Opal C1 Webcam – The Best 4K Webcam in 2023

7 min read

Hey friends, hope you’re well.

The Opal C1 is attempting to shake up the webcam market.

Because if you’re serious about live streaming or video meetings, chances are you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera connected via HDMI and a third-party app.

That’s where this new webcam comes in: it’s made by a relatively new startup called Opal and promises 4K DSLR quality video in a small webcam form factor.

Plus, for all of you MKBHD fans out there, including myself, you might be interested to know that this is a webcam Marques uses and, more interestingly, Opal is a company he’s invested in. 

This thing caught my attention, and I’ve been using it over the past 2 weeks and here’s what I found. 

DSLR Quality


Let’s start with the question I’m sure most of you will have right away: is the video quality really that good? 

It’s actually quite impressive. It’s comparable to connecting one of my older Canon DSLRs to the computer with a dedicated Tamron 28mm lens. 

The video produced by this webcam has the most realistic colors, is incredibly sharp, focuses smoothly, and even has a bokeh. The blurry background depth of field effect is brilliant. 

Bokeh is a software setting that mimics apertures of 1.8-2.8 for a smooth, dreamy, and professional look. Given its physical limitations, it has the best-looking bokeh I’ve seen in a webcam: most people won’t be able to tell it’s software generated, especially since Zoom’s blurred background is so obvious. 

It supports up to 4K resolution and, predictably, MKBHD’s preferred frame rate of 30fps. Overall, it looks great, and I had someone ask me over Zoom last week what webcam setup I’m using.


When comparing it to my Logitech Brio 500, you can tell it’s infinitely sharper, and the Opal C1 has more life-like saturation, tones, and bokeh. Even when compared to the MacBook Pro M2, it’s clear that the Opal C1 has that DSLR quality that, even with the MacBook’s software processing, looks inferior to the C1. 

Is it as good as setting up my Sony A74 with a G Master prime lens as a webcam, let’s be honest: no, but I have far better use cases for my A74 than using it as a very inconvenient $5000 webcam. 

So the Opal C1 does appear to be a low-end DSLR setup, and some people may be surprised to learn you’re using a webcam.

Camera Specs & Design 

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I looked into the specs of this thing after being impressed by the video quality right out of the box.

Given that it’s a webcam, it may be surprising that it has a large 7.8mm 4K Sony sensor, the same 12MP sensor as Google’s first Pixel phone.

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When I first picked it up, I was surprised by its weight. Most webcams are made of recycled plastics, but Opal’s C1 is machined aluminum with an anodized and paint-splash finish. 

It looks great on my Ultrawide monitor and also on my MacBook Pro when I’m working remotely. It gets an A+ for design.

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In the box, you get a magnetic lens cover with microfiber material on the back – a nice touch indeed, the mount, and a USB-C cable, all neatly packaged. 

The back side is also pretty slick, with heat dissipation and a USB-C port, as well as a thread for connecting the included mount or tripods. 

Software Features & App 

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The software features are also what distinguishes it from standard webcams and even DSLR webcams.  

On-screen gestures, such as pinching to zoom and the peace sign to quickly turn off the video, are a nice touch. The peace sign is amusing because your video feed fades to black, but the webcam remains active. 

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If you’re aware of the awkward “ok bye” last moments of Zoom calls, where everyone is frantically looking around the screen to exit the call, you could just peace out, fade to black, and then disconnect from the call, or you could end Zoom calls by pressing CMD + SHIFT + E. It’s up to you how flamboyant you want to be.  

Opal also offers FaceLock, which is similar to Apple’s Center Stage or Insta360’s AI framing but with automatic image enhancements.

The app integrates nicely into the Mac Toolbar. It provides useful features such as manual camera settings and exposure and focus locks, as well as more gimmicky features such as filters and logo overlays.

To get the most out of it, I recommend tinkering with the manual settings for a few minutes when you first get it to suit the space you’re in.  

Microphone & Audio Quality


The C1’s off-center camera design makes room for a multi-array of microphones. 

Yes, the holes are stereo microphones that do a better-than-average job of producing clear audio if you’re like me and prefer to have an all-in-one setup for video calls rather than having to set up a dedicated microphone. 

If you ask me, it sounds slightly better than the already excellent microphones on my M2 MacBook Pro and Air. Which is a great thing in general and more than enough for dedicated use for all of the calls I’ve taken on this thing.


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I have yet to mention pricing, and while it is an excellent webcam, it is also a lot of dollars.

Opal has recently reduced the price of the C1 from $300 to $250, which is much more reasonable given how unique this webcam is right now. Opal appears to have also removed the waitlist and ongoing subscription fees, which is a win. 

So, if you value a quality webcam, convenience, or well-designed technology – actually, if you value all three – the Opal C1 is definitely worth considering at $250.

It has the video quality to allow you to present your best self in video calls without the hassle of a DSLR setup or the large footprint it takes up on your desk or office setup. If you want to check it out, here’s a link to the Opal C1. 

I’ll leave a video here for more desk accessories and tech gadgets you might like.

Watch also

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