How to record HD video from a Logitech webcam on OS XSeptember 8, 2012 Logitech OS X QuickTime Player video capture webcam
I have a [Logitech HD C270]() webcam, capable of 720p HD video capture, which I’ve used for some time on Windows without any issues, but today I’ve decided to connect it to my Macbook Air to record some HD video on the go. Turns out, this is not as easy as I thought.
First of all, PhotoBooth does not record HD video, and iMovie doesn’t work with a USB webcam.
QuickTime Player (quite surprisingly for an app called something-player) does record HD video.
Some quick facts about QuickTime Player video recording:
To start, open QTP, then
File > New Movie Recording;
To open preferences, click the little arrow:
QuickTime Player capture preferences
Surprisingly, the camera lets you record a full 1280 x 960 (4:3) video stream. So the 720p resolution is already letterboxed (and the Logitech Webcam Software won’t give you more). Cool!
The frame rate is 25 FPS for a well-lit scene and half that for a poorly lit scene. The halved FPS are practically non-noticeable unless you’re recording something fast-moving. The video gets noisier without light (of course.)
Audio is in sync. You want to make sure you’re using the webcam microphone, because it’s more sensitive.
It records video in M-JPEG and audio in uncompressed PCM. A 1280x960 stream takes from 1 to 1.5 Mb of disk space per second. For the math illiterates, this means that a 1 hour video will take around 4 Gb of disk space, so be prepared.
QuickTime Player generates about 50% CPU load while recording in full resolution on a late 2011 MacBook Air. This means you want to bring your charger with you.
After the recording is finished you have to save it to some file, this happens very fast, obviously no additional encoding/processing/compression is performed.
Recording works fine with QTP minimized.
You don’t need Logitech drivers for the camera. HD capture works fine with the built-in drivers. Skype uses a 480p resolution though.
Have fun recording video, and good luck.