best webcam and mic for a PowermacG5 running 10.5?

colinj348

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Feb 23, 2019
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im trying to start a youtube channel and my powermac g5 has like 4tb of stoarge and final cut pro 6, and i just need a webcam and mic compatible with it.
 
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B S Magnet

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im trying to start a youtube channel and my powermac g5 has like 4tb of stoarge and final cut pro 6, and i just need a webcam and mic compatible with it.
A surefire way to make this happen is to locate a used iSight Firewire camera, which has the mic built in. Yes, it will be a SD 640x480 quality and not HD 720p or 1080p, but it's one of those set-it-and-forget-it arrangements.

With something like macam, you may be able to use more modern USB video cams with higher video resolution capability, but you'll still need a mic source (which may be advantageous, in that you can select the mic which best suits your specific needs/acoustical constraints).
 

colinj348

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Original poster
Feb 23, 2019
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A surefire way to make this happen is to locate a used iSight Firewire camera, which has the mic built in. Yes, it will be a SD 640x480 quality and not HD 720p or 1080p, but it's one of those set-it-and-forget-it arrangements.

With something like macam, you may be able to use more modern USB video cams with higher video resolution capability, but you'll still need a mic source (which may be advantageous, in that you can select the mic which best suits your specific needs/acoustical constraints).
what 1080p webcams work with macam? what kind of mic can i use?
 
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B S Magnet

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what 1080p webcams work with macam? what kind of mic can i use?
I can try to respond to this in reverse order:

You ought to be able to use any microphone with a 3.5mm mini-headphone-styled plug into the Audio In port on the rear panel (the one just below the port with the headphones icon). The G5 has an A—>D converter to handle digitizing analogue audio on the fly. Additionally, many of today's microphones for all-digital setups feature a USB cable interface instead of an analogue one, so pretty much any USB mic being sold ought to be seen natively by the G5 (i.e., shows up in the Sound prefpane).

As for video, other members on here who work with high-end video more often may be able to provide better detail not only on specific products available (and which of those can/do work with PPC architecture), but also technical limitations of your system’s processing power and I/O bottlenecks. While working with raw digital video-in, as uncompressed, probably won't be a problem (and not as processor-intensive as decompressing compressed output encoding like x264 or x265/HEVC), the biggest impediment is knowing what the limit your hardware system can work with.

Unfortunately, that’s not something I’m adequately equipped to answer. Hopefully someone else can pick up on answering that part of your question.
 

eyoungren

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Anything you find that isn't firewire is going to peg your CPU like crazy. That's going to cause problems.

I used to Skype with a USB cam using Macam. My G4 routinely pegged 80-90% CPU and it was so damn dark I had to set a light up at my face.

There were points where I didn't realize that the cam had taken so much CPU time that Skype had disconnected the call.

So, while you may not like the suggestion to use an iSight, it is the best solution here. I have two of them and once I started using them I had no more issues.
 
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colinj348

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Feb 23, 2019
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Anything you find that isn't firewire is going to peg your CPU like crazy. That's going to cause problems.

I used to Skype with a USB cam using Macam. My G4 routinely pegged 80-90% CPU and it was so damn dark I had to set a light up at my face.

There were points where I didn't realize that the cam had taken so much CPU time that Skype had disconnected the call.

So, while you may not like it the suggestion to use an iSight, it is the best solution here. I have two of them and once I started using them I had no more issues.
my g5 has the same specs as yours in your sig but it has slightly less HD space. have you ever tried your hd webcam on that? plus i wouldnt be online like skype, it would be all local.
 

eyoungren

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my g5 has the same specs as yours in your sig but it has slightly less HD space. have you ever tried your hd webcam on that? plus i wouldnt be online like skype, it would be all local.
Unless the iSight is HD, I've never owned an HD cam.

And yes, I know you aren't planning to use Skype with it. My point in mentioning Skype was simply to show the difficulties in using a non-Apple USB cam.

If you use Macam and a USB cam then you can expect to have high CPU usage affect whatever app it is that you are recording with. On a Quad, that will be less of an issue than it was with my 1Ghz 17" Powerbook. But it's still going to have some sort of impact.

You also can't expect the cam to adjust for lighting conditions. That's one of the reasons the iSight is so good.
 
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B S Magnet

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Unless the iSight is HD, I've never owned an HD cam.

And yes, I know you aren't planning to use Skype with it. My point in mentioning Skype was simply to show the difficulties in using a non-Apple USB cam.

If you use Macam and a USB cam then you can expect to have high CPU usage affect whatever app it is that you are recording with. On a Quad, that will be less of an issue than it was with my 1Ghz 17" Powerbook. But it's still going to have some sort of impact.

You also can't expect the cam to adjust for lighting conditions. That's one of the reasons the iSight is so good.
As a sidebar, I was recently able to produce a quick test video (with audio) on the G5 using a cheap USB endoscopic cam and a Bluetooth ear speaker/mic combo (which came with a cheap old phone I used almost a decade ago). The sound quality was telephony-sufficient, and to my surprise, using QuickTime record, the 640x480 of that janky camera was fluid enough that I didn't look like I was in an 8fps anime clip. I can't recall how badly it spiked the processors, though.

Which is to say, a G5 can handle SD USB video in ok. Beyond that, I wouldn't be as certain.
 
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bjar

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I don’t know if any are 1080p but I had a DV camcorder back in the day with an I.link port, which is just rebranded FireWire. I could get live feed straight to iMovie and record.
 
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colinj348

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Feb 23, 2019
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I wouldn't even attempt with a webcam - get a solid, quality camera with some lighting and import/convert the footage. Of course, all depends on what content you're going to put out?
that's probably what i'm going to do. SD card to USB 2.0 converters are likely going to be pretty slow, though.
 

weckart

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Anything you find that isn't firewire is going to peg your CPU like crazy. That's going to cause problems.

I used to Skype with a USB cam using Macam. My G4 routinely pegged 80-90% CPU and it was so damn dark I had to set a light up at my face.
I remember even when I got my iSight that third parties were selling a light collar for the camera to brighten up images, so even the iSight has its limits. When the iSight came out, 320x240 viewcams were the norm so doubling that resolution was decent enough, let alone HD of any sort.
 
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Dronecatcher

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I don’t know if any are 1080p but I had a DV camcorder back in the day with an I.link port, which is just rebranded FireWire. I could get live feed straight to iMovie and record.
It's 480P for NTSC and 576P for PAL versions - not great quality but totally fluid system - was amazed when first used this on my 700Mhz G4 iMac way back then.
[doublepost=1551001623][/doublepost]
that's probably what i'm going to do. SD card to USB 2.0 converters are likely going to be pretty slow, though.
Depends what you're used to I guess - I don't feel any discomfort moving video off SD through USB 2.
 
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G4fanboy

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G4fanboy

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Poor results with the 17" GHz Powerbook 2 Gigs of RAM and SSD on Leopard.

Logitech software offers RAW for importing on iMovie or Compressed files (H264) options . The files get compressed after the recording. Here are the tests for 480, 720p and 1080p.


480 Compr.JPG 480 RAW.JPG 720 Compr.JPG 720 RAW.JPG 1080 Compr.JPG 1080 RAW.JPG
 
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B S Magnet

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Poor results with the 17" GHz Powerbook 2 Gigs of RAM and SSD on Leopard.

Logitech software offers RAW for importing on iMovie or Compressed files (H264) options . The files get compressed after the recording. Here are the tests for 480, 720p and 1080p.

While the drop with 1080p isn't unexpected, it is interesting to observe how the performance for 720p generally exceeds that of 480p. Any idea why?
 
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AdamBuker

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Mar 1, 2018
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Here's what I would do. Get yourself an iPhone 4s. They are really cheap on ebay right now and they are a great way to get started with recording video. It will record 1080p and you can still import photos and video from it on your mac. You can import and edit the movie files in iMovie 09 though it may take a while for it to import.

*edit*
I just saw that you are using FCP 6. So let me update my answer.

I would still get an iphone 4s if all you're wanting to do is 1080p video. If you want to do 24fps video for YouTube, download ProMovie Recorder for the iPhone at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/promovie-recorder/id1076481548?ls=1&mt=8
as of right now it will still work with the iPhone 4s and will give you full manual control and is more reliable than the version of Filmic Pro that works with it. Have the app save your files to the camera roll to speed importing to the mac.

I would then use a program like MPEG Streamclip or Handbrake to transcode the files to Apple Intermediate Codec or possibly ProRes depending on how good your graphics card is. I use AIC for my iPhone footage as both the source footage and editing codec are in a 4:2:0 color sampling space. 1080p AIC runs smooth on my PowerBook G4 so it will work just fine on the PowerMac G5.

I have even managed to import and edit 4k footage from newer iPhones using this method, (with the added step of using PhotoSync to move video files to the mac).
 
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