Is redesign of MBP necessary for 1080p FaceTime HD camera?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by addictive, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. addictive macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #1
    Current MacBook Pro models and the 2018 Airs have a 720p FaceTime HD camera but these don't give the video experience people want. Sure this was good enough a number of years ago but on the iMac Pro you get a 1080p FaceTime HD camera.

    Why doesn't Apple put this in their MBP or Air laptops? Is it too bulky? Would it require a redesign to do it.

    Of course at some point consumers will get an improved camera for FaceTime on the Mac but are we going to have to wait until the MBP is redesigned again to get this?
     
  2. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #2
    No point of higher resolution when they can’t even make a sort of decent 720p camera.
     
  3. Painter2002 macrumors 6502a

    Painter2002

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #3
    Is it possible to add a 1080p FaceTime Camera to the current design? Probably, I am sure someone out there could design a 1080 lens to fit within the current MacBook Pro monitor chassis.

    Is it feasible and cost-effective? Probably not, as I am sure a specially designed 1080p FaceTime camera that fits in the current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models would be a costly venture and add more to the cost of the actual computer, which in the end the consumer would have to pay for.

    I honestly wouldn't even be fully surprised if Apple doesn't add a 1080p FaceID camera to the next gen of MacBook Pros. For starters, I doubt they will increase the thickness of the monitor, thus leaving the same challenge as now of including an affordable and aesthetically appealing camera into the monitor.

    Second, I don't know the numbers, but I think the majority of people who use it are using it in a business or personal environment where the actual pixel quality isn't as critical in day to day use. It's more of a luxury feature for the bulk of users. Those who truly need a camera for youtube chats and that sort of thing likely use a much higher quality 1080p or even 4k camera anyways, or can afford and use an iMac in addition to a MacBook Pro.

    TBH, I hardly ever use the FaceTime camera on my laptop, so I am just fine with a plain 720p FaceTime camera, and I wouldn't want to pay more for a model that has a higher res camera.
     
  4. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #4
    I'm sure they'll do it eventually and it'll be heralded as some "revelation" and "innovation" that they approached completely from the drawing board in a way no company ever has before, totally reengineering something that didn't need it, for a result we aren't sure is even better, but will now make the laptops yet another $100 more expensive..

    blah
    blah
    effin blah
     
  5. Camark08 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2018
    #5
    I'm sure they can. I know it needs to be better but that's the least of my worries tbh..
     
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #6
    If I understand it correctly, the better quality camera modules are simply too large to fit in a thin display assembly. Many other manufacturers circumvent it by putting the camera below the display (which is even worse IMO). Hopefully we will soon have small high-res sensors so that this can be improved.
     
  7. SDColorado macrumors 68030

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #7
    That might be true. Surface Book 2 has a really decent camera, both front (5MP 1080P HD Video), and rear (8MP 1080P HD Video), but it is also a thicker display.

    It would be nice to see something better than the poor resolution (>1MP I believe?) 720P camera in the current MBP.
     
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    Yeah, because its display is almost as thick as the MBP itself ;) Its a tablet hybrid after all.
     
  9. TETENAL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    #9
    Free tip for Apple: On a laptop you can put a camera bump on the back of the display lid.
     
  10. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #10
    Let me just say that I'm happy for you not being on their design team :D
     
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    Its primary function is video conferencing where 720p remains "HD" and VGA 640x480 is "HQ" with nearly all services. It can even be tricky to get 1080p with many video conferencing services although very much possible.

    Its an unrealistic task to expect the MBP to encode 1080p to the same bit rate 720p is without a degradation in quality (1080p looks worse than 720p) while decoding incoming video.

    1080p webcams have an encoder built in to offload half the work or are in very powerful machines like the iMac Pro.

    I pulled this off the web, 720p and 1080p compressed using h264 to 4Mbps to show compressions effect on quality...

    1080p-vs-720p.png

    There is plenty of room for improvement with the 720p camera itself before they worry about 1080p. Honestly I never had a problem with resolution as much as I did color representation and dynamic range.

    Resolution is just another way of saying megapixels and we know how that race went with smartphones.

    When HEVC is common place then I think we'd have some breathing room for 1080p.
     
  12. LogicalApex macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    #12
    Hardware HEVC encoding is commonplace now. So much so that the T2 chip in the 2018 MBP does this and Apple isn't even firing up the Radeon for this. You don't need a Mac Pro for hardware HEVC.
     
  13. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #13
    What is the purpose of a 1080p FaceTime camera? If you want a good webcam, buy a stand alone webcam.
     
  14. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #14
    For a laptop?
    That seems like a really inelegant solution versus just having a better quality built in one
     
  15. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #15
    Unless you build a huge sensor you won't ever get good quality. It's just not practical to do it in a frame so small.
     
  16. LogicalApex macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    #16
    Has laptop webcams ever been good quality? I've always gotten best quality hooking up something like a Logitech C920.
     
  17. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #17
    The hardware is only commonplace for full HEVC support with systems purchased with Kaby Lake CPU's (Jan 2017). Apple still sells the MBA with Haswell CPU which doesn't support hardware h265/HEVC. And even into 2018 businesses were still buying cheap business machines from Dell (Optiplex) and HP with Skylake (previous generation at the time). While Skylake supports HEVC (8 bit) the very few video conference hardware with HEVC support has jumped passed 8 bit with 4k/8k HDR.

    h265/HEVC is not commonplace with video conferencing services and systems, at all. $3k encoding streamers for business can still omit HEVC more often then not (I know Cisco systems supports h265). And if you are doing a 1:1 conference with a service that supports HEVC (I don't know of one but I'm sure something exist)

    I still see H.263 on occasion.
     

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