Even the best webcams can’t always measure up to what you’ll find on smartphones and especially DSLRs, so why not just strap a smartphone-shaped DSLR style webcam to the top of your computer monitor? That’s the solution behind startup Opal’s new Opal C1, an upcoming $300 webcam with a purportedly DSLR level sensor (no mirrors or viewfinder though) made specifically with Macs in mind.
Opal’s made up of former Apple, Beats and Uber employees, although I doubt the C1’s going to be able to pick you up from the bar. Instead, it’s aiming to be “the first professional webcam,” which is a bit of a stretch given how much compression Zoom and Google Meet put on video calls anyway. The 4K you’ll find on the likes of the Dell Ultrasharp Webcam is already a bit overkill for most users, even in professional settings. However, higher fidelity still does have its perks if you need to do more with your webcam than make video calls.
Currently in private, invite-only beta, the Opal C1 is essentially a big rectangle with a mirrorless 7.8mm 4K Sony sensor, a microchip capable of making “4 trillion operations per second,” and a large omnidirectional “MicMesh” for capturing high-quality, noise-canceled sound.