The Opal Tadpole

The one word review:

Meh

The slightly longer review:

I spend a significant amount of time on video calls for work. I know, that is not fun, but it is kind of a thing when you lead a remote and distributed team.

Anyway, I spend a lot of time sitting on my butt looking at screens, and talking to other people, usually on low light conditions, so I want to look as decently as possible.

The stock camera in the recent generations of Mac laptops (I can only speak of the M1 MBP and the M2 MacBook Air) is pretty decent, but it is kind of meh when the lighting is not great.

I purchased the Tadpole camera to see if the image would get any better than what the Mac’s camera can provide.

And the thing is, it is not much better, although it is more true to life than what the laptop camera captures. This is particularly noticeable when having the primary source of light to one side (e.g. a large window). The Macbook’s camera delivers a very balanced image, where the side of my face opposite to the window is reasonably lit, while the Opal is more true to life and leaves that side of my face in the shade.

On top of that, the tadpole seems to be very aggressive with the sharpening.

Sorry, but this requires showing my pretty face. Light source is to the left, and both images are taken in Photo Booth, with the same settings (maximum portrait, maximum studio lighting):

Would I take this camera on a trip? Meh, probably not, as long as I have a laptop with me. Although I would definitely use it with an iPad.


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