6

I'm new to Mac. I've bought an external usb HD webcam and I would like to use it with Mac.

Connectivity-wise, Mac recognizes the camera, I can use it from any application - so far so good.

The issue is - I'm experiencing a strong ripple effect due to ambient led lightning (50hz). In windows, I could easily change the setting of video capture frequency to 50hz for any camera using windows settings (including the one in question) and this would resolve the ripple effect.

In Mac I just can't find the setting to do that.

After a short research - I saw a few suggestions to use an app like "Webcam settings". I can't use it as a resolution in my case (for certain reasons).

Any ideas? Is there some config value that I can change manually?

Q: Am I positive it's the ambient lights? A: Yes it is the lights.

Q: Am I positive webcam/usb/other hw is OK? A: Yes it is OK.

Q: Does the vendor provide resolution? A: No, the vendor (Amcrest) did not provide a resolution yet.

1
  • I think really, if your camera's manufacturer doesn't provide a solution, Webcam Settings will be about the only thing that will. There are a few alternatives, but they're all more expensive.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 25, 2020 at 10:10

4 Answers 4

3

As Danny mentioned, this is due to most tech assuming that every consumer is in USA, where the electrical grid operates at ~60Hz. Unbeknownst to these companies, other places exist and many of them operate on ~50Hz.

CameraController is a FOSS tool that allows you to change your powerline frequency without paying for the privilege of getting it on the Apple App store. Works very well here in sunny ol' England. Easy enough to install with two brew commands in the terminal.

brew tap homebrew/cask-drivers
brew install --cask cameracontroller
3
  • Is this supposed to work with any webcam? I tried it with an Otha/AUCARY webcam that shows severe flickering here in Europe with the lighting in my office and changing the the powerline frequency didn't have any effect. Jun 21, 2022 at 9:55
  • 1
    I have a Logitech C920 and live in England. YMMV. Jun 21, 2022 at 11:15
  • This works for me (Logitech C270) even though the Powerline settings don't appear to have any effect for my device, but nudging the exposure slider ever so slightly has a similar effect apparently.
    – Jemus42
    Oct 10, 2023 at 12:10
3

This is a known problem with the camera recording at 60Hz by default and the LED lights flickering at 50Hz. There is an app in the App store called Webcam Settings which can resolve this. Costs A$12.99. Daniel Bradshaw explains at https://youtu.be/kuxs3URzmuQ

I can confirm opening Google Meet sets the USB camera frame rate to remove the flicker caused by the LED lighting at 50Hz.

The adjusted frame rate persists if you close Meet and then open Zoom, so Zoom will work OK.

However, if you disconnect and reconnect the camera, it will go back to 60Hz, so you need to open Meet again.

1
  • Thank you so much! I have a Philips Coreline LED bar and a Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam. With the Logitune app on macOS I was able to change the webcam settings from Anti flickr NTSC 60 Hz to PAL 50 Hz. That fixed the problem completely! The flickr is gone Jan 5, 2022 at 10:13
1

It would be great if you expand your question with the specific model and brand of your external webcam. If it is from Logitech, they have a specific software for macOS and Windows called Logi Tune. There you can set the frequency to 50hz or 60hz, among other settings.

If my specific case it doesn't work on any of these frequencies, so there could be another cause(s) of this issue.

0

I've found a temporary solution: Open google meet and switch to the usb cam. That's it - it will adjust the capture frequency.

1
  • That doesn't seem to work for me, I still see flickering with Google Meet. Jun 21, 2022 at 9:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .