Opal Tadpole webcam review: a slick solution to a laptop with a bad camera

This compact webcam promises mirrorless camera quality and high-end looks — can the Opal Tadpole live up to its own hype?

Opal Tadpole
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Within the very narrow parameters that the camera sets itself, it achieves excellent results and does so with panache. It isn't the best webcam out there, and it isn't even 4K, but in a world with so many second-rate camera built into laptop lids, there is much to be said for a portable one which massively boosts quality. It's a niche, but the device delivers.


  • +

    Good quality video

  • +

    Handy mute switch with indicator light

  • +

    Braided USB-C cable

  • +

    Very portable design


  • -

    Only 1080P out (from 4K sensor)

  • -

    Rubber cover easily lost

  • -

    Can block some of the screen where the bezel is small

  • -

    Opal Composer partner app only for Macs

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Laptops do not, as a rule, have especially good webcams. Yet laptops get used for a huge amount of computing and conferencing. Until recently, Apple fitted 720P cameras which simply couldn't cope with low lighting, meaning there are a lot of media professionals out there with expensive, powerful laptops that have nothing wrong with them except for their webcams.

Opal Tadpole Specs

Sensor: 48MP Sony IMX582
Video: 1080P
Aperture: f/1.8
Size: 45 x 20 x 35mm
Weight: 35g

Obsbot Meet 4K

The Obsbot Meet 4K is cheaper and not a lot bigger. It will do just as well in terms of video quality, not pose too much more difficulty in terms of portability, and in exchange offer some interesting possibilities when it comes to Obsbot's software which can track you as you move.

Logitech Brio 100

The Logitech Brio 100 might be a good choice for those using older laptops with USB-A ports. It's simple and cheap, but still houses a bigger lens than a lot of super-thin laptop displays.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook