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Logitech saves the day for Mac users looking for a capable plug-and-play USB webcam.
Until recently, Mac Pro and Mac mini owners were stuck with either searching eBay for used iSight cameras or using a crappy third-party USB webcam with software that tricked iChat into thinking they were using a FireWire device. Even with the updated iChat support for USB cameras, however, it’s been difficult to find a suitable replacement for the iSight. The Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro hopes to fill the void left by the demise of the iSight, and in our tests the USB 2.0 camera does a stellar job.
The QuickCam can deliver 2-megapixel images and has the capability to shoot video at up to 720p at 30 frames per second using UVC-based applications. The webcam utilizes a built-in microphone that we found extremely sensitive, picking up noise from external hard drives sitting on our desk. A quick trip to the Sound System Preference to lower the input volume fixed that.
The image quality was superior to that of the internal iSight on our MacBook Pro. Logitech’s RightLight 2 technology gave us warmer tones, bringing down the zombie factor of our iChat video chats. Low-light situations created just a little bit of visual noise, so basement-dwellers can finally turn off that spotlight that’s been blinding them for years. The auto-focus feature was quick to register our movements, although the camera suffers from the usual wavy image and blurring that plague all webcams.
The QuickCam has a white ring that lights up when the camera is in use so you don’t accidently record yourself doing your worst Jedi impression. The stand is a feat in simplistic genius. The camera can be mounted to almost any monitor, from the thin screen of the MacBook to a much thicker monitor, while still retaining its ability to tilt up and down. On a flat surface, the QuickCam has an impressive range thanks to the device’s rubber feet. While the stand keeps the camera stable, the ability to attach the camera to a tripod would be a welcome addition.
The camera is completely plug and play. No software is needed—or even included. Most of our video apps, including iChat, QuickTime, and ScreenFlow, recognized the QuickCam Vision Pro automatically. Unfortunately, iMovie and Final Cut Express failed to see the camera, although you can easily record video using QuickTime and import those files into your editor of choice.The Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro is a great webcam for those looking to replace the long-gone iSight. If it had a tripod adaptor, it would be perfect for hobbyist stop-motion animators.