3/16/15
7:09 am

Webcam Settings App

You usually do not have much control over your iSight, FaceTime or 3rd-party webcams on a Mac. The Webcam Settings app changes that by adding a whole array of settings and adjustments for most webcams. You can change things like brightness, contrast, exposure, saturation and focus. You can even zoom and pan if the camera is a high enough resolution. You can get the Webcam Settings app from the Mac App Store at http://macmost.com/j-webcamsettings

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today's episode let me tell you about the Webcam Settings App.

The Webcam Settings App is so useful and so basic you would think it would come with your Mac. But it doesn't. You have to search for it in the Mac App Store. Just search for Webcam Settings and it comes up right away. See it right here. The regular price is $7.99. It is from a third party developer.

If you search you will find a lot of video podcasters and Mac users talking about this app so it is getting very popular. If you look at the listing here in the Mac App Store you will see some good reviews and a lot of information about it.

Once you get it, then you can run it from Launchpad. I've got it right here. Once you run it it appears here at the top of the screen as an icon. You can access the settings by going to Show Webcam Settings Panel.

Now the settings panel is particularly useful if you have a third party camera. Like I've got the C920, the Logitech webcam, since I have a MacPro that doesn't have a camera built in. But it also works with the FaceTime cameras built into Macs, like say with my MacBook Pro it works with that.

It gives you a whole set of controls over here where you can manually control all sorts of things like Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation. The settings that you see will depend upon which camera you've got. So you are going to see a different set of setting and some that will be active or won't be active based on the webcam that you are using.

Now I've got some basic things here. The advanced things really give you a lot of control. For instance the ability to zoom in. Of course if your webcam doesn't have lens in it, which it probably doesn't, at least not lens that can focus, you won't really be able to zoom but it will use pixels to zoom. So, for instance, this webcam is a 1080p webcam so being able to zoom in and have a lower resolution image but using a portion of it is very useful.

You can also Pan and Tilt. Pan is very useful if you're are zoomed in a little bit you will be able pan from left to right. I use these controls all the time.

You can also Save profiles. So once you've set things up just like you want you can save a Profile and then quickly get to it. It is very useful when there is some separate lighting and things in different situations and you want to set it up and quickly access those controls.

So here I'm actually going to use the controls live. You are seeing me as you usually would when I record the beginning of the video but I've brought up the Control Panel here and I can adjust things. So I can adjust brightness here of the camera, the contrast, and things like saturation, desaturate, sharpness. I've got white balance controls, I can move around or set it to automatic. There is a lot I can do here.

I can also have Autofocus turned off and I can change the focus directly. So I can manually control the focus of the camera which is very useful. I've zoomed in a little bit here and panned over. I can actually zoom back out and you can see a little bit of the background appear there. I can change the pan since I've zoomed things in. So there is a lot of different things that I can do. Here is just an example of just working with the settings live.

So I was just using QuickTime, QuickTime Player, to record that video since that is what works with my camera but it should work with recording no matter what software you are using if the software uses that webcam then the webcam settings would be adjusting the settings of the camera itself.

So give it a look. I'll put a link to it in the notes for this video at MacMost.com. Thanks.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Webcam Settings App”

    Jimmy
    3/16/15 @ 3:04 pm

    A great app. Thanks

    Adrian
    3/19/15 @ 12:49 pm

    Gary, in your video, you mention that the app features depend on which camera you are using. Are the functions / features very different between the FaceTime camera on my Mac and the LogiTech camera you are using in the video? 8 bucks is not the end of the world but I would rather not spend it if the app does not provide similar function.

    Thanks

      3/19/15 @ 12:54 pm

      Well, for instance, on the Basic screen I have an extra “Hue” setting with the FaceTime camera, but no White Balance. Under Advanced, I see a Noise Reduction setting, but the rest (zoom, pan, tilt) isn’t there.
      It isn’t a matter of the app showing different things, it is what things there are to show. There just isn’t manual white balance on one, while there is on the other. I figure Webcam Settings shows you everything that exists.
      And of course there are a dozen or more variations on the FaceTime camera too, depending on which Mac you have.

    Naomi Johansen
    3/20/15 @ 7:49 pm

    I am having trouble with FaceTime, I can not hear someone and they cannot
    Hear me even though
    My mike is on. Thankyou

    Naomi Johansen
    3/20/15 @ 8:17 pm

    Will the above problem be solve with the webcam setting?

      3/20/15 @ 9:33 pm

      No. That is a separate issue. I would check and recheck settings in FaceTime and in System Preferences. If you can’t figure it out, then have an expert take a look, maybe the Genius Bar.

Comments Closed.