cool, but not cool enough.
Dec 10, 2004
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:motorized, looks cool, functional
Cons:poor image quality, loud, overpriced
The Bottom Line: I recommend that you save some cash and buy the QuickCam Pro 4000.
The QuickCam Orbit is the newest and most expensive webcam offering from Logitech, the King of all Webcam companies. Their QuickCam line is by far the top selling series of webcams in history, and the Orbit's cousin, the QuickCam Pro 4000, is possibly the best consumer webcam ever made.
Recommend this product?
The Orbit boasts a motorized aiming (pan and tilt) mechanism which can be controlled from your PC, along with Logitech's usual suite of camera fine tuning controls. It comes with a pole that can be inserted between the base and the camera which raises it about 9 inches, allowing the cam to be placed on the desk and still get head-level shots. Logitech's software also supports Face Tracking, which is a pretty useful and effective tool for auto-aiming the camera during videoconferencing and so forth.
The camera uses the same CCD sensor as the fantastic QuickCam Pro 4000, but falls short of it in image quality somehow. The picture in both video and still mode is quite noticeably darker, less crisp and less colorful than it's less expensive relative.
The motorized aiming, while gadgety and cool, winds up largely unappreciated during use due to it being fidgety, with larger than ideal degrees of movement, and noisy, making somewhat shrill plastic gear-on-gear noises as the motor turns and tilts the lens. As a previous reviewer noted, it also suffers from lack of an included privacy visor, a feature of great convenience on other competing cams.
When the base extension pole is installed, the unit is wobbly and unstable. The pole is cheap plastic, and looks as though one too-hefty twist when removing or assembling it would snap it apart. The base is heavy and feels well made, but it does not provide solid enough support while using the pole. The camera itself is plastic, but feels solid and well engineered.
The included software bundle is typical of Logitech cams, and includes lightweight video editing and image capture tools, as well as the camera control functions.
In conclusion, the Orbit is a neat concept, but ultimately not a good value. For around 30$ less, the QuickCam Pro 4000 is in every way the superior cam, unless you just want gimmicks that look cool on your desk.
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