In the centre of the webcam is a silver grille containing the microphone . It uses what Logitech dubs RightSound technology – essentially echo cancellation tech that filters out the sound of your own voice being transmitted back to you when you’re having a webcam conversation. It worked well.
The software that comes with the device is actually pretty good. A install CD comes with it but the first thing it does it to go online to seek out a newer version, which does make me wonder if there’s any point including install CDs at all these days. You can’t argue that some people might not have Internet access as then a webcam wouldn’t be much use to them.
The Quickcam software is a short vertical floating bar with nice colourful icons and getting to all the settings and options is straightforward. QuickCapture launches the preview screen and there’s a button for taking photos or recording video, and pressing on one side of them gives you access to time delay settings. You can easily browse the captured photos and videos, which appear below the preview screen and there are handy buttons for attaching files to an email, sending to a printer or deleting. It’s also straightforward to choose which applications to use the camera with, such as Skype or MSN Messenger and the email client of your choice.
Beneath that you have a Video Effects button, which is actually a lot of fun. You can choose between ‘Avatars’ that replace your face with a cartoon like head, such as a dinosaur, cat or alien or have effects overlaid onto your head. It’s very silly, but fun and you can calibrate it so that your facial movements are mapped onto the avatars. A really great one transforms you into an animated pencil drawing – it’s worth the entry fee alone. Some of the talking heads are quite odd to say the least and could easily scare the young ones; Andy’s comment was, “that’s not right, man”. It is, to be technical, a bit of a ‘‘larf’, but perhaps best avoided when giving a video conference report on the latest company figures to the boss in Japan.