How to transplant the Aluminium iSight into Unibody i7 17"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by evilzardoz, May 4, 2010.

  1. evilzardoz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #1
    Hi all

    So it turns out that the unibody iSight camera in my i7 17" is only 640x480 which is a dealbreaker for me as I need to do HD videoconferencing on the go. An external camera is not an option, neither is a Windows laptop.

    Has anybody had experience working on the unibody systems and the aluminium systems to know whether it would be possible to upgrade the camera in the unibody to what it should be? As far as I can tell, it's just a USB interface to the camera but I don't know how it looks inside.

    Thanks!
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    It'll be somewhere between insanely hard and impossible. Even ifixit didn't try and disassemble the display in their tear down
     
  3. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #3
    Do you mean the big iSight camera on top of this MBP?
    [​IMG]

    I think, it will not fit, due to their difference in how they are constructed and their volume.

    Or do you mean the iSight camera in pre-unibody Macs?


    [​IMG]

    Ah, reading comprehension is not my strength today. And how are the older iSight cameras more advanced (offer bigger resolution) than the newer ones?
     
  4. puercaeli macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    #4
    Isn't iSight camera on MBP like 2mega pixel that is scaled down to 640x480? I mean that is still not full HD and depending on frame ratr it generates it may not be able to do 720 HD but anyways..
     
  5. evilzardoz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #5
    Hi,

    I'm referring to the integrated iSight in the 2008 aluminium systems.

    A friend of mine with a 2009 unibody is reporting 1280x1024 resolution as well so it seems that this is a cutback with the current i5/i7 systems. This means it MIGHT be possible to simply swap the display modules around.

    Under Apple System Profiler\USB, I see:

    Product ID: 0x8507
    Vendor ID: 0x05ac (Apple Inc.)
    Version: 4.35

    How does this compare to the previous generation system?
     
  6. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #6
    HD is 2.07MP, if you use 1920 x 1080 as a resolution. 720p is not even 1MP.
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #7
    Looks like you're out of luck, then. This mod is either going to ruin your machine or, if you're lucky and skilled enough to get it in properly, won't work because of the lockware that Apple installs.
     
  8. GeekOFComedy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #8
    In quicktime x on my older penryn 2.5GHz MBP from early 2008 could record at 1280x1024 but my 13" Pro 2009 is 640x480 so I think the isight in the 15 / 17" should be 1280x1024 natively
     
  9. evilzardoz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #9
    Sadly, it's not. I'll check the Core2 models this afternoon if I get a chance; unfortunately I won't have a chance to return this system till Friday and my 14 day period expires at the end of today!

    I'm in a bit of a pickle!
     
  10. Panzo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
  11. dmx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    So Apple actually reduced the quality of the iSight in the new models?

    If true, that is very disappointing.
     
  12. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #12
    Are we sure that isn't something with Quicktime X? Is there any other way to capture video and get a resolution? My (current) Macbook2,1 says it captures at 640x480...
     
  13. wandrer2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #13
  14. vasuba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #14
    1280x1024 is the isight camera resolution but the software apple uses reduces resolution. Using non apple software you should be able to broadcast in full resolution.
     
  15. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #15
    I'm pretty sure the iSight is 2.something megapixels and therefore more than enough for HD, I think it can take pictures in better-than-HD resolution but is software limited to 640x480 in video.

    The older iSights are of lower quality, you're wasting your time trying to switch them out. I'd try to find a workaround the software.
     
  16. vasuba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #16
    Isight is a 1.3MP Camera or 1,310,720 Pixels. As stated for some reason Apple has its software downgrade its quality to .3 MP. It really makes no sense.
     
  17. evilzardoz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #17
    This is DEFINITELY the case on the aluminium systems and the current generation iMacs.

    I went into an Apple reseller who had some of the old machines still on display, namely a Core 2 Duo 17" MBP which sadly, still only allowed me to do 640x480. The iMacs, on the other hand, are capable of 1280x1024 and have exceptional clarity, too!

    I find it very upsetting that a company which once took pride in leading the market has done something as poor as introduced a downgrade.

    It should also be noted that the test application, while displaying the video at "full size", simply scaled the video from 640x480 (it looked pixelated) on my i7 vs. the Core2 Aluminium where it looked really sharp and detailed.
     
  18. evilzardoz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #18
    Hi,

    To further clarify, there is a post by a user at the end of :
    http://macdaddyworld.com/2007/06/26/new-macbook-pros-new-13-mp-camera-sensor/

    Which tells of the late 2008 model (first unibody) to regress to the 640x480 iSight. In addition, it seems that the MacBooks only ever got the lower resolution part.

    Taking a still shot with the webcam test application on the Aluminium system produced a 1280x1024 image but on the unibody, I got a 640x480 image.
     

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