Apple M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro stuck with 720p FaceTime cameras

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Apple has introduced a new image signal processor to its Apple Silicon MacBook Air and MacBook Pro that should bring better built-in camera quality to the laptops.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models equipped with an M1 Apple Silicon chip don't feature upgraded camera hardware. According to Apple's specifications, they still use the same 720p FaceTime HD camera that has been available on MacBook for years.

However, at its Nov. 10 event, Apple said that the new image signal processor in its M1 chip will result in overall better quality with better noise reduction and dynamic range, improved auto white balance, and machine learning face detection that will make users "look their best."

Apple has been criticized in the past for the relatively poor resolution of its built-in MacBook cameras. Even the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which features a new microphone audio array, sticks with a 720p camera sensor. Although the new Apple Silicon Macs don't feature significantly upgraded cameras, any bump in quality is likely to be appreciated by users.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,073member
    The curve ball for this generation.
    repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 28
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    Gotta keep as much in Reserve as possible for the higher spec M2 versions with redesigned cases next WWDC
    Scot1kuduheadfull0wineelijahgtwokatmewCloudTalkinrazorpitcurtis hannahmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 28
    720 P is just an acceptable in today’s portable equipment. 

    I get that they’re going to save a better resolution camera for the next iteration, but seriously, cameras should really be moving up to 4K soon.  
    twokatmew
  • Reply 4 of 28
    The facetime example in Apple's presentation really did look grainy.

    That being said, I don't like HD close-ups. I want an option to set the webcam to a much lower resolution for zoom calls.
    edited November 2020 twokatmewravnorodomrazorpit
  • Reply 5 of 28
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,048member
    Scot1 said:
    Repost

    720 P is unacceptable in today’s portable equipment. 

    I get that they’re going to save the better resolution camera for the next iteration, but seriously, cameras should really be moving up to 4K. 
    Well if the really wanted to make a better laptop they could have added back MagSafe, HDMI, and SD card reader.  Still going to stick with my MBP 2015.
    elijahg
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Almost no one has video calls with a 1080p+ resolution.  For Zoom, only the special business/education customers can get 1080p video, and even then it requires contacting support and asking them to enable it.

    For the non-video call use cases, a better camera would be great, but I suspect that Apple knows that for most people it won't matter.
    twokatmewrazorpit
  • Reply 7 of 28
    They will have this until the 13 shrinks the footprint, 14 inch MBP, and 16.1 MBP redesign for Apple Silicon all add FaceID to Mac.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,529member
    You literally cannot see a difference between 720p and 4k, F that, 100k if the viewer is on an iPhone. An iPad, MAYBE. Since Facetime has not come to Apple TV this isn't a big deal. Now if you had a 65" TV then the image would definitely look pixelated compared to 4k.

    I'm tired of explaining this in 2020. I thought by now people would know how resolution works. Been explaining this since 2006 but back then people thought "HD" would magically make their old content upgrade.

    People just want to bi*ch.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    Beats said:
    You literally cannot see a difference between 720p and 4k, F that, 100k if the viewer is on an iPhone. An iPad, MAYBE. Since Facetime has not come to Apple TV this isn't a big deal. Now if you had a 65" TV then the image would definitely look pixelated compared to 4k.

    I'm tired of explaining this in 2020. I thought by now people would know how resolution works. Been explaining this since 2006 but back then people thought "HD" would magically make their old content upgrade.

    People just want to bi*ch.
    There is a lot of truth in what you are saying.

    However, the 1080p camera on the iMac Pro + T2 chip does make a huge difference. Also, the 1st Gen 7MP and 2nd Gen 12 MP FaceID cameras on iPhone X and newer is also noticeably better. Camera and Apple ISP both contribute.

    it’s noticeable even on iPhones and iPads, and especially Macs.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    k2kw said:
    Scot1 said:
    Repost

    720 P is unacceptable in today’s portable equipment. 

    I get that they’re going to save the better resolution camera for the next iteration, but seriously, cameras should really be moving up to 4K. 
    Well if the really wanted to make a better laptop they could have added back MagSafe, HDMI, and SD card reader.  Still going to stick with my MBP 2015.
    And the SCSI port. Don’t forget the SCSCI port. 
    razorpitJinTechDetnatorjdb8167
  • Reply 11 of 28
    Apple sometimes feels like the very rich uncle that counts every round of drinks, and takes care never to be the first to pull his wallet. Apple is never generous. Like you buy an expensive house, and you still have to negotiate with the seller about every sink that stays. A Bentley without real leather seats. And by the way, you should buy your own tires. Once you drive the car the experience is great, but the moment you have to fork the money over in stings. The coming Bentley will have those real leather seats...
  • Reply 12 of 28
    What a disappointment. I thought with a new round of upgrades this year they would give a better camera. My friend bought an Air earlier this year to teach online. She literally had to buy by a webcam because the quality sucks on these so bad. 
  • Reply 13 of 28
    720p works way smoother with video and audio delivery on internet pipeline with slower Mac and standard broadband connection. I tried 1080p and it skips frames with delayed audio. I think Apple doesn’t want to take any chances especially when you’re in a place where internet connection is very slow like in a hotel or public places. 
  • Reply 14 of 28
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,739member
    Seems wrong that the $599 iPad Air would have a better front facing camera that the $999 MacBook Air, let alone the $1299 Pro.
    edited November 2020 razorpit
  • Reply 15 of 28
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Rayz2016 said:
    k2kw said:
    Scot1 said:
    Repost

    720 P is unacceptable in today’s portable equipment. 

    I get that they’re going to save the better resolution camera for the next iteration, but seriously, cameras should really be moving up to 4K. 
    Well if the really wanted to make a better laptop they could have added back MagSafe, HDMI, and SD card reader.  Still going to stick with my MBP 2015.
    And the SCSI port. Don’t forget the SCSCI port. 
    Gotta give him the MagSafe though. Losing MagSafe sucks. That was a timeless technology.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,748member
    Rayz2016 said:
    k2kw said:
    Scot1 said:
    Repost

    720 P is unacceptable in today’s portable equipment. 

    I get that they’re going to save the better resolution camera for the next iteration, but seriously, cameras should really be moving up to 4K. 
    Well if the really wanted to make a better laptop they could have added back MagSafe, HDMI, and SD card reader.  Still going to stick with my MBP 2015.
    And the SCSI port. Don’t forget the SCSCI port. 

    And the 800KB floppy drive
    Detnator
  • Reply 17 of 28
    Yeah, disappointing they still haven’t moved the MacBooks to Face ID, but it’s clear no other hardware improvements took place this year beyond the move to the M1 chips.
  • Reply 18 of 28
    What is the deal with everyone needing more than 720p? What exactly do you need more then that for a FaceTime camera? Are you shooting the next Michael Bay movie?
  • Reply 19 of 28
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,268member
    Does this camera make me look fat?
  • Reply 20 of 28
    k2kw said:
    Scot1 said:
    Repost

    720 P is unacceptable in today’s portable equipment. 

    I get that they’re going to save the better resolution camera for the next iteration, but seriously, cameras should really be moving up to 4K. 
    Well if the really wanted to make a better laptop they could have added back MagSafe, HDMI, and SD card reader.  Still going to stick with my MBP 2015.
    Omg not this again.  We're nearly 5 years in.  Move on.  These machines are better without that crap taking up space.
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