Billed as the first webcam that actually supports 1080p over Skype and 720p with other video calling services, Logitech’s HD Pro Webcam C920 is the best step you can take if you’re in the market for your first webcam or if it’s been a few years since you’ve purchased your last one. As soon as you plug it in and get a look at how good the picture looks, not just in terms of adjusting for light, but how clear and smooth the motion is, you feel you’ve made an upgrade. When you take it for a real spin and stream content or make a call to somebody and there’s no dip in quality, not much more needs to be said.
Functioning much as a standard webcam ought to, the Logitech C920 boasts some impressive performance, in addition to the Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and 1080p resolution, this camera can take 15 megapixel snapshots, comes complete with two built-in microphones for stereo sound, and a base that can be mounted onto the top of a monitor, laptop, or screwed onto a stable tripod. With all these features, it’s obvious that Logitech created a metaphorical heavyweight, but when you get into the software included, it’s kind of impressive what else you can do.
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 automatically encodes to H.264 as a standard feature, meaning you don’t have to do anything unusual to start recording in HD. Once the discreet and stylish blue LED’s on the sides of the lens light up, you know you’re looking as good as possible. The included Logitech Vid HD software lets you video conference in case you don’t want to use Skype or Gchat, but also allows for extra fun features like the ability to make a “mask” out of any image file, or to turn your webcam into a security motion detector that will wait for something in the room to move, then start recording until the motion stops. It’s not going to keep your home safe, but as a feature it’s a nice afterthought and can be put to use at home or in the office.
It was using these features that I only experience any problems with the C920, as using masks caused the software to crash several times and required a system reboot before I could attempt to use them again, but it’s not something that I can take serious points off for unless you were hoping to make some rip-off versions of a particularly viral Youtube series about unpleasant fruit. The picture is stunningly clear, the microphones pick up sound very nicely from a comfortable and natural range and even seem to do a good job of filtering out background noise, meaning that with just this one piece of equipment you can complete any video calling setup or content recording suite.
Bottom Line: The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 lives up to the “pro” in its name, taking care of any needs an amateur vlogger or parent away on a business trip might have. With virtually no setup besides plug in and go, this is a webcam that’s guaranteed to last for any practical purposes. If you’re trying to shoot a feature film, you might want to go with something a little less consumer-grade, but through the C920, Logitech is offering the best webcam on the market for its price, hands down.
- Crystal clear 1080p calls through Skype without needing to change any settings
- Stylish soft blue recording lights means that you know when you’re on the air without being distracted
- Built-in stereo microphones capture audio wonderfully and from a virtually any range you would think is comfortable
- Some of the extra features seem to make the software less stable
- Camera has less than 90 degrees of swivel, but the camera is small and light enough that it can be creatively worked around
- Packaged software inexplicably does not support 1080p video calling, which can only be attained with Skype as of the time of review
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is available from Amazon for $79.99.
Born in the Midwest, living in the Southwest, Michael Radon grew up wanting to make video games for a living before finding his calling as a writer. Though he often heads out on spur-of-the-moment adventures with little to no preparation, he's just as sure to remember his toothbrush as he is at least two portable consoles, a laptop and five to ten games on his person at all times just for those lulls in the action where he can squeeze in a few levels of gaming.