Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000
The Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 has a decidedly Webcam 1.0 design, but don't dismiss it as outdated; its performance and adjustability are impressive, especially for its $79.99 price. The QuickCam Pro 5000 offers enough image-setting options for most users. It's also easy to setup, and it works seamlessly with multiple instant-messaging clients. More advanced users may want to consider the , which offers similar performance but adds a more modern look and the ability to take megapixel photos.
Installing the Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 is a snap; we were up and running in less than five minutes. In addition to MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), and Yahoo Messenger, the installation CD includes drivers and plenty of software: Logitech's QuickCapture app for taking still photos and videos, an application for sending e-mail with video, and Logitech's Desktop Messenger software, which automatically checks for software updates. All of the bundled apps are straightforward and easy to use, though two brief setup guides are included.
Instead of aor a , the QuickCam Pro 5000 has a flexible tail that allows it to sit atop a CRT or LCD monitor or a laptop display. You can flatten the tail to prop up the camera on a desk. We saw the same style of tail on the Logitech QuickCam Fusion, but the Pro 5000's is more flexible and holds its shape better.
Despite its large size and bulbous shape, the camera is very adjustable: you can tilt it 45 degrees up, 10 degrees down, and 360 degrees to the side. All of these adjustments must be made by hand, unlike with the, which allows you to control the view via software. We don't mind the manual adjustment, however.
Although the QuickCam Pro 5000 is easy to position, we did run into a couple of minor snags. The privacy shield isn't securely affixed to the camera, and it comes off too easily. Also, the camera itself comes off the stand when tilted too far in one direction. In each case, you merely snap the dislodged item back into place.
On top of the Webcam is a large, unlabeled snapshot button, which takes a picture if the QuickCapture software is open. A small, sensitive microphone built into the front of the camera can record a normal-level conversation from 6 feet away. Logitech also includes a headset for better sound recording and voice chat.