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Updated Jun 17, 2022 10:48 AM

The pandemic changed the working lives of billions of people worldwide, resulting in more people relying on webcams for Macs. Working from home in your pajamas became the norm, and the need for better webcams increased. Most of Apple’s laptop offerings have fairly decent webcams, but until the most recent release, the camera on iMacs lacked quality and features. The best webcams for Macs will always be the ideal option when you want top quality for your streaming or work calls.

Here are our picks for the best webcams for Macs:

Things to consider when shopping for the best webcams for Macs

As with many products, whether a webcam, a camera lens, or even a TV, there are many things to consider. The rise of cell phones and other smart devices that allow people to instantly video call someone means that most will only use a dedicated webcam for two reasons: work meetings and video game streaming. Therefore, the following are the things one must consider when buying a webcam for Macs.

Apple compatibility

While this is perhaps obvious, some webcams allow you to plug it into a Mac and work immediately, but the software might not be Mac-friendly. This is not the end of the world, but it does mean that you might not be able to adjust settings on your webcam or receive updates. To be sure you are getting the most out of your webcam, buy one that is meant for use with Apple products.

Resolution and frame rate

Resolution and frame rate are critical as they will determine how clear you appear to your viewers and how smooth your video is. As you might guess, the higher the resolution, the better the quality. So, if you have important presentations to make or want top-tier quality, 4K resolution may be best. 

In terms of frame rate, the higher it is, the less lag there will be, which will make a difference in situations like gaming sessions. Aim for at least 60 fps for the smoothest video. Be aware that some webcams have specific features that only work at a lower resolution and frame rate.

Privacy shutter

Most webcams are packed with security features that will ensure that it’s difficult for hackers to gain access, but having a physical shutter for an added layer of privacy will be valuable for those who are concerned. Of course, you could unplug your webcam, but it can become tedious very quickly if you have to do this every time.

Field of view

The field of view indicates how wide or narrow the webcam can see. If you are buying a webcam for a large meeting room, having a wider field of view (a higher number) will ensure everyone is in the frame. On the flip side, if you are the only one streaming, you could go with a narrower field of view and show less of your home.

Autofocus

While this is not necessarily a must for everyone, it can be frustrating if you move around a lot or move your computer around during a video chat and your webcam can’t keep up with focus. Many webcams in the middle price band and up will usually have some basic autofocus, while the more premium ones may have a dedicated AI or software that will track you. The cheaper ones tend to either have a fixed focal point or a dial you can use to adjust the focal point.

Best overall: Logitech C920s Pro HD

Logitech

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Why it made the cut: The Logitech C920s Pro HD has some great additional features that give you extra bang for your buck, such as a physical privacy shutter. The image quality is fantastic at 1080p/30fps, and it comes at an affordable price. 

Key features

  • Resolution/frame rate: Up to 1080p/30fps
  • Field of view: 78°
  • Privacy shutter: Yes
  • Microphone setup: Dual omni-directional mics
  • Autofocus: Yes

Pros

  • Removable privacy shutter
  • Quality microphone
  • Auto light correction
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Field of view not the widest

The Logitech C920s Pro HD is a fantastic webcam with some great additional features. The ability to autofocus is very useful if you move around a lot, such as when gaming and having an animated game. You can also protect your privacy with a shutter, which flips down to cover up the camera. The dual microphones also mean that your voice will be clear to everyone on the other end, so it’s perfect for important meetings, game sessions, or if you have a lot of background noise. 

The C920s Pro has automatic light correction, which means it will automatically make the images brighter if you’re in a low-light setting. It is helpful if your meetings drag on into the afternoon and the light changes. You’d expect these features would break the bank but surprisingly, the C920s Pro is not that expensive and easily affordable.

The field of view is 78°, which isn’t very wide, but it’s perfectly okay for most people and is the standard field of view that Logitech webcams have (except their more premium webcams). Of course, it will mean you can’t have more than one to two people on the camera at once, but if you’re buying this webcam for just yourself, then it’s not an issue.

Best for Zoom: Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro Business Webcam

Logitech

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Why it made the cut: As the name suggests, the Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro Business Webcam is a great webcam for meetings and large video conferences. The field of view is adjustable from 65° to 90°, which is not a standard feature on webcams except for the more premium ones. 

Key features

  • Resolution/frame rate: 4K/30fps, 1080p/30 or 60 fps, 720p/30, 60, or 90 fps
  • Field of view: 90°/78°/65°
  • Privacy screen: Yes 
  • Microphone setup: Dual omni-directional mics
  • Autofocus: Yes

Pros

  • Adjustable field of view
  • 4K resolution
  • Auto exposure fixes tricking lighting conditions
  • Two omni-directional mics

Cons

  • Expensive

Besides being a mouthful, the Brio Ultra HD Pro Business Webcam is the ultimate webcam for those that need the best. 4K resolution at 30fps is incredible for a webcam, maybe too incredible as you will be clear as day! Bear in mind, though, that not many web-based video conference companies even allow 4K resolution. However, it won’t be long before this becomes an option, so you’ll be future-proofing yourself with this purchase. It is also useful if you are recording content and want high-quality footage. That said, even at 1080p, the image quality is excellent. 

The ability to adjust your field of view is a welcome feature. This is not a standard feature on webcams, but it is definitely useful. For example, you can go from 65°, which will result in approximately shoulder and head views, to 78°, which shows someone more of your surroundings. At 90°, you can fit more people in the field of view for larger meetings. 

The high dynamic range is great for when you are in a low light area or if you’re backlit (such as a window behind you). The webcam will automatically adjust the settings so that the darker areas in the field of view are brighter and vice versa for the brighter areas. 

As expected, all these premium features will cost a lot, so unless you need the best quality and premium features, this might not be the best webcam for you.  

Best with microphone: Wansview 1080p Webcam

Wansview

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Why it made the cut: If you need to focus on quality audio at a low cost, then the Wansview 1080p webcam is a great option. It has a built-in noise-canceling mic for filtering out background noise and can also work up to 20 feet away.

Key features

  • Resolution/frame rate: 1080p/30fps
  • Field of view: 90°
  • Privacy screen: No
  • Microphone setup: Dual mics
  • Autofocus: No

Pros

  • Mic works up to 20 feet away
  • Can filter out background noie
  • Low cost
  • Wide field of view

Cons

  • No autofocus

Some people may need a webcam with a better mic than a camera, for example, teaching classes via an on-screen PowerPoint presentation. This webcam is excellent for that because the mic is fantastic. It is noise-canceling, so a lot of background noise can be automatically cut out. That is especially helpful these days as more people work from home. In addition, it can capture audio up to 20 feet away, so if you need to pop to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, then you can carry on talking!

The resolution is still 1080p, and the images are sharp and crisp. 30fps is standard in the industry for 1080p, and it does a decent job. Despite the low cost, the field of view is very wide at 90°, so you can capture more of the room and the people in it. 

The biggest issue is that there is no autofocusing. A dial on the camera allows you to adjust the focus manually, so you’re not limited to one focal point. Focusing is only really an issue if you intend to move around a lot during the video call; if you are planning on being stationary, then it won’t be such an issue. 

Best for video conferencing: Meeting Owl Pro

Owl Labs

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Why it made the cut: With its impressive 360° field of view, the Meeting Owl Pro is designed for meetings in large rooms with multiple people. It also has powerful AI for video conference-focused features, such as speaker tracking.

Key features

  • Resolution/frame rate: 1080p
  • Field of view: 360°
  • Privacy screen: No
  • Microphone setup: 8 omni-directional mics
  • Autofocus: Yes

Pros

  • Fully encompassing field of view
  • AI powered operating system 
  • Highly collaborative
  • Atttractive design

Cons

  • Expensive

With a 360° field of view, using the Meeting Owl Pro means that you will be able to see everyone in the meeting room at once (say goodbye to just seeing someone’s shoulder!). You can also adjust the field of view via their app, should you only want to focus on a particular part of the room. 

There are eight omni-directional mics with an 18-foot pickup radius, which means everyone in the room will be audible. You won’t be able to use external mics or speakers, but the mics on the Meeting Owl Pro are more than enough. In addition, there are three built-in speakers for 360° coverage, so everyone will be able to hear.

The Meeting Owl Pro automatically works with all the main web-based video conferencing companies, including Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and Teams. You can also use two Meeting Owls simultaneously if you have a really large meeting room, which extends the range the speaker and mics are capable of. 

The main feature of the Meeting Owl Pro is the AI-powered operating system. It uses motion and voice recognition to know who is talking and autofocuses on them. If you’re not using the full 360° cameras, the AI will automatically track the speaker, and the camera will follow them. This is perfect for meetings or classes where someone is presenting as the camera will focus on them as they walk around. 

All of this is incredible on a less than 30cm tall product, but, naturally, that comes at a cost. It is not designed for individual use but rather for large companies or schools. If you can afford it, though, this is a fantastic option for large video conferences. 

Best for streaming: Logitech StreamCam

Logitech for Creators

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Why it made the cut: Designed, as the name suggests, for those that stream their sessions online, you get 1080p at 60fps for high-quality and smooth video.

Key features

  • Resolution/frame rate: 1080p/60fps
  • Field of view: 78°
  • Privacy screen: No
  • Microphone setup: Dual front-facing mics
  • Autofocus: Yes

Pros

  • Smart auto-tracking
  • Intelligent light exposure
  • Smooth frame rate

Cons

  • USB-C connection only

Logitech designed the StreamCam for content creators. Logitech understood that content creators are likely to move around a lot, so they added smart auto-tracking. The webcam knows where you are on screen and then autofocuses on your face every time. It will also adjust the color balance and light exposure to compensate for your different positions on screen so that you will always look fantastic on camera. 

The 1080p at 60fps is great for content creators because you will be sharp, and your movements will be smooth. There will be no lags as you celebrate beating your friend at that popular game! They would also be able to hear your celebration with two quality front-facing mics.

The issue with this camera is that it can only connect via USB-C. However, this connection is becoming very popular, and more and more laptops are starting to have them, so it may not be a significant issue. You can also always use a port extender, which will give you some additional port.

Best budget: eMeet C960

Why it made the cut: If all you need is a basic webcam without the frills, the eMeet C960 will get the job done. It is still 1080p and has dual omni-directional mics. If you are on a tight budget and don’t need much, this is perfect.

Key features

  • Resolution/frame rate: 1080p/30fps
  • Field of view: 90°
  • Privacy screen: No
  • Microphone setup: dual omni-directional mics
  • Autofocus: No

Pros

  • Dial omnidirectional mics
  • Good resolution
  • Simple to use
  • Low cost

Cons

  • No software for changing settings
  • No autofocus

The eMeet C960 is a plug-and-play webcam, which means there is no fuss with getting things set up. So, you don’t need to be that technologically knowledgeable and can easily use this, which makes it great as a gift for parents or grandparents. 

It’s not expensive, hence why it is our choice for those on a budget, but it still offers plenty of quality. 1080p gives clear image quality for those that need it, and the 30 fps will keep your video plenty smooth.

The lack of software means that you can’t control or change its settings, and there’s no autofocus either. However, if you want an upgrade on your laptop’s webcam, are on a tight budget, and don’t need additional features like autofocusing, then this webcam is perfect for you. 

FAQs

Q: How much do Mac webcams cost?

Webcams for Macs are not any more expensive than PC webcams. The cost depends on what features you want and need and can vary significantly. Depending on feature sets, you can find webcams for as low as $30 and up to $1000.

Q: How do I install a webcam on Mac?

Many webcams are plug-and-play, so you can just plug in the webcam and use it without further setup. Some will come with additional software that allows you to adjust settings but is not required to use the webcam. All the products listed above are fully compatible with Macs.

Q: Are all webcams compatible with Macs?

Not all webcams are fully compatible with Macs. Many webcams will be at least partially compatible as you can plug them in and use them with no setup, but the software that comes with them might not be. The lack of compatible software means that you might not be able to adjust the settings or keep the webcam firmware updated, should you want to.

Methodology

The team at PopPhoto has decades of experience in a variety of photography and technological situations. We chose the best webcams for a range of budgets, with the most valuable features that everyday users will need and want. We thought about those using the camera for streaming, those working from home, and those using it for meetings of 2 or more people. We researched each webcam above thoroughly to give you the best options available.

Final Thoughts

There are many options out there for webcams for Macs, though the Logitech C920s Pro HD has the most well-rounded feature set. Along with its reasonable price, you can’t beat it.