Logitech Pro 9000

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Cliff
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Logitech Pro 9000

Post by Cliff »

Dear al(L)
I was browsing in our local PC World last weekend and amongst other
things noticed the Logitech Pro 9000 webcam price £69-99p.
At a glance I thought its outer physical appearance suggested this webcam might be less suitable for astro planetary imaging use than say the old Philips Toucams which only required their lens unscrewing and replaced with a 1.25 inch eyepiece fitting adaptor. However, it seemed to me if the Logitech innards are easy to re-house this £70 webcam might make a decent lunar\planetary imager (?).
Reading the Logitech box info one beauty of this Logitech webcam seemed to me it's "certified" USB2.
I presume that means that unlike most socalled USB2 webcams which I gather actually only operate at USB1 speed so won't work faster than 10 frames a second without dropping frames, the Logitech 9000 genuinely will work at 30 frames a second capturing all the frames.
However, I suspect one snag still might be the Logitech webcams only have CMOS censors not CCDs as did the Philips Toucams.
I didn't notice any sensor specification being stated on the Logitech box. So the Logitech 9000 may not be as good for astro-imaging as I might like and modding it might increase the overall price to nearer £100.
Best wishes from Cliff
Davej
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Post by Davej »

Hi Cliff,
Yes you are correct in assuming the sensor is CMOS. I dug this out if it's any help.
All the best.
Dave
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LeoLion
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Post by LeoLion »

Hi Cliff , There is a Garry Honis group of webpages on this webcam for lunar,solar and planetary use http://ghonis2.ho8.com/Pro9000mod.html

A well illustrated photo set guide to re- housing etc plus comments on its use.
Hope this helps,
Len E
Brian
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Post by Brian »

Dear Cliff,

I think the Logitech Pro 9000 camera at £70 compares quite unfavourably with the Microsoft Lifecam cinema HD which is currently available from Amazon for £42 including delivery. The Lifecam is true USB2, allowing up to 30fps even at the higher resolutions. The Pro9000 is "USB2 compatible" but runs at USB1 speed, limiting output to 5fps at the highest resolutions.

Both the Lifecam and the Pro9000 use CMOS sensors of modern design which have good light sensitivity, but probably not as sensitive as the best Sony CCDs as used in the Toucams. Note that Gary used substantial apertures to gather plenty of light for the images he presents to us.

Gary Honis shows how to modify the Lifecam for planetary work here:
http://ghonis2.ho8.com/lifecam/lifecam1.html.

Common to many most modern webcams, these two use sensor chips onto which are integrated much of the control hardware, unlike the Toucams, where individual chips are mounted onto a circuit board. Thus it's now impossible to fabricate a long-exposure modification by the trick of cutting a track or two on the circuit board and interposing some additional switching to give long exposures as was done with the Toucams etc. If the ability to have long exposures hasn't been programmed into these new CMOS chips (and why would it be required in a home webcam) then it won't be possible to have long exposures for applications. The auto-focus mechanisms need to be removed by unsoldering them - no "just unscrew the lens and insert adaptor".

Another problem reported by Gary and others for these new webcams is that the available software can produce unreliable control of particularly the exposure setting, with settings such as "auto" having a life of their own and cutting in for no apparent reason.

It seems we are still waiting for a "Young Pretender" to depose "King Toucam" from the top of the astro-webcam pile :D

Regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

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nealeh
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Logitech Pro 9000

Post by nealeh »

Brian wrote:The Pro9000 is "USB2 compatible"
No. It is Hi-Speed USB 2.0 certified. There is even a FAQ Entry on how to check it is running at full USB2 speed. Tech specs here.

I have one and it transmits high quality high frame-rate (30fps) images. Best webcam I've ever owned.
Cheers,
--
Neale
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
Brian
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Post by Brian »

Hi Neale,

Thanks for the correction (sincerely).

I took what Gary Honis wrote at face value "The Pro 9000 has a maximum video resolution of 1600 X 1200 pixels resolution at an uncompressed capture speed of 5 fps." and incorrectly interpreted it as USB1 speed. Clearly it's much faster even at 5fps with that framesize.

I still think the Lifecam is better value for money though :)

ATB,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Leon,DaveJ, Brian and Neale
Thanks !
Brian the Logitech's £70 price tag was at PC World so perhaps an unfair comparison to the Lifecam off Amazon _ and I myself don't make internet purchases.
The Logitech 9000 box did say USB2 certified so I did think it might mean it is genuine USB2 speedwise.
Since I'm not desperate for a planetary imager at the moment I wont be buying another webcam for now but I will definitely keep the Logitech 9000 in mind.
Best wishes from Cliff
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