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First Look: Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Mon July 7, 2008

QuickCam Vision Pro

Every Mac comes with iChat, which allows for video conferencing over a high-speed Internet connection. Unfortunately, the Mac mini and Mac Pro lack a built-in iSight camera, so if you want to use video conferencing with these Mac models, you'll need to buy a separate webcam such as Logitech's QuickCam Vision Pro.

This webcam comes with a 6-foot USB cord attached to a plastic clip. The length of the cord makes it easy to link the device to a Mac on the floor -- or tucked to one side of a desk -- and then comfortably attach the camera to the top of a monitor, using said clip. The clip also includes an adjustable arm to hold the camera in various positions on top of an LCD.





After connecting the camera to a Mac's USB port, you need only open the Preferences window from the Apple menu to specify the webcam's built-in microphone as the input audio device.



The Mac automatically recognizes the camera for use in programs such as Photo Booth or iChat. What makes this camera more than just a simple iSight clone is the quality of its captured images.

The built-in iSight camera, found on most Macs, only offers a relatively low 640x480 resolution, which captures adequate but grainy images. The QuickCam uses Carl Zeiss optics, and records in a substantially higher two-megapixel resolution. As a result, images appear far sharper than those captured with an iSight.

A unique feature of the camera is its technology called RightLight. Under poor lighting conditions, most cameras simply take bad shots. The Logitech camera uses RightLight to automatically adjust for low illumination, thereby capturing better output.

Another bonus is that the QuickCam captures a wider angle than an iSight. When recording identical images during testing, the QuickCam covered the entire room while the iSight concentrated solely on the person sitting directly in front of the computer.



Besides higher video quality, the QuickCam offers a microphone with greater audio fidelity than the one built into, say, a MacBook. When capturing audio through a MacBook's mic, voices can sound distant unless you lean forward. With the Logitech camera, audio remains clear at normal distances.

Although $129.99, the QuickCam Vision Pro is more than just an adequate webcam for Minis and Pros. With its higher output quality, the camera is superior to the built-in options on any Mac. If you value ease of setup, crisp video and better sound, the Vision Pro is definitely worth considering.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    save $30

    Get the QuickCam Pro 9000 instead...

  1. goatman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple Monitor w/ iSight

    For four years I've lived with my old Apple 17" LCD monitor, waiting for Apple to come out with a monitor with built-in iSight. What in the world is taking so long for Apple to refresh their monitor line? Any thoughts?

  1. webraider

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    QuickCam Pro 9000???

    Will it work the same way, Without drivers, natively with no extra software to install?

  1. InfraredAD

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    What the..

    yeah, the 9000 works just fine on OS X. no problems, I have it. I don't understand why Logitech didn't just package a Windows / OS X - hybrid CD and save some of their own cash, packaging, etc. by shipping just one product.

  1. mbanks

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    isight

    Just an FYI... if you've got an iSight, you really should have iGlasses. the iSight picture on the right would look MUCH better with some minor tweaks. The hardware is good, but the image control (built-in) is lousy.

    With that said, I had my mom get a 9000, and it is a pretty nice camera - much better than Logitech's lower end stuff.

  1. Loren

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    logitech's orbit AF?

    Why don;t they release the auto-tracking, autofocus Orbit AF for MacOSX? As far as I know, at the same price as this product, it does far more.

    Apple should develop a similar supercamera for MacPro and Mini users.

    And yes, iGLASSES FOREVER. For standalone iSight or built-in Amazing little product.


  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The 9000 works fine, but

    it doesn't auto-focus like it does on PCs. Their website offers no software under the Mac version. I assume this may change, it better change. By the way, the 9000 is supposed to auto track, but I didn't see it work on the PC.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The 9000 works fine??

    I am looking at what good mac cam to get. I've read a couple times the 9000 was stuck on 59 fps. Is this true?

    Any info would be great, thanks.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The 9000 works fine??

    Sorry, i meant 5 fps. Is this true?

    Any info would be great, thanks.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    10.5.8 broke it...


    It appears that the release of 10.5.8 broke the fix for the QuickCam Vision Pro Mac, which 10.5.7 fixed - now the camera randomly goes dark again.

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