Former designers and staff from Apple, its Beats subsidiary and Uber are offering an opportunity to beta test the Opal C1, a new 4K webcam designed for Mac. The folks behind the new company, Opal, call it “the first professional webcam.”
Now that’s confidence.
Plenty of folks routinely point out the webcams built into Mac laptops and desktops can’t hold a candle to iPhone cameras. Or to most dedicated webcams.
Perhaps Opal is set to shake up the webcam market with a remarkable Mac-first offering.
Opal C1: a premium webcam built for macOS
Opal is clearly confident about the device’s premium quality. And the C1 does, indeed, appear to offer superior picture quality, high-quality materials, noise cancellation and more.
Its makers say the Opal C1 includes beamforming microphones, professional-level tools and plug-and-play macOS support. It comes with a dedicated Mac app.
The webcam features a 7.8mm Sony sensor that offers 4K 4056 x 3040 pixel resolution, 60 fps and f1.8 with a six-element lens.
Opal said the C1 webcam offers 2.4x more light “than any other webcam” and “5x the resolution of a regular webcam.”
‘MicMesh’ and other advanced features
Opal highlighted a feature called “MicMesh.” It uses beamforming microphones that focus on your voice. Meanwhile, intelligent noise cancellation filters out unwanted sounds.
“Aero-grade aluminum” makes up the webcam’s enclosure. Inside, an Opal Trillium neural microchip offers 4 trillion operations per second.
Among the webcam’s advanced features are bokeh control. That involves the aesthetic quality of the blur in out-of-focus parts of the image. You can also touch up images and use fine-grained controls for brightness, contrast and white balance.
Limited beta preorders
We quietly backed a team (from Apple, Beats, Uber) reviving a forgotten corner of consumer tech
The beta arrived today and the quality
is mind blowing…
Webcams, welcome to 2021. pic.twitter.com/xYe1APRMCX
— AlexisOhanian 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@alexisohanian) September 8, 2021
One of the new company’s financial backers, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, offered a look at the hardware’s beta version recently (see below), calling the quality “mind blowing” and saying, “Webcams, welcome to 2021.”
The Opal C1 isn’t shipping yet, but you can submit your email address to (possibly) be invited to become a beta tester for the hardware.
Reservations are open now for the Opal C1 in white or black with a price tag of $300 – that is when you get invited to purchase during the limited beta period. You can sign up for that list here.
Where to reserve a beta spot: opalcamera.com