Opal Camera recently launched Tadpole, their second product. It’s adorable. When their first product, the C1, appeared I immediately signed up for the waitlist. It was exciting to see a startup working on a webcam that both looked cool and had a “DSLR quality” sensor. I waited. And waited.
When the C1 finally arrived I had already constructed a complex camera setup using my Fujifilm X-T2, and even found a way to eventually simplify it with fewer parts. The image quality was flawless. I had hoped that the C1 would be somewhat close to the Fujifilm, but it was only marginally better than the LG 5K’s built-in webcam. Opal’s software for adjusting the camera’s settings was powerful but slow. The camera would get very hot, and its mount was not reliable. It actually fell off of my display a few times and became dented.
I eventually gave up and sold the C1 once Continuity Camera launched. I highly recommend using your iPhone as a webcam instead of any third party cameras including DSLRs. The biggest challenge was securing it to the LG 5K display or MacBook Pro, but that was solved when Belkin released the iPhone Mount with MagSafe for Notebooks and Mac desktop and displays. Yes those are exceedingly long product names.
Setup is easy because there is no setup. When a Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime, etc. call starts the iPhone camera activates. Place the camera on the Belkin mount and done. I recommend connecting your phone to power to ensure its battery doesn’t deplete by the end of the workday.
Considering Opal couldn’t make a good webcam with a large sensor, I recommend avoiding the smaller (but still pretty) Tadpole.
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