These days it can seem like every netbook and notebook computer on earth comes with some sort of Webcam, but most desktop systems still don’t include that bit of hardware—which, for some people, represents a bit of cost savings but, if you want to do video chat or conferencing, it represents a major hassle. As such, the market for add-on Webcams is still going strong, and peripheral and accessory maker Logitech launched a major assault today, announcing no fewer than seven new models designed to appeal to all ranges of Webcam users, from folks who want a high-def experience to consumers looking for just the basics. Logitech is also using the camera as a way to push Vid, its own video chat software that lets folks connect to each other using just email addresses—no accounts or third-party software to mess with.
“Now that Vid is changing the way people stay in touch, it’s the perfect time to pick up a new Logitech webcam and make video calling a regular part of your life,” said Logitech general manager and Internet communications VP Gina Clark, in a statement. “Logitech is a pioneer in the development of Webcams, and our latest products make it easy to see your friends and family around the world.”
At the high end, the new Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 offers a 2 megapixel sensor and Carl Zeiss optics, enabling users to push 720p high-definition video to their audiences. The camera can also take (software-enhanced) 8 megapixels still images, automatically, adjusted for bright or dim conditions, and offers Video Effects that let users choose avatars, face accessories, and other goofy add-ons that “mirror expressions and movement.” In the mid-range, the WebCam C600 also offers a 2 megapixel sensor, a glass lens, and the capability to push 720p video, while the lower end is rounded out with basic models like the Webcam C250 and C200 featuring VGA-resolution sensors. All the Webcams feature a universal clip for connecting to an LCD monitor or notebook lid; some cams come with desktop stands and/or carrying cases.
All the Webcams come with Vid (which works with Windows and Mac OS X), and are compatible with services like Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and AIM. Prices range from $99.99 at the high end to $29.99 at the low end; all will be available in the U.S. and Europe at the beginning of August.