Apple is only just catching up in the world of webcams, and its entire MacBook range remains a premium line–up with bargain-basement 720p peepers. If you want to right this wrong and get a third–party webcam, Papalook’s PA930 offers some eye-catching features at an affordable price. Be warned, though — its recommendation depends on your tolerance for small inconveniences and your ability to overlook them in the name of image quality.
First, the positives. When we first connected the Papalook PA930 to our Mac, the first thing we were struck by was its excellent image quality. In a room with a bright, distracting window off to one side, the PA930 took everything in its stride, keeping us balanced, well–lit, and in focus. In a dark room with no lighting source save the glare of our monitor, it handled the contrast admirably; we were a tiny bit washed out, but not by much. It’s really impressive.
That performance is backed up by the generous 90–degree field of view. That’s really wide and crams much more into the frame than most webcams. If a wide-angle lens is important to you, the Papalook PA930 scores points here.
Its resolution and frame rate options are also pleasing. The main event is the 2K resolution, which runs at 30fps, but you can drop down to 1080p at 60fps. Even the latter option is way ahead of the MacBook webcam.
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