Logitech QuickCam S5500
The Swiss manufacturer of devices is clearly at the forefront of webcams with an extremely complete one of the jewels is the enigmatic QuickCam Sphere. Here we are interested in a mid-range, the S5500, which announced a 1.3 megapixel sensor and optimization technologies of lighting and sound.
Design and quality manufacturing
The S5500 shares its design with its big brother the S7500 and Communicate STX. The webcam strikes at the outset by its size and its spherical if the Exchange Dualpix like a droid of the Empire, the S5500 comes squarely within the Death Star. This large area has not gone unnoticed on a desk and swear frankly with the current trend to offer webcams more discreet (see the VX-5000 Microsoft is almost forgotten). One positive point is catching up his case: the quality of manufacturing seems to be very robust. The head of the camera moving through a flexible ball without being too sensitive, but its vertical orientation is rather limited, especially as the elastic ball has a tendency to focus. Fixing system, like the VX-5000 Microsoft is flexible: it allows the camera to adapt to any type of screen but the clip is larger and less flexible than that of its competitor. The webcam has no ring of development but is rather a single detail: a protective component of the sensor, a detail rather seen even if the seal is not very practical because too slippery. It should be noted the presence of a button on the side of the sphere.
Software and Drivers
QuickCam S5500 comes with the Logitech QuickCam software, a house close to what is proposed by Microsoft or Creative. As for the latter, the main functionality of the software is the realization of catches. The interface module is rather simple: two buttons to capture a photo or video, a banner at the bottom of the screen to view the catch (with two tabs photo and video) and immediate access to quality parameters catch and the choice of the resolution. A timer is available for photos and videos for the latter, it is also possible to activate a motion detector that will automatically record a sequence of a period specified by the user when a motion is detected. Photos can be sent by mail or printed. For videos found in more functionality export to YouTube.
The software suite also includes the traditional video effects that can enhance your creations and above all your conversations in Windows Live Messenger or Skype. Unfortunately, these are rather limited on this model. While big sister S7500 has a range of effects with face tracking, the S5500 offers only a few strains not very interesting or very successful elsewhere. In short, these "Fun Filters" n'amuseront little world ... Also in the software can access the settings of the image and shortcuts to applications or certain sections of the site Logitech. Note also the ability to customize the image to display when the component of protection is closed. In terms of settings, there is a fairly comprehensive panel including automatic adjustment of white balance, and two parameters to automatically optimize color and brightness depending on lighting variable. The drivers include an automatic face tracking. Interesting compared to other webcams of comparison: it can adapt to a single face but also to many faces, especially as the angle of the lens is large enough.
The principal shortcoming of the QuickCam S5500 is immediately connected the webcam, the objective significantly broadens the picture, which is not very flattering for faces. In addition, catches singularly lacking sharpness of the image producing a strong compression. Without reaching the level of Philips SPC1030, the least efficient in this regard, we are left with permanent blur quite unpleasant. It should be noted all the same color rendering satisfactory (even if the camera had shown a tendency to over-exposure) and a fairly wide angle facilitating conversations with others. The video quality is also quite mixed, with the camera easy to distort the image when panned. In conversation with Skype and Windows Live Messenger, we find defects sharpness above: the image is very distorted and compressed. The sound, however, seemed quite good in our party, probably through technology optimization Right Sound that filters out ambient noise.
QuickCam S5500 is not the case this year, far from it. Too large, offering image quality fairly average for its price, it was difficult to win over the VX-5000 Microsoft, even Live! Cam Video IM Ultra Creative. Remains a satisfactory quality of manufacture and supply rather well-designed software. Frankly not bad in itself, it suffers from an over-aggressive competition from Microsoft, which offers much better for the same price, which is more cumbersome and less!