Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024



For online work meetings and video calls in general, having a good camera is essential. While laptops have stepped up and started including high-quality cameras, some laptops still lack decent cameras, which is why an external webcam might be needed. If you need an upgrade from your integrated webcam, or your computer doesn’t have one to start with, a new model from Opal might be a great option.



Opal, a hardware company that gained attention as it conveniently launched a nice webcam during the pandemic, has introduced its second camera, the Tadpole. Priced at $175, the Tadpole is designed to be clipped onto laptop lids, with the main selling point being how compact it is.

How small is it, exactly? You might not be the only one to think that this kind of looks like an iPod Shuffle, except with a big camera sensor tacked onto it. It’s similarly tiny and pocketable, and you can take it anywhere you want. Despite its small footprint, though, this is surprisingly powerful. It features a 48-megapixel Sony sensor with 4K video capabilities, offering superior image quality compared to many built-in laptop webcams. Opal identified a demand for travel-friendly webcams as users returned to offices and engaged in business travel. The Tadpole addresses this need, providing an easy-to-use solution for upgrading virtual meetings from various locations.

The device incorporates a unique “VisiMic,” a built-in mic that aims to capture only what is in its field of vision, minimizing background noise during calls. The Tadpole also stands out for its user-friendly experience, a departure from the complications associated with Opal’s earlier C1 model. It is characterized by its simplicity—plug-and-play functionality without the need for extensive software or custom apps.

As mentioned previously, the Tadpole camera is $175. That’s more expensive than most other premium webcams, such as the Logitech StreamCam and Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam, but it’s also much more portable than just about any other webcam. People with an iPhone and Mac computers can also just use their iPhones as a webcam using Continuity Camera, eliminating the need for a dedicated webcam, though a small mount might be required for the best setup.

If you’re interested, the camera is available to purchase on Amazon.

Source: The Verge



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By John P.

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