3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2008 7:19 PM by EZ Jim
Welles Goodrich Level 4 Level 4 (1,380 points)
I recently purchased an external iSight to use with a Mac Pro. Because of a 30" monitor it has to sit off to the side. Recently I wondered about getting a Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF as I can mount it on top center of the monitor. It has a 2.0 megapixel camera and good Zeiss optics. Has anyone had a chance to compare the two units? Is the image of the Logitech equal to or better than the iSight. Because of fairly low light I use iGlasses with the iSight and get well lighted image but I wondered at what cost to the quality.

Thanks for any input.

MacPro, G4 1.5GHZ, Rev.A iMac, Mac IIsi, Mac Plus, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,645 points)
    Hello Welles Goodrich

    I offer some input rather than direct answers to your very good and specific questions.

    (1) If the only reason you are considering a different camera is because you need a different mount, this Mounts For Your iSight page may be of interest. (Note that Apple no longer offers the "iSight Accessory Kit, Part Number: M9314G/B" that is mentioned there.)

    If you or your Apple-Authorized Service Provider needs parts from the discontinued Kit or some part listed in Apple's iSight Service: Frequently Asked Questions page and cannot locate them in your area, check with http://www.synaptech.com. They have told me that they will help users obtain any needed external iSight parts that are still available.

    (2) I do not have a Logitech camera, and I have never knowingly tested iChat video images with anyone using the specific Logitech cam you mention. Therefore, I have no facts on the quality of the image it provides. However, the tests I have made with users of different Logitech webcam models showed good video quality on systems that were working properly.

    If you decide to buy a QuickCam Orbit or other Logitech webcam, be advised that some models have both UVC and non-UVC versions. Only the UVC versions do not require additional software and drivers for use on your 10.5.1 Mac. This Logitech page shows which part numbers are the UVC versions.

    (3) If you find that iGlasses does not give sufficient image quality, you can try adding location light. When my room at home is too dark, rather than use iGlasses, I light my face with a small clamp-on lamp like this one. I tried several different bulbs and settled on a small (9 watt) "warm" toned fluorescent bulb that gave the best color balance without being too bright or too hot.

    (4) How the image from any given camera looks is an individual judgement. Before you buy a new Logitech, you might want to consider getting a demo on one at a local store to be sure that YOU like the way its image looks. If you do not have access to a portable Mac to use, they should be able to let you use a store computer to capture a snapshot and a video that you can copy to disk or email to yourself so you can compare it with similar files captured from your iSight.

    EZ Jim

    PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/Mac OS X (10.4.11) G5 DP 1.8 w/Mac OS X (10.5.1)  External iSight
  • Welles Goodrich Level 4 Level 4 (1,380 points)
    EZ Jim,

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I purchased a new iSight complete with all the adapters but didn't really like using an adhesive so I'm using a SightFlex stand which is an OK solution.

    The biggest issue I'm facing is trying to find the best quality image possible as I'm going to start using both Skype and iChat quite a bit in the near future. I don't have any experience with video so I'm thought I'd start asking about.

    You know, as far as lighting goes, I use a 30" Dell monitor and have it somewhat brighter than my old Apple Cinema Display. When using iChat I use Desktopple Pro to change my desktop image to an off white (even getting rid of the menu bar so my screen is simply a light which does quite a good job of lighting my face. The iGlasses app allows me to tweak all the possible camera settings and save presets. I'm quite happy with the result.

    Overall my quest for a better webcam image was stimulated by a seemingly knowledgable assertion that the Intel Macs are 'optimized for USB' web cams and therefore they would perform better. I then researched what seemed to be the best possible UVC option. A great list is found here...

    http://webcam-osx.sourceforge.net/cameras/index.php

    Again, thanks for your time composing that helpful answer!
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,645 points)
    You're welcome.

    EZ Jim

    PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/Mac OS X (10.4.11) G5 DP 1.8 w/Mac OS X (10.5.1)  External iSight