Design and Hardware
Three main changes have been made in this updated model. First, without straying too far from the design of the C910, Logitech has given the C920 a bit more character by redesigning the microphones, setting them back slightly from the lens in the centre. All in all, it looks pretty good!
The second change comes with H.264 video encoding. Instead of having to leave all the work up your computer's processor, this webcam now has the means to capture and compress video to H.264, which can then be sent over a USB 2.0 connection to your computer.
Finally, like the Microsoft LifeCam Studio, the stand now has a standard screw thread so it can be attached to a tripod. That's certainly a handy addition. However, this webcam still doesn't have a horizontal swivel function. You therefore have to turn the whole C920 webcam towards yourself instead, which isn't quite so practical.
Image quality is excellent with the C920. When we reviewed the C910, we were bugged by a drop in framerate when switching from 720p mode (45 fps) to 1080p mode (15 fps). Thankfully, Logitech has put that right here, so the framerate in the C920 stays the same whether in HD or Full HD mode. In fact, it remains at 25 fps in a well-lit room, which makes for a perfectly smooth image.
Logitech's top-of-the-range webcam does a good job in low light too. The framerate obviously drops but the image is still smooth enough for quality video chat. Plus, video noise is kept to a real minimum. If the overall picture looks a bit dark, you can always increase the gain in the manual settings and lower the exposure slightly to get a brighter image with just a slight drop in framerate.
Logitech supplies a comprehensive software suite with the C920. The program called 'WebCam Software' serves as gateway for the rest of the suite. There are functions for taking photos and recording video. Plus, those who like to play around with their appearance will appreciate the fact that, like all higher-end Logitech webcams, the C920 comes with the 'Video Effects' tool with loads of avatars and facial adornments that adapt themselves to your movements and expressions.
The software suite also features a home surveillance mode, so you can keep an eye out for intruders or keep track of how much TV the kids are really watching! However, the software doesn't include an automatic e-mail alert function as seen in some competitor models.