alternatives to built-in mac camera

The pandemic-induced lockdowns changed the way people communicated. But, unfortunately, it also brought out the flaws in built-in Mac cameras. For starters, if you use a 13-inch MacBook Pro or Air, you only get 720p. To use a higher resolution Mac camera, you have to upgrade to the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro. Furthermore, in-built Mac cameras are incapable of additional features like Studio Light or Desk View that iPhone cameras excel in.

Don’t you think your FaceTime or Zoom video calls look a bit dated on the in-built Mac camera? Yes?

Luckily, you don’t have to stay stuck with this camera for life. Although it might be a piece of cake to turn on camera on Mac, you may not get the video clarity you seek. If you don’t know how to open the camera on Mac, click on any empty space on the desktop and go to Finder. Then, click Go and select Applications. Next, locate either FaceTime or Photo Booth and double-click the desired application. If the light next to the camera turns green, it means the camera is on.

While the in-built camera remains on your Mac doing its thing, you can shift to other alternatives to add pizzazz and clarity to your video calls.

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Get an External Webcam for Your Mac

You can significantly benefit by upgrading to something better that provides a sharper image than Mac’s default camera. Here are the top picks for Mac webcams.

1. Logitech Brio 500

LogiTech Brio 500

The Brio 500 looks like a conventional camera featuring a USB-C interface that lets it work automatically with any MacBook that has a USB-C.

The webcam is particularly suited for people attending many video conference calls. The camera features a high-quality glass lens capable of recording 1080p video at thirty frames per second. It also comes with a noise-canceling microphone and privacy shutter.

The camera offers 65 degrees to 90 degrees field of view and includes a new stand with an adjustable magnetic clip to rotate the camera freely.

If the camera is used with the Logi Tune application, you can use the new Show Mode to easily tilt the camera and make it a point down at the desk. Then, the camera automatically inverts the picture so you can show other conference participants the designs or documents you want to show.

2. AverMedia Live Streamer Cam 513 – 4K webcam

AverMedia Live Streamer Cam 513

The camera features an 8MP Exmore R CMOS image sensor for 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps video capture. The 94-degree field of view is impressive, providing users with an exceptionally large canvas for zooming or cropping without any noticeable loss in detail.

To get the most out of this webcam, you must use the CamEngine software. The software lets you modify the image using advanced features like Snapchat-like filters. There are also AI-powered camera cropping features that you can use to crop in and track your face. This is particularly useful if you move around a lot during video calls.

The webcam comes with an adjustable stand, and it readily attaches to most displays.

3. Razer Kiyo

Razer Kiyo camera

Razer Kiyo webcam is particularly for gamers who regularly stream games on Twitch or other platforms. It works well as a standard webcam as well. It doesn’t need any additional software.

The camera offers sharp images with 81.6 degrees viewing angle. It can capture images at 2688X1520 and record video at 30fps. You can easily clip the adjustable stand to your computer screen.

There are other webcam options, such as Ausdom AW651, Logitech Brio 4k, Kensington W1050, etc. It is not a hassle to set up these external cameras with your Mac. Most of them come with a USB-C cable to connect to your computer.

Use iPhone as Your Mac’s Webcam

Continuity Camera is an excellent feature that lets you use your iPhone’s camera and use it as your Mac’s webcam to achieve things you didn’t know were possible.

However, before you can use this feature, you must ensure that:

  • Both your Mac and iPhone are updated to the latest operating system version
  • Both devices must be signed in the same Apple ID
  • Turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both devices

use iphone as mac web camera

Thanks to Continuity Camera, you can use the powerful camera system of the iPhone for attending calls or capturing videos on your Mac. You can even use features like Desk View, Studio Light, Portrait Mode, and Center Stage.

To use your iPhone as a webcam, open any app on your Mac with access to the camera, like FaceTime. Then, choose your iPhone as the camera by going to the app’s Settings.

So, these are some alternatives to using the default camera on your Mac. In addition, you can purchase webcams, or if you have an iPhone, use its camera as a webcam with the Continuity Camera feature.

Vishnu is the founder and fountainhead of Makmodo and hails from God's Own Country - Kerala. He has been an ardent tech geek obsessed with technology since he got his first gadget a decade ago. He loves using his technical expertise to write informative and useful content to help people. Besides the techy stuff, he enjoys listening to music, reading books, and playing cricket. Occasionally, you can see him taking candid photographs or nurturing hanging orchids in his front yard.

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