Mac Compatible Webcams For Apple Computers

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Mac Compatible Webcams For Apple Computers

Video chat on an Apple Macintosh computer with friends and family has never been easier. Thanks to bundled Mac OSX applications like iChat and PhotoBooth, and many Apple computers shipping with a built-in iSight web camera, getting started with online chat is easy.

However, not all Macintosh computers include a built-in webcam or microphone. Models such as the Mac mini and Mac Pro tower desktop systems leave it up to you to hunt down a Mac compatible video and voice solution. Most, but not all webcams include a built-in mic. Choosing one that has both solves two computer needs with one purchase.

Thanks to an emerging web camera standard – UVC – USB 2.0 Video Class cams are the best Mac webcam choice. These driverless web cams let you add an external camera to your Macintosh without having to install any software or drivers at all. UVC drivers for Mac are built into Apple’s OS X Tiger and Leopard operating system for instant plug and play compatibility. However, not all webcams conform to the UVC standard. Careful product selection is still needed. While some webcam manufacturers will indicate USB Video Class compliance on the product packaging, many don’t.

It’s also important to note that UVC is a USB 2.0 speed standard. These ‘driverless’ webcams absolutely REQURE high-speed USB2 ports to function on a Mac. Older USB 1.1 ports are 40 times slower – and simply cannot provide a large image size and smooth frame-rates that video conferencing demands. For users with somewhat older, now obsolete G3 and G4 Macintosh computers running OSX 10.3 Panther, FireWire webcams are your only viable solution.

A wide range of Apple friendly web cameras exist and can fit any budget or need: Low-cost budget cams with 1.3MP megapixel resolution can help you explore video chat on your Mac affordably. For those more serious about their online communications, look for quality 2MP resolution and beyond HD webcams with higher-resolution image sensors, top quality glass lenses, and superior microphones. All can let you chat with friends, family, or business associates – and allow you easily capture video clips to post on YouTube or other video sharing websites.

Once you have a webcam working on your Mac – explore the huge range of free and low-cost video chat programs available for OSX. In addition to iChat, there’s Mac compatible versions of Yahoo and MSN Messenger, CamFrog, ISPQ, SightSpeed and Logitech VID. The latest versions of these programs are Cross-Platform compatible, allowing you to chat with not only other Mac users, but Windows PC folk as well. Some websites may even allow video and voice conferencing right on the webpage using Adobe’s Flash plug-in or Apple’s QuickTime capture abilities! Simply choose your video source and microphone input options, adjust the image and volume settings if needed – and you’re ready to go.

Websites that list known, working webcams which are the right buying choice for Macintosh owners can help. A quick web search on ‘Mac compatible webcam’ can be a starting point to assist you in finding a workable video conferencing solution. As more and more webcam makers adopt the USB Video Class standard, Apple computer users will be able to find a compatible chat camera easier. In the meantime, careful research before purchase will help avoid disappointment.

Russell Baer dba MacGizmoGuy reviews top Apple computer accessories and solutions: Webcams, Mac SSD drives, USB and Bluetooth speakers, Apple TV Tuners, Keyboards, Mice, Backup drives for Macintosh – and more.

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