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on 18 October 2008
Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam

Having returned home after a stint in Shanghai, I was eager to purchase a web camera to keep in touch with good friends. I was aware of Logitech's reputation in PC peripherals so their webcams were scrutinised along with Microsoft and Creative's offerings. During my research, what quickly became apparent were empty promises appearing in webcam marketing literature. Don't be seduced by `HD video calling' - the call may well be HD resolution but at slide show speeds for both participants. There is a valid reason for the implementation of HD, as the improved optics help refine standard quality calls. Still, don't purchase one on the basis of its HD offering as you'll get nowhere.

I settled on the Quickcam Pro 9000 because of its fair price point and overwhelmingly positive reviews. Most criticism centres on its bundled software suite but as I have dealt with the abortions that are Creative's supplied software, little fazes me. I have no use for the software suite anyhow and in the end, simply installed the webcam's driver and got underway.

Skype (4.0 beta at time of writing) is my VoIP client of choice, and picked up the Pro 9000 effortlessly. The image produced, at 640x400, is sharp and responsive. Colour and lighting are reasonable, although the sudden appearance of a bright colour can throw the latter off. I noticed this whenever I waved my bright blue foam roller at the webcam - the colours would dim upon its appearance and brighten conversely. It is not a major issue for me but I could imagine distracting scenarios - e.g. if somebody wearing bright clothes kept entering and exiting the webcam's field.

The sound quality is truly excellent. I've never had a single complaint on the volume or clarity from my chat partners - simply superb work there by Logitech. I have not used it to dial a mobile/landline number but I suspect there'd be no audio issues. My only gripe is the subpar design for the mount that secures the Pro 9000 to a monitor. The webcam doesn't rely on a clamp or clip but a simple, stiff hinge that keeps the it stable on top of a LCD monitor. Such a mechanism may work universally for any monitor (it's dubbed the universal clip) but a sturdier implementation would be preferable.

One Skype issue I have is the camera blinks off in the initial minute of a Skype conversation before restarting at a lower resolution, but I suspect this is down to CPU/bandwidth limitations. Though I can not take advantage myself, the camera can turn on Skype's high quality mode - much improved resolution and frame rate - when paired with a dual core processor. Something I'll look forward to in the future.

I will draw your attention to an oddity may impact your decision though - search on Google for "Are there two hardware versions of QuickCam Pro 9000 ?" and the second link points to a Logitech official forum thread stating there has been an undisclosed hardware update to the webcam this year. According to the thread (whose comments haven't been verified), the newest Quickcam Pro 9000 revision produces sharper pictures. These newest revisions have an orange ring instead of red when turned on. Unfortunately, a purchase and subsequent install is the only way to find out. Hardware lotteries are always annoying and I hope sellers clear out their red ring inventory soon. In any case, even if you have the older model, take heart as you already own an excellent webcam.
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on 31 October 2008
Having watched the uploaded video, I can say that the quality when you use something like Skype is probably better than this recording, especially if you're on an HD video call. The recording here is the lowest quality setting. It's important for Skype users to note that only 3 webcams currently support HD calls, and this is one of them.

Just remember that this is a recording and your video-conferencing quality will be dependent upon your Internet connection.

Because of the low lighting in the room you'll also notice the light level fluctuates slightly but that's due to the camera being put through it's paces in a less than optimal environment.

Also, it seems the videos on Amazon can sometimes play a bit pixelated, but the recording is clear so refresh the page if that happens.
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on 4 September 2008
This is an excellent cam. I was sceptical at first as it has a high price tag (except on amazon) but when i saw the quality of the build and the quality of the video its just fantastic. Nothing else to say its well worth the money. The low light video is great and it adjusts the aperture perfectly so not grainy images just clear how they should be. the focussing is quite responsive too if you have face tracking on.
One other great feature is its stand its so versatile it attaches to anything or stands perfectly.
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on 23 May 2008
The Camera works well on my XP pc. It looks beautiful too. The wide angle is really good, I like wide angle. And the software now works well with my pc, I used to have a previous model and the image used to come out too dark due to software problems.
The auto focus is good but it would be good if the software had a button in an easy place to find it so that you can lock the focus once you are happy otherwise if something comes slightly into view of the camera it will refocus on that, which is annoying. Also if it is a bit dark it looses focus and starts hunting and the image ends up blurred for a while until it sorts itself out. The microphone and sound canceling technology works very well.
The ability to twist the lens or whole camera left and right to adjust it would be good.
Very good sharp image! My 4th and best web cam I have owned yet.
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on 1 December 2008
You'll have a right laugh taking the webcam out of the box, and removing the little piece of paper telling you that you should slot in the driver CD before plugging the camera.

Under Linux, the device uses the standard UVC driver, and doesn't need firmwares, or other garbage. The image quality is great, the microphone works without a problem and it sits nicely on top of my screen. Nice kit.
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on 22 May 2008
I bought the Logitech 9000 to replace an older Logitech webcam I bought in 2003. What a quantum leap. The resolution is fabulous and the white balance is great (it works very well in low light and/or in high contrast situations, i.e. when your room is dark and there's strong light from a window). I use the webcam for skype and I must admit I don't use any of the other software functions. If you want a good webcam for Skype, this is it!
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on 2 October 2008
This webcam was installed using the supplied software in minutes on Windows Vista, totally trouble free.
The picture is amazing even at low resolutions and the sound quality is superb.
I can honestly say i have never seen anything as good in my life.
You get an online video tutorial and you are soon using the webcam and all its features.
Very easy to fit on your monitor with no chance of it falling off even if you tilt the screen. Looks like Logitech have listened to people and improved the product.
The Microsoft NX-6000 is good but this is even better.
An LED on the webcam shows you when it is active and you can adjust absolutely everything with the on screen software.
There is even a privacy screen with a choice of pictures for your viewer(s) to look at when it is in use.
A travelling case would have been handy but you cant have everything.
The webcam with the WOW factor. Highly recommended.
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on 24 January 2008
I find reviews really useful in choosing a product and was interested by the slightly polarised customer views on this webcam as it had come out well in review websites like Cnet and Trusted Reviews. So I felt I ought to share my experiences.

I had previously owned a Creative NX Pro webcam I bought about 3 years ago and was disappointed with it. A friend of mine who is a technology correspondent for a major international newspaper told me that Logitech made the best cameras and I had also worked for Cisco from time to time and notice they use Logitech webcams also - rebranded Cisco, of course.

The Creative webcam could never get the light right and I was always opening or closing the curtains in the background to try and adjust the light levels and in the end I just gave up.

I found the Logitech camera easy to install. I am running a fairly ancient Dell Latitude D600 laptop with Windows XP and it was no problem. I decided to load all the software although you can opt for a custom install. I took the advice of several reviews and binned the enclosed disc and just dowloaded the latest software from the Logitech site. Very quick and easy. I notice several reviewers only loaded the drivers and that might be the best course of action for some people although there are some features you might miss which may prove useful. You can choose a custom install when you've downloaded the software which I presume gives you that option.

The instructions advise you strongly not to plug the camera in until you've installed the software and when I plugged it in I was blown away with the quality. It was vastly superior to the Creative webcam I had previously owned. Interestingly they do a notebook version, but apart from the smaller size I can't see much point in getting it. The mounting clip is well designed and hooks on perfectly to the screen of my laptop.

While all webcams have limitations due to frame rates I think anyone looking for a webcam would be well advised to take a serious look at this one. It's expensive as webcams go, but it's the old story - you pay for what you get. Buying a cheap £20 webcam is a false economy, especially if you use it to contact relatives abroad as you want the best possible picture.
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2008
Having had a Logitech webcam a couple of years ago, I decided it was time to get another one to replace the lost Zoom model.

Installation under XP was straightforward. Install the software and drivers. Plug in the webcam and you're finished.

One thing I wasn't prepared for was the excellent picture and sound quality. There's a decent microphone built into the web cam with options covering noise background etc. As for the picture quality - outstanding. I can see why so many buyers recommend this particular model.

All in all, a highly recommended purchase. Don't settle for anything less - this is the one to get.
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on 26 October 2008
I have researched a number of these web cams having never used one before. I use Vista Home premium O/S and wanted the cam to use with Skype. Having read some reviews on this webcam I had some concerns over software installation. I followed instructions including uninstalling Norton 360 (the only way I could find of disabling this Norton product)and it installed perfectly and I have used it with Skype and been complimented on the clarity of reception - both audio and video. The additional avatars and filters are fun too. Very pleased so far with my purchase.
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