My Computer has Eyes! -- using the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000

Mar 31, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:low profile, autofocus, smooth video with good image quality, software included

Cons:still need decent room light for fluid imaging, USB cord could be longer

The Bottom Line: The Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 is a good webcam even if it is a bit more money than I wanted to spend.


My very old Logitech webcam went to computer heaven.  So when my brother corralled the family into using Skype for video calls, I needed new eyes for my computer.  That's why I bought this Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000.


Description

The Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 webcam has Carl Zeiss optics with up to 30 frames per second video, high definition video 960 x 720 pixels (video capture up to 1600 x 1200), an auto-focus lens, face-tracking technology, and up to 8-megapixel photos (interpolated from native 2 MP sensor).  This webcam includes RightLight2 technology to improve image quality in dimly lit settings.  It also has a built-in microphone with RightSound technology to reduce background noise.

This QuickCam Pro 9000 measures about 3 3/4" wide x 1 1/2" high x 1 1/4" deep (without the clip extended).  The clip portion measures 2" wide x 3 1/2".  This webcam is designed to work with a flat panel or CRT monitor, laptop computer, or for desktop use.

Looking straight at the oblong-shaped camera, the camera/lens portion is at the left, while the microphone is on the right.  The unit is a glossy black with the Logitech logo located in the center between the camera and the microphone.  The clip extends off the back of the unit.

Not only is this a webcam, but it can take still photographs and video.  The included software includes video-effect avitars and there are downloadable filters for additional video effects.  The software user interface is easy to use with lots of settings to adjust (ex: video brightness and contrast, microphone volume, mirrored images, optional manual focus, privacy shade when you don't want people to see you, etc.)

This webcam is designed to work with both Windows XP and Windows Vista.  The specifications are listed at the bottom of this review.  The box states:  "Both parties must have the minimum system requirements for the optimal High Quality Video experience."

The box says it works with Skype, Windows Live Messenger, yahoo, AOL and other compatible instant messaging applications.

The box includes: one webcam with a 6-foot USB cable, a Logitech software CD, and a Quick Start Guide.


My Experiences

I was a little nervous ordering this webcam online since I didn't want it to arrive broken.  However, my worries were needless.  The webcam arrived in perfect shape.  All I had to do was open the box and pull it out to begin installation.  In case you are wondering, I installed this QuickCam Pro 9000 on a Gateway computer running Windows Vista.  I did not have any problem with installation or using it.

Just as an aside, I think this is a strange looking webcam.  I keep thinking I'll get used to the oblong shape (sideways oval), but even after months of using this device, the shape still startles me.  I'm used to seeing webcams that are round.  One thing about the sideways oval, it has a lower profile, which is nice.

Note: It is important to install the software CD before the QuickCam is plugged in.  Just place the CD in the computer drive and follow the prompts.  Once the software is loaded, plug the USB connector into a USB port on your computer.  The computer senses the new camera and begins a configuration process to ensure that the audio and video are working.

My one complaint is the length of the USB cord.  I know that six feet sounds like a long cord.  However, the way my desktop computer is arranged, the cord is not long enough to stretch from where the webcam is perched atop the LCD monitor to the back of the computer tower.  I had to plug the webcam into a USB port at the front of the computer.  (Not my ideal choice.)

On the bright side, the clip worked far better than I thought it would.  The clip extends from the back of the camera, and part of it folds down to act as a "leg" against the back of the monitor screen.  This keeps the webcam balanced and in place.  Even with two curious cats who have a habit of strolling along my computer table, this webcam has never fallen.  (The cats don't swat at it or play with the cord.  But they aren't lightweight babies; they have feet of thunder.)

Once everything was installed, it was easy following the setup tests to check the video and sound.  If needed, there are a lot of adjustments that can be made to tweak image quality.  I found the webcam worked great as is straight from the box.  Even the audio is excellent.  No one has problems hearing me, and background noise is minimized for clearer sound.

So far I have only been using this webcam for Skype communication.  It is working great!  People who are viewing my image say that the movement is fluid.  Even when the person I'm watching on my monitor appears to be moving in a stilted/jerky fashion, they say my video looks okay to them.  The autofocus is excellent, too.

One thing I found very important is lighting.  Even though this QuickCam Pro 9000 is supposed to work well in low-light situations ... there are limits to that claim.  The picture looks okay but not stellar in low-light.  It's not perfect though.  In low-light there is lag between mouth movement and voice.  I have an Ott Light next to my computer.  When I turn on the Ott Light, the webcam image brightens ... and the lagging movement disappears and is fluid.  (The room this computer is in is dimly lit to begin with, so this Ott Light is mandatory.)  If you find you are having image problems, try increasing the light around your webcam.


Purchasing

I bought this webcam from Amazon.com.  It normally sells for $72.99 on Amazon, but I had some gift certificates so I only paid about $50.00 for it.


Summary

I am enjoying this Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000.   It is working very well for me.  The only considerations for me are the length of the USB cord and the overall cost of the webcam.  It's expensive.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com

System Requirements:

Windows XP
Pentium 4.14 GHz or AMD Athlon
1 GHz processor (Pentium 4 2.4 GHz recommended)
128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)

Windows Vista
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz (2.8 GHz recommended)
512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)

200 MB hard drive
CD-ROM drive
16-bit color display adapter
OS compatible sound card and speakers
1.1 or 2.0 USB port


Please read my other reviews:

Ott True Color Flex-Arm Plus Lamp

Logitech QuickCam Connect (webcam)

Logitech V220 Notebook Mouse

Western Digital Portable Hard Drive
 
Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive

Sony Walkman Digital Media Player

Philips Portable DVD Player with screen

Altec Lansing Speakers

Copyright 2009 Dawn L. Stewart


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