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Webcams for Mac computers

Mac-specific webcams have basically disappeared from the market: Apple now builds webcams right into its Macbook, iMac and iPad products and no longer produces its expensive but excellent iSight (*Est. $300) webcam, and its availability is limited to resellers online. However, there are a few compatible offerings. Logitech has two well-reviewed high-definition webcams that are suitable for Mac computers: the HD Pro Webcam C910 and the HD Webcam C310.

Mac users who want to produce the highest quality video will be pleased with Logitech's HD Pro Webcam C910 (*Est. $65) , a Best Reviewed pick discussed in the Best HD webcam section of this report.

If you don't want to spend so much, the Logitech HD Webcam C310 (*Est. $30) , is a good budget pick. Interestingly, a search on Logitech's website for Mac-compatible webcams does not return the C310, though it does bring up the HD Pro C910. However, the editors at TopTenReviews.com have tested the HD C310 with Mac computers and recommend it for this platform.

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C510 has more features than the C310, but has been recently discontinued by Logitech, though it's still available online.

The Logitech HD Webcam C310 ranks a few places behind the HD Pro Webcam C510 in TopTenReviews.com's rankings of webcams for 2011. Placed in the middle of the pack, it lacks some of the features of the higher-rated webcams, and so is not as functional. The user reviewers at Amazon.com and at BestBuy.com agree that it is an affordable webcam with very good sound and video quality.

As with most Logitech webcams, the HD C310 uses the company's RightLight 2 and RightSound technologies. The editors at TopTenReviews.com test the sound by walking around the room while on video chat, and the built-in microphone picks up their voices clearly. RightLight 2 successfully broadcast images in extremely low lighting, and the 5-megapixel camera produces quality images. The HD C310 comes bundled with video and photo editing software that allows you to manipulate photos and video, adding masks and other fun features. You can then upload these to YouTube and Facebook with just one click. In addition, the HD C310 has the ease of installation and use of the other Logitech cameras.

The HD C310 differs from more expensive Logitech webcams in several aspects. It doesn't have the ability to swivel 360 degrees, so you can't pan across the room without lifting the camera. It also lacks the face-tracking feature. There are also differences in its physical design: it doesn't fold down into a more compact size and doesn't come with a protective carrying case. The webcam is bulky yet physically light, and both professional and user reviewers remark that it is a little unstable on a monitor, especially large screen monitors and laptops. All in all, reviewers recommend the HD C310 webcam if you're going to be primarily video-chatting and maybe taking a few photos.

Unfortunately, for those seeking out a webcam that is specifically designed to support the Mac operating system, there are no current models available. The Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro HD for Mac was a best bet according to older reviews. It's been discontinued by Logitech though it can still be found in online stores.

One solution for Mac owners is Macam, a freeware driver for Mac OS X that enables support for most USB 2.0 webcams. There are a number of user testimonials cataloged on MacUpdate.com, and the Macam website maintains a discussion thread detailing the models that are (and that are not) compatible with the driver.

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Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $99.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Apple iSight Video Conferencing Webcam with Autofocus -M8817LL/B
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $99.00
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $99.99 $54.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Logitech HD Webcam C310
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $49.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

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