Logitech QuickCam Fusion
The Logitech QuickCam Fusion's sleek new design and impressive software bundle make it one of the best Webcams we've seen. Though it won't replace your digital camera or video recorder, this $99 device can take clear still pictures and video, and it works seamlessly with multiple instant-messaging clients.
Installing the Logitech QuickCam Fusion is easy. In addition to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), and Yahoo Messenger, the included 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. You can select the software you'd like to install or install it all at once. Both applications are easy to use and fairly self-explanatory, though two brief setup guides are included.,
The Fusion's flexible tail can fit atop a CRT, an LCD, or a laptop display. The tail is adjustable but not very stable. It doesn't hold its shape particularly well, and adjusting it can be a balancing act. We prefer the stands that come with the Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000, which offers a more stable tail-style stand and a desktop stand. The Fusion's camera tilts back 90 degrees but doesn't tilt forward and can't swivel from side to side. With the QuickCapture application open, you just push the unlabeled button on top of the camera to make the Fusion take a snapshot. The small, fairly sensitive microphone built into the front of the camera can record a conversation from six feet away.
The included QuickCam software lets you adjust a myriad of settings, including brightness, saturation, contrast, white balance, hue, sharpness, gamma, and backlight. You can also change exposure, gain, and the ambient-light setting. In the less-useful-but-cute department is the Avatars feature, which tracks the movements of your nose, eyebrows, and mouth and applies them to a cartoon character such as an alien or a shark.