Q: Hi Mac Men, sorry to bother you, but how can I check what camera is built in a MacBook?
I checked the sales page, but no details. My model is a new Apple 15" MacBook Pro with retina display, Core i7, 16GB, 256GB SSD, with OS X Yosemite.
~Marta K., Cheadle, United Kingdom
A: Hi Marta, good to speak with you again. Great question...
Your MacBook Pro Retina's built-in webcam is described by Apple simply as a, "720p FaceTime HD camera" and they really don't give out more information than that. So it IS a high resolution camera, but at 720, it's on the lower end of hi-def (i.e. it's not 1080 hd).
While normally Apple always pushes the highest quality for their products, which I love, their built in cameras on their Macs are the one thing that could really use a higher quality upgrade.
Now don't get me wrong, that built-in cam is great for casual daily use. To quickly fire up FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. and be able to instantly do spontaneous video chats is fantastic and that's what I use all the time for day to day use. But if you're looking for a high quality webcam for doing video conferences with important clients, then I recommend two excellent external models.
First, the brand new Logitech C930e HD webcam ($104 USD). It does a fantastic job. It has full 1080p HD video quality, a great far-reaching mic for a built-in microphone, helpful mounting options, too many pluses to mention here, and even a flap that will flip down and cover the lens when you don’t want the camera on you. I just set that one up in a client's conference room earlier this week and they are very pleased with it.
Then there is also the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 ($67 USD). It does a great job at about half the price. It too has full 1080p HD video quality, a great mic, etc. No lens cover on this one though, but that's definitely not a deal breaker.
I should mention that even though the product descriptions on these two cams state that both of these are only compatible with Windows PCs, that's wrong, I can tell you from personal experience that they are both fully compatible with Macs as well. Just download the free Logitech Camera Settings software app onto your Mac from the Mac App Store and you can make all sorts of helpful adjustments for white balance, brightness, and more.
These webcams can work with your MacBook Pro, but also with a conference room dedicated Mac Mini with a plasma tv on the wall for the monitor.
So both models are great. The C930e is just a bit better but you won't be disappointed with either one. Just go with whichever you can afford. But if the price doesn't matter much, then I'd get the C930e.
I hope that this answers your question and is helpful. Good luck and let me know if I can be of any more assistance. Take care!