A foray into the world of webcams will reveal a diverse population of various shapes, sizes, and functions. In recent years, the need for an external webcam, for “average Joe consumers” has dramatically dropped due to the inclusion of one in just about every mobile device made today. However, there isn’t a mobile device which has a high (enough) quality webcam to use in professional environments. Enter the Logitech c920 webcam. Does it succeed at filling a void for avid webconferencing consumers?
Read on to find out.
The Logitech c920 is a full-HD 1080p webcam. What’s more is the 15 megapixel sensor inside the device that allows you take gorgeous stills. It’s worth noting that not all services support 1080p video chat functionality. However, Skype does, which is what I suspect most consumers use, but both parties must have an HD webcam to take advantage of the glorious high-definition video.
Setting up the c920 is very simple: simply attach the camera atop any monitor and plug in the USB 2.0 (it’s also USB 3.0 ready) cable into a free port, and you’re good to go. The c920′s attachment mechanism is really handy and can attach to just about anything you throw its way. Moreover, there’s a tripod mount on the device for consumers who may opt for a more permanent placement. As soon as the c920 is active, two blue lights pop up on the device to let you know it’s ready.
The c920 features Carl Zeiss optics, makers of NASA lenses and pioneers of camera design for over a century. Needless to say, Carl Zeiss is some of the finest glass you can get in a camera lens. The result is both great photos and videos. Due to its bigger, 15 megapixel sensor, the c920 utilizes light a lot more efficiently than the FaceTime HD camera in the 2011 MacBook Pro. Taken only with the overhead light on, you can see that the c920 demolishes the FaceTime HD camera.
Video quality is just as good. You can record in 720p in most applications, and 1080p in Skype, like I mentioned above. In my testing, the frame rate can dip a bit when recording, but it’s nothing too drastic. Keep in mind that you’re not going to get continuous 60 fps when recording from a webcam, it simply isn’t viable. However, for video calls, the c920 will work perfectly.
The Logitech c920 has two microphones for stereo audio functionality. While this is definitely cool to see on a webcam, I didn’t notice any stark differences between the c920 and the microphone on the MacBook Pro; both sounded nearly identical.
The Logitech c920 is the best webcam I’ve ever used. From the great optics to the easy functionality, the c920 will satisfy those customers who are avid Skype or other video IM users. While the c920 isn’t without a fault (irregular frame drops are definitely noticable), it still stomps the included FaceTime HD camera included on the MacBook Pros (and many other laptops, I’m sure). For $99.99, it’s worth a look if you’re interested in upping your video conference game. Check it out on Logitech’s website.
Pros: Fantastic lens, simple design and usability.
Cons: Framerate can drop during video calls.