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Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

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Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:55 pm

Since I moved to a mac mini I no longer have a built in webcam, so for Skyping, Facetiming etc I have to borrow Lady Longjohns's iPad. So can anyone recommend a cheap and cheerful webcam for Mac OS that plugs into USB with the minimum of fuss. I guess it would be useful to have a built in mic too, save having to go through my whole interface etc? Or is that easy to set up with Skype etc?

Are the 1080 webcams for £20 on eBay utterly rubbish or will they do the job?

Cheers! :thumbup:
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Zukan » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:46 am

I use a Logitech HD cam but one of my students has a cheapo Amazon affair and it's actually quite good. I'll find out which cam he has and get back to you.
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:14 am

Cheers, thanks for that!
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:35 am

If you have an iPhone, you can also use Elgato's epocCam - I use it all the time, using a small phone stand and it works perfectly.

I use it with audio thru the computer, so it's also an effective way of improvising a good (audio) quality live stream when I don't feel like hooking up the proper camera and capture card!
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:18 am

I was looking around for webcams and gave up in a sea of misinformation and uncertainty. Then, I decided I really did need something better than the built-in one on my laptop and grabbed one of these as a stop-gap:

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B086QTK3NL

It's 23 quid, is pretty good and has a built-in mic too. It's no longer a stop-gap; it does the job just fine. I use it for video on the SOS meets (though I don't use the mic as I've got it mounted some distance away from me) and find it perfect for daily use.
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:17 pm

Excellent, thanks everyone! :D
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby garrettendi » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:09 pm

I might be a tad late but I'd read the reviews of the cheap webcams on Amazon.

I had one to use for Teams while working from home, and it had a very obvious fishbowl effect, and in poor lighting, the whole image had a disgusting orange hue.

I used this webcam several times in the Virtual SOSMeets so someone else might be able to weigh in on how bad my appearance was!
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Folderol » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:32 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:I was looking around for webcams and gave up in a sea of misinformation and uncertainty. Then, I decided I really did need something better than the built-in one on my laptop and grabbed one of these as a stop-gap:

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B086QTK3NL

It's 23 quid, is pretty good and has a built-in mic too. It's no longer a stop-gap; it does the job just fine. I use it for video on the SOS meets (though I don't use the mic as I've got it mounted some distance away from me) and find it perfect for daily use.
But does it work on Linux - always notably missing from adverts :(
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:35 pm

I'm assuming these don't need any additional software/drivers etc to work with Mac OS Catalina?
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:03 pm

Just a tuppence to lob in, before the buy button is bashed, a lot of the cheap webcams will do a reasonable job of pictures, but the microphones are pretty lousy.
I'm assuming that won't be an issue for any of our regular contributors... ;)
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby garrettendi » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:09 pm

blinddrew wrote:Just a tuppence to lob in, before the buy button is bashed, a lot of the cheap webcams will do a reasonable job of pictures, but the microphones are pretty lousy.
I'm assuming that won't be an issue for any of our regular contributors... ;)

Judging by the lack of musical quality of some of our regulars *cough*me*cough*, poor quality mics may be a blessing to the others...
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:24 pm

Just a tuppence to lob in, before the buy button is bashed, a lot of the cheap webcams will do a reasonable job of pictures, but the microphones are pretty lousy

My needs are very non-critical in either picture or sound quality. Just need a camera to do some lockdown chat. In any case, I've always looked better in soft focus (or audio only, ideally).
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Folderol » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:26 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:I'm assuming these don't need any additional software/drivers etc to work with Mac OS Catalina?
Hmmm, but does anyone actually know?
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:29 pm

The blurb says it's plug and play AND it works on Linux (whatever that is :lol:)
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Re: Recommend a cheap USB webcam for mac please!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:01 pm

I've only used it on Windows (and it 'just worked'). I don't have Catalina I'm afraid so can't say either way on that although it seems to be a class compliant device. I plugged it into Yoshimi-Pi but I couldn't find any webcam software on there to test it with. Any recommendations Will?

Here is a (jump into) a youtube video showing the picture and sound. For £23 I'm more than happy with the image quality.

The video mentions an external mic but the webcam doesn't have a mic input; he must be using a separate microphone altogether, which is what I do of course.
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