How to Easily Record a Video on Your Mac

When you want to capture a video, instead of reaching for your smartphone or a separate camera, did you know that you can record directly on your Mac? Since the introduction of the original MacBook in 2006, all Macs come equipped with their own built-in webcam. However, if you happen to own a Mac Mini, you’ll need to make an additional purchase. Rest assured, recording a video on your Mac is a breeze, and we’ll guide you through the simple steps.

Preparing to Capture Video

Before diving into the recording process, make sure you have a webcam connected to your Mac. Most MacBooks and iMacs have webcams built-in, but if you have a Mac Mini or a Mac Pro, you’ll need to acquire an external webcam. The installation is typically as straightforward as plugging the webcam into an available USB port on your machine.

In case you don’t already have a webcam, check out our guide on the best webcams you can purchase. Alternatively, if you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera from brands like Sony, Canon, Nikon, or Fujifilm, you can use it with some software or hardware adjustments.

Recording Video on Your Mac

Once you’re certain that your Mac is equipped with a built-in or external webcam, you can start the recording process. Every Mac comes preloaded with an application called Photo Booth, which allows you to capture both photos and videos using your webcam. To begin, open the Photo Booth app. You have several options to do this within MacOS:

Option 1: Click on the Finder icon (a blue smiling face) in the Dock, navigate to the Applications folder, and double-click on Photo Booth.

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Option 2: Use Spotlight by pressing CMD + Spacebar on your keyboard, type “Photo Booth,” and hit Enter.

Option 3: Access Launchpad by pressing F4 on your keyboard, then locate Photo Booth among the available apps and click on it.

Switching to Video Mode

After opening Photo Booth, you’ll see a preview of what your webcam is capturing, but it won’t start recording right away. First, you need to switch Photo Booth to video mode by clicking on the video icon located in the lower-left corner of the window. Once you’re in video mode, the red recording button will display a video camera icon.

Recording Your Video

Follow these steps to record your video:

Step 1: Open Photo Booth.
Step 2: Select Video Mode by clicking on the icon of a video camera in the lower-left corner of the screen.
Step 3: Begin recording by pressing the red record button.
Step 4: Stop recording by pressing the red button once again.
Step 5: Preview your finished video by clicking on the video thumbnail in the filmstrip. Right-click the thumbnail, select Export, and save the video anywhere you want.

You can keep track of the recording time in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Your recording length is only restricted by the amount of available free storage space on your Mac’s hard drive or solid-state drive.

To review the video you just recorded, click on the thumbnail in the filmstrip below the recording window. To exit the preview mode, click the gray circular button in the bottom-center of the Photo Booth window. You can easily access the recorded video by selecting Photo Booth as a source in Finder, or by right-clicking on the thumbnail preview and selecting Export to save it elsewhere.

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Extra Features for Added Fun

Photo Booth offers some additional features for those who want to get creative with their videos and photos. If you want to add a fun effect to your video, click on the Effect button in the lower-right corner of the window, then choose the desired effect. There are several pages of effects available, so use the Left and Right buttons at the bottom of the window to browse through them. To remove all effects, simply select the Normal effect option in the center of the screen.

Lastly, if you have multiple webcams or microphones connected to your Mac, you can easily switch between them by navigating to the Camera menu located in the Menu bar at the top-left of your monitor.

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