My first impression of this camera is WOW. The image beats everything I have tested to this date, including my $1,500 StarDot netcam MP. The image is crystal clear and the new RightLight 2 technology is amazing. Even with a lamp behind my head, my face was not too dark, and neither was the lamp badly overexposed. The daylight outside the window was even handled without very much overexposure.
The camera has a rather wide angle lens, which could work to an advantage if you want to use the zoom feature or if you want to show nature scenery out your window. At smaller resolutions it might become an issue with some IM programs unless you use the zoom feature. Its fixed focus large size glass lens is very good and is sharp from about 18 inches to infinity.
This camera requires a powerful compuer, so if you only have a minimum system, don't expect to be able to do much else with the computer. If your system does not meet the minumim configuration look for a diferent camera.
System requirements, from the Logitech website:
Windows® 2000, XP
Pentium® 4 1.4 GHz or AMD AthlonTM processor 1 GHz (Pentium® 4 2.4 GHz recommended)*
128 MB RAM (256 MB RAM recommended)
* Recommended system requirements are needed to use Logitech® Video EffectsTM, RightSoundTM or RightLightTM 2 Technology feature.
The camera is a bit more bulky than the Fusion, but not too much. It has a wider support stand than the Fusion, making it a bit more stable on my monitor. The imaging half of the camera can now be rotated up and down rather than the entire camera as in the Fusion.
While I'm not interested in the Avatar and special effects that come with the software, Logitech seems to have solved the problems I reported with the earlier versions of the software. The new version 10 picks my face up quickly and operates the creatures properly. In addition they have also added some overlay effects which allow you to put funny graphics over your face like a goatee or a gas mask. I can think of a few IM sessions I could have used that one on.
I had only two disappointments, (1) the lack of the wide screen resolution option (864x480) I get with the Fusion which I really like, and (2) not as many configuration option screens when using a 3rd party capture program as you get when using the Logitech software.
Update (Aug. 13, 2007): While the Ultra Vision is still a very good camera, it has now been superseaded by the QuickCam Pro 9000 and the QuickCam Pro for Notebooks as the best image. (the newer cameras are quite a bit better)
Screens available through the camera application
Advanced Settings Quick Capture Right Light Settings Video Effects Web Cam Settings Audio Application Preferences
|Sample images showing how this camera performs under different lighting conditions|