Purchased October 19, 2009 $99.99
Logitech has done it again, and I am impressed! Those of you who are regular viewers of my reviews know it takes quite a camera to impress me. The new Webcam 9000 is a superb camera in all respects.
If you want the best in a consumer level webcam, this is the one to buy! However, look carefully at the package before you head to the checkout line. This one is labelled "Webcam 9000" not "QuickCam 9000". That's the only major change in the packaging, so if you arn't careful you may pickup the earlier camera when you thought you were getting the new one.
In this next generation of the 9000 series, Logitech's engineers have taken the same body and rebuilt the insides with more electronics. RightLight® is built-in to the camera rather than handled by the software. This camera runs better and is faster, because your computer isn't having to do as much. You can still turn off RightLight® under the advanced tab if you don't want it.
I am pleased to announce that Logitech has reintroduced my favorite wide screen modes, a bunch of them, in many of the new "Webcam" series of cameras. Some of the resolutions require the camera drivers to be installed, so won't be available if you use it as a UVC device or on a Mac. To me, the wide screen makes since. Many computer screens are now wide screen, so why should we be stuck with the old, almost square, pictures. (Note that if you use a wide screen mode you won't get the full benefits of the actual image sensor, because you are chopping off the top and bottom of the image, but that stands to reason.)
A very important point, it would appear that the left side focus problem that seemed to be prevalent in many of the QuickCam Pro 9000s has been resolved. I see no evidence of that problem in this camera. The result is a clear picture edge to edge.
The camera has an incredible dynamic range for a webcam. Under my full bright light tests, in the high resolution image, the only areas which are clipping are pure white, brightly illuminated areas, such as the inside of lamp shades, my white calf roping ribbon on the wall, or reflections from the daylight photoflood on one of my award plaques. You can clearly see all my face, both the bright side and the shaded side, and you can still see details in my black cowboy hat, a feat very few webcams can delever under any lighting conditions.
In my lighting demo shots, the night with back lighting images tended to be just a bit dull on my face, but when the back lights were turned off the face gained better exposure. In the monitor only simulation test the initial image was dark, but when I went to manual adjustments, I was able to bring the brightness and contrast up and the picture ends up totally acceptable considering what most other cameras can do in these conditions.
Please note that I have a typo on the demo images, I labeled the camera 2000 rather than 9000 and didn't notice it until I had put away all my lighting equipment.
|Sample images showing how this camera performs under different lighting conditions|
Image resolutions available on this camera