Best USB HD Webcam with control on OSX or alternatives?


I was wondring if anyone had any advice on a USB HD Webcam (720p) working with OSX where I could have access to exposure and shutter settings. Something like a HD psEye for exemple…

I tried the Agent V6 HD from liquiddigital but I can’t set autoexposure off.

Otherwise is there an easy and not too expensive alternative? Maybe in Firewire or using an acquisition card?

Thanks a lot,


Hey, I don’t think this question belongs on the OF forum, but I can help you anyhow…

There is an application for OSX called Webcam Settings that works pretty well, allowing you to set exposure, focus, brightness, aperature, etc:

This should work with many models of webcams, I’ve testing it with Logitech and Microsoft webcams. I recommend the Microsoft Lifecam Studio HD cam:


Hey I33N


I get pretty decent fps at 720p from the logitech C920

You can also use the Webcam Settings app which works well - but I’ve found isn’t good for longterm use as it needs to be running while your OF app is running and also doesn’t detect when the webcam is re-opened ( ie: you need to apply the settings each time the OF app is run ).

with the modified project of: with the fixes mentioned in the first link you can get the C920 working well from within OF.

also the C910 and probably many other UVC cameras will work well.

there is also:

Hi Theo and jack.

Thanks for your help. I didn’t know Webcam Settings. Although as it is for long term use might not be the best option. I’ll give a try to the C920 and still have a backup plan with a decent (but not HD) AVT Marlin Firewire cam.


One thing to take into account at the moment is that there is some frame latency with the C920 when you have the shutter running really fast. The latency can get up to 1-2 seconds but goes away if you have the shutter set to be wider open/slower ( than 30fps ).

This issue is on 10.6.8 with ofQtKitGrabber and the C920 - it might be that later OS X have a fix at the QTKit Level for this.


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Word, another thing I noticed about the Logitech cams is that they have a very low focus range (anything farther than about 5 feet from the camera will not be in focus). That’s one of the main reasons I decided to get the Microsoft cam, as it has an infinite focus range. This may or may not be a problem for you, but something to keep in mind.

Good luck!

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Hi Corpus - actually yes - I just noticed that today. I was attributing it to the lens being ‘soft’, but it looks a lot like the focus isn’t able to go further.

Thanks for the tip!

I spent a day trying to figure out how to access zoom settings of c920. I followed few posts but I had no success. I just found this app though, pretty simple and you can have access to different settings, zoom included. I hope can be useful to someone else beside me.

I’ve also used this app which I like.

As this camera is still available and has a good price/quality ratio, I’d like to share my findings about the Logitech C920. :slight_smile:

I went for the C920 because the image quality is better for my use, particularly regarding light reflections ( see this comparison ). On the other hand the LifeCam studio is able to get 60FPS in lower resolutions.

C920: As long as the grabber is set to a resolution proportional to the native resolution, I’m getting a pretty stable 30fps from the webcam, even some(short)times it streams ad 50-60fps!

  • The FPS become unstable and sometimes laggy while reading/writing the camera settings using ofxUVC.
  • 1920x1080 seems to be the most 30-FPS-stable resolution, in 720p there are more (tiny) 50-60fps peaks.
  • Exposure must be set between 0.8 and 1.0. If below, the FPS drops down.

Here’s my awesome GIF plotting the FPS:

Otherwise it’s also nice to know that there’s a pretty nice maker community hacking this camera:
I’ve read that removing the transparent plastic part improves the camera’s image quality.
The “macro” focus mode can be arranged by opening the device and set to infinite.
Others build custom cases for it and adapt it to professional lenses. ( there’s even a telescope adapter available to print! )

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the awesome GIF plotting the FPS
is what software?
can monitor real time real FPS?
i need monitor my camera real fps in MAC

can u tell me in mail?

Hey, I’m using ofxFPS. Send it a new frame every time you receive a new frame from the webcam.

If you’re looking for exact the same software as the GIF, check out karmaMapper.

Hi Daan,
Which version of xcode and OF are using?

Usually when I post I’m using the latest OF version from the github master branch. For the above posts, it must have been between 0.8.x and 0.9.2. As for xcode, probably v8.0, maybe 8.1.
Why are you asking ?

Hi Daan, thanks for the cool demo and comment! I am trying to run the example of ofxFlowTools and ofxFPS with my Logitech C920 webcam that comes with 30fps. However, the average fps is 6-7fps only, I would like to ask if you have any advice for it to obtain a better performance to 30-45fps please?


I noticed that the FPS depend on many factors like the luminosity of your (real world) scene, the setup resolution, the encoding format and other UVC settings (manual). Handle everything manually and check how the FPS evolves.
I was able to get up to 30 fps in full HD, never more.
At lower resolutions it can go slightly up.