Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 review

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It’s been a year and a half since the introduction of Logitech’s line of HD webcams. During this time, the developers managed to draw conclusions based on the results of the actual operation of the devices and the company began to update the models of different price categories. So, for example, the oldest in the family Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 has been replaced by the prettier heiress Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920.

The fasteners were radically reworked, it became much more massive, received another moving part at the bottom and a wide foot in front. The hinges are tight enough to keep the webcam from sliding off your display, no matter how thick. Also, the mount has a tripod socket for secure installation on a regular photo tripod. Thus, you can now use the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 as an almost full-fledged camcorder. The work on fixing errors was good for the new product, because it was this element that was criticized more than others.
The USB cable has become a little longer. just by those 30 cm, which sometimes was not enough in its predecessor and it is now compatible not only with USB 2.0, but also with modern USB 3.0.

A bonus for users of the older model of Logitech webcams is the Carl Zeiss lens, which has 20-position autofocus. On the sides of it are hidden a pair of LEDs, which can be turned off in the settings.

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is capable of 1080p video recording at 30fps and using the popular H.264 format, while the C910 was limited to 15fps and not the best Windows Media Video codec. At the same time, you can now enjoy this resolution not only when recording video to your hard drive, but also during a video conference in Skype. To do this, the program must be updated to the latest current version. Windows Live Messenger and Logitech‘s own Vid HD app only support 720p so far. When buying, keep in mind that to transfer video with a resolution of 720p, you will need a 1 Mbit / s channel, but when using 1080p, you will need at least 2 Mbit / s.

As the manufacturer promises, thanks to Logitech Fluid Crystal technology, in addition to smooth video without annoying jerks, users get a clearer picture, richer colors and clear sound. If we compare the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 with ordinary webcams and models built into mobile devices, then the clarity of the picture, color and sound recorded by the Logitech camera is really impressive. But here, too, developers still have a lot to strive for. In addition to video, the Logitech C920 can also take photos with an interpolated resolution of 15 megapixels.

A few words about the bundled software. Logitech Webcam Software lets you record the highest quality videos and photos to your hard drive. The settings are very flexible and allow you to change many parameters that are familiar to people who are fond of processing photos and videos. the value of exposure, gain, brightness, contrast, color saturation and white balance is set. Much more interesting results can be achieved with these control levers than with standard settings.

For those who have experienced such an unpleasant effect as flickering in footage in specific artificial lighting conditions, there is good news. the anti-flicker function copes with this problem perfectly. And even if the standard presets do not help, you can manually adjust a different ratio of exposure and gain. in our case it helped with specific lighting. Naturally, in the settings it is possible to adjust the degree of audio and video compression, as well as the microphone signal level.

Another interesting feature of the program is the face tracking function, which works very efficiently. It is available only in 480p mode and the camera itself, of course, does not rotate, it uses digital zoom and a reserve of resolution.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 can also be used as a spy device. With the Motion Detection mode, you can set spy on your PC when you leave it for a while. You just need to set the degree of sensor sensitivity, the recording time after the webcam has noticed the movement and press the record button. As soon as a moving object appears in the field of view of the lens, recording begins and you can find out exactly who approached your workplace. The detector works only in a resolution of 800×600 pixels, but it is very effective and with a face tracking function.

Logitech Vid HD is designed to unite the brand’s webcam owners under a common banner. It is free, and allows you to quickly and conveniently make video calls in 720 format. If for some reason you do not want to use Skype. Logitech Vid HD will perfectly replace it.

If we talk about the difference between the C920 and 910 at full resolution, it is noticeable to the naked eye. A twofold increase in frequency makes itself felt. At the same time, at a lower resolution, the differences are no longer so significant. in 720p mode, both models produce 30 frames per second. But it is in this mode that cameras will most likely be used.

It’s even somehow unfair to compare the Logitech C920 with the built-in webcams of laptops, tablets and smartphones. the Logitech picture is much more detailed, rich and smooth. In low light conditions, the gap between rivals widens even more.

At the moment, the manufacturer claims to support only Windows OS, but we tested the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 to work on Mac OS X. The bundled software, of course, cannot be used, but in Skype the device feels quite normal.

Owners of the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 should only upgrade if they are not satisfied with the existing mount design or are planning a 1080p Skype conference. Owners of laptops with built-in webcams will really feel the difference. video detail, color saturation and sound quality are at levels beyond the reach of an embedded solution. The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is one of the best in its class. With a recommended price of 100, which is the same as its predecessor, the competitor will have to try hard to offer the buyer something better.

stylish appearance
support for 1080p at 30 fps in Skype and when recording to hard drive
use of the H.264 codec
microphone quality
universal mount for any type of displays
face tracking function
macro mode

Did not like
– rather high cost
– glossy top
– large dimensions

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 Specifications

Ffmpeg error

Broadcast over the network with Gstreamer

Launch the receiver on the receiving computer:

On the device with the camera, we start the transmission of the hardware-encoded

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Hardware encoding of the video stream

Test H264 with vlc, this way it won’t reset:

If you try this, vlc will reset before playing:

Playback is working. We are getting the H264 stream from the camera. Now let’s send over the network over HTTP:

(on the network, you need to use the IP address of your local device instead of localhost)

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So MPEG-TS allows mplayer to connect to the stream at any time with little delay (probably waiting for a keyframe or sth).

If you are using mux = avi, mime = video / avi, you need to start mplayer the moment you start vlc, otherwise mplayer will not start playing.

Raspberry Pi

In case you are experiencing artifacts in the picture and streams from Raspberry Pi use:

You may need to update your firmware:

Hardware Decoded Video Playback

Mplayer is capable of playing a framebuffer, make sure X is not working and type:

You can also play in the X window if you like: run X from the command line:

There are tons of fbdev error messages that we silently dump into / dev / zero

Playing a video stream from a LAN vlc source (see the section above):

  • If we do, we will notice that we are not yet using Xvideo or any hardware acceleration.
  • linux-sunxi.org/CedarX seems to provide us with the VPU library, which is unfortunately an insecure Allwinner thing
  • But there is a hacked VLC that can use it: linux-sunxi.org/VLC
  • Compiled successfully

Streaming hardware-encoded video from a Logitech C920 camera via cvlc and v4l2

clvc. server for broadcasting video via vlc from the command line.

Resume on broadcasting via cvlc and v4l2

Tests have shown that the processor load on Beaglebone Blue is no more than 30%, which is very good for a weak processor, but it is not clear how this video can then be pushed into ROS.

If the WI-FI bandwidth is not enough, then the video delay increases greatly, in theory this can be solved by switching from tcp to udp, the cvlc documentation mentions the possibility of broadcasting via udp.