Logitech HD Pro C910
can praise Logitech for the nice display packaging it creates, we can't for actually getting the webcam out of it — it's cumbersome and some patience
is a pre-requisite.
After an extraction process even SWAT or the SAS would be proud of, installation will be seeing you steadily go through a cup of coffee.
The Logitech HD Pro C910 will only play nice at High-Definition resolutions if you install Logitech's software and drivers either via the web site
or accompanying CD.
While doing the "Typical" installation is usually advised for most users - if you're willing to spend a little extra effort — we'd recommend you
select the "Custom" software installation and just choose "Logitech QuickCam software" and "Logitech drivers". That way, you can wave bye-bye to the effectively
'bloatware' video motion effects and extra 'bells and whistles' that will generally get in the way if all you're interested in is using the camera for general
communication purposes. An added benefit - it will also be a quicker install. For us, the "Custom" installation took a little over 2 minutes.
Similar to most other webcams in this review, the flexibility of the camera on its mount isn't stellar, but should be okay for most purposes. It will
sit on most monitors, but can become a little troublesome if you plan to use it on a laptop screen. This appears to be largely due to the way the mounting
has been designed, with a long horizontal grip (allowing it to sit on some fatter desktop monitors) and a short vertical plastic flap to help hold it in
position. When we tried this on a thin laptop screen, it had a tendency to slip and tilt backwards resulting in the camera almost facing the ceiling. We
did find a little workaround though, which was to actually utilise the slight gap between the camera itself and the mount (which normally acts as the
vertical swivel) and slotted the laptop screen into it - holding it steady. Again though, it's fixed in a front-facing position with no option to swivel
it left or right.
Image clarity for the Logitech HD Pro C910 was stunning. Even with two of us on screen, it was still able to provide detail and sharpness to both,
with a good depth of field too.
Here we'll have to thank the extra drivers that were installed earlier on, which seem to do an excellent job along with the Carl Zeiss lenses that Logitech
have been employing over the last few years. You also have the added benefit of some advanced settings such as Logitech's "RightLight" technology which helps
the camera adjust to lighting and the surrounding environment. It also has some extra features to zoom and pan using Logitech's QuickCam software. In our
test the C910 appeared to have a cooler or bluer tint to the image when it came to lighting, in effect balancing out any major glow from fluorescent lights.
The resulting image had no obvious glare from overhead lighting.
It's worth mentioning that at this stage, it is the only webcam on test here that is also capable of 1080p video capture. Note we say 'capture' not
'calling'. This fine line means that it will be able to do a native recording on the computer in 1080p, but may not be practical in an actual 'video call'.
Besides, the native 1080p resolution of 1980x1080 is often beyond that of the regular computer office, home or laptop monitor.
Focus was quick, sharp and smooth transitioning at a variety of up-close or far-away objects, with no obvious focus tracking or 'hunting'.
Another area where this camera excelled was field of view. This placed the camera in 2nd place, just missing first place to the FaceVsion
TouchCam N1. It very comfortably fitted two of us into its shot with room to spare either side and had very good vertical height too. You
could probably get away with this camera in a small meeting room quite easily.
The Logitech HD Pro C910 handled an impressive 30 frames per second, resulting in a smooth image, but did seem on occasion to be slightly blurred,
perhaps with the software intervening or trying to manage light levels. Having dug a little deeper, turning off "RightLight" appeared to give us a
little performance boost, with the image looking slightly smoother - referring to the frame rate. We suspect that due to the software doing the majority
of the work, there is a finite delay that can sometimes be incurred depending on the environment you're in, lighting, computer performance and so on.
It's also worth noting - since the human eye can only detect up to approximately 24-25 frames, you should be absolutely fine with any HD webcam in the
'twenties' frames per second range - the image still appears smooth.
Bandwidth consumption varied from 700kbps with a stationary image to a peak of 2.2 Mbps with considerable head/hand movement. While this may not be
the most scientific approach, at least it gives you an idea. Similar to the FaceVsion and Microsoft offerings in this test, the wide angle view results
in the potential of more data being captured and transmitted; and the lack of an onboard encoder means that (based on our limited testing) it required
more bandwidth. Out of the HD webcams we've tested – this was the most bandwidth hungry, but also offered the sharpest image – so that
should come as no big surprise.
you don't mind parting with just short of £100 (the most expensive webcam on this test) and spending some time installing extra software and
tinkering with some optional extras the Logitech HD Pro C910 should be at the top of you list. Out of the HD webcams on test, it provided the sharpest,
crispest image and a decent wide angle view that could suffice even in a small conference room. If however, you are unable to install extra software
onto your computer (such as a corporate-build) or if you use a laptop on a regular basis - we suggest you take a look at the FaceVsion TouchCam N1,
which is a close contender to the Logitech, but without the need to install extra software.
Freetalk Everyman HD | FaceVsion TouchCam N1 | Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD
Our Review Ratings Explained
Our review ratings are based on our own objective findings. Since we are not tied to any specific vendor or manufacturer, we will always
endeavor to be open, honest and impartial. We can't test every single piece of hardware out on the market, so we always value your input
too! If you're currently using a good bit of equipment, do let us know via our forum.
Testing & Disclaimer Information
All prices correct at date/time of writing.
Equipment was tested on: Intel Core2Quad 2.33 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 512 MB Graphics, Windows 7, Nefsis Online Conferencing Service,
10 Mb business internet connection, 720p HD resolutions.