Review Opal C1 Webcam Review: A Smartphone Style Camera For Your Computer

Giroro

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Jan 22, 2015
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"The Opal C1 software only works with Mac, and requires a $4 per month subscription. "

So the (absurdly high) $300 upfront price tag is misleading, because this camera is really in the "infinite money forever" subscription service category. The upfront hardware cost could be free, but the cost to own would still be "unlimited".

I would never buy hardware that is dependent on a subscription. With the exception of the minimum hardware required to function in society, because we have no choice but to pay for phone/internet/transportation/utilities/etc.

The greedy silicon Valley snobs behind Opal can raise the subscription price whenever they want, cut you off entirely or ban you from hardware that you bought and own. Plus your hardware becomes instant e-waste when this wanky startup company goes under.
You have no right or power to use your own hardware. Its an unethical business model, that frankly should be made illegal. We all want "right to repair" but we haven't yet reclaimed our "right to use".

Plus, you can already use your real smartphone as your webcam for the cost of an app. Or even buy a <$300 phone and use it as a dedicated camera.
 

mrv_co

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Jan 18, 2016
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Interesting concept, but the monthly fee for software alone is a deal-killer ($300 + $60/year in perpetuity... yeah, no no no). The price comparison to the Dell camera really needs to include the price of an external microphone comparable to what the C1 includes.
 
Reactions: ikjadoon

c4v3man

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Oct 2, 2009
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Agreed that the review needs to touch on the Microphone functionality, ideally in a noisy environment. The test video audio in a quiet room itself was not that impressive, and sounded like there was some clipping in the audio at times. It would also be nice to know how well the software works to reduce feedback from the speakers on your computer as well. That being said, even if the microphone is incredible, the video quality seems... decent. That's not the term you want to use when describing a camera at the top end of the premium market's pricing, along with a subscription to software that seems half-baked and limited to MacOS only. I've been happy with my Logitech Brio 4k, which seems to have landed around the one thirty to one seventy price bracket, and would be "premium enough" for most users, along with providing a reliable Windows Hello face unlock device for quick unlock on windows devices.
 

ikjadoon

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Feb 25, 2006
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Excellent review. Really glad to see $300 products given "$300 worth of scrutiny".

I really don't understand why a few phone brands won't produce a cheap $150 webcam with an average-for-phones sensor, a decent lens, and some old Qualcomm DSP from two years ago. They already have massive volume discounts on seemingly everything, right? It must be much harder than I'm thinking, right? I know, low volume, weak clients, etc., but near everyone I've worked with remotely has often complained, "Geez, I look like a goblin. Stupid windows".

I guess the market is too tiny and the margins still too small. Seems prime for brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, OnePlus, Sony, etc., that have a "lifestyle brand" anyways.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
I'll stick with using a DSLR on a tripod with a Rode Mic and an Elgato Cam link, which turns your DSLR hdmi output into a webcam. Many new DSLR's now have a webcam mode via USB.

The Bokeh on this Opal C1 is unnoticeable, whereas a DSLR with a prime lens is much sharper with creamy bokeh.
 

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