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What's the best external webcam that will work with OS X Mountain Lion?

26814 Views 28 Replies Latest reply: Dec 25, 2013 9:27 PM by beclet RSS
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Ricado Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 19, 2012 5:07 PM

I love my iMac, but I find it difficult to use Skype unless I'm at exactly the right distance from the computer (and the right height).  A lot of times the computer is higher (since the keyboard tray is lower) and in order to use the built-in camera properly, I have to tilt the screen way down.  I would like to solve this by buying an external webcam so that I can change its angle without changing the angle of the screen.  Anyway, from everything I have read, I guess there isn't an "official" or "supported" external iSight webcam for Mac, but most people say the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 works for them (not the funky software stuff, just the basic camera and microphone stuff, which is all I need).  Is anybody here running a similar set-up or using one of these cameras who can confirm that it works with OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 (haven't gotten the next upgrade yet)?  Alternatively, do you have any other suggestions for a webcam that will do what I want it to do?  Thanks in advance for your help



iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1), 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB 1333 MHz
  • Virtuakd Calculating status...


    I just bought a C920 and could not find any documentation on Logitech's site saying that it would work with Mac.  Was going to return it until I read your post.  Tested it and it worked great.  Thank you.

  • coxorange Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Thanks for this interesting report.

    What's the max. resolution you got for movies via QuickTime and for Photos via PhotoBooth?

    Or do you use other apps to get best resolution movies/photos with the C920?

    Many thanks.

  • bluepurplegrey Calculating status...

    Does anyone know what is the difference between the C910 & the C920?

  • chclark1938 Calculating status...

    Thank you so much.  I was unable to get an answer from either Apple or Logitech so this helps emensely.  We are setting up a telemedicine site between the US and China and our telemedicine people say the the C920 is far supperior to the C910.  The major reason is tha it supports 1080p video givng lifelike pictures necesssary for these conferences.  i is am going to buy the C920 and is uspect that the driver for Mountain Lion will get even better.

  • coxorange Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Now that I've bought the C920 I'm really happy with it! :-))

    Just connected and I could record 1920 x 1080 movies using QuickTime.

    And the quality is superb (also the photo quality).

    Many thanks again!


    BTW Can anyone recommend a good alternative to Photo Booth for taking photos?

  • chiflado8 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)



    Have you tried the C920 with FaceTime?  When I use FT, the mic on the camera doesn't work.  Anybody has the same problem?

  • chiflado8 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)



    I bought the C920 and the built-in mic of the camera doesn't work when used with FaceTime.  It works great with Skype, iMovie, dictation, and other apps.  The only app that I found it doesn't work with (the mic) is FaceTime.


    Anybody else has the same problem?


    Have Mountain Lion 10.8.2.

  • chiflado8 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I figured out the root cause of my problem and a solution for it.


    Cause of Problem:  The Logitech C920 camera/mic operates on a 2ch-16bit integer.  You can verify this by opening "finder + Utilities + Audio MIDI Setup" and then select the HD Pro Webcam C920 and look at the "Input" Default values.


    The Mac Mini's "Built-In Output" and "Buiilt-In Input" formats were set for 2ch-24 bit integer.  Therefore, the default input and output were out of sync with the C920 default format.


    Solution:  Change the Mac Mini's default Output to "2ch-16 bit integer".  You don't need to change the default Input but it doesn't hurt to do so.  Once you do this, the camera and it's built in mics work on facetime and all other video chat applications.

  • Odinsdad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    chiflado8, You're a genius!


    I ran into the same trouble with the Mac Mini, 10.8.2 and the Logitech c920 with no mic audio in Facetime. I set the in & out as stated in your posting and all is well! I thought I'd tried every app that MacOSX has but I guess I overlooked the Audio Midi Setup figuring in this case it had nothing to do with that microphone. I think in this case the name is a little misleading. I'd go as far as to say Apple should have these particular settings in the Sound System Preference or at least add a &. i.e. "Audio & Midi Setup"


    I've inserted some snapshots so that anyone else that has this specific trouble can take a look at the settings.


    Either way I am a happy man once again and thank you for posting your solution!


    Be well!




    Audio MIDI Setup-input.png

    Audio MIDI Setup-Output.png

    Audio MIDI Setup-C920.png

  • chiflado8 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Odinsdad, glad to hear my solution helped you.  Hope it helps other frustrated FT users.

  • Noodle05 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Anybody know if C920 hardware H.264 encoder been used in Mountain Lion?

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