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macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 1, 2007
I have an external firewire iSight that I plan on using (with the magnetic mount) on my cinema display. I used to use it with my powerbook, where it worked fine. My new macbook pro has a built-in iSight ... will that cause any problems?

I'm wondering if the applications will let me select between them and such. And which is considered to be "better" for simple video teleconferencing?


macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2003
As i recall the built in ones have better specs then the externals. But i don't know if they will work at the same time.


macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
~119W 34N
It'll work fine along side the built-in. In fact, you can switch between them without dropping an iChat Video chat.

The internal seems to be a bit less noisy, and a bit better at low-light situations.

The external is more versatile, though. It can actually focus (had a motorized focus mechanism). You can get control over manual and macro focus modes with iGlasses.

iGlasses is a handy for both cameras, it gives you control over brightness, color, contrast, low-light modes, etc.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2005
It will work. I've already tested it out before. Strangely enough, the external one looks better than the internal one. Probable because the external is running off firewire while the internal one uses USB.


macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2006

Just some fun additions to the thread:

1) Although you will be able to use the external iSight on the MacBook, it's really up to each application to provide a camera switching menu. Some programs don't have the necessary control, and Yahoo Messenger's control is broken. To work around this, you can start a video preview of your internal iSight, and then the next program will use the external iSight (since the internal is busy).

2) The built-in iSight has 30 fps capability but will automatically drop down to 15 fps and then 7 fps when it senses low light conditions.

3) The external iSight is a "nicer" camera overall. It has a large glass lens, mechanical auto-focus, etc., but has always suffered in low light. iGlasses compensates well by adding manual controls.


macrumors 6502
May 6, 2007
Orange County, CA
How is the quality of the internal isight? I plan on upgrading from my g4 with an intel soon and plan on using to talk to my friends/family 3000 miles away. Is it choppy or pretty good?
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