Mac Webcams That Just Work
Connect And Chat With Family And Friends
Looking to buy a driver-free, fully Macintosh compatible UVC - USB Video Class compatible webcam? Have USB 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1 ports? The external webcam models listed here are simply Plug and Play on modern Macs running MacOS Mojave, Sierra, OSX El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Lion, and Leopard. Some older cameras made for Windows PC's may not work on Apple Macintosh computers, or Mac webcam drivers may not exist.
Save yourself wasted money and frustration. Make certain you have USB 2.0 speed or faster ports, OSX 10.5+, and a Mac faster than 1Ghz. You can then confidently choose one of these known working and Apple friendly driverless UVC webcam models listed below and elsewhere on our site. We're devoted to tracking the Mac friendly web camera and video conferencing peripheral scene.
Plug-N-Play Mac Webcam PicksRecommended UVC Compliant Cams For OSX
Best Logitech Cameras For Mac:
C922 Stream Pro w/Tripod Mount
Improved Frame Rates Up To 60FPS
#1 CHOICE : Mac Compatible HD Webcam With Standard Tripod Mount
Like: Revised C920-series optimized for high frame-rate live streaming: 1080p @ 30FPS and 720p @ 60FPS with H.264 video compression. Optical quality glass lens. Stereo Dual microphones.
For 90% of Mac users, this is your BEST CHOICE for high-quality video capture, conferencing and live streams. Besides Amazon, you can find competitive pricing for the C922 webcam on eBay as well.
Dislike: Logitech packages two different confusing SKU's: The C922 model comes bundled with a mini-tripod, the C922X (x=without) model doesn't.
Wide-Angle HD Camera
90 Degree Field Of View
#2 CHOICE : Premium Logitech C930e HD Webcam
Incredible State-Of-The-Art Image Detail, Smooth Autofocus, H.264 Compression.
Like: Tripod Mount. 1080p HD Webcam. Zeiss Optical Lens. Dual Microphones.
Dislike: You Might Not Prefer A 90 Degree Wide-Angle View.
Logitech C920 Cam
High Quality : Great Value
#3 CHOICE : Mac Compatible Logitech HD Webcam
Excellent detail and clarity, Hardware Autofocus, H.264 Compression
Like: Tripod Mounting Hole. Zeiss Glass Lens. Stereo Microphone. Though superceded by the newer 922, this remains an excellent camera - especially at it's much lower street price.
Dislike: None. Excellent All-Around Choice - Razor Sharp.
Portable HD Webcam
Tripod Camera Mount
Like: Lower-priced 1080p HD webcam. Glass lens. Standard camera tripod mount for flexibility in camera angles and placement. Folds flat for travel.
Dislike: Considered a 'Portable' cam - Has a rather short 3' cable.
Best Creative Labs Cameras For Mac
Creative Live Cam Chat
720p HD Resolution
Like: 720p HD Resolution, Fixed Focus, Echo Cancelling Microphone.
Dislike: Image not as sharp as Logitech C310 at this price point.
Best Microsoft Cameras For Mac
Microsoft HD Pro Webcam For Mac
Optical Lens w/AutoFocus
Like: Premium 1080p Resolution. Excellent Audio, Color Balance and Light Sensitivity
Dislike: Flexi-Bend Clip May Not Be Ideal - But Has Standard Tripod Mounting Hole
MS LifeCam HD For Mac
720p HD With AutoFocus
Like: Autofocus. Sharp Optical Glass Lens. Excellent Color Fidelity
Dislike: No Major Drawbacks. Excellent Quality HD Camera
Other 3rd Party Apple Compatible Cameras
Although Logitech, Creative Labs, and Microsoft dominate the OSX friendly videoconferencing cam market, several other brand-name cameras are worthy of consideration, espcially if you're on a budget.
Hue Flexible Neck Webcam
Excellent For Adult Video Play
Like: Ultimate Positioning Freedom. Clear HD Image. Internal Mic
Dislike: Manual Focus. LED Lights Can Be Annoying Head-On
Hewlett-Packard UVC Webcam
HP's Premium HD Camera
Like: 1080p Resolution. Autofocus. High-Quality Microphone
Dislike: Snapshot Buttons Non-Functional on OSX. Excellent HD Cam
RocketFish Mac HD Webcam
Autofocus + Stereo Microphones
Like: 720-1080P Resolution. Good Light Sensitivity and Color Balance
Dislike: Discontinued. Snapshot Button Non-Functional
Best Cheap Webcam
RocketFish 720p HD Camera
Like: Great Image! Responsive AutoFocus and Excellent Microphone Quality
Dislike: Discontinued - But Still Available. Flimsy Mounting Clip
1080p HD GearHead Webcam
Cheap 1080p Mac Webcam
Like: High HD Resolution. Auto-Focus. Stereo Mics
Dislike: Lacks Precision Optics, Not As Sharp An Image
About Driver-Free UVC Video Class WebcamsUVC is a compatibility standard in USB video chat cameras. The iSight webcam built into recent iMac and MacBook models is compliant as well. Apple's UVC Kernel Extensions built into MacOS Mojave and Sierra, as well as OSX ElCapitan, Yosemitie, Mavericks, Lion and Leopard means any UVC based USB cam should just work when plugged into a USB 2.0 speed or faster port. No additional webcam drivers are required. Windows 7/8/10, Linux, Andrioid and Chrome OS also natively support UVC class video cameras. These listed are ideal as an external webcam for an Apple Mac mini or Pro tower, and are also good Cross-Platform PC and Linux webcams for those who use VMWare Fusion, Parallels or Apple's BootCamp on their Macs to run other operating systems.
Note: An increasing number of Logitech's recent webcam models are UVC compliant and officially supported on a Mac. Many discontinued, Mid-To-Low-End Logitech cameras were not UVC compliant: Depends on model number, different internal sensors, and part numbers! Choose carefully.
MAC COMPATIBLE WEB CAMERAS FOR OLD MACSFor long obsolete Macs from the G4 and G5 era, remember UVC compliant webcams need USB 2.0 or faster ports, period. With their slow CPUs, 640x480 resolution won't overwelm them. The Mac MUST also be running OSX 10.4 at a minimum - the point where Apple began including UVC device support into the OS.
VGA QuickCam Ultra - 640x480 Fixed Focus
Pico iMage USB 2.0 Webcam:
Like: Click Tilt Adjustment. Good Light Response & Color Balance.
Standard Tripod Camera Mount Hole
Dislike: Rather GRAINY Image - No Built-in Microphone
LOUSY BUDGET CAM: MacAlly VGA IceCam 2
Like: Sturdy Clip, Adjustable Focus Ring, On Indicator LED
Dislike: Needs VERY Bright Light Levels. Off-Color Problems. Cheap Import Cam Rebranded with MacAlly Logo. Harsh, Hollow Sounding Microphone.
Looks-Like-A-Logitech Driverless Cam
Like: Penny-Pincher Cheap UVC cam. Good Image Sharpness
Dislike: Ripoff Design. Low Quality Microphone
Microsoft Live! Web Cam - Value Priced
Like: Suprising Image Quality, Adjustable Focus Ring, Low-Cost
Dislike: Stand Designed For Desktop Not Laptop. No Microphone
DIRT CHEAP GENERIC UVC MAC WEBCAMS"You get what you pay for..." seems to apply to many dirt-cheap no-name import USB video class web cameras. Feeling lucky? Don't care about warranty or returning it? Then explore cheap webcams on eBay for ought-to, should, might probably work on an Apple driverless web camera options from China. In our testing, many of the cheap import cameras available for $8-$14 had high dead-on-arrival failure rates. Image quality varied widely. Some claimed to be High-Def "HD" but were only low-resolution VGA cameras. Microphones sounded poor or were non-functional. Even some of the cams with a decent image simply stopped working soon after purchase. Overall they were poorly-constructed, cheap junk with a few rare exceptions.
WEBCAMS FOR OBSOLETE MACS?
Trying to keep an antique Macintosh in use? Think FireWire instead. Modern high-resolution UVC cams simply WILL NOT WORK on old 800mhz or less Macs, who's slow and incompatible USB 1.x speed ports are FOURTY TIMES slower that USB 2.0. Those that claim to be USB 1.1 compatible in their specification listings may have utterly abysmal frame-rates on USB 1.x or show NO image at all, even though Apple's System Profiler may show that the camera exists on the USB 1.1 bus. Otherwise you're left dinking around with any of hundreds of old, discontinued webcams made for Windows and fiddling with Macam open-source drivers hoping for a combination that will work.
OSX 10.2 or OSX 10.3 PANTHER?
You CAN still find decent, used Apple iSight cams at Amazon or find a deal on an iSight on eBay. Why Apple stopped manufacturing their very high-quality 1394 FireWire auto-focus web camera is beyond logic. 1394 is better than USB for video conferencing and chat in many technical aspects: External FireWire webcam compatibility with iMovie, less CPU overhead, higher frame-rates and avoids USB device contention slugging it out on a USB hub. USB cameras aren't the only options to provide Macintosh users with high quality choices to chat and videoconference using popular Mac OSX applications like FaceTime, Yahoo Messenger, Apple Messages, Skype, and ISPQ VideoChat. Or, for capturing and uploading clips to YouTube, Vimeo or other video sites.
SPECIALTY WEBCAMS FOR MAC OSXBeyond conventional chat, streaming and capture cams, this website also features more specialized Apple compatible camera solutions. These include Document Cameras for educators and presentations, Mac compatible USB Digital Microscopes for labwork and inspections, wired and wireless Security Cameras, and fully-featured Voice and Video Conferencing Cameras witch mic and speakerphone hardware for business conference and huddle room environments.
CHOOSING AN EXTERNAL MAC COMPATIBLE WEB CAMWhat are key features to look for when shopping for an Apple compatible webcam? Even though the vast majority of Apple computer systems incorporate an iSight camera into the display, there's still tremendous interest in buying an external Mac camera that offers more features, hugher frame rates, a better internal microphone, higher HD resolution, or additional flexibility in camera angles, mounting options, and positioning. Please see the Mac Webcam Shopper Guide on this site for a more in-depth review of camera features to look for when pondering the optimal hardware for your business or personal video capture, streaming and conferencing needs.
VIDEO CONFERENCING MICROPHONES & HEADSETSMost but not all Macs have a built-in microphone. One option is a Mac compatible USB webcam with a mic which most (but not all) webcams incorporate. A separate USB desktop microphone can provide better sound quality; many have easy to tap mute switch.
Headsets or earbuds can help you have a far better videoconferencing, FaceTime or Mac Skype call experience and help minimize background noise, echo and feedback. USB headsets may have more advantages than 1/8" Analog mini-jack types that often compete with your external speaker system. A high-quality Mac headset comes in handy for not only Mac VOIP, video conferences and Apple speech recognition, but top notch iTunes audio playback and Podcast recording and listening as well.