The best webcams for Mac
The use of video applications by millions of people, such as Zoom or Apple’s own FaceTime to chat online with family and friends, seems to have come to stay after the new normal that we live around the world.
Many people continue to telework from home and use more business-oriented applications, such as Skype or Microsoft Teams, to make video calls. However, the low resolution of the equipment’s cameras calls into question its quality.
That is why many users are betting on acquiring external webcams with which to improve the image quality offered by Mac cameras. In addition, as you may already know, neither Mac mini and Mac Pro offer you this function as standard.
In this way, most users of Mac computers can see how the quality of their images improves in video calls if they choose to purchase one of the cameras that we propose below, with purchase tips and offers in each case.
The best webcams for Mac
- $ 99.99
Despite the fact that Razer is best known among the world of PC gaming users for its accessories and components, its Kiyo webcam is primarily aimed at gamers who need a high-quality camera to stream video on Twitch or upload them to channels like YouTube. .
And it is that the Kiyo still works well as a direct USB webcam for Mac computers, and it has a number of other quite useful features that will help you chat with friends or even make video calls with colleagues at work.
For this, it has a sharp 1080p (1920 x 1080) lens, with a viewing angle of more than 81 degrees and the possibility of recording video at 30 fps, or capturing still images at 2688 x 1520 pixels.
The adjustable stand can be attached to the top of a laptop screen, or folded down to accommodate any desk or flat surface. You can tilt your lens to get the correct angle of view, and the Kiyo USB cable is 1.5 meters long.
Like many webcams, the Kiyo has an autofocus feature so you can keep a certain distance from your gear and keep the focused image natural and undeformed. The main feature that sets it apart is its built-in ‘light ring’.
The circular outer edge around the camera lens lights up as soon as you select the camera as the video source, so you know you’re broadcasting or recording the signal, plus it lights you up in low-light conditions.
Razer also has a good selection of high-quality professional microphones and headphones that you can use in conjunction with the Kiyo.
- $ 199
Logitech probably has the widest range of webcams available you can meet right now, ranging from low-end entry-level models for video chats with your friends, to gaming cameras or video conferencing systems for business use.
La Brio is one of the company’s high-end models; in fact, Logitech claims that it is the best webcam they market at the moment. It costs just over € 300 but the quality justifies its high price with a full 4K resolution lens (4096 x 2160) at 30 fps, or video at 1080p and 60 fps.
The Brio also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) for bright, eye-catching colors, and Logitech’s RightLight technology, which automatically adjusts the image to cope with changing light levels during the day.
Undoubtedly the most versatile, it offers three field-view settings: one narrow 65 degrees for close-up head and shoulder shots, one for enlarging the view to 78 degrees, or 90 degrees for capturing a view. wider when there are multiple people.
The camera also includes two microphones, with noise canceling functions to improve audio quality. The adjustable stand can be hooked to the top of your computer screen, or mounted on a tripod for more professional productions.
The Brio works like a standard USB camera, it has a tab to cover the camera and you can quickly plug it in and use it on your Mac with applications like FaceTime or Zoom, although Logitech has its app with which you get additional controls.
- $ 79.99
The C920 is an HD camera that records at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 30 fps, so its quality is more appropriate for those who do not need the best, such as the Logitech Brio.
That doesn’t take away from the C920’s autofocus and auto light correction so you can maintain good image quality as you move, or when the light intensity changes. It also includes two microphones, one on each side of the lens, for stereo recording.
The adjustable bracket can be hooked to a PC or laptop screen, or folded if you want to place the camera on your desk or on a shelf, making it a simple plug-and-play option if you just want a quick video chat with friends .
It is also a good choice for vlogging and social media videos as the mount includes a tripod adapter (tripod not included), while the 1.5 meter cable included with the camera gives you freedom to move around and get the angle correct vision.
The C920 has been such a popular product for Logitech that it has also developed two other versions. You will find the C922 Pro Stream with the option to transmit video in 720p (1280×720) at 60 fps, or the new B525 Foldable Business ideal to accompany your MacBook.
- $ 99.99
The Ausdom brand camera may not be as well known in the sector as other top-tier brands, but the model that we bring here, such as the AF640, provides a resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080) and can record at 30 fps for smooth video.
It also has an autofocus function to keep the image clear and sharp at all times. There is a simple camera app available for Windows users, but Mac users can only use it as a simple plug-and-play USB webcam with native Mac apps like FaceTime or Zoom.
You can attach the AF640 to the top of your computer screen, but the stand can also be folded down to sit at your desk or on a nearby shelf, or you can connect it to a tripod (not included). Its cable is 1.5 meters long.
The AF640 offers enough quality to output video images in your live shows, although its 90-degree angle of view is also enough for video calls, especially if you want to get away from the camera while moving or showing scenes around you.
The omni-directional noise canceling microphone will also come in handy for business calls and meetings where you want to make a good impression. However, there is a less expensive model, called AW615 , which has a simpler microphone and a viewing angle of only 65 degrees for around € 60.
Papalook PA452 Pro
- $ 99.99
If you are looking for a camera that improves the quality that your Mac offers but without having to invest a large amount of money, you can opt for the Papalook PA452 Pro for a low budget.
This means that you will not have some of the most advanced functions that we have seen in other webcams, but it is true that it does the basics, it records high definition video at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 fps, with noise cancellation in microphone.
As with all other webcams, the PA452 has an adjustable stand that can seat on your desk, clip onto a computer screen, or connect to a tripod (not included).
Its viewing angles are reduced to 65 degrees, which should be fine for straightforward head and shoulder shots for video chatting with friends. There’s also no autofocus, as it relies on manual lens adjustment to alter focus settings.
What to look for in a webcam for Mac
We have selected 5 different cameras to choose from depending on your needs. Now, it is advisable to take into account a series of tips that we tell you below so as not to be disappointed with the purchase.
The FaceTime cameras included in all MacBook laptops and most iMac models are limited to just ‘720p’, which usually means 1280 x 720 resolution (although the FaceTime camera on my iMac only seems to record at 1080 x 720) .
That’s pretty basic these days of HD and 4K video, which is why many people have decided to upgrade to a higher quality webcam that supports a 1920 x 1080 pixel HD resolution, or even one of the best with 4K quality. .
In addition to providing a sharper, higher resolution video image, other useful features to consider when purchasing a new webcam is autofocus, which will allow you to keep the image clear and sharp even if you need to move.
The brightness adjustment is also another extra for when the light that enters through the window varies due to cloudy daylight. A wide-angle lens can also come in handy, as it allows you to put more than one person in the picture, or allow business users to get away from the camera while giving a presentation.
Frames per second
You should also check to make sure the webcam can record smooth videos with a frame rate of 25 or 30 frames per second (fps). Some webcams can even record at 60fps, though that’s mostly for games or eSports on Twitch.
There are certainly plenty of options these days, and most modern webcams will work with your Mac automatically as they only use a standard USB connection, usually USB 3.0, though USB-C is now new to these accessories too.
Once plugged in, a USB webcam should be able to work with any video software compatible with your Mac, such as FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype (although it’s a shame Apple has never released a version of FaceTime for Windows).
The webcam microphone will also appear as an audio input in the sound control panel in ‘System Preferences’ on your Mac.
Some manufacturers also provide their own apps with their webcams, which can help with features like brightness and auto focus, so it’s worth checking to see if the webcam also provides its own Mac app.