top of your list.

The Logitech HD C910 is available now from all major electronics retailers, it retails for $99.00 USD, comes with a generous 2 year limited hardware warranty. System requirements include Windows XP and up (32 or 64-bit) or Mac OS X 10.5 or higher; 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM (we'd recommend more) and 200 MB free HDD space. The retail package includes the webcam, USB cord, manual and installation CD.

PROS

• Attractively designed and quality construction
• Strong video performance
• Microphone with good range and noise reduction
• Basic driver installation option to avoid all the "extras"

CONS

• Incredibly short USB cable.

About The Author
Jon Deragon is president and founder of Visca, specailists in web site design, development and marketing for businesses of all sizes. His many years in the technology industry has enabled him to write quality, in-depth product reviews to assist businesses make more informed technology purchases. He welcomes any questions or comments you may have regarding his company's services, this review or interest in having your company's products reviewed.

 

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