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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:15 AM   #1
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Apple Extends 'iSight' Name to iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 Rear Cameras




Some observers found Apple's introduction of an "iSight" camera on its new iPad yesterday to be an interesting move, given that the name had previously been used for Apple's standalone and integrated webcams on its Mac computers but had fallen out of favor as Apple transitioned those webcams to adopt "FaceTime" and "FaceTime HD".

With the third-generation iPad, Apple has resurrected the iSight name to refer to the 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, as opposed to the front-facing FaceTime camera also found on the device. As noted by Phil Schiller during the product's introduction:
Quote:
On the back we have a camera, and when that camera gets of such quality and capability that you're proud to use it as your everyday camera for photographs, we call it an iSight camera. And the new iPad has a great iSight camera.
As noted by @hashim_i, Apple has also retroactively applied the iSight name to the 8-megapixel camera found on the iPhone 4S, an understandable move considering its higher resolution and nearly identical optics compared to the new iPad.




In addition, Apple's iPhone 4 tech specs are now referring to that device's 5-megapixel rear camera as an iSight camera. The naming convention has not, however, extended to the 3-megapixel iPhone 3GS camera.

Article Link: Apple Extends 'iSight' Name to iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 Rear Cameras
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:23 AM   #2
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I always liked the name iSight for a camera/webcam
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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iSight - High Quality camera for pictures and videos.
FaceTime - Camera for self portraits and FaceTime.
FaceTime HD - High Quality camera for self portraits and FaceTime.

Got it.

When was the last time they used iSight to refer to a camera on a computer?
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:27 AM   #4
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Oh how we miss you iSight

Thumb resize.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
When was the last time they used iSight to refer to a camera on a computer?
November 2010 when Apple started transitioning to FaceTime http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISight
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:34 AM   #5
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Meaningless names. My old MacBook has an iSight camera and my brand new MacBook Pro has a FaceTime HD camera, yet the FaceTime HD camera is better than the iSight Camera, and both of them are only really good for video.

The only thing I know for sure is that a FaceTime camera is worse than either FaceTime HD or iSight (either older Mac or latest iOS). The video resolution of the FaceTime app is less than I'd ever want to use for anything but video chat.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:35 AM   #6
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I wish this were an implication that they are planning to make it possible to use an iDevice camera as a webcam on the Mac. I tried one app (with drivers) that does this over wifi, but I could not get it to work. I doubt they are planning this, though.

With my Mac Pro, I currently use a crappy webcam (Rocketfish) that claims it is 720P, but is horrible and flakes out randomly. Would much rather use my 4S (rear) camera somehow.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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it was silly to abandon the iSight name and start naming cameras after a single app (FaceTime), when many people, especially on their Macs probably use it as much for other things (Skype, PhotoBooth) as for FaceTime...

...and having abandoned the iSight name, it's even sillier to resurrect it AND retro-apply it.

i'm not complaining. i'm just saying it seems silly.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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I still use the old iSight on top of my 30" ACD...is there anything out there that works better? I tried the best Logitech which claims 1080 however photobooth is choppy as heck when recording...surely there is a better solution.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 11:04 AM   #9
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I still use the old iSight on top of my 30" ACD...is there anything out there that works better? I tried the best Logitech which claims 1080 however photobooth is choppy as heck when recording...surely there is a better solution.
These cameras are all "web cams" designed for video chats. If you want to record video I've concluded that one needs a real video camera and be prepared to pay for it (and a tripod), sad to say.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 11:06 AM   #10
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Man, 4G and an iSight camera all in one day!

The 4S is the gift that keeps on giving
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 11:12 AM   #11
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iSight is an awesome name. Good to see it back.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 11:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilk View Post
I wish this were an implication that they are planning to make it possible to use an iDevice camera as a webcam on the Mac. I tried one app (with drivers) that does this over wifi, but I could not get it to work. I doubt they are planning this, though.

With my Mac Pro, I currently use a crappy webcam (Rocketfish) that claims it is 720P, but is horrible and flakes out randomly. Would much rather use my 4S (rear) camera somehow.
I really doubt it, doesn't seem Apple like at all both in terms of usage and the likely performance. You'd pretty much have to use a stand for it to be usable at all, and quality / framerate / latency would likely take a hit as well.

A quick ebay search shows original iSight webcams going for ≈£23. You could probably find it cheaper than that. While it's certainly not new by any means I think the quality should be fine for webcam usage, although it is only VGA. There's definitely better solutions but if I was looking for an external webcam at £20 I'd probably give the iSight a go - always loved the design.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 11:41 AM   #13
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Stupid name. Why would I want the "best camera I'll ever use" to be on the back of an unwieldy tablet? Why waste a good camera on the backside of the iPad where few people use it and not on the front where many people use it for FaceTime? And yes, I know, everyone will reply that they use the backside camera all the time because they don't have a smartphone and it's "great for framing portraits". But let's get real here folks, a backside camera on the iPad is all but forgotten in my opinion and is a waste.

Last edited by Blorzoga; Mar 8, 2012 at 11:43 AM.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 11:42 AM   #14
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I suppose this is a move towards making it easier for the iPhone's (and now iPadís) outstanding camera to gain mindshare among general buying public. (Most people neither know nor care what iSight meant in years past.) That camera really IS an iOS selling point (as long as they donít use the term on the iPod Touch) and now it has a memorable, clearly-Apple name.

Does seem weird for those of who have known the name for ages, though!
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 12:22 PM   #15
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Looks like a over rulling from Steve getting rid of the name. Expect more changes.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 01:34 PM   #16
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It just seems odd to me, since iSight previously referred to front facing cameras! (The old FireWire cam for iChat AV, the built-in front-facing cameras in computer systems and external displays.) It just seems odd to now have the rear facing camera be called that.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilk View Post
I wish this were an implication that they are planning to make it possible to use an iDevice camera as a webcam on the Mac. I tried one app (with drivers) that does this over wifi, but I could not get it to work. I doubt they are planning this, though.

With my Mac Pro, I currently use a crappy webcam (Rocketfish) that claims it is 720P, but is horrible and flakes out randomly. Would much rather use my 4S (rear) camera somehow.
There's an app for that!
WebCamera in the App Store.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 08:39 PM   #18
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Stupid name. Why would I want the "best camera I'll ever use" to be on the back of an unwieldy tablet? Why waste a good camera on the backside of the iPad where few people use it and not on the front where many people use it for FaceTime? And yes, I know, everyone will reply that they use the backside camera all the time because they don't have a smartphone and it's "great for framing portraits". But let's get real here folks, a backside camera on the iPad is all but forgotten in my opinion and is a waste.
You are close-minded on this point (sorry I can't think of a polite way to say that). The iPad 2's camera was forgotten because it was absolute crap. With the good camera and iPhoto and many other photo and video editing apps and the new Retina display, there is a reason to use the iPad's camera.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 12:44 AM   #19
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B176 Safari/7534.48.3)

This is just another marketing/magical buzz term to brand a generic piece of hardware on their devices (Retina display anyone?). It's weird that they're using the previously retired term for the back camera though. Maybe they just got tired of people calling them "front facing camera" and "back facing camera". I'm not sure that it will actually catch on though.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 03:40 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
In addition, Apple's iPhone 4 tech specs are now referring to that device's 5-megapixel rear camera as an iSight camera. The naming convention has not, however, extended to the 3-megapixel iPhone 3GS camera.
They should name the 3GS camera the farSighted.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 10:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Blorzoga View Post
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Stupid name. Why would I want the "best camera I'll ever use" to be on the back of an unwieldy tablet? Why waste a good camera on the backside of the iPad where few people use it and not on the front where many people use it for FaceTime? And yes, I know, everyone will reply that they use the backside camera all the time because they don't have a smartphone and it's "great for framing portraits". But let's get real here folks, a backside camera on the iPad is all but forgotten in my opinion and is a waste.
Remember iPad is a Post-PC device. That means, for some houses, iPad is the ONLY computer they have, and a computer should serve all kind of purpose, thus iPad deserves a great camera on backside.

You don't want that camera on frontside, because we can't FaceTime 1080p or not even 720p. Networks are not sufficient. Images will slug.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 10:58 AM   #22
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I don't think it is a good name for a phone camera. It is a term Apple is using to promote the iPhone, yet doesn't reveal anything about the camera itself. Rather than a name, they should just refer to it as a "high end small lens camera" or something similar.

Which sells better? "The iPhone 4S with iSight camera" or "iPhone 4S with a high-end camera".

I think buzzwords like iSight camera often cause more confusion than clarity among consumers. iSight isn't a product (like it started out as with the external webcam), it is a feature, and I think features should be plain English.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 11:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex Yu View Post
Remember iPad is a Post-PC device. That means, for some houses, iPad is the ONLY computer they have, and a computer should serve all kind of purpose, thus iPad deserves a great camera on backside.

You don't want that camera on frontside, because we can't FaceTime 1080p or not even 720p. Networks are not sufficient. Images will slug.
good point
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 11:37 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex Yu View Post
Remember iPad is a Post-PC device. That means, for some houses, iPad is the ONLY computer they have, and a computer should serve all kind of purpose, thus iPad deserves a great camera on backside.

You don't want that camera on frontside, because we can't FaceTime 1080p or not even 720p. Networks are not sufficient. Images will slug.
The iPhone and iPad can be used on WiFi remember. A 720p "FaceTime HD" front facing camera would be good.
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Old Mar 9, 2012, 12:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by nilk View Post
I wish this were an implication that they are planning to make it possible to use an iDevice camera as a webcam on the Mac. I tried one app (with drivers) that does this over wifi, but I could not get it to work. I doubt they are planning this, though.

With my Mac Pro, I currently use a crappy webcam (Rocketfish) that claims it is 720P, but is horrible and flakes out randomly. Would much rather use my 4S (rear) camera somehow.
People are always after better webcams and never seem to stop and think where the bandwidth is going to come from.
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