Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision webcam

Logitech's newest webcam, the QuickCam Ultra Vision webcam, promises relief from grainy, hard to see video images. But does it? We take a closer look.

The company says that the camera offers a "true-to-life video calling experience" because the camera can achieve a f-stop of 1.6, letting in extra light and enhancing the clarity of the picture.

In practice the results were very good, especially on-screen and in picture mode and it's not that surprising considering Logitech has upped the ante with the lens. It now includes five extra-large lenses, several of which are glass, also serve to produce extra-sharp video images.

That said you won't benefit too much from the camera's 1.3 megapixel camera, as in reality, it doesn't really make that much difference when it comes to video - the maximum is still only 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames, but you will from the improvement in lenses and Logitech's RightLight 2 Technology.

The software which is now standard across the company's line on webcams is an upgrade to their previous technology and adapts the video settings on the camera depending on the environment and lighting conditions and this a does make a difference, as we've seen in other cameras from Logitech. The technology means that when it low light conditions the camera performs very well.

Considerably larger that other webcams we've tested from Logitech, the Ultra Vision features the camera and an in built speaker and microphone. The additional attached rubberised stand makes it exceptionally large overall.

The stand works by allowing you to mould it into position to fit atop of any screen, be it a laptop or LCD monitor and the end result means that it perches on anything rather like a budgerigar does in a cage.

Bundled with the webcam is Logitech Video Effects software that lets users create avatars of themselves, complete with glasses and beard, that mimics their movement.

Although the small app has about 5 minutes worth of mileage in it, it is none the less good fun for the kids.

Verdict

The difference with the Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision over other models the camera makes is clearly in the clarity of the lens making the quality of the image considerably better than others on the market even if you can only still send at a 640 x 420 resolution.

But coupled with the improvement in the lens quality Logitech has also worked hard on the in-built microphone and speaker, in our tests without much background noise the audio was crisp and clear and Logitech showing its confidence haven't bundled in a headset like it does with other webcams.

If you've moved on from the cheaper options and entry-level webcams, the Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision is as it says on the box, Ultra Vision.

Top Marks.