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oldcpu's meandering thoughts on Computers, GNU/Linux and openSUSE

Logitech C270 webcam with openSUSE

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Logitech C270 webcam with openSUSE

I decided to procure a new webcam for my mother, which is a Logitech C270 (046d:0825) Webcam. My 86+ year old mother runs GNU/Linux (openSUSE) on her PC.



Replaces old Phillips Webcam

The Logitech C270 webcam is intended to replace an old Phillips web cam that she has on her PC. The old Phillips is a really great webcam, and it is my original webcam (more precisely the Phillips (0471:0311) PCVC740K ToUcam Pro [pwc] ).



The old Phillips works great in openSUSE-11.3, but unfortunately it being so old now has some what spotty support in more recent kernels (and I intend to update my mother's openSUSE version to 12.1). I do note that I have had it pointed out to me that HdG has done a lot of (and continues to) work on the pwc driver in the very recent past and possibly the most cutting edge kernels work better for this Phillip webcam. Examples of the updates being:



I can't say how many of those patches have been applied in the openSUSE kernels, but given openSUSE-12.1 has a 3.1.10 kernel, I'm not too optimistic about all of those patches being applied to openSUSE-12.1.

Hence replacing the trusty old Phillips with a newer Logitech webcam for my 86 year old mother is my plan ...

considered the older Logitech C210

Just over a year ago, I purchased a Logitech C210 (046d:0819) for my sister and also one for my brother, where the Logitech C210 webcam being UVC compatible works well in both GNU/Linux and MS-Windows.

The Logitech C210 has 640x480 resolution and it is a USB-2.0 webcam with a 1.3 MPixel camera, built in mic, and very important it is also UVC compatible.

Logitech C270

But it is a year later, and in today's hi-tech world, technology slows down for no one. So while it is still possible to purchase a C210, I decided instead to order a Logitech C270.

The C270 (046d:0825) is an HD 720p USB-2.0 webcam with a 3MPixel camera, built in mic, and also UVC compatible. Its only $5.50 Canadian more expensive than the C210, which for the improved resolution appears to me to be worth the extra cost.

UVC compatibility

Its important for me for a webcam to be UVC compatible where UVC is the "USB video Class", and defines a standard/specification for devices capable of streaming video. For example, being UVC compatible was a logo requirement for Windows Vista which helped make this class of device popular, and fortunately there is good support under GNU/Linux:


I did surf the web a fair amount and read a number of it "just works" success stories with the C270 and GNU/Linux so I am reasonably confident it should work for my 86+ year old mother

Shipping/Planning

I am having this webcam shipped to my sister's place (where my sister lives in the same city as my mother). My plan is to install the Logitech C270 webcam on my mother's PC, as I plan to travel from Europe to Canada in 10 days, update her openSUSE from version 11.3 to 12.1 and assuming the webcam arrives in time, install the Logitech C270 on her computer (to support my daily Skype video chats with my mother between Canada and Europe). I've been told to expect a webcam delivery in 9 days, so the webcam should arrive as soon as I arrive.

I'll update this blog entry once I have the webcam connected (and hopefully running) on an openSUSE-12.1 install on my mother's PC.

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Comments

  1. oldcpu's Avatar
    I rejected the Logitech C920 webcam to use with openSUSE GNU/Linux. Not because it is not a great webcam, but because I do not think adequate GNU/Linux compatibility is present yet for the Logitech C920 'at this time'. The words 'at this time' are important here, as development may eventually come.

    On my home PC in Europe, I currently use a Logitech C910 webcam (046d:0821) which works superbly for my use.



    The C910 (nor indeed most other webcams) are NOT for remote surveillance, as their focus is designed for short range. But for my use, which is video chat (with Skype) and the occasional webcast / videoblog (that I post for friends on youtube for a limited time with a restricted access) the C910 works great. And I do like my Logitech C910 (046d:0821).

    But technology moves on, and Logitech have a successor to the C910 which is the C920, and boys can be boys and they like their toys, and so the C920 looked interesting to me:



    So I considered purchasing a C920 (046d:082d) for myself, where the C920 webcam has superior performance in its hardware over the C910 and in turn giving my mother my C910 (which is still an excellent webcam and provides performance well beyond anything she would use it for). There are various youtube videos comparing the C910 to the C920 and also various articles.

    Now the C920 does not have 'infinite focus' that some users want in a webcam, but as noted limited short range focus is a common webcam feature, and users who want 'infinite focus' need to research very carefully if that is an important feature. It is NOT a feature for me (note my old Phillips webcam had a manual infinite focus).

    Having noted I liked the C920, however when I researched the C920 compatibility with GNU/Linux, I noted that while it is a UVC compatible webcam, and while I read of a Ubuntu user's success with the C920 (albeit not with its more advanced modes), it appears that the C920 does not yet work well with the combination of UVC, gst-ffmpeg, and v4l (which are necessary to use the C920's advanced capabilities). There is a massive thread here on the C920 with development working still ongoing.

    Thus I resisted the temptation to purchase a C920 for myself (under the guise of updating my mother's computer with a very nice C910) and instead I went with the less expensive C270 approach for my mother, where the C270 more precisely matches her needs than my used C910 (and there are many success stories of the C270 with GNU/Linux).

    The point I really want to make here (in my not purchasing a C920 at this time), is it is important with GNU/Linux to research any hardware purchase first, to ensure one has a superior chance of GNU/Linux compatibility with one's hardware. And in this case, the 'jury is still out' on the C920 (and hopefully not 'out' for long and hopefully a good support verdict comes soon).
  2. oldcpu's Avatar
    The logitech C270 webcam works well with openSUSE-12.1. I successfully set it up on my 86-year old mother's PC which is now running a 64-bit openSUSE-12.1 (KDE).

    The webcam as seen on my mother's PC:
    Code:
    Bus 002 Device 002: ID 046d:0825 Logitech, Inc. Webcam C270
    This replaces her old webcam:
    Code:
    Phillips (0471:0311) PCVC740K ToUcam Pro [pwc]
    It turns out the old Phillips worked at 160x120 with openSUSE-12.1, but struggled at 320x240 and at 640x480 (which does not make a lot of sense to me, but I did not try to debug this - instead I just removed it and replaced it with the Logitech C270).

    The Logitech C270 works well with Skype, guvcview, and wxcam (the 3 programs that I installed it with). I used pavucontrol to tune the webcam mic to work with Skype. The new webcam supports 720p (1080x720).

    My mother at 86 years old has no problem using this webcam, and it is very nice, providing over Skype some very clear videos.
  3. CFN7's Avatar
    Hi Oldcpu,
    Thanks for the education in web cams, unfortunately these are out of the question for me, like Helen of Troy, one of my smiles could launch 1000 laptops to the floor.
  4. dutchkind's Avatar
    I bought a Logitech C110 a few months ago and this model also just works with opensuse 12.1. The inbuild mic also works fine.
  5. Schlomy's Avatar
    I can't seem to get the built-in microphone with my c920 to work. The camera works fine. Any suggestions?
  6. biltekakademi's Avatar
    good nice article thanks :)

    biltek akademi bilgisayar kursu
    Updated 24-Sep-2017 at 12:00 by oldcpu (removed link)
  7. DiskCrasher's Avatar
    Thanks. When I switched to Linux I soon found out that my old Logitech QuickCam Messenger doesn't work, so I'll probably get the C270 as an upgrade. Amazon has it for less than $20.
  8. oldcpu's Avatar
    @ Schlomy I use pulse audio successfully when using my mic. I have a blog submission on pulse audio aspects here: Pulseaudio Basics for openSUSE with pavucontrol - Blogs - openSUSE Forums