Mac Webcams That Just WorkLooking to buy a driver-free, fully Macintosh compatible webcam? Have USB 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1 ports? The external webcam models listed here are UVC - USB Video Class compliant. They're simply Plug and Play on modern Macs running MacOS Catalina, Mojave and Sierra, as well as 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 web camera 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 Apple friendly driverless UVC webcam models listed below and elsewhere on the site. We're devoted to tracking the Mac friendly web camera and video conferencing peripheral scene.
Plug-N-Play Mac Webcam PicksRecommended UVC compliant external cams for OSX:
(Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
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 C920S 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. Privacy Shutter. Though superceded by the newer 922, this remains an excellent camera - especially at it's lower street price.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 Microsoft Web 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 Tripod Mount. 720p Max Resolution HD Camera.
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.
Other 3rd-Party Apple Compatible CamerasAlthough 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.
Specialty Webcams For MacOSBeyond 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. There are also fully-featured Voice and Video Conferencing Cameras with mic and speakerphone hardware for business meeting and huddle room environments.
About Driver-Free UVC Video Class WebcamsUVC is a compatibility standard for USB video chat cameras. Apple's UVC Kernel Extensions built into MacOS Mojave and Sierra, as well as OSX ElCapitan, Yosemitie, Mavericks, Lion and Leopard means any UVC compliant external USB camera 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.
The cams listed here are ideal as an add-on webcam for an Apple Mac mini or Pro tower. They can also provide iMac and MacBook users more flexibiity in camera placement and quality over their built-in iSight. They're 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.
The majority of recent Logitech's webcam models are now UVC compliant and officially supported on a Mac. However, many older discontinued mid-to-low end Logitech cameras were not UVC compliant: Depends on model number, different internal sensors, and part numbers.
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 or Amazon 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 $10-$15 had high dead-on-arrival failure rates. Image quality varied widely. Some claimed to be High-Def "HD" but were only low-resolution VGA camera sensors. 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.
Apple Compatible Web Cameras For Old MacsFor long obsolete Macs from the G4 and G5 era, remember UVC compliant webcams require USB 2.0 or faster ports. With their slow CPUs, 640x480 won't overwelm them. The Mac MUST also be running OSX 10.4.x 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
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 than 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.
You can still find decent, used Apple iSight cams at Amazon or find a deal on an iSight on eBay. Sadly, Apple stopped manufacturing their very high-quality 1394 FireWire auto-focus web camera rather quickly. 1394 is better than USB for video conferencing and chat in many technical aspects: External FireWire webcam compatibility with iMovie, less CPU overhead, high frame-rates and avoids USB device contention when 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, Zoom, Apple Messages, Skype, and ISPQ VideoChat, or for capturing and uploading clips to YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion or other video sites.
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 improved image quality, higher frame rates, a better internal microphone, increased 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 for 'good enough' sound capture. But another option is a good quality Mac compatible USB webcam with a mic which most (but not all) webcams incorporate. A separate USB desktop microphone might be desired to provide the best sound quality to improve your online voice and video capture and recording sessions.
Headsets or earbuds can help you have a far better videoconferencing, FaceTime, Zoom or Mac Skype call experience and help minimize background noise, echo and feedback. USB headsets may have more advantages than 4-Pole 1/8" TRRS 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.