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Computerized Investing > December 2010

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 offers high-quality audio and video in an easy-to-use package.

Intro

Over the last month I have been using Logitech’s HD Pro Webcam C910, which was given to me for this review. More and more high-definition (HD) webcams are coming to market, and this is my first review of such a device. Logitech has several HD webcams and the HD Pro Webcam C910 is at the high end of its offerings. The C910 offers Full HD 1080p video recording, Carl Zeiss lens, dual stereo microphones, and a clean, sleek design.

Design

The HD Pro Webcam C910 measures 3.8 inches by 1.3 inches by 3.1 inches (in folded position). The webcam has an attached adjustable arm that allows you to securely affix it you your desktop monitor or laptop. The webcam is made of black, high-gloss plastic and blended in well with my 23.5” Acer desktop LCD monitor.

On either side of the center-mounted Carl Zeiss glass lens are stereo microphones. The webcam has a five-foot USB cord permanently attached. Unfortunately, due to my office computer configuration, this was not long enough, so I had to resort to a USB extension cable. For most people, however, I doubt that an extension would be necessary.

Setup

Securing the HD Pro Webcam C910 to my desktop monitor was very easy. I didn’t have any problems attaching the webcam to my Dell Studio 1558 laptop either. To get the full HD experience, Logitech recommends a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor or faster; 2G of memory; an open USB 2.0 port; and an Internet connection offering a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps. Furthermore, the webcam is only compatible with Windows XP SP2 or higher.

Once I had the webcam connected to my computer, installing the Logitech webcam software was very straightforward. Within minutes I was up and running and ready to snap photos, video chat and record HD video. The majority of my testing was done with a Dell XPS 420 running Windows 7 Ultimate with 4G of memory and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

Performance

Logitech claims that its webcams will work with virtually any third-party calling application, including SkypeHD, Windows Live Messenger and AIM. I used the webcam with both Skype and Yahoo! Messenger and didn’t have any issues. Logitech’s free Vid HD software sets up automatically when you plug in the webcam and also allows you to make free HD video calls. Keep in mind that only SkypeHD supports full 1080p video chatting. The Logitech Vid HD software only supports 720p while other IM programs seem to revert to 640 by 480 pixels.

With the Logitech Webcam controls, you can pan left, right, up and down using on-screen controls, as well as zooming in and out. The webcam also offers automatic face following which, for the most part, worked very well when sitting at my desk in front of the camera.

The C910 adjusts automatically—and very well—to light conditions. The only problems I encountered were in bright-light conditions: colors appeared slightly distorted and washed out.

The webcam’s twin microphones did an excellent job of picking up my voice when I was seated in front of the camera. Those with whom I was video chatting never had a problem hearing me, even when I was moving around and not directly in front of the webcam. There is also built-in noise cancelling that did a good job of eliminating background noise.

The C910 also takes 10-megapixel still photos. While these pictures were much better than those taken by other webcams I have used in the past, they were still not as a good as what you get from a dedicated 10-megapixel digital camera.

Bottom Line

While the Logitech HD Webcam C910 is the first HD webcam I have used, I find it difficult to believe there are many others on the market that can match its performance and ease of use. At $99, I do think it is best suited for those who make heavy use of video chatting. Also, be sure that your computer meets Logitech’s requirements for Full HD video calling and recording. If you are in the market for an HD webcam, I highly recommend the C910.

HD Pro Webcam C910

Logitech

www.logitech.com

$99 from Logitech.com; $80 at Amazon.com

Pros:

• Excellent video and picture quality

• Supports SkypeHD video-calling

• Easy video posting to Facebook and YouTube

Cons:

• Some color distortion in bright light conditions

• Not compatible with Mac OS

• High price relative other webcams

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is the author of "Gadget Corner." All reviews are based on firsthand experience of the product or service. No third-party compensation is received for opinions on products, services, websites or topics. However, sometimes the author is not required by the manufacturer or their PR firm to return the product under review. In such instances, it is our policy to convey this within the review. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are strictly those of the author. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA is a vice president and senior financial analyst at AAII and editor of Computerized Investing. Follow him on Twitter at @WayneTAAII.


Discussion

Kevin from CA posted over 3 years ago:

The one issue I found with this camera is the white balance. I don't see any way to adjust it. The tint is a bit too much to the purple side when I use it in my office. Several people have reported this to Logitech. I suspect that with the right software the white balance can be adjusted but I haven't seen Logitech come out with a fix. The lighting where you use the camera will determine your results.


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