August 30, 2009

Experience with the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 on Linux

I recently purchased the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 to replace a very old 3Com HomeConnect webcam. I received the July 2008 version of the webcam, of which I was disappointed and surprised about considering that I purchased this in August 2009. This version apparently has some incompatibilties with many host controllers on Linux, so your experience may vary.

The install was simple enough. I compiled UVC support into the kernel, rebooted, and my camera was detected. The image quality is great - I am really pleased with it. When it comes to using it with applications, however, I have mixed results.

  • Skype - works fine

  • Cheese - Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't. The colors seem a bit off.

  • Camorama - Fails to connect to the device. I think this is more a problem with the program than the webcam.

  • Luvcview - Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't. The colors seem a bit off. This is not marked as stable in Gentoo and the program showed errors while trying to adjust settings.

  • Kopete - Works fine. I was able to adjust setting for the webcam here.

  • Flash - Webcam crashes a few seconds after starting it. This appears to be specific to Flash on Linux, as I had the same problem on my Kubuntu laptop. I plugged the webcam into my Powerbook G4 running OS X and it worked fine there.

I hope to try it in Pidgin 2.6.1 or higher once it becomes stable to see how well it works there. I rarely use a microphone so have not tested it's functionality yet. I'm disappointed with the problems I'm seeing in Flash and hope future updates to Flash and/or the UVC drivers fix this.
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