One of the complaints many people have about their Mac is the poor quality of the built-in FaceTime camera. Whether you have the latest MacBook Air, the 16” MacBook Pro or any model in between, you only get a 720p camera. That is also true for all but the most expensive iMac models. And of course, the Mac Pro, Mac mini and Apple’s $4,999 Pro Display XDR, don’t have a camera at all.
The good news is, AUKEY has a solution that will provide crystal clear images but won’t break the bank.
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Apple Tech Talk Scorecard
|Simple Plug-N-Play connection||No USB-C adapter included|
|Crystal clear image quality|
AUKEY 1080p Webcam – Unboxing
Like all things AUKEY, the AUKEY 1080p Webcam (Model #: PC-LM1E) arrived in the usual brown box.
Inside is the AUKEY 1080p Webcam, a Multilanguage User Manual and the standard 24-month warranty card.
The camera measures 3.39” x 1.23” x 0.7” (103mm x 41mm x 23.3mm). The attached USB-A cord measures 5.4” (180mm) long.
The camera sits on an easily adjustable stand/clip and can be used by resting on top of your monitor or laptop screen, on your desk, or any flat surface. There is even a standard threaded mounting hole on the bottom of the base allowing use of a standard tripod mount.
The camera uses a 1/2.9” CMOS Image Sensor and a full glass lens, with a focal length of 0.3 to 5m and can record resolutions from 240p all the way up to 1080p, all at 30fps.
The camera includes built-in stereo microphones, one on each end of the camera housing.
The camera head tilts back a full 90 degrees to support use on a desktop or monitor and the head rotates a full 360 degrees.
The camera works with a broad array of on line services including Zoom, Skype, Cisco and YouTube. It is compatible with macOS 10.6 and above.
AUKEY 1080p Webcam – Set-up
Set-up of the AUKEY 1080p Webcam was little more than plugging the camera in to one of the open ports on our AUKEY CB-C71 Link PD Pro USB-C Hub.
The camera was immediately recognized by the MacBook and appeared as a device selection in FaceTime, Photo Booth and QuickTime.
We also liked that we had the option of selecting the microphone source separate from the camera.
Given that all recent model Apple laptops use USB-C connectors, we were a little disappointed that there was not, at least a USB-A to USB-C adapter included in the package. That said, there was no issue using the camera with the hub. It provided the same performance as when we connected it to our MacBook Pro using one of the AUKEY adapters.
AUKEY 1080p Webcam – Test Results
Like many people, we use our MacBook Pro as our main computer and have it connected to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. That means, we need to open the lid if we want to make a FaceTime call or attend a Zoom meeting. Using the AUKEY 1080p Webcam eliminates the need to do that.
The camera rests on the top edge of the monitor and the back folds forward to hold it firmly in place. We originally thought the ABS plastic was a bit too smooth and would allow the camera to slide a little if the screen was accidently bumped. We then realized that we had forgotten to remove the protective plastic covering the rubber coatings on top and back of the stand. Doing so improved the grip nicely and kept the camera in place.
Picture quality was excellent as you will see in the comparison below. Each of these photos is a single frame from a movie we recorded. First up is from a sample, shot on our iPhone XS, using the front facing camera.
Next, is a frame from the movie taken with the built-in FaceTime camera built into our MacBook Pro.
Finally, is the frame taken with the AUKEY 1080p Webcam.
We took the movies by holding the iPhone, the MacBook Pro and the AUKEY webcam in our hand and tried to match the angle of the shot as close as possible. Other than grabbing a frame from QuickTime, for all three images, we did not in any way alter the lighting or enhance the photos.
As you can see, the AUKEY 1080p Webcam produced a much brighter image and the color is much more natural. It may be hard to see in these small photos but the AUKEY 1080p Webcam also produced a much sharper image. Wording on the boxes and on the printer are much crisper.
All-in-all, we think the AUKEY 1080p Webcam is a much better result over the iPhone and MacBook Pro FaceTime cameras.
The Bottom Line
With more people working from home and many students involved in distance learning, it’s more important than ever to make a good presentation. Being able to produce a bright, sharp image on line can often mean the difference between making a good impression and a great impression.
The AUKEY 1080p Webcam is a great accessory for anyone who wants to produce a high quality web image.
The flexible stand/clip allows for easy adjustment whether sitting on the top of your monitor or on your desk. The rubber pads on the underside of the clip ensures your camera will remain steady when perched on your monitor.
The 1080p image is crystal clear with excellent color reproduction and the 5.4” USB cable makes it easy to place the camera wherever you need it. We were disappointed that, out of the box, we could not connect it directly to our MacBook Pro but that is easily corrected with an inexpensive adapter which you may already have for other USB peripherals.
Like all AUKEY products, the AUKEY 1080p Webcam, Model #: PC-LM1E, comes with a 24-month warranty and is available directly from the AUKEY web site.
We would like to thank the folks at AUKEY for providing the AUKEY 1080p Webcam for our testing and review.
What do you use for your online videos? Do you rely on your built-in camera or do you use an external one? Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below.
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