The Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 is one of the better webcams I have had the opportunity to use over the years. Its stylish design fits easily on top of my LCD screen, while its functionality and features continue to impress. However, Vista functionality can be an adventure at a few times.
First, let's talk about the good -- picture quality. Let me put it to you think way: This webcam works better than my high priced Sony Camcorder at picking up video in low-light settings. I was simply amazed the first time I used it in a room with compact flourescents in the middle of the night and had such remarkable clarity and picture quality. Logitech credits this ability with something they call RightLight technology (in the video review I get it backwards -- sorry Logitech!). Whatever you want to call it, it's one of the features that definitely makes this webcam stand above the rest.
Next, the optics themselves are impressive. The 9000 utilized Carl Zeiss optics and you can tell the difference between this webcam and others. If you want to find out what makes Carl Zeiss optics so good, I encourage you to do a quick internet search or visit Wikipedia to look it up. It's hard to describe in text how this optics setup helps -- this is definitely something you have to see to believe.
Overall, I found it worked well with all the major instant messaging applications -- AOL, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo. It also worked very well as a stand-alone camera taking incredible video and decent still shots -- but remember, if you want to take a lot of still shots the quality you get from a product like this is fair at best compared to what you will get with a decent digital camera.
Now, let's talk about a few things that weren't so good about this webcam. The biggest struggle I had was with Windows Vista. Even though the box proclaims it is certified for Vista, I had numerous driver issues. The Logitech 9000 worked in Vista just fine, but for some reason at random intervals it wanted to re-install its drivers. One thing you should know if you purchase this camera is that when installing it you will want to make sure you have the installation program check for updates. I found there were two driver updates for the camera during install. However, even with these updates I continue to have that random re-installation issue.
The "helper application" that comes with the 9000 lets you do a lot of things -- such as configure the webcam, add effects, etc. Although I had no problem configuring it I never got the effects to work. However, this wasn't a big deal for me as I have no use for the special effects.
Overall, if you are looking for a quality webcam that can produce terrific results I highly recommend the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000. Just be aware of potential Vista issues (which hopefully Logitech will solve). Other than that it's so easy to use even beginners to computers will be able to get it up and running in no time. A quality webcam at a good price considering all of its features.