It seems that others have now encountered the change in how Windows 10 handles webcams after the Anniversary update. Many applications simply never try to go beyond 720p30, so it wasn’t clear to me how many people would be impacted by this change.
How ironic that in the two weeks since there’s been a flood of complaints about the Anniversary Update breaking webcam access in Skype. It hadn’t occurred to me that Skype, a Microsoft product(!), would also be impacted.
As more and more people make use of video, whether via Blab, Blue Jeans, Hangout, Skype or Zoom, webcams have been continually increasing in importance. Yet the competitive landscape for webcams has been relatively unchanged in recent years. However, there has recently been some movement that sleepiest corner of technology as Logitech this week announced the Logitech C925e Webcam.
The family of Logitech webcams can be confusing. Logitech’s own web site and marketing language make it difficult to differentiate the various models. Given my rambling exploration of webcams I have a handful of them hereabouts, which leaves me potentially well-positioned to help explain where the C925e fits.
Yes, I want a new webcam! The idiocy of that statement doesn’t become apparent unless you’re familiar with my home office, which is littered with various webcams. They have become something of an obsession. Yet, none of them does quite what I’d like.
My reference for a simple USB attached webcam is the venerable Logitech HD Pro C920. One sits, a near permanent fixture, atop my left-side monitor. It’s a solid product. It’s affordable. Makes great video under various lighting conditions. It can deliver MJPEG or H.264 encoded streams, which makes it capable of 1080p when used with suitable software.
The audio playback performance of the CC3000e was decent. I have used the device to listen to streaming radio & some podcasts while it was USB attached to my desktop. It’s obviously much too large for my desk. Then again, that’s not the target role for the device.
Logitech has a long history as a manufacturer of PC speakers, with products ranging from cheesy to thunderous, so it’s no surprise that the CC3000e sounds quite good. Given my prior experience with the BCC950, I was more curious about the performance of the microphones.
I put the CC3000e along side a couple of reference devices for comparison. When compared to the Clear One Chat 160 I found that the CC3000e played louder, no doubt bit benefits from deriving more power than a single USB connection can provide.
In the way of a simple audio test I recorded some speech into Adobe Audition using the CC3000e as the source device. With the sample rate set for 48 KHz the resulting recording showed vocal energy present up to around 8 KHz.
I’ve used a number of Logitech products over the years. Their business class headsets have been consistently improving in recent years. Their webcams have been best-in-class as long as I can remember. While the BCC950 Conference Cam is a great value in a webcam/speakerphone aimed at an office or small meeting room, their new Logitech CC3000e Conference Cam is without a doubt their most ambitious effort yet. It’s a PTZ webcam & conference phone aimed at larger meeting rooms.
As opposed to a dedicated SIP or H.323 end-point appliance, the CC3000e, like the BCC950 before it, is just a USB-attached audio/video I/O device. Requiring no special drivers it is automatically configured when connected to a host PC.
Unlike the BCC905, it’s not an all-in-one unit. The device has several components;