Apple’s iMac webcam sucks. You can do better. Especially if you go with one of these instead. Meet the best webcam for iMac!
Best iMac Webcams – Quick Overview
|MODEL||BEST FOR…||BEST DEAL|
|Razer Kiyo||Value For Money, Performance||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
|Logitech Brio||4K & Image Quality||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
|Hrayzan Webcam||Wide-Angle Shooting||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
|Wansview 1080p Webcam||For Those On A Budget||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
If you make regular video calls from your iMac, using applications like Teams, Slack, and/or Google Workspace, and you’re running an older model, you will know all too well that the built-in iMac webcam kind of sucks.
The audio is terrible and the resolution leaves A LOT to be desired.
Apple has improved this on the new M1-powered iMac, but if you’re running an older Intel-powered iMac, you’ll want to give serious thought to upgrading its webcam.
But you don’t have to put up with crappy audio and low-resolution video calls anymore. You can instead choose to simply bypass the iMac’s webcam and use one of these top-rated external webcams for iMac.
And best of all, it won’t cost you much: options range in price from $267 down to £26 (as you’ll see below). The one I use and recommend the most is the Razr Kiyo, a webcam favored by YouTubers and Twitch users alike.
But that’s not the only option; below we’ll cover off a range of different webcam options for iMac across a range of price points – from expensive 4K options with tons of bells and whistles to relatively affordable straight-up webcams designed solely for video-calls and basic usage.
The Best Webcam Alternatives For iMac
- Razer Kiyo (Our #1 Pick) – If you want a solid, reliable webcam that is easy to set up and shoots professional-looking video, the Razer Kiyo is about as good as it gets for under $100. Beloved by gamers and YouTubers alike, the Kiyo features lighting, can shoot at 60fps in 720p and 30fps in 1080p. This one is perfect, well priced, and for this reason, it is our #1 pick.
- Logitech Brio (Best For 4K) – The Brio is the most advanced webcam on this list. And it also costs the most too ($267). But for that money, you get A LOT of features, including 4K video capture at 30fps, adjustable autofocus, a dual omnidirectional microphone, and a 90º (that is also adjustable) field of view. You can even adjust the framerate and it has a 5x zoom. It’s a beast, so if you want the best of the best, this is the one to go for.
- Hrayzan Webcam (Best For Wide-Angle) – If you want the widest possible angles for your webcam, the Hrayzan is the one to go for. The Hrayzan will shoot at 110º in 1080p resolution at 30fps. The built-in microphone has noise reduction technology and, if you have privacy concerns, the Hrayzan even has a privacy flap that can be used to block the camera. And best of all, the Hrayzan is one of the cheaper options on this list – it costs just $49!
- Wansview 1080p Webcam (Best Budget Option) – The Wansview is the cheapest webcam on our list. It costs just $26 and it delivers A TON of value for money with ultra-crisp 1080p video at 30fps and, if that wasn’t enough, its mic is exceptional: it can detect, track, and pick up your voice from over 20 feet away. It lacks autofocus, but you can adjust the focus on the lens. For overall video quality, at this price point, the Wansview is a damn good option.
The Best iMac Webcam – Our #1 Choice Right Now
However, most social networks – Facebook and Instagram, for instance – do not allow 4K uploads. If all you need your webcam for is YouTube and podcasts, as well as video-calls, the Logitech Brio is a great option.
For us, the Razer Kiyo (pictured above) is the optimal choice as it records in 1080p, so is more versatile compared to the Brio. The Kiyo is also cheaper to buy and, in our opinion, just as good for YouTube and podcasting. You don’t technically need 4K, so why pay extra for it, right?
With the Razer Kiyo, you have support for two resolutions: either 720p (60fps) or 1080p (30fps), and it has a nice 81.6º field of view. The integrated microphone is great too, so you won’t need an external microphone to get pro recordings with this one either.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Webcam
What type of resolution do you really need? If you just want basic webcam functionality, you do not need to shell out for a 4K webcam. Instead, you’ll be far better off saving some money and going with a 720p/1080p model.
If you want a webcam for putting together YouTube content, a 4K webcam like the Logitech Brio makes more sense. It is a great choice for those looking to shot and make professional-grade YouTube videos and web content.
For standard video-conferencing and use with other social media channels (Facebook and Instagram), we’d recommend something like the Razer Kiyo or the brilliantly priced Wansview 1080p Webcam – it is great and super-affordable.
Useful Features You Might Need
Do you need autofocus on your webcam? What about an ultra-wide-angle lens? These types of questions might now cross your mind when thinking about upgrading your iMac’s webcam, but they’re important ones to consider.
If you’re going to be using your webcam to shoot YouTube content, a wide-angle lens and autofocus will be super important. Autofocus will ensure you always remain in focus, even if you move around. And a wide-angle lens will allow you to get more in your shot. Again, important for YouTube content.
If these features are important to you, you’ll want to go with either the Razer Kiyo, Logitech Brio, or the Hrayzan Webcam.
What’s The Frame Rate (FPS)
If you want to make professional-looking video content, either for Twitch or YouTube, you need a webcam that has a decent framerate – anywhere from 30fps to 60fps is ideal.
Go any lower than this with your framerate and your video will not look great. The higher the framerate, the smoother and more professional a video will look. Again, with framerate, your best options are the Razer Kiyo, Logitech Brio, or the Hrayzan Webcam.
How your new webcam connects to your iMac isn’t all that important. Most modern webcams use either USB 3.0, although some have now started adopting USB Type C (and this standard is better for a range of reasons).
Once you connect your webcam to your iMac, it will show up as a USB device. From here, you can set up the audio (it should do this automatically, though, and you will be able to see it inside System Preferences on your iMac) and then start recording/using your new webcam.
Depending on which webcam you go with, you might get additional support for supplementary applications that can be downloaded to your iMac and used in conjunction with the webcam.
These supplementary applications can be used to access more advanced features like autofocus, different shooting modes, and filters and effects. Not all webcams ship with supporting applications and these apps certainly aren’t essential, but they do offer more features, so it something to look out for.
Best Webcam For iMac: Wrapping Up…
When it comes to buying a webcam for your iMac, you have a ton of great options. The ones listed above are our favorites for 2020; they are the best ones we have tested and the ones we recommend the most – for performance, for features and video quality, and for value for money.
If budget is of no concern, and you want to shoot 4K YouTube video, the Logitech Brio is the best overall option – the thing is a BEAST. With it, you will be able to shoot professional-looking YouTube content that not only looks stunning but also sounds great too, thanks to its great internal microphone.
For most users, the Razer Kiyo will be all you need. It’s a solid shooter that can produce good-looking, professional video content with decent framerates (30fps). It’ll do wide-angle stuff, includes a built-in light, so you’ll always be well lit, and it is super-simple to set up.
For the money and the features, the Razer Kiyo is the one we’d go for – it offers the best performance and delivers the most bang for your buck.
When it comes to cheaper options, the Hrayzan and Wansview are both excellent options. Both webcams shoot in 1080p and both are simple to use. Generally, we do preview the Hrayzan because it has an ultra-wide-angle lens and that always looks great when using webcams.
The Wansview does deliver BIG when it comes to video quality, though, and it is the cheapest option on the list. My advice? If you just need a webcam for video-conferencing, meaning you’re not using it for vlogging or uploading content to YouTube, go with the Wansview – it’s cheap and it really does get the job done.
Whichever webcam you go for, however, you’re going to get excellent performance. Choosing the right webcam for your iMac depends largely on what you’re going to be doing with it. I’ve included a quick recap below, to help you make a more informed decision based on everything we’ve just discussed:
- Best Webcam For Shooting YouTube Video – Logitech Brio
- Best Webcam For Overall Performance – Razer Kiyo
- Best Budget Webcam For General Use – Wansview
- Best Webcam For Wide-Angle Video – Hrayzan
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.