Best External Mac Webcam? - Logitech C910 vs C920 | MacGizmoGuy Blog

Best External Mac Webcam? - Logitech C910 vs C920

Shopping for the absolute best Mac compatible webcam for your videoconferencing, online chat, and Mac Skype video needs? On it's simplest level, there's a handful of very specific Logitech web cameras that are OPTIMAL for Mac users to consider. Of these, two high-end HD USB 2.0 external web cams are offered.

The newest model, the Logitech C920 - may not be your best option at this time. Although it offers a higher resolution sensor, standard tripod camera mount, H.264 hardware video compression and improved 20-step autofocus -- it's NOT OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED on the Mac. (Note, it functions on the Mac, but is not 'Supported' by Logitech at this time.)

It's predecessor, the Logitech C910 is actually a better Mac webcam choice because of support for this specific model in Logitech's Webcam Software for Mac OSX. Although both external web cameras are UVC - USB Video Class compliant and recognized by most Mac video capture and chat programs, the Logitech software support for the C910 gives you the ability to do still captures and video recording at a wider variety of supported SD standard and particularly HD high-def resolutions. The latter allows you to better tap into higher 720p and 1080p HD capture modes and wide-screen aspect ratios that most other Mac video programs can't handle.

As of this writing, Logitech Mac Webcam Software simply doesn't recognize the C920 when you launch the program. It could be that Logitech just needs to update, test and release a new version to offer full Mac support for it's latest camera model. That's not unusual: Many USB device drivers and programs use 'Sense Codes' and 'Manufacturer Product ID codes' to ascertain and detect if a specific piece of USB hardware is connected before the program will operate. Official word onLogitech forum posts lean on 'not supported on the Mac at this time' - with no guarantee on the future.

The C920's support for H.264 hardware video compression on the Mac is still unknown. In theory, webcams with H.264 compress the data BEFORE it reaches your computer helping to drastically reduce disk space requirements and let you upload pristine quality video clips much quicker thanks to reduced file sizes.

It should be noted that the Logitech software for OSX doesn't offer ALOT of bells and whistles regardless: Mostly just enhanced still and video capture options at various HD resolutions. It does NOT support Special Webcam Effects or Image Control and Adjustment features for color, hue, white-balance, etc. as is common with their Windows webcam programs. But because both webcams handle imaging and autofocus completely in HARDWARE so Mac users will still achieve a balanced, razor-sharp and top-quality image with either camera without any software at all. Just plug it in and OSX's built-in UVC device drivers handle the basics.

As such - for the time being - the C910 remains the most versatile and best supported HD webcam for Mac OSX users. But its already becoming harder to find as it ceases to be manufactured and the C920 (and inevitably later models) take its place. You might have to scour Amazon's listings a bit to find New, Refurbished or Used models of the C910 at a good price.