It is often hard to figure out the perfect webcam for you. There are so many available on the market, and most of them do not have any unique features that can separate them from the rest. The HD Pro C910 is Logitech’s flagship webcam. Thorough testing reveals that the C910 falls short in a few areas, but has a lot to offer in many others. This is definitely a compelling gadget that deserves consideration.
The design is, quite frankly, nothing special. Surrounding the small lens on both sides are two blue light strips that turn on when the camera is in use. The webcam also features dual mics, found on either side of the indicator lights. Though the webcam can swivel vertically — and does so in a very smooth fashion — it does not swivel horizontally. This might make it hard to video chat with multiple people on your end. Additionally, I am not fond of how wide the device is. When not in use, it can get somewhat distracting if trying to focus on the contents of the display. That is more of a personal preference though.
On a more positive note, build quality is very solid. The Logitech C910 definitely does not feel like it is going to break if, say, it falls off the top of your monitor. But even that is not a problem, since it feels pretty sturdy when perched above the display.
Setup & Installation
Installing the software for the Logitech HD Pro C910 was a breeze. The package does include a disc, but I did not need it. Immediately after plugging the webcam into the USB port, Windows 7 searched for and found the necessary drivers online. The installation guide popped up and within a couple of minutes, it fully installed the software with little to no work on my end. With many webcams, plugging in the USB only installs the drivers and no software, but the C910 did it all in just a few clicks.
There is not very much to say about the software that comes bundled with the C910. The user interface is nice and clean. All of the webcam’s features — from adjustments to effects to preferences — are easily accessible. Logitech’s software includes a plentiful amount of tweaks for brightness, contrast, focus, and the like. There are also a number of fun effects to apply, some of which are especially amusing like video masks.
I did run into a couple of bugs, however. For instance, I was not able to play back any videos I recorded at first. I eventually got it working, though there are options to view the files and open them in other programs just in case. It is also worth noting that out of the box, video shoots in a 4:3 aspect ratio. I had to manually change it to 16:9 in the settings to get the full HD experience. But overall, if you plan on using this webcam primarily for video chatting, the software is not a concern.
If you have been skeptical so far, here is a bit of good news: the Logitech HD Pro C910’s video quality is superb. It is almost like leaping into the future if you are accustomed to using the standard 1.3 or 2.0 megapixel webcams built into most laptops. You can take still photos up to 10MP in size, which is plenty to work with if you do a lot of editing and fine tuning. The picture is crystal clear, thanks to auto-focus. Colors seem slightly under-saturated yet still manage to stay vibrant. Even indoors or in low-light conditions, minimal grain is present.
Whether in a video call or recording a video, the experience is very smooth. There is no apparent lag or stutter. When I experimented on my own, I conducted a video acll using the built-in webcam on my HP laptop and the C910 on my desktop. When I got up from my laptop to view the desktop’s screen, it still pictured me just getting up from my laptop. Going back to my laptop from the desktop, there was no such delay. Logitech did a nice job with this, though it is probably dependent on a good internet connection.
Stepping down from the great video quality, overall audio quality is a big so-so for this gadget. Voices sound better than your average phone call, but certainly not life-like as Logitech promises. There is not really much definition. Background noises filter out quite well though and there is no odd noise that I know of. Most people in the market for a new webcam do not really take audio quality into significant consideration. So, unless you plan on performing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” via Facebook’s new video calling feature or Google+ Hangouts, the C910 is adequate in the sound category.
The Logitech HD Pro C910 webcam provides a great way to take photos on the computer or video chat with friends while utilizing the latest in high-definition technology. The video quality is honestly nothing short of excellent as is setup time, which is enough for most shoppers to take the plunge into buying one. If you can get past the average audio performance and some small gripes regarding design, the Logitech C910 brings plenty to the table. It retails for $99.99, but you can find it cheaper if you shop around. If you are looking for an even better value, perhaps you might want to check out the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema for just $50.
Links: Logitech HD Pro C910