Working with Mac OS

The best webcams for video calls with the 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 all over the world.

Many people continue to telecommute 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 put their quality into question. Check here the best video calling apps for Mac.

That is why many users are betting on acquiring external webcams with which to improve the image quality offered by Mac cameras. In this article we show you how to use FaceTime on your Mac to get the most out of it.

Recently, Apple has announced important news for FaceTime that arrive both in iOS 15, as in the rest of the iPadOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey operating systems. Do you want to know what new features are associated with the new version of FaceTime? highlights its extension to the use of Android and Windows devices.

With this, it is foreseeable that the platform will acquire a boost in its adoption, there in those countries where the use of Apple products is less significant in exchange for using computers with Windows 10 operating system and Android phones.

In this way, from now on, most Mac computer users will be able to expand their range of action for using FaceTime, in addition to being able to improve the quality of the images in video calls if they choose to purchase one of the cameras that you can use here. we propose.

Amazon celebrates its annual event on June 21 and 22 Amazon Prime Day, through which, countless products come to present reduced prices, among which you can find some of the cameras that we analyze here. Only Amazon Prime subscribers can access these offers.

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The best webcams for Mac

Logitech Brio – ‘Best for professional use’

Logitech probably has the widest range of webcams available that you can know of right now, ranging from entry-level low-priced models for video chats with your friends, to game cameras or video conferencing systems for business use.

The Brio is one of the company’s high-end models; in fact, Logitech claims it’s the best webcam on the market right now. 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.

It is undoubtedly the most versatile, offering three field view configurations: a narrow 65 degrees for close-up head and shoulders shots, another to expand the view to 78 degrees, or a 90 degree to capture a view broader when there are several people.

The camera also includes two microphones, with noise canceling functions to improve audio quality. The adjustable stand can be clipped to the top of your computer screen, or mounted on a tripod for more professional productions.

The Verve It 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.

Razer Kiyo – ‘Best for vlogs and youtubers’

Razer Kiyo

Although Razer is best known among the world of PC gaming users for its accessories and components, its Kiyo webcam is mainly aimed at gamers who need a high-quality camera to stream video on Twitch or upload it to channels such as YouTube. .

And is that the Kiyo it still works well as a direct USB webcam for Macs, and has a number of other pretty useful features that will help you chat with friends or even video call with colleagues at work.

It has a sharp 1080p (1920 x 1080) lens, with a viewing angle of more than 81 degrees and the ability to record video at 30 fps, or capture still images at 2688 x 1520 pixels.

The adjustable stand can be attached to the top of a laptop screen, or folded over to accommodate any desk table or flat surface. You can tilt your lens to get the correct viewing angle, and the Kiyo USB cable is 1.5 meters long.

Like many webcams, the Kiyo has an autofocus feature so that you can maintain a certain distance from your equipment and that the image in focus is natural and not distorted. The main distinguishing feature is its built-in ‘lighting ring’.

The circular outer edge surrounding 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 microphones and headphones high-quality professionals that you can use together with the Kiyo.

Logitech C920 – ‘The best in quality and price’

Logitech C920 HD Pro

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, as is the case with the Logitech Brio.

That does not mean that the C920 have auto focus 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 recordings.

The adjustable stand can clip to a PC or laptop screen, or fold flat 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 the freedom to move around and get the correct viewing angle.

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 option to stream 720p (1280×720) video at 60 fps, or the new B525 Foldable Business ideal to accompany your MacBook.

Ausdom AF640 – ‘The most economical’

Ausdom AF640

The Ausdom brand camera may not be as well known in the sector as other top-level 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 automatic focus 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 on your desk or on a nearby shelf, or it can be attached to a tripod (not included). Its cable is 1.5 meters long.

The AF640 It offers enough quality to broadcast video images in your live shows, although its 90 degree angle of view is also sufficient for video calls, especially if you want to move away from the camera while you move or show scenes around you.

The omni-directional noise-canceling microphone will also be useful 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 – ‘Best for General Use’

Papalook PA452 Pro

If what you are looking for is to get 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 more advanced features 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 It has an adjustable stand that can sit on your desk, clip onto a computer screen, or connect to a tripod (not included).

Its viewing angles drop down to 65 degrees, which should be fine for simple, straightforward head and shoulder shots for video chats with friends. There’s no autofocus either, as it relies on manual lens adjustment to alter the focus setting.

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 convenient to take into account a series of tips that we tell you below so as not to be disappointed with the purchase.

Resolution

The FaceTime cameras included in all MacBook laptops and most iMac models are limited to just ‘720p’, which generally 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 HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, or even one of the best with 4K quality. .

Useful features

In addition to providing a sharper, higher-resolution video image, another useful feature 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 setting is also another bonus for when the light coming through the window varies due to fogging up the day. A wide-angle lens can also be useful, allowing you to place more than one person in the image, or allowing business users to move away from the camera while giving a presentation.

Frames per second

You should also check to make sure the webcam can record smooth video with a frame rate of 25 or 30 frames per second (fps). Some webcams can even record at 60fps, although that’s mostly for gaming or esports on Twitch.

Connection standards

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, although USB-C is now new to these accessories as well.

Once plugged in, a USB webcam should be able to work with any video software your Mac supports, such as FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype (although it’s a shame Apple has never released a Windows version of FaceTime).

The webcam microphone will also appear as an audio input in the sound control panel in ‘System Preferences’ on your Mac.

Applications

Some manufacturers also provide their own apps with their webcams, which can help with features like brightness and autofocus, so it’s worth checking if the webcam also provides its own Mac app.

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