Thursday, August 6th 2020

Logitech Says It's Doing Everything it Can to Thwart Webcam Shortages

Physical distancing has meant a resurgence in technologies meant to bridge gaps in geography (mainly webcams), as people have found that face to face conversations and team meetings are multiple steps above emails. However, ever since the pandemic (and associated lockdown and work from home) procedures began, it's been difficult to find any webcams available for purchase - at least at MSRP. Both new and used webcams have seen their prices increased in wake of tight supply and demand equations, and Logitech, as one of the premier webcam manufacturers in the world, has been on the forefront of fighting these shortages.

In its latest earnings call, Logitech President and CEO Brecken P. Darrel told investors that "PC webcams continued the strong momentum exiting last quarter with Q1 sales more than doubling to the highest quarterly level in a decade... We're ramping our capacity to meet demand, working to overcome component shortages as we do. We expect Q2 supply to improve, but still -- it still could remain pretty tight throughout the quarter." Demand equations in a time of pandemic aren't an exact science, so Logitech underestimating demand isn't all that unexpected. here's hoping the company can provide enough units for the resale channel so as to normalize pricing.
Source: Tom's Hardware
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21 Comments on Logitech Says It's Doing Everything it Can to Thwart Webcam Shortages

#1
Xaled
Yes of course, just as they did in the double clicking problem. All of my 3 Logitech mice now have double click problems. As soon as warranty period passed, every one of them started to double-clicking.
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#2
Chrispy_
I miss being able to buy a reasonable quality 1080p Logitech webcam for £30.
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#3
ZoneDymo
Everything short of making a proper new generation webcam, ya know 4k 60fps or 1440p 120fps with a proper sized lens or even replaceble lens.
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#4
TheLostSwede
ZoneDymo
Everything short of making a proper new generation webcam, ya know 4k 60fps or 1440p 120fps with a proper sized lens or even replaceble lens.
Well, they launched these a while back, but I guess they don't really meet your requirements...
www.logitech.com/en-us/product/streamcam

Part of the problem for what you want, is that the video would have to be encoded by the camera, before reaching the PC, which means more complex drivers to enable the video to be used by a lot of software. I guess 10 or 20Gbps USB 3.x might do the job without that, but so far it seems like no-one has made UVC chip for anything higher than 1080p. It also seems like the UVC standard supports anything much higher than 1080p.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_video_device_class
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#5
TheDeeGee
Xaled
Yes of course, just as they did in the double clicking problem. All of my 3 Logitech mice now have double click problems. As soon as warranty period passed, every one of them started to double-clicking.
Most likely copper corrosion on the switches.

I had it on my G500s once, took the switch apart, scrapped off the corrosion with a knife and it worked as brand new again.

Take your time though, it's all very fiddly.
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#6
silentbogo
Oh yeah, I'm sure they are quite upset that people keep buying their rebadged 920 for the price of Brio 4k, or that run-of-the-mill grandma webcam now costs nearly $80.
My old C310 died during pandemic, and I was really bummed out to see that I can't afford a decent webcam anymore... Other brands are garbage, and C920 and 922 skyrocketed to the point where I had to use one of my spare laptop cams with a homebrew adapter, until I fixed that old ugly plastic thing. Heck, I even considered taking apart one of my security cameras for the sake of having at least FHD 30FPS sensor that won't turn my face into pixelated moosh at sunset. Even made a USB cable for it...
TheLostSwede
Part of the problem for what you want, is that the video would have to be encoded by the camera
Biggest part of the problem is Logitech and other webcam makers not adapting USB3.x at all. I'll have an easier time finding an industrial USB Vision camera than a reasonably-priced consumer webcam w/ modern specs. Even 5Gbit/s is more than enough for raw uncompressed 1080p@60fps. Given that nearly every device released in the past 5 or so years has at least USB3.1 USB3.2 2x1 or whatever they call it now, it's ridiculous to see that the only USB device that actually needs that bandwidth still lacks support from the OEM side.
Cypress CSI-2 to USB interfaces cost less than $15 nowadays, while at the same MIPI-CSI cameras get cheaper and cheaper by the day (especially older 5MP/8MP sensors). It's just webcam makers are quite happy milking old tech at high margins, especially now.
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#7
ZoneDymo
TheLostSwede
Well, they launched these a while back, but I guess they don't really meet your requirements...
www.logitech.com/en-us/product/streamcam

Part of the problem for what you want, is that the video would have to be encoded by the camera, before reaching the PC, which means more complex drivers to enable the video to be used by a lot of software. I guess 10 or 20Gbps USB 3.x might do the job without that, but so far it seems like no-one has made UVC chip for anything higher than 1080p. It also seems like the UVC standard supports anything much higher than 1080p.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_video_device_class
Yes "full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second" is not 4k at 60fps or 1440p at 120fps.
and if nobody made it yet...well then logitech should make it themselves.

Also how do those GoPro's work who can do 4k all on their own in that tiny body?
And also Avermedia actually had a 4k webcam but ended up not releasing it, but several people on youtube got it for review.
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#8
TheLostSwede
silentbogo
Biggest part of the problem is Logitech and other webcam makers not adapting USB3.x at all. I'll have an easier time finding an industrial USB Vision camera than a reasonably-priced consumer webcam w/ modern specs. Even 5Gbit/s is more than enough for raw uncompressed 1080p@60fps. Given that nearly every device released in the past 5 or so years has at least USB3.1 USB3.2 2x1 or whatever they call it now, it's ridiculous to see that the only USB device that actually needs that bandwidth still lacks support from the OEM side.
Cypress CSI-2 to USB interfaces cost less than $15 nowadays, while at the same MIPI-CSI cameras get cheaper and cheaper by the day (especially older 5MP/8MP sensors). It's just webcam makers are quite happy milking old tech at high margins, especially now.
Did you not click on the link I provided? That camera is USB 3.x, it even has USB-C and does 1080p60...

As I said, USB UVC doesn't seem to support anything higher than 1080p.
ZoneDymo
Yes "full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second" is not 4k at 60fps or 1440p at 120fps.
and if nobody made it yet...well then logitech should make it themselves.

Also how do those GoPro's work who can do 4k all on their own in that tiny body?
And also Avermedia actually had a 4k webcam but ended up not releasing it, but several people on youtube got it for review.
A GoPro also costs a lot more and afaik, can't be used as a USB camera.

I mean, all the DSLR camera makers have all of a sudden released USB camera drivers for their $2,000+ cameras, but none seems to be able to do better than 1080p.

From what I have seen, you need a capture card of some kind, be it USB 3.x or PCIe to get anything above 1080p from a camera of any kind.

I tried to bring a capture/streaming device to market many moons ago, but ran into the problem that the captured video was encoded in H.264 and it meant it was useless for live streaming. The way the OS and third party software can use the video is tricky if it's not a USB UVC compatible device.
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#9
chstamos
Xaled
Yes of course, just as they did in the double clicking problem. All of my 3 Logitech mice now have double click problems. As soon as warranty period passed, every one of them started to double-clicking.
Same problem. 10 year old MX518s don't have this problem, but huge masses of expensive 120-dollar-plus logitech mice do. Their mechanical keyboards are full of problems too (key chattering, broken keycaps). Their quality has gone to junk for some years now. They're not even attempting to fix it, unlike other manufacturers who provide solderless hot swapable mouse switches, or optical mouse key switches that won't develop the problem. They're just cruising on paid youtube shill unboxing "reviews" that never address reliability or longevity.

I so wish Microsoft would reenter the webcamera market with some new, good, windows hello compatible webcameras. Or Hyperx. Or Steelseries. Anyone, really. It's amazing how most webcam manufacturers give no attention to this easy way of differentiating their product (judging by the prices of mass chinese windows hello cameras, and the fact it's practically included for free on a 24 incher Dell monitor, the infrared component can't be all that expensive). And still, you'll only find it on junk Logitech expensive top-shelf webcams...
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#10
silentbogo
TheLostSwede
Did you not click on the link I provided? That camera is USB 3.x, it even has USB-C and does 1080p60...
That camera has $170 MSRP, which is ridiculous... that's pre-pandemic BRIO 4K price tag right there.
What's even more ridiculous, is that at the moment it's basically only available in NA region and it costs nearly 250USD.
...and still, even with those restrictions, in most places it's either on backorder or out-of-stock 'till further notice.
If anything, it's more viable and accessible to get a workaround out of Twitch Streamers playbook, and simply hook up a GoPro to a cheap chinese 1080p60 capture dongle.
TheLostSwede
As I said, USB UVC doesn't seem to support anything higher than 1080p.
That's nonsense. Just look at BRIO 4K - UVC compliant. All USB Vision industrial cameras are also UVC-compliant (with capabilities as high as 4k@30FPS). My new dream-microscope w/ USB3.0 Type-A plug is also UVC compliant (If I ever get it, I'll probably use it as a webcam w/ wide-angle lens).
As I said, the only thing that's holding back affordable high-res high-bitrate webcams are OEMs and their greed. Just look at all of those "classic" 10y.o. models with a whooping 720p resolution Logitech and Microsoft keep pumping out like hot cakes.
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#11
Easo
Let's just say when a 30 EUR webcam started to cost 100+ EUR, I was pretty pissed.
Logitech gotta be rolling in the money now.
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#12
semantics
ZoneDymo
Everything short of making a proper new generation webcam, ya know 4k 60fps or 1440p 120fps with a proper sized lens or even replaceble lens.
120fps based on what? What webcam, streaming or videoweb site even allows 120fps.
Xaled
Yes of course, just as they did in the double clicking problem. All of my 3 Logitech mice now have double click problems. As soon as warranty period passed, every one of them started to double-clicking.
That's probably because Logitech moved to using the cheaper Chinese made Omron switches many years back from the Japanese ones. Ofc for some reason the chinese ones are rated for 50mil clicks while the japanese ones are only 20mil these are no load tests though. If you slam on that click and hold it down hard you'll cause that number to drop. Just desolder the switches and replace w.e you want Japanese Omron, TTC, Kailh, Huano etc. If you're the type to wear though the switch like that you'd probably want to change the switches to something heavier anyways for more positive feedback, Chinese omrons are really light switches, that's why logitech has the whole support plastic shell on the clicks to give a more positive feedback.Frankly alot of company use Chinese made Omrons they're hard to avoid.
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#13
AsRock
TPU addict
Xaled
Yes of course, just as they did in the double clicking problem. All of my 3 Logitech mice now have double click problems. As soon as warranty period passed, every one of them started to double-clicking.
Buy a swiitch and a soldering iron \ flux and fix it your self, it isn't hard.
Chrispy_
I miss being able to buy a reasonable quality 1080p Logitech webcam for £30.
Bigger problem is limitations they put on them, my c920 can only do 1080p is skype.
semantics
120fps based on what? What webcam, streaming or videoweb site even allows 120fps.
That's probably because Logitech moved to using the cheaper Chinese made Omron switches many years back from the Japanese ones. Ofc for some reason the chinese ones are rated for 50mil clicks while the japanese ones are only 20mil these are no load tests though. If you slam on that click and hold it down hard you'll cause that number to drop. Just desolder the switches and replace w.e you want Japanese Omron, TTC, Kailh, Huano etc. If you're the type to wear though the switch like that you'd probably want to change the switches to something heavier anyways for more positive feedback, Chinese omrons are really light switches, that's why logitech has the whole support plastic shell on the clicks to give a more positive feedback.Frankly alot of company use Chinese made Omrons they're hard to avoid.
In my finding the lighter to click switches fail much sooner for me at least.
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#14
yotano211
Here I was thinking there was a webcam shortage becase lots of people where using them for chaturbate or onlyfans.
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#15
Tartaros
ZoneDymo
Yes "full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second" is not 4k at 60fps or 1440p at 120fps.
and if nobody made it yet...well then logitech should make it themselves.

Also how do those GoPro's work who can do 4k all on their own in that tiny body?
And also Avermedia actually had a 4k webcam but ended up not releasing it, but several people on youtube got it for review.
Is not really that much about what logitech can do rather why would anyone doing a videocall need something more than 1080p when there are not many services that provide that, and people who do more pro streams just get a reflex camera with a capture card.
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#16
Overclocker_2001
why buy webcam when you can use your phone with app that "convert" it to a webcam?

logi(tech) take this as a suggestion, stqart making dashcam... LoL
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#17
Chrispy_
ZoneDymo
Everything short of making a proper new generation webcam, ya know 4k 60fps or 1440p 120fps with a proper sized lens or even replaceble lens.
That's not even the real issue. There are incredible quality phone cameras (Pixel, iPhone) that use tiny, non-replaceable fixed lenses.

It's more about intelligent auto-focus, white balance, de-barrelling, and a sensor with adequate resolution but good low-light performance. A good quality 1080p image at 60fps is going to be plenty for anything a webcam needs to do.
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#18
remixedcat
Xaled
Yes of course, just as they did in the double clicking problem. All of my 3 Logitech mice now have double click problems. As soon as warranty period passed, every one of them started to double-clicking.
Another irk aout Logitech - No linux suport for mapping buttons! :(
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#19
Readlight
I am not happy whit their Logitech capture it works slow.
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#20
sam_86314
Wanted to get a Logi webcam, but they're either too expensive or out of stock. Ended up getting a generic one that was on an Amazon lightning deal for $25.
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#21
yotano211
sam_86314
Wanted to get a Logi webcam, but they're either too expensive or out of stock. Ended up getting a generic one that was on an Amazon lightning deal for $25.
I saw a youtube video where the person bought a older gopro 3 or 4, used a USB video capture device and used it for a webcam. He said the bought the gopro 3 on ebay for $40. The difference in video was better with the gopro 3 than the logitech stream cam he used.
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