How bad is the MBA 2018 Camera really?

geejay9876

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2018
19
4
Hi,

there are tons of reports about the Macbook Air 2018 camera being grainy or greyish. How bad is it really? I am doing quite a lot of Skype telcos and needs some decent camera.
BTW: I noted that video from colleagues with Macbook Pro often looks bad, not sure whether that is a connectivity or camera issue. Is there some issue also with MBP cameras? I was always quite happy with the old-style MBA camera.

Has anyone done a comparison between 2015 MBP, old style MBA and 2018 MBA camera?

Cheers
 

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,740
1,445
USA
Hi,

there are tons of reports about the Macbook Air 2018 camera being grainy or greyish. How bad is it really? I am doing quite a lot of Skype telcos and needs some decent camera.
BTW: I noted that video from colleagues with Macbook Pro often looks bad, not sure whether that is a connectivity or camera issue. Is there some issue also with MBP cameras? I was always quite happy with the old-style MBA camera.

Has anyone done a comparison between 2015 MBP, old style MBA and 2018 MBA camera?

Cheers
I have been researching the 2018 MacBook Air because I plan to buy one soon. Part of that research involves seeing what is posted on the internet. I have watched many videos on YouTube, and read numerous web pages, and I'd like to know where these "tons of reports" are located, because I haven't seen any. Have you tried watching YouTube videos or reading web pages to see if the camera is grainy or grayish?
 
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Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
2,393
2,282
London
I have been researching the 2018 MacBook Air because I plan to buy one soon. Part of that research involves seeing what is posted on the internet. I have watched many videos on YouTube, and read numerous web pages, and I'd like to know where these "tons of reports" are located, because I haven't seen any. Have you tried watching YouTube videos or reading web pages to see if the camera is grainy or grayish?
The reports are on Apples support forum and also on this one.
 
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geejay9876

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2018
19
4
I have been researching the 2018 MacBook Air because I plan to buy one soon. Part of that research involves seeing what is posted on the internet. I have watched many videos on YouTube, and read numerous web pages, and I'd like to know where these "tons of reports" are located, because I haven't seen any. Have you tried watching YouTube videos or reading web pages to see if the camera is grainy or grayish?
https://9to5mac.com/2018/12/02/some...poor-facetime-hd-camera-quality-are-you-poll/

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8627217

https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/mac/2018-macbook-air-hd-camera-quality-blurry/
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,740
1,445
USA
Perhaps I haven't been paying proper attention to this issue. Of the hundreds of videos I've viewed, I can only remember one of them stating that the MBA camera is lower quality than that of the current iPhones. It's a webcam, it's not designed to provide professional quality images. I think many people have been spoiled by the high quality of smartphone cameras.
 
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Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
2,393
2,282
London
Perhaps I haven't been paying proper attention to this issue. Of the hundreds of videos I've viewed, I can only remember one of them stating that the MBA camera is lower quality than that of the current iPhones. It's a webcam, it's not designed to provide professional quality images. I think many people have been spoiled by the high quality of smartphone cameras.
No webcam will beat iPhone or smart phone cameras as they are only 720p (some are 1080p but even then phones usually have a 5MP+ front camera). I think what people were comparing it to was the old Air and the MacBook Pro’s which also have a 720p web cam and the new Air is doing a worse job it seems.

It could be that Apple have put a lower quality 720p web cam in the Air to save costs - it seems they have cut quite a corners on the Air. We already noticed it has a less bright/vibrant screen then the previous 12” MacBook (it is understandable that it is worse than the Pro’s but not so much why it’s worse than the MacBook lineup) and some preliminary complaints about the audio output, could they have cheaped out on that too?
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,740
1,445
USA
No webcam will beat iPhone or smart phone cameras as they are only 720p (some are 1080p but even then phones usually have a 5MP+ front camera). I think what people were comparing it to was the old Air and the MacBook Pro’s which also have a 720p web cam and the new Air is doing a worse job it seems.

It could be that Apple have put a lower quality 720p web cam in the Air to save costs - it seems they have cut quite a corners on the Air. We already noticed it has a less bright/vibrant screen then the previous 12” MacBook (it is understandable that it is worse than the Pro’s but not so much why it’s worse than the MacBook lineup) and some preliminary complaints about the audio output, could they have cheaped out on that too?
Not sure about audio, I'm hearing impaired so don't put much importance on audio. I do wonder, however, if the inclusion of the T2 chip, which does a lot of the work that was done by the CPU in previous models, is to blame for the apparent poor experience in some of these areas. Being that the T2 chip is new to the MBA, I hope Apple continues to improve things.
 
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Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
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Not sure about audio, I'm hearing impaired so don't put much importance on audio. I do wonder, however, if the inclusion of the T2 chip, which does a lot of the work that was done by the CPU in previous models, is to blame for the apparent poor experience in some of these areas. Being that the T2 chip is new to the MBA, I hope Apple continues to improve things.
Could be.

With regards to audio, the quality issue is for when you connect your audio equipment to the 3.5mm jack. The speakers are fine.
 
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geejay9876

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2018
19
4
I checked the MBA 2018 and MBA 2017 cameras next to each other in the shop with photobooth. The old MBA looks sharper.

I suspect that the new Macbook air 2018 camera looks more fuzzy because the camera has only 720p resolution and the screen is 1600p so the camera image one sees on the screen is extrapolated.
 
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lpolarityl

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2009
427
183
Ohio
It is pretty cruddy looking. I honestly never use the camera on my laptops so its not a huge deal to me. The 2018 MBA is not cheap by any means so a nicer quality camera would have been expected. The camera is probably my only complaint that I think most people could agree with. It is a really terrible quality camera when you consider the cost.
 
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kreasonos

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2013
382
367
Remember the cameras that used to come on flip phones in the early 2000s? Yea, it's like that.
 
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LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,583
8,985
It's not that bad. But in room lighting, there is more noise than it should have. But not to the point where it's a horrible capture.
 
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acorntoy

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2010
1,464
1,356
Why have people decided to go all out in rage with this new Air?

“The screen is SO DIM” — The screen on the Air is the same brightness as the MacBook and the same brightness MacBook pros were pre 2016, nobody really complained then.

Now the camera?

It’s a laptop camera. They’re all crappy, even the pros. The MacBook Air actually has an UPGRADED FaceTime camera, It isn’t the lowest in the lineup, the 2018 Air features a 720p camera while the MacBook which cost $100 more comes with a 480p camera. It actually has a better screen capable of more color than the MacBook as well despite some saying it’s a dull/flat screen.
 
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Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
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Why have people decided to go all out in rage with this new Air?

“The screen is SO DIM” — The screen on the Air is the same brightness as the MacBook and the same brightness MacBook pros were pre 2016, nobody really complained then.

Now the camera?

It’s a laptop camera. They’re all crappy, even the pros. The MacBook Air actually has an UPGRADED FaceTime camera, It isn’t the lowest in the lineup, the 2018 Air features a 720p camera while the MacBook which cost $100 more comes with a 480p camera. It actually has a better screen capable of more color than the MacBook as well despite some saying it’s a dull/flat screen.
Even though it is rated 300 nit, the screen isn't the same brightness nor hasthe same colors as the 12" MacBook, it is noticeably worse, hence the complaints (and why people likely wouldn't have complained about the previous MacBook's).

As for the 720p camera, it is inferior to the 720p camera on the Pro too, not sure why that is.

NB People did complain about the webcam by the way of the 12" MacBook, being 480p. People generally complain if there is something to complain about.
 
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knutas83

macrumors newbie
Feb 12, 2019
1
0
It's bad. I've had my entire screen replaced by Apple just now (on a 2 week old purchase MacBook Air), and the problem remains.

I have just come from the Apple store where they have replaced my entire screen and upper half of the laptop. The issue still remains, and me and the Apple store guy compared the cameras on all of the MacBook Airs in store, and it turns out they all have really grainy camera quality (even when checked with the Quicktime camera, which is meant to be the highest quality).

He was convinced that this was a software issue, and needs to be fixed with an update from Apple. He submitted the feedback to Apple on his end, and recommended me to submit my feedback here: https://www.apple.com/feedback/

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8624233

Read the thread, and see comparison images in it that people have posted - it's evident.
[doublepost=1549985436][/doublepost]MacBook Air 2013:

upload_2019-2-12_15-29-39.png


MacBook Air 2018:

upload_2019-2-12_15-30-7.png
 
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