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Is $299 the USB camera sweet spot?

Is $299 the USB camera sweet spot?

Logitech has jumped from being nowhere in the PC video camera game to being a major player, almost overnight. Despite having released the first mass-market digital still camera many years ago, Logitech hasn't been in the video camera marketplace until now. Now it has its own new camera, and has bought the camera division of Connectix.

QuickCam Home is a $299 USB camera, designed to perch over the edge of a PC monitor, giving as close to the ideal camera angle as possible. It's Plug and Play, has a built-in microphone and, perhaps best of all, only requires one cable running back to the PC. No power and no microphone leads. The camera can also be used handheld, with a simple one-shot button, making it suitable for gathering pictures for applications ranging from catalogues to security passes.

It comes with software for video-mail, video-interactive games, Microsoft NetMeeting and image capture. This makes it an ideal home and SOHO product, according to Logitech Australia's general manager, Marco Manera.

Logitech produces a range of PC peripherals for retail and OEM applications. These include wired and wireless mice, trackballs and keyboards. Products are distributed by Dataflow, BJE Enterprises and (OEM) FocalPoint.

Logitech's patented mounting system puts the lens as near as possible to the user's line of sight for natural pictures. However, it can be unclipped for handheld use too. There is a built-in microphone and an easy-to-use focus wheel underneath. One top is a single-shot still photo button. The QuickCam Home is $299, the same as competing products from Philips and Creative Pacific


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