Webcams vs MacOS

In the last 6 months or so, I've changed my webcam twice. With work from home having become the norm, I thought investing in a good camera would be worth it. Also, I use a 34" external monitor which made the angle very awkward if I were to keep using my laptop camera.

I first bought a Logitech C310 which was not too bad. Although the image was 720p@30 FPS, it was extremely grainy and there was no auto-focus; but it did the job. The field of view was so narrow that it made it seems as though I was burying my head into my monitor. It was a $50 camera and so I didn't think much about it.

That was until the 5.5 Lazada sale. I noticed that the Logitech C922 Pro had a $30 discount. So, I upgraded and sold away the C310. This was when I started to realize that webcams are not made for MacOS (or Linux for that matter). The C922 Pro is probably the most popular webcam after the C920. Streamers vouch for it, some amateur YouTubers even use it as their main camera. It's specs are not too shabby either - 1080p@30 FPS / 720p@60 FPS with auto focus.

But on my computer, the image was just grainy. In low-light (under which I often work at night), the image it was outputting was even worse. Signifcant drops in FPS in favour of boosting exposure. Ah and the exposure, auto exposure was so bad that every morning I had to manually adjust the exposure (since it had been manually cranked up the night before). I was using Logitech's G Hub. Most of the settings in LogiCapture did not work. Quite a few people suggested using OBS and so I tried it only to realize that OBS on MacOS allows no adjustments to the Video Source (apart from resolution, encoding and frame rate). On Windows, you can fine tune all sorts of things such as manual focus, exposure, contrast etc.

Disappointed with my experience, I sold away the camera last week and got a Razer Kiyo Pro (which arrived in the mail today). Kiyo requires Razer Synapse for me to be able to do all the image fine-tuning but guess what, it is only supported on Windows. The MacOS version of Synapse does not offer these features. I knew this when I bought it but I still went ahead with the purchase because I got a pretty sweet deal on the camera. Without that it would have been probably one of the most overpriced products Razer makes.

As of now, the default settings are working pretty good except for the extremely frequent (and annoying) auto focus hunting. The image is way better than all the webcams I've tried so far. It can output 1080p@60 FPS (30 FPS with HDR). Let's hope that I don't have to change my webcam again soon.

Published on 03 June 2021