Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks
It is 4.5cm tall and the width and depth to the back of the clip are both 4cm. The lens itself is less than a centimetre across. The USB lead is 70cm again designed for use only on notebooks.
I stress the notebook angle as even if you have a flat panel the jaw of the grip of the camera is unlikely to stretch to fit as it is only 1.5cm when fully open.
The dread I felt when I saw the blister pack had me reaching for the industrial scissors but on examination this turned to elation as at last at least one manufacturer has listened to my moans. It still has welded seams but the top and sides of the box just inside the welds are perforated to allow you to press it open and while of course it will never fit fully together if you open the perforations only far enough to extract the camera, the CD-ROM and instruction manual it will allow you to store them safely when not in use. WELL DONE LOGITECH.
While you can do basic things with this webcam without installing the software a lot of the functionality including image size etc are linked into the software.
Insert the CD and after around a minute you will be asked to reboot, then the installation starts it took 14 minutes and used 156MB of hard disc space on my fairly powerful Windows XP system (it will not install if you only have SP1). Strange arrangement to reboot before installation but it works and towards the end of the install you attach the webcam. After that it checks sound quality using it's built in microphone and you should also see an image of whatever it is looking at.
Each time you boot up you will see a small Logitech toolbar and this enables some nice features as well as some fun effects. I mention a couple of the more useful below.
Face Tracker is a technology that I have recently come across on some digital cameras where if what you are looking at moves so does the camera to keep the person centred in the image. Of course this works only within short distances but it gives the impression to the viewer that someone is controlling the static camera.
An option you clicked (or not) during the final setup is RightLight Technology that gives a good image in most lighting conditions. The Quick Cam software allows images to be manipulated and for instance glasses or a hat to be put on a persons head. Video effects works well with video images the default for these is 320x240 ideal for web transmission.
The installation guide is 84 pages but before you think that's nice all my questions will be answered the first five are in English. I scoured the box but nowhere could I find any mention of it requiring SP2 of XP. The stated specs are for Windows 2000 or XP Pentium 4 1.4GHz orbetter and 128MB of Ram. For Vista it's Pentium 4 2.4GHz and 512MB Ram. The only other statements are 200MB hard disk space, CD-ROM and USB 1.1 or 2.
Unless you only own a notebook I think that the Logitech QuickCam Pro is better buy as it gives you the ability to clip it over the notebook screen and a flat panel it could also fit on a conventional monitor.
Doing my Internet searches found the Logitech QuickCam for notebooks at a best price of £52.97 including delivery from the first link below.
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