I recently replaced the webcam I use for video conferences at Mozilla and since I’m going back to my roots a bit with this blog, I thought I’d post a review about it here since that’s what the old me would have done without blinking. I previously owned a Creative Live! Socialize HD 1080p webcam for about 6 months, a full HD capable webcam with supposedly excellent quality. I was using Windows 7 at the time, and the webcam came with an app for changing settings like brightness, white balance, gamma and other stuff. It worked reasonably well, but it always struggled with reproducing natural colors in dim light. No matter how you adjusted the image settings, the camera would render almost black/white or something resembling sepia colors, with lots of grain.
Due to a little bed table accident at a hotel room in Mountain View, I switched from Windows to Mac a couple of months ago (which probably is a story worthy a separate blog post). This is when the limitations of the Creative webcam really started to become unbearable, because now I didn’t have any app to adjust the webcam settings anymore since there is no Mac support. Luckily there was another minor hardware problem with the webcam so I was able to return it to the store for a full refund. So now I was on the hunt for a new webcam again, this time preferably with Mac and Windows support (since I’ll hopefully be able to switch to Windows 8 at some point — I still hate Macs).
I quickly homed in on the Logitech C920 webcam after a recommendation from William Quiviger, but when looking up the specs of it, it turned out that it didn’t have Mac support either. I ended up in countless of angry threads online about the outrageous fact that the C920 didn’t have Mac support when its predecessor C910 had. Well, I ended up getting the C920 anyway because I didn’t like the idea of buying the previous generation, and Logitech’s own support reps on their site even mentioned in a thread that the support in C910 wasn’t that great. And everyone seemed to rave about the picture quality of the C9x0 in general, so I thought I’d take a chance.
And boy did this camera exceed my expectations! Sure, there is no Mac support in that you can’t modify settings like white balance, brightness, saturation, gamma, etc…. but the reality is, you don’t need it. This camera adjust perfectly to any lighting condition! I’ve used this in daylight, during nighttime with an energy light bulb, and even in the darkness with the cold light from my 24″ monitor lighting up my face. Regardless of light source, the camera just adjusts perfectly and renders colors that don’t want me to cover up my face in late night meetings with my colleagues overseas. In comparison, the Creative camera that I owned previously made my face completely blue due to the harsh monitor light.
So, although you can’t modify any settings if you’re on a Mac, I still highly recommend this webcam as it adjusts perfectly and has stunning image quality. I certainly have never used a better webcam. And if you’re running Windows, the webcam is probably an even better choice.