A cute and capable QuickCam
The camera is a sleek, silver-and-black sphere with a built-in microphone. It ships mounted on a U-shaped stand; an additional clip-on SmartClip tripod stand is included for use with laptops or flat-screen monitors. A bright LED indicates when the cam is active, and an eight-foot USB cable provides plenty of placement flexibility.
The QuickCam Pro 3000 is capable of capturing video at 640x480, but it's able to do so at only about 15fps (frames per second). Only when we knocked the resolution down to 320x240 were we able to capture a full 30fps. In a well-lit room, the camera's image quality was quite good, with very vivid color saturation. However, the QuickCam Pro 3000's CCD sensor didn't fare so well in dimly lit or backlit situations; the image became muddy and somewhat dark.
Strong software bundle
Logitech bundles NetMeeting for videoconferencing. Oddly, the camera operated in a zoomed mode when using this program, which required placing the cam farther from the subject and resulted in a noisy picture. Most of the camera adjustments available in the Logitech drivers were unavailable from within NetMeeting, including the zoom setting; we could bring up only the generic lighting and brightness screen. Even so, the picture quality is noticeably superior to what you'd get from an entry-level Webcam.
Much of the software bundle is accessible through the QuickCam launcher program. Software is included for video and still capture, video e-mail, Web album management, and both live and still video broadcast to the Web. You'll also find a few Webcam games and a slick utility that turns your QuickCam into a motion detector--if something moves, you can record it or sound an alarm. Rounding out the bundle are MGI VideoSuite III SE and PhotoSuite III SE for editing videos and images.
Boosted by its strong software bundle, the QuickCam Pro 3000 is a good choice if you plan to use it in well-lit situations. But for dimly lit, late-night videoconferencing, there are better cams available, such as the Intel Deluxe PC Camera or the Intel Pro PC Camera.