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Does the webcam bother you?

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 9, 2015
2,840
3,991
i can justify any of the other compromises made on this sexy ass laptop. A lot of the compromises they actually framed as "features". The one thing I just can't get behind is the 480p webcam. 480?! I almost thought I misheard when I first found out how low quality it was. It's just the strangest thing. Apple is all about quality and top end "current" tech features. "Look at this amazing retina display!....that you can watch standard definition webcam videos on".

It's not a huge deal personally because I don't use it much, but even if it came out last year with this quality cam that would be weird. My girlfriends 2012 base MacBook Air has a 720p cam! The decision to put 480 in just boggles my mind.

I think it's more the "wtf" of it than anything that gets to me. As weird as that sounds. Does it bother anybody else? Or did you say meh and move on?

Just thinking out loud
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
For video chat is`s basically ok, obviously 720p would be a lot better. I don't really get why Apple did this as the camera definitely doesn't push the MacBook`s CPU. I do use FaceTime/Skype fairly frequently so 720p is a clear preference, equally it is what it is and I can live with it for the trade off in portability.

Q-6
 
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ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,132
663
United States
I think it's more the "wtf" of it than anything that gets to me. As weird as that sounds. Does it bother anybody else? Or did you say meh and move on?
Both.

On principle, I think it's idiotic. There is no technical or practical reason for it. I think this cynic card gets overplayed a lot of the time, but the only explanation I can think of is they want a checkbox improvement for the next MB revision.

OTTH, I'm kind of "meh" in that I have an iPhone and iPad that i'm far more likely to use for those purposes. I'd very rarely use the MB's camera anyway even if it was 1080p.
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
Both.

On principle, I think it's idiotic. There is no technical or practical reason for it. I think this cynic card gets overplayed a lot of the time, but the only explanation I can think of is they want a checkbox improvement for the next MB revision

Agree on that one; "The new awesome Macbook with TB-3 over USB C and a fabulous 720P iSight camera, faster than ever " can visualise the Keynote right now ;):)

Q-6
 
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zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,744
3,364
We use the webcams on all of our devices a lot with 3 kids in the house and grandparents out of state and parents who travel for work. In theory, the camera is a disappointment - who wants something so low-tech? On the other hand, my experience with video calling proves to me that in practice, the quality of the camera is still not likely to be a major limiting factor in the quality of the picture, so it doesn't bother me.
 
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ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,132
663
United States
On the other hand, my experience with video calling proves to me that in practice, the quality of the camera is still not likely to be a major limiting factor in the quality of the picture, so it doesn't bother me.
You're of course entitled to your opinion about what works for you, but...

I've got my MB side by side with my iPad Air (720p), both with FaceTime open. Exact same lighting conditions, etc. The image quality difference is night and day... it's not subjective - it's not even close.

I think you might be confusing this with the megapixel race in camera resolutions, where after a certain point, the most megapixels doesn't necessarily win.
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,512
15,852
You're of course entitled to your opinion about what works for you, but...

I've got my MB side by side with my iPad Air (720p), both with FaceTime open. Exact same lighting conditions, etc. The image quality difference is night and day... it's not subjective - it's not even close.

I think you might be confusing this with the megapixel race in camera resolutions, where after a certain point, the most megapixels doesn't necessarily win.
I think he's referring to bandwidth being the bottleneck....
 
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hans1972

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2010
566
383
There is no technical or practical reason for it.

Maybe they could not fit a good 720p web camera because of thickness of the screen? I am pretty sure that a good 720p web camera is thicker and would not fit in the Macbook.

Look at what Dell did with their 13" XPS, they put it above the keyboard, making inside your nose really come through to the recepient...
 
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ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,132
663
United States
I think he's referring to bandwidth being the bottleneck....
bandwidth? bottleneck?
Maybe they could not fit a good 720p web camera because of thickness of the screen?
That might be it... honestly, I forget just how thin the screen is on the MB (once you have it for a while, you just start to take some of it for granted). I just looked again, and wow it's thin... maybe I should be impressed they got a camera in there at all.

However, looking at my 13" MBA (720p), that screen is pretty darn thin as well... hard to tell the difference just by looking at it (with my poor eyesight).
 
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zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,744
3,364
Maybe they could not fit a good 720p web camera because of thickness of the screen? I am pretty sure that a good 720p web camera is thicker and would not fit in the Macbook.

Look at what Dell did with their 13" XPS, they put it above the keyboard, making inside your nose really come through to the recepient...

bandwidth? bottleneck?

Yes, exactly. In practice even on excellent connections, I don't see a huge difference between any of our cameras. At it's best, yes, the better cameras we have do look better, but the majority of the time as of today, it makes little difference with the video calls we actually make.
 
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polee

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2008
597
243
They will provide a better webcam with the iteration and we will rush to get the new macbook!
 
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ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,132
663
United States
Yes, exactly. In practice even on excellent connections, I don't see a huge difference between any of our cameras.
Ahh, Internet bandwidth... that makes more sense. I thought maybe you meant some sort of bandwidth bottleneck with the MB itself.
 
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Wallabe

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
660
205
That still doesn't explain it. Video quality can be adjusted as it is streaming, like youtube videos. Apple's still being cheap. The front camera should be at least 1080p by now. It's 2015. How long have webcams been inside laptops? 10 years at least?

Despite that, I rarely use the webcam, if at all. It's like Apple is still doing 16GB for the iPhone 6S.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,744
3,364
I really think this camera must have been driven by how thin the screen side of this laptop is - it appears to be well under half the thickness of the iPhones 6. It may have been that there just wasn't a viable higher-resolution camera available - especially at the relatively low volumes that a laptop like this will sell in.
 
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ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
18,205
9,210
Colorado
Maybe they could not fit a good 720p web camera because of thickness of the screen? I am pretty sure that a good 720p web camera is thicker and would not fit in the Macbook.

I think that this is the problem. The Macbook is just too thin to accommodate something larger.
 
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Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,326
4,552
Bedfordshire, UK
I think that this is the problem. The Macbook is just too thin to accommodate something larger.

No, the 720p cost barely a dollar extra. The profit margin isn't so great on the 12" MacBook and the bean counters make the decisions at Apple. More expensive components like the cost of the display and added expense for the new keyboard all eats into profit margins in the eyes of the accountants.

Of course I am being a little facetious but this is the reason why they gave some 2015 tech some pathetic components. As ever with Apple, it's all about money.
 
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hans1972

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2010
566
383
No, the 720p cost barely a dollar extra. The profit margin isn't so great on the 12" MacBook and the bean counters make the decisions at Apple. More expensive components like the cost of the display and added expense for the new keyboard all eats into profit margins in the eyes of the accountants.

You did nothing to counter the argument?

Can you provide an example of a 720p web camera that would fit in the Macbook?
And also could you provide an example of how much less a 480p web camera would cost than a 720p in the sizes and volumes Apple would need to fit in the Macbook?
 
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fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,545
2,399
ny somewhere
lots of assumptions. but it's reasonable to at least consider that the current 720 camera would not fit in the macbook lid; seems (to me) more believable than apple deliberately choosing a lesser-resolution camera for the macbook. either way it is what it is...(and is of minimal importance for me personally).
 
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