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 Ports? Some cameras made for Windows PC's may not work on Apple Macintosh computers - or Mac webcam drivers may not exist.
The external webcam models listed here are simply Plug and Play on modern Macs running OSX El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Lion, and Leopard. 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 - then confidently choose one of these known working and Apple friendly driverless UVC webcam models listed below.
Plug-N-Play Mac Webcam PicksUVC Compliant Cams For OSX
Last Updated September 11th, 2016
Best Logitech Cameras For Mac:Wide-Angle HD Camera
90 Degree Field Of View
#1 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: High Priced. You Might Not Prefer A 90d Wide-Angle View
Logitech C920 Cam
Improved Camera Design
#2 CHOICE : Mac Compatible Logitech HD Webcam
Excellent detail and clarity, Hardware Autofocus, H.264 Compression
Like: Tripod Mounting Hole. Zeiss Glass Lens. Stereo Microphone
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 More Flexibility In Camera Angles And Placement
Dislike: Considered A 'Portable' Cam, It Has A Rather Short 3' Cable
Best Creative Labs Cameras For Mac
Creative's Best Webcam
Live! Cam Socialize HD
Like: Sharp 1080p Resolution, Smooth Autofocus, Noise Cancelling Mics
Dislike: Creative Labs Simply Makes Too Many Confusing Camera Models
Creative Live Cam Connect
720p HD Resolution
Like: 720p Resolution, Good Autofocus, Echo Cancelling Microphone
Dislike: Image Sensor Not As Sharp As Logitech At This Price Point
Best Microsoft Cameras For Mac
Microsoft HD 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 Creative Labs, Logitech 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
Blue HD Cam + Microphone
Quality Condenser Mic
Like: Premium Microphone, Pop-Out 720p HD Webcam. Ideal for Mac Pro and mini
Dislike: Bulky Mounting Base : Microphone Higher Quality Than It's So-So Camera
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 Universal Video Class WebcamsUVC is a recent compatibility standard in USB 2.0 video-chat cameras. The iSight webcam built into recent iMac and MacBook models is compliant. Apple's UVC Kernel Extensions built into 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 webcam drivers required. Windows 7/8/10 and Linux 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 many webcam models are UVC compliant. But only the most recent are officially supported on a Mac! The above two Pro models are absolutely UVC-Mac compatible; Many older Mid-To-Low-End Logitech cameras are NOT UVC compliant: Depends on model number, different internal sensors, and part numbers! Choose carefully.
OTHER MAC COMPATIBLE WEB CAMERA CHOICES
VGA Logitech 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 DRIVERLESS 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 OLDER OBSOLETE MACS?
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 recognize the camera exists on the USB 1.1 bus. Otherwise, you're left dinking around with any of hundreds of old cheap, discontinued webcams made for Windows and fiddling with Macam or IOXperts 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, iChat AV, Yahoo Messenger, Apple Messages, Skype, ISPQ VideoChat - and for capturing and uploading clips to YouTube or other video sites.
SOUND DECISIONS : VIDEO CONFERENCING MICROPHONES
Most but not all Macs have a built-in microphone. One option is a Mac compatible USB web cam with a mic which most (but not all) webcams have. However, separate headsets or earbuds can help you have a far better videoconferencing or Mac Skype call experience and help minimize background noise, echo and feedback. A USB desktop microphone is a fine choice with great sound quality and easy to tap mute switch. USB headsets with microphones may have more advantages than 1/8" Analog mini-jack types that often compete with your speaker system. A high-quality Mac headset comes in handy for not only Mac VOIP, video conferences and Apple dictation, but top notch iTunes audio listening and Podcast recording as well.
CHOOSING AN EXTERNAL MAC COMPATIBLE WEB CAM
What 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, an internal microphone, higher HD resolution, or additional flexibility in camera angles, mounting options and positioning. Please see the 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 and conferencing camera needs.