2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13 Inch

If you thought the refreshed innards of the new MacBook Pro would let your friends and family see you in crisp 1080p video resolution via FaceTime, you’re in for a major disappointment. Much to my surprise, the built-in FaceTime camera (which, by the way, Apple calls “high definition”) has remained at 720p.

High-end laptops from other vendors are increasingly outfitted with 1080p cameras which provide sharp images during video calls, but not the new MacBook Pros.

Just like its predecessor, all models of the refreshed MacBook Pro still have the same old 720p FaceTime camera built into the display. Yup, that’s the video resolution the person on the other side of a FaceTime Video call will see you in.

My Air has a crappy 720p FaceTime camera so I know what I’m whining about.

For those who are not familiar with video resolutions, 720p refers to the 1,280-by-720 pixel resolution. When I FaceTime with others via my Air, people often ask me about poor footage quality even though my broadband Internet is fast enough (60 MBps downlink and 20 MBps uplink) for uninterrupted delivery of a 720p video stream.

Take a closer look at the whole Mac lineup and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a machine with a built-in 1080p FaceTime camera: even the flagship iMac with a massive 27-inch screen has the same old 720p camera built into its bezel as my 4-year-old Air.

To say that Apple’s apparent disregard for the Mac’s camera resolution is a huge letdown would be an understatement. For that kind of money, I certainly don’t expect anything less than a 1080p camera for making FaceTime calls.

Thinking about buying a 12-inch MacBook? Well, that machine sports an even lower-quality FaceTime camera that maxes out at a paltry DVD-like 480p video resolution.

Is video resolution of a built-in camera a deciding factor for you when contemplating a Mac notebook purchase? Tell us in comments!

  • Totally forgot about that since my cam has been taped on for the past couple of years.

  • Been a Mac user for five years now and I haven’t used FaceTime once. It’s either Skype or Google Hangouts.

    • Chris

      Doesn’t matter whether you use FaceTime or Skype or Hangouts, the built in camera quality will still be the same.

      • Jibbley Gravey

        That guy is an idiot xD he was serious too. LOL

    • sal viglietta

      I guess when you use Skype you camera turns into 1080p LOL

  • AOGV

    Not a deciding factor but it’s definitely annoying.

  • David Barajas

    For the amount of money it costs to build one of those it’s messed up they didn’t upgrade that.

    • And the cost of the pro it self. At least make it an upgradable option.

  • ProllyWild

    “While I’m here bitching and moaning about how expensive and overpriced this machine is, let me complain about another upgrade they should have done that would have also raised cost.”

    Granted the camera cost may not break the bank, but how absolutely necessary is that? I know some people FaceTime and Skype a lot, but I don’t know if that resolution difference is a deal breaker for me.

    • sal viglietta

      Ask yourself, how “absolutely” necessary is to pay $2000 for a 13 inch laptop which I just bought for my wife, and the thing has the crappier camera than her old $199 HP 11.5 in laptop. I think it is a blatant disrespect to consumer to ask for this kind of money, and feel OK putting such garbage camera in it. Not even mentioning displays are still NOT OLED.

  • Agneev Mukherjee

    LOL, it’s going to eat your upload bandwidth if you FaceTime or Skype.
    The person on the other end is going to benefit instead of you.

  • Agneev Mukherjee

    That’s some pretty harsh and bold statements you’ve made there…

  • Jibbley Gravey

    So at $1800 it doesn’t have a 1080p camera…. I’M DONE!

    • Did you know the some of the most expensive cars dont even have back up cameras standard, crazy right.. the worlds biggest companies are still ripping people off..

      • Jibbley Gravey

        Crazy. Good think that Lambo Huracan has one 😉

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Here comes the 2018 refresh of this MBP with the only hardware upgrade being the FaceTime camera to 1080p for an extra $300. Just wait for it.

  • Emmanuel Lemor

    You guys are making such a big cheese about 1080p when most Skype / Google Hangout connections look crappy and don’t truly achieve 720p reliably anyways even on ‘fast’ connections…

  • Ryan

    What a disappointment! The camera on my new MPB seems about the same as the one in my last 2011 MBP. This is ridiculous at this price point.

  • JB Tee

    FYI, it’s worse than that. 240 = VHS, 480 = Broadcast/SD, 720 = ED (enhanced definition/DVD)

    • Ricky Kennedy

      Not one thing you mentioned here is actually correct. Chroma VHS are the only that were 240, DVDs are certainly rated at 480 and that is by definition what enhanced definition displays are. 720p is considered the baseline for high definition.
      Do about 30 seconds of research next time you post something like this.

      • JB Tee

        It is, you are conflating horizontal and vertical. 720 horizontal is only now considered to be HD by Comcast et al and others back-fit 720 to sell you ED as HD. Standard NTSC television was always 480 horizontal lines. Look it up.

      • Ricky Kennedy

        so you are the one person here trying to sell 1080p as 1920?

        Yes you are correct in terms of your scale but the rest of the world calls a dvd 480 from its 720×480 resolution.

      • JB Tee

        Not on Planet Earth. Here, we refer to it as 720. As for the 1080 vis-a-vis, 1920 – nope.

        1080, as I am sure you will recall the inventor of HD stating on that 60 minutes segment, is the beginning of High-Definition TV and where, speaking of scale, we switched from Edison’s engineer’s 3:4 to 16:9 aspect ratio.