Apple introduced new iMacs at its event on Tuesday, outfitted with its M1 processor and redesigned inside and out from the ground up. The hardware is impressive, but one of the biggest improvements for everyone’s Zoom-heavy life might be the webcam. Apple said it’s the “best camera ever in a Mac,” which honestly wouldn’t take much, but its specs suggest it actually is a big upgrade.
The camera finally achieves 1080p video capabilities, and Apple has also equipped it with a larger sensor that should provide greatly improved low-light performance. The M1 chip has better image signal processing capabilities, and uses computational video powers to correct and improve the image on the fly, which has brought benefits to the image quality even on existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro hardware with the same old, bad webcam equipment.
That should mean this iMac actually has really good image quality — or at least not image quality you need to be embarrassed about. The on-board machine learning processor in the M1, which Apple calls the Neural Engine, will be working in real-time to optimize lighting and do noise reduction, too.
On top of the camera, Apple touts new beam forming mics in a three-mic array that will optimize audio, focusing on your voice and eliminating background noise. All told, this should finally be a Mac that provides a videoconferencing experience that doesn’t feel like it’s stuck in the early 2000s.