Hi-Definition Web Cameras For OSX

720p-1080p HD Web Cameras For Mac

The trend in Mac compatible webcams is towards higher resolution HD cameras. With Apple using Dual and Quad-Core processors running well over 2Ghz+, MacBooks, the Mac Pro, iMac and Mac mini desktops make ideal computers for HD video capture and online conferencing at high frame-rates.


HD webcams supporting 2MP and higher sensor resolutions perform well with the horsepower current computers in the Apple Macintosh line. But be aware there are still some older Mac OSX video apps and web chat programs currently don't know how - or aren't programmed - to sense or support higher HD webcam resolutions and different 16:9 wide-screen aspect ratios. You also need a VERY FAST internet connection for smooth 720p HD webcam chat online.

HD Logitech Cams

Because of Logitech's support for Mac and their HD still image and video capture apps for OSX, these three UVC compliant web cameras in the $25-$85 price range offer the most functionality for Macintosh users on Intel Mac models.
     
Premium Logitech CamMidrange Logitech CamCheap Logitech Cam
Best HD Cam For Mac

H.264 + Tripod Mount
Portable HD Webcam

Tripod Camera Mount
Value HD Webcam

5MP 720p Fixed Focus

HD Microsoft Cameras

Yes, Microsoft makes webcams that are MacOS compatible. When Windows 7/Vista was released, UVC compatibility was now built into WinOS making the myriad of vendor and model-specific webcam drivers a thing of the past.
     
Premium Microsft CamMidrange Microsoft CamBudget Microsoft Cam
LifeCam Studio Pro

Camera Tripod Support
HD-5000 Webcam

Hardware AutoFocus
HD-3000 Webcam

Fixed Focus Lens

HD Creative Labs Cams

Creative Labs has long supported MacOS by being the first camera manufacturer to standardize on UVC specifications. However, Creative recently discontinued most of their web camera line, and are now focusing more on audio hardware. The following HD webcams may still be available as close-out, refurbished or used.
     
Premium Creative CamMid-Range Creative CamBudget Creative Cam
Best Creative HD Webcam

1080p H.264 Compression


720P LiveCam Connect

H2.64 Video Compression
Cheap HD Camera

720p Fixed Focus

Other Mac Compatible High-Def Web Cameras

Many older webcam programs for Mac only support traditional 3:4 aspect ratios at, say, 320x240 or 640x480 VGA resolution. At least that's what many Mac video and chat programs expect. More current Apple webcam programs know how to take advantage of higher 720p and 1080p HD Mac camera resolutions and their wider aspect ratios. The main benefit of an HD webcam is primarily for IMAGE CLARITY, LIGHT SENSITIVITY, AND DETAIL. The higher resultion sensor of a 2 megapixel and higher webcam makes it easy to see the superior detail, especially in HD webcams paired with top quality optical glass lenses.

Driverless USB 2.0 UVC Web Cameras For Mac Computers

Apple compatible webcams are easier to find these days, but still tricky to identify. Not all video webcam manufacturers clearly label thier web cams as UVC - USB Video Class compliant on their retail packaging. UVC compatibility is CRITICAL for driver-free Mac OSX operation. UVC webcams are USB 2.0 speed devices ONLY, and not suitible for obsolete USB 1.1 port Macs! Basic UVC support is built into OSX Tiger, Leopard, Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan's bundled webcam driver. These provide BASIC compatibility with FaceTime HD, Skype, iChat AV, PhotoBooth, QuickTime video capture, ISPQ, Flash video chat and many other chat programs. They're ideal for Mac mini and Macintosh Pro desktop computers which lack a built-in iSight camera - or as a more versatile external USB webcam for MacBook laptops, or Mac Pro, Mini or iMac desktops.

Hi-Def HD Webcam Video Chat Programs For Mac OSX

Fortunately, an increasing number of Mac programs have been revised to really take full advantage of HD webcam resolutions and wide-screen aspect ratios beyond 640x480 when video conferencing. You may have a Mac compatible HD webcam, enjoy the razor-sharp image, light sensitivity, and color-balance. But with some older programs, you'll still only be video-chatting at 320x240 or 640x480 VGA resolution at best. These are manageable resolutions and video sizes that your average internet connection can handle. Skype only operates in 720p high-quality mode only IF and WHEN the hardware and bandwidth can support it.

HD Webcam Capture With QuickTime Player

QuickTime Player in OSX Leopard, Lion, Mavericks Yosemite and El Capitan DOES support capturing QuickTime video at the higher 720p and 1080p resolutions. But don't be suprised if you find excruciatingly slow-frame rates when trying to capture video clips with QuickTime's "Maximum" setting. You may also find QuickTime capture varies from cam to cam as to how it handles difference between 3:4 and Wide-Screen 16:9 video aspect ratios when switching between QuickTime's "Medium-High-Maximum" modes.

Quicktime Video Capture Settings for HD webcams

Mac HD Webcams With Logitech Software Support


The C615 and C310 models are offically supported by Logitech's older Mac webcam driver and capture software. Although other recent Logitech cams are UVC compliant and provide basic webcam functionality under OSX 10.4.11 or higher - these specific models are currently an Apple user's best choice for more fully featured HD video capture and still image snapshot control.

True Mac HD Web Camera Video-Conferencing With Skype HD

With the latest versions, Skype HD for Mac has finally added High-Definition webcam support for those who: 1. Have really high-speed internet access and, 2. Have HD capable external webcams or a more modern MacBook or iMac with with an iSightHD camera built in. That also includes the new ThunderBolt Cinema Display with updated internal iSight HD abilities as well. 3. Optimally, H.264 compression to help make 720p mode more achievable.

HD Cams With H.264 Hardware Compression

H.264 video compression is in only select models of Mac compatible HD webcams, most notably from Logitech or Creative Labs. Additionally, Apple's support of the maturing UVC 1.5 webcam specification helps webcam and video conferencing apps dynamically assess and manage available internet bandwidth, compression, and video frame rates so that users at each end of a video stream get the best Skype HD video chat experience possible - if the internet connection is fast enough. H.264 also helps reduce the size of files captured for YouTube uploads or video clips you upload elsewhere.