iChat Camera on New MBA is Awful

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jw nyc, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2008
    The computer is fantastic and it's very fast but the camera is really terrible. I video chat with people with MBP's and even some PC's and they look crystal clear but I look totally pixelated to them. I would have said it was possibly my Internet connection but I checked it out in Photo Booth and it's pretty awful there as well. Just a little disappointing but I guess with the slimness of the monitor it was the best they could do.
  2. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Apple doesn't publish the resolution of the cameras, but I suspect that since it's called an "iChat" camera instead of an "iSight" camera as in every other Mac, they probably use a camera with reduced specs.
  3. M87
    macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
    I wouldn't describe any iSight cam as "crystal clear". Looks just as grainy and awful as my 2009 17" MBP. More than adequate for skype I would say. I don't really want to have an HD cam in my face, personally.
  4. macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    I believe they are referred to as "FaceTime cameras" now.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2008
    Ummm not even close. The 2009 MBP is actually very clear.
  6. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    It is a VGA camera... in other words, .3MP
  7. macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    I am extremely disappointed in the quality of the facetime camera compared with the external logitech I've been using. But, at least now I don't have to connect an external webcam ... so I guess I can deal with it.
  8. macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    UK, Manchester
    What!? the cam is ok for internet chat no? i'm happy with the results, and it's not like i'm taking pro shots with my freakin air.

    Also did you notice the green power light hidden behind the aluminium, that is simply awesome design. They didn't have to engineer that way, they did so because it's cool, and i like it!
  9. macrumors G3


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    I'd check to make sure your internet connection isn't causing the chat program to use a lesser resolution for a weaker connection.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2009
    Isight Camera

    I just tried mine on the 11.6 and it looked fine. Of course I look like sh** but that's life. Took a couple of pics and a short movie and it seemed as good as my 13 in MBP. Maybe not as good as my Imac but for Facetime, seems good. Now I don't know what others see on the other end. My son gets his Imac tomorrow and I told him to get Facetime so he could tell me.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2005
    Earth, mostly.
    Everyone complaining about the quality of the camera should post an example image so that we can publicly debate both the quality of the image and its content. That's really the only way to discern which is the source of the problem.
  12. macrumors 603


    Oct 5, 2008
    The camera does suck on the new MBA. :( I was just on iChat and it was bad.
  13. M87
    macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
    Anyone complaining care to post a picture or video?
  14. macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I examined the res of a pic taken with it and the resolution is 640X480
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    I noticed in the Apple Store that my own image looked grainy. I should have gone over to a MBP and checked it out. I didn't know if it was the light in the store. I may check it out again this weekend against an in-store MBP.
  16. macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    is it worse than the iPhone4? If so that's retarded.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    I thought my iPhone4's Facetime had a better picture. Like I noted I probably need to go back to the Apple Store and check the MBA out again on this question. I'll add my iPhone into the mix.

    I really want an MBA. So I'm not trolling here. I just want to know if the camera is as good as my MBP.
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2008
    The iPhone 4's camera (fron and back) has a SIGNIFICANTLY better image quality.
  19. macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2008
    The reason for the substandard cam in the Macbook Air is simple - the screen is ridiculously thin:


    You have physical limitations with the kind of lens you can put in a given thickness, and I'm guessing pushing whatever they could fit in there beyond 640x480 was not worthwhile.

    Of course I'm sure they'll manage to figure out a way to put a better camera in Rev E. ;)
  20. macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2010
    This does not bode well for the burgeoning FaceTime porn industry. Steve Jobs exerts his anti-lewd influence yet again...
  21. macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    I'm switching from a current gen 15" MBP to a 13" MBA, and I've got to say the answer is "NO".

    My Air's camera does alright in brighter situations, but is grainy as heck in any situation less than bright. By grainy, I mean it's like looking at a TV channel that isn't tuned correctly ... lots of grit and wavy lines that move across the screen. This was using Photo Booth, not iChat, so bandwidth wasn't a factor.

    I had a first gen Air for a few weeks, I don't remember that camera being like this... :?
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2009
    Camera is pretty darn lousy really - nothing like the quality of the MBP cameras, which is a bit of a disappointment. It seems like they pushed the envelope of thinness so the camera, backlit keyboard among other things suffered/disappeared. :(
  23. macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the camera is identical to what was installed on the front of the iPod Touch.

    In other words....a 39 cent piece of crap.

    If it really bothers you, just buy a USB webcam. There are some pretty small ones out there now.
  24. Guest


    Aug 18, 2009
    I took some side by side pictures. The MacBook Pro(left) seems to be higher resolution.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2009
    Neither camera does justice to the subject! ;)

    It looks like the MBA camera is definitely worse of the two, but not that the MBP camera is superb by any means.

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