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polarbreeze1 Level 1 Level 1
expertise.macosx
Mac OS X

I am trying to find a good quality webcam to use for videoconferencing with my Mac (MacBook Air actually). The camera is to be positioned on the 60-inch screen on the wall in our boardroom so the built-in Facetime camera doesn't do the job. It needs to have tilt/pan/zoom (in software). When I started on this search I had no idea such a thing was going to be so hard to find. There is no shortage of such products for Windows but I can't find a single one for the Mac.

 

There are a lot of webcams that claim to support Mac but on closer investigation not a single one of them (that I've found so far anyhow) provides any conrol features like tilt/pan/zoom - nor even brightness and contrast control for that matter. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places because it's hard to believe the Mac world really is lacking such products. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Would be much appreciated.


MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
Reply by polarbreeze1 on May 29, 2012 8:39 AM Helpful
Yes I'm talking software tilt/pan/zoom, not optical.  It's very odd that neither Logitech nor Apple provide for the user to do that function manually. It's not typically something you'd want to have happen automatically! But thanks for the iGlasses tip, I'll give that a try for sure. Appreciate the help.

All replies

  • polarbreeze1 Level 1 Level 1
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X

    Oh dear oh dear - no replies seems to be a reply in itself...

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6

    "Best" is in the ey of the beholder!  Here's some lists of compatible webcam's:

     

    Apple Compatible Mac Web Cameras For Video Chat

     

    macam

     

    OWC's selections

     

    Pick some that look "interesting" and then google reviews for those.

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7

    polarbreeze1 wrote:  I am trying to find a good quality webcam ... not a single one of them ... provides any conrol features like tilt/pan/zoom ... brightness and contrast control ...

    You are right.

     

    (1) Apple does not offer any webcam that has a zoom lens.  Tilt, zoom, and pan can be simulated by physical movement of the cameras offered by Apple.

     

    (2) Moreover, other than tilt/pan/zoom, Mac SOFTWARE, not the camera, controls camera functions and settings for each application you use with the camera.   Apple apps set these and other camera functions automatically so you do not have to configure them manually or reset them when changing to another app that would require different parameters. 

     

    (3) If you want to take manual control of a Mac's webcam, your best choice is ecamm's iGlasses add-on software: http://www.ecamm.com/mac/iglasses/  Note that iGlasses may not work with every possible camera app.  Also, using its software tilt/pan/zoom, especially at maximum effect, may result in reduced image quality.  iF iGlasses iS something you think would help you, you can take advantage of ecamm's free demo to see whether it meets your needs before you pay the reasonable cost of this software.

     

     

    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

     

     

    Mac OSX 10.7.4

  • polarbreeze1 Level 1 Level 1
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X

    Yes I'm talking software tilt/pan/zoom, not optical.  It's very odd that neither Logitech nor Apple provide for the user to do that function manually. It's not typically something you'd want to have happen automatically! But thanks for the iGlasses tip, I'll give that a try for sure. Appreciate the help.

  • polarbreeze1 Level 1 Level 1
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X

    Yes, I had found that "Apple compatible Mac web cameras" site before - however its information is completely wrong. None of the webcams it lists will do pan/tilt/zoom on the Mac. They can do it on Windows no problem, right out of the box - but despite the claim on the site that they "just work" with Mac, none of them do. None of them. I mean, they do give a picture form the webcam but they have no controls whatsoever: not even brightness. It's astonishing actually...

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7
  • TLCbellevue Level 1 Level 1

    EZJim: Thanks for this suggestion. I was looking for something similar and this is the solution I needed. My cousin's son is getting married soon. My cousin lives out-of-state and has cancer; she is too ill to attend. This will let me Skype the wedding to her and give her a better view than just setting up my MacBook and letting it run. Thanks for the help!

  • dreamdoc Level 1 Level 1

    Hey Polar, did you ever find your solution? What did you decide to do?

     

    I am using a similar setup, smaller screen (36") mounted on the wall for a small conference room, and the video is so pixellated as to look shabby!!!

     

    I agree with your word, astonishing that there isn't a better solution.... 

     

    Julie

  • polarbreeze1 Level 1 Level 1
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X

    Yes indeed - the solution is a third party app called iGlasses. I installed that app and it works flawlessly with multiple different webcams. http://www.ecamm.com/mac/iglasses/

  • dreamdoc Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks Polar,

     

    I tried it for less than several hours and bought it. You are right, it's perfect for the camera on the wall!

     

    Cheers,

     

     

    Julie

  • Son-of-Jobs Level 1 Level 1

    Hi,

     

    Just picked up a Logitech C615 today to be used with ClickMeeting. Works like a charm, right out of the box.

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7

    I see you have still not marked your question as Solved or Answered, so perhaps you are still awaiting other ideas.

     

    If you have one, consider using your Mac-compatible, Firewire connected, camcorder that offers the zoom and other lens features you need.  As my example, I have an old Sony DCR-TRV17 that was my primary camcorder until its tape mechanism stopped working several years ago.  However, the lens and electronics still work fine.  I occasionally use it for chat or for iMovie recording when I need more than one camera or simply want an view from an external camera.

     

    The camera can be mounted on a tripod that allows for pan and tilt adjustments.  Even a low-cost, tabletop model might meet your needs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

     

     

    Mac OSX 10.8.5

  • dreamdoc Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks Jim,

     

    I don't have a cam corder, but that's a great solution for those who do! Especially if it can sit on a tripod...

     

    I also appreciate the reminder to close out my inquiry.   

     

    Thanks  all...

     

    Julie

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7

    You're most welcome, Julie.

     

    dreamdoc wrote: ... I don't have a cam corder, but that's a great solution ...

     

    If you are still shopping, you might be able to find a compatible used camcorder at a local store that sells used cameras or electronics. One with a failed tape mechanism that otherwise works would likely be very low priced.  The same store may also have compact tripods.

     

    Because your MBA is so portable, it is easy to take with you so you can test any camcorder before you buy to be certain it meets your needs.


    dreamdoc wrote:... I also appreciate the reminder to close out my inquiry...

     

    Per the Respond to answers tutorial page, you decide when to mark an answer that "solves your question."

     

    I certainly did not intend any reminder.  As a user like you, I have not authority to remind or otherwise instruct you about your participation in Discussions.  As explained in ¶ 1.11 of Apple Support Communities - Terms of Use, the Apple Hosts would be the ones who would address any concerns with you if necessary.

     

    Have fun shopping!

     

     

     

     

    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

     

     

    Mac OSX 10.8.5

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