An external Mac compatible webcam can be used for a variety of needs. For teachers, presenters and others - specialized document web cameras with an adjustable stand is better than trying to hold something up and still in front of a built-in iSight camera. For business meetings, an eternal conferencing camera might be used to display products and highlight details or features of an item. For others, an external webcam with a tripod mounting option like the Logitech C920 with tripod mount might give the stability or precise placement you need.
Perhaps more than anything, adult webcam chat may be the single biggest driving interest in the flexibility of camera placement that an iMac or MacBook’s built-in webcam simply can’t provide. Don’t underestimate the size of the adult ‘naughty’ chat marketplace. Whether you think such online activity -- whether it’s Gay or Straight, between married couples or total strangers -- is inappropriate is moot. Literally millions of people across the globe engage in adult online conferencing, and for that purpose a PC notebook or Apple laptop’s internal camera is nothing but frustrating. Tilt the camera down far enough to expose your ‘good parts’ and you can’t see what’s onscreen anymore! Not all webcam chat is about smiling face to face interactions.
The last reason to possibly want an Apple compatible external webcam is to improve the image quality over what’s built into your aging iMac or MacBook. My first-generation white MacBook had a built-in iSight webcam at 640x480 VGA resolution that was notorious for having a very reddish image. (That color problem was rectified in later models.) An external UVC web camera not only gave me much more accurate color balance, but was higher in resolution and detail which easily outperformed the internal webcam.
When what’s built into your Mac isn’t good enough, consider any of the recommended HD webcams for Mac for affordable or very high quality webcam alternatives that will let you point your camera anywhere you need to.
Offering dual microphones for stereo audio, 720p and 1080p resolutions and autofocus, this Mac compatible HD web camera currently lists at around $39, about half of Logitech’s price. In my testing the RocketFish HD performed quite well, good light sensitivity and color saturation, reasonable image clarity and smooth autofocus - although like too many webcams is a bit slow to respond to changes, about a 1-2 second lag in my estimation.
What you DON’T get from RocketFish at this price is the clarity and world-class optical glass Zeiss lens that makes high-end Logitech cams so spectacular in detail, or the exceptionally fast and fluid autofocus that outperforms all others.
Want and even lower-cost external Mac web cam? This cheap 720p RocketFish HD webcam for Mac or PC can usually be had for around $20. Includes a built-in microphone and autofocus: