We first saw high-end 4K UHD webcams hit the market with the Logitech Brio personal webcam and Meet-Up group conferencing cam with 4096 x 2160 max resolution. Somewhere in-between, we're seeing some cheap 2K webcams that work on Mac OSX with somewhat less demanding system requirements filling the technology gap. In some ways, the 2K video specification was/is just a stopgap tradeoff from 1080p to the clearly established 4K and 5K future.
Web cameras - when capturing or streaming in Super Full and UHD modes puts more stress on your Apple laptop or desktop CPU, eat more disk space, and require a very fast, high-bandwidth internet connection for streaming. True 4K requires a USB 3.0/3.1 speed port to even function in 4K mode - but the cameras featured here can run okay on a USB 2.0 speed port like most 720p and 1080p webcams can.
Onboard H.264 video compression in HD web cameras helps reduce the data bandwidth while preserving optimal image quality. Once only featured in select, premium Mac compatible HD webcams, in the UHD era, H.264 compression is showing up on even lower-cost 2nd-tier cameras from China as shown above.
Ultra High Resolution 4K Conference Camera
Huddle-Room Voice and Video Conferencing
Ultra Wide Angle Webcam Field Of ViewWith a 120 degree Field-Of-View, the MeetUp wide-angle web camera is unusual in that respect, designed to incorporate as much of a conference room space as possible.Common webcams are typically in the 70 degree range. Other recent group conferencing cams have typically offered a 90 degree FOV.
Meetup Conference Camera Mac RequirementsThe 4K MeetUp ConferenceCam aims to deliver a complete and compact voice and video meeting solution that offers 720p, 1080p and 4K camera resolution options. 4K Ultra-HD mode requires software that supports such high resolution and a USB 3.o or 3.1 port on the host computer to handle the extra data. Remember as you move from 720p to 1080p to 2160p - the image size DOUBLES in BOTH horizontal and vertical directions. So each increment in resolution is FOUR times more pixels for your Mac and it's USB port to deal with. 720p & 1080p webcams work fine on USB 2.0 ports but 2160p needs USB 3.x. Logitech also states 2.4GHz as the minimum CPU speed on your Mac. OSX Yosemite 10.10 is the minimum up through El Capitan and MacOS Sierra.
Remote Conference Cam Control Via Remote Or IOSThe camera itself features full PTZ control: Mechanical Pan and Tilt, with up to 5z Zoom. A handheld RF remote controls all camera, audio and call management functions. An available iOS app replicates the remote's functionality and buttons so you can optionally use an iPhone or iPad as the remote control. The MeetUp conferencing camera also supports Bluetooth for call-in access to join a conference via cellphone.
High-End Video And Audio ConferencingThe MeetUp's audio system incorporates an optimized full-range speaker driver tuned to avoid clipping and help suppress echo. 3 beam-forming microphone elements with digital signal processing automatically pinpoint the person actively speaking. The MeetUp also supports a secondary table top microphone for larger conference table coverage. The camera itself listens in an 8 foot range, the optional mic extends that to 14 feet. The external microphone may be bundled along with the webcam, or available as a separate add-on accessory with an MSRP of $199.
Inadequate light is the number one cause of poor, noisy and grainy image quality. It also leads to lower frame-rates and sluggish response as the webcam's electronic shutter operates more slowly to allow more light photons to hit the sensor before refreshing the frame. Adding a secondary, or sometimes third light source near your computer can make a world of difference.
Inaccurate webcam image color is greatly affected by the TYPE of lighting sources you choose. Incandescent and halogen lamps give off very warm and reddish wavelengths. Blue-ish LED or Fluorescent light sources may cause your webcam's image (and your skin-tones) to be more greenish or purplish. By using different types of lighting sources together, you can achieve better video color fidelity, especially during nighttime use when ambient, natural sunlight in the room isn't available. Multiple light sources such as one directly in front (Key Lighting), and one or more to the side (Fill Lighting) can minimize unwanted shadows.
Dimmers, or incandescent lamps with 3-Way bulbs can be one way of being able to quickly fine-tune lighting levels. Shades and diffusers can prevent direct lighting glare and 'blowout' of the lightest areas of the web camera's image. Bouncing lights off a ceiling or wall can help improve overall ambient lighting levels at nighttime.
Lastly, during daylight be aware of natural light sources like windows. Passing clouds on a sunny day can radically change room light levels quickly. Ideally, you don't want a sunny window of any sort directly behind you in the webcam's field of view. The camera will likely darken your image in the foreground and adapt to the background light levels instead. Backlighting should NOT be the primary source of lighting.