The Opal Tadpole Webcam: Game-Changer for Traveling Professionals

What's the Tadpole webcam? Opal's compact, high-quality solution for remote workers and creators. Perfect for enhancing laptop video/audio on the go.

Opal Webcam sold at ShopMoment, perfect for desktops and remote workers.
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Opal just released their newest webcam, Tadpole, explicitly designed for laptop use and working while on the go. Recently, I had the chance to test an early version of the Tadpole in various settings, including team meetings, Zoom calls, and family gatherings. As someone who works remotely from a MacBook Air M1, I've always struggled with subpar camera quality. My focus on maintaining a minimalist and mobile setup to reduce travel clutter had meant compromising on camera quality. However, with the introduction of the Tadpole, this is no longer a concern. Now, I have a 48mp pocket camera that can come with me everywhere, making my video and audio experiences far more human for everyone to connect with me. It works for me, but is the Tadpole for you? Let’s dive in.


⚡️ Quick Callouts:

  • The first directional mic ever on a webcam
  • A built-in clip for any laptop
  • It weighs less than two AA batteries
  • Phase detection auto-focus
Opal Webcam sold at ShopMoment, perfect for desktops and remote workers.

What Makes the Tadpole Better Than My Built-In Webcam?

First, let's explore why a webcam is still necessary in 2023, especially compared to most laptops' built-in cameras and microphones. There are several key advantages to consider:

1. Image Quality:
My MacBook Air M1 has a 720p video camera and a 1.2-megapixel sensor. In contrast, the Tadpole offers up to 1080p resolution with a 48-megapixel sensor. This difference results in a dramatic improvement in image quality over what most laptop cameras currently provide.

2. Audio Quality:
While MacOS features an “Isolation Mode” designed to reduce ambient noise, the MacBook Air's built-in microphone still tends to pick up numerous surrounding sounds. On the other hand, the Tadpole utilizes VisiMic™ technology and directional microphones, which means it focuses on audio from the area directly in front of the camera. This ensures the camera captures sound primarily from its visual field, leading to more precise and focused audio capture.

3. Physical Mute Function: For those who stream or participate in meetings with many attendees, quickly muting or unmuting oneself can be pretty frustrating, often involving navigating to the correct screen. The Tadpole addresses this issue by featuring a convenient physical mute button. This button allows for easy muting and unmuting with a simple tap. Additionally, it includes an indicator light, providing a clear visual cue of your current microphone status.

If these aren’t things you require out of your computer, then maybe a new webcam isn’t the best piece of tech. But for me, I speak to dozens of clients, teammates, or friends every single day and constantly run into limitations from my current system. Now I can clip on a teeny tiny webcam and fix all of that without even needing to install any new software.

Moment Opal tadpole Thumbnail 02


Tadpole Webcam

The world's smallest webcam. 40mp sensor, a category-first directional microphone, and the easiest way to mute your call with a tap

Buy for $175.00



Who Is Opal Camera?

The demand for high-quality webcams tailored to various types of workers and creators was apparent, which led to a collective effort from numerous creators to support and launch Opal in 2020. Big-named figures like MKBHD, Sara Dietchy, and Casey Neistat – renowned for influencing public opinion on technology - played a significant role in the brand's initiative. In 2021, Opal introduced their flagship $299 webcam, the Opal C1. This product was specifically designed for power users, like creators who spend extensive hours in front of their cameras and require enhanced performance and reliability from their webcam.

Opal's latest offering is the Tadpole, a next-generation webcam that caters to a distinctly different user demographic. Despite its tiny size, the smallest I've ever seen in a webcam, it doesn't compromise Opal's renowned camera and audio quality. It's smaller than my AirPods case and lighter than my phone. This compact size means the Tadpole can effortlessly fit into any bag, making it an ideal travel must-have. For ease of use, it comes equipped with a padded clip that can be quickly and securely attached to any laptop or monitor.

What Makes It Better Than Other Webcams?

While the Tadpole takes the crown as the lightest and best-looking webcam I’ve ever used, it also comes in at a competitive spot in the webcam market. It’s cheaper than the #1 best-selling webcam, the Logitech Brio, is better designed for laptops and devices with thinner displays, and comes in still at more than 3x the megapixel reading. It’s new and good-looking and takes the spot for one of the most valuable webcams on the market.

Final Thoughts

I’ve provided a lot of praise so far in this article for the Tadpole, but this product's reality is you need to have a use case for it. The everyday family call or work check-in goes more than acceptable without needing any additional tech; if you’re not someone looking to improve their video quality from their laptop — there’s no reason you would need one. Or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, if you’re a content creator looking for the absolute best webcam performance, then the Opal C1 may be your better pick.

But if you’re like me and live off of my MacBook Air but wish I had my desk-setup level of video quality, then the Tadpole is the most powerful solution currently available.

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