Is the iSight worth the price?

NewSc2

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 4, 2005
1,043
0
New York, NY
I want one, but now as I'm looking at eBay prices and new prices... $100 is a lot to spend on a webcam... cheap webcams can be found for free after rebate everywhere and $100 is more than halfway to a decent digital camera (which I don't have right now either... but I have access to one so that's not a priority yet).

If I purchase one used, are previous versions lower quality or something?

Why should I get an iSight? (pic quality, anything else?)
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,557
2
New Jersey
$150 is a lot of money for a Web cam, I won't deny that. However, the iSight is the best quality Web cam I have ever used. The image quality is amazing, even in full-screen. The auto-focus is very fast too. There is only one problem: I rarely use mine. It sits on my desk most of the time. I will begin to use it soon though, when I get my ACD 20-inch. I'm going to mount it on top. :) I say go for it only if you are going to use it enough to get your money's worth. Eventually when I go away to college, I will definitely begin to use it very frequently to conference with my family back at home (my dad also owns an iSight).
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,026
1,137
St. Louis, MO
I had one for about a year and a half, so I'll chime in. It was my experience that, unless you have a bunch of other family and friends who already have an iSight and use iChat, that it is NOT worth the money. I found that I very rarely used mine at all, and when I did, it was usually with people using windows, which meant that we had to find a separate IM client, and it was never really worth it. I finally traded my iSight away, and I'm completely happy with what I got for it. I have not missed my iSight at all.
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2003
1,304
0
Cincinnati, OH
tobefirst said:
I had one for about a year and a half, so I'll chime in. It was my experience that, unless you have a bunch of other family and friends who already have an iSight and use iChat, that it is NOT worth the money. I found that I very rarely used mine at all, and when I did, it was usually with people using windows, which meant that we had to find a separate IM client, and it was never really worth it.
I agree with you 100%, I bought my iSight about year and a half for the same reason and today the iSight sits onto of my computer screen collecting dust. I haven't used it in like a year. But when I did use it, it is a great webcam and worth the money if you have people to use it with.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
Obviously not worth it if you don't USE it.

But if you USE it, Firewire is better than a throwaway USB cam for sure. Look at reviews of the iSight in non-Mac publications. You'd expect them all to say "THAT much for a webcam!" wouldn't you? But they all seem to "get it" amazingly enough. It's gotten great reviews. I plan to get one sometime.

(I seem to recall SOMETHING internal being changed with newer iSights, but if so I can't remember what, sorry. I know the mounting stuff that's included has changed.)

Note that you can get good results with iChat AV and a Firewire camcorder, too. It will work as a webcam (but bulky). Even if that doesn't interest you, maybe Mac people you know have a FW cam and you can video-chat with them.
 

Bern

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2004
1,857
1
Australia
I bought my iSight with the intention of using it as a webcam, however as nobody I know uses iChat that idea fizzled.

However I decided to then put it to some good use so I bought iStop Motion which allows me to use my iSight for HD time lapse movies. It's really great! I now take my iSight with me everywhere and I may use iMovie (rather than a camcorder) on it's own or in combination with iStop Motion and the results are really amazing. So for me my iSight has become a valuable asset.
 

jimjiminyjim

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2003
426
4
Canada
Bern said:
I bought my iSight with the intention of using it as a webcam, however as nobody I know uses iChat that idea fizzled.

However I decided to then put it to some good use so I bought iStop Motion which allows me to use my iSight for HD time lapse movies. It's really great! I now take my iSight with me everywhere and I may use iMovie (rather than a camcorder) on it's own or in combination with iStop Motion and the results are really amazing. So for me my iSight has become a valuable asset.
Would you be willing to post a couple of clips so that we can see the quality?
Thanks, Jim.
 

Bern

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2004
1,857
1
Australia
jimjiminyjim said:
Would you be willing to post a couple of clips so that we can see the quality?
Thanks, Jim.
You can see a lot of examples
HERE the quality really is as good as seen on these sites.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
most of the pictures i have posted on MR of myself were taken with an iSight, i have to say with iGlasses iSight is awesome
 

Whyren

macrumors 6502a
If you're using it at a workplace/school/university, make sure their firewall settings allow for this sort of streaming content...mine doesn't, so essentially the 2 iSights my family has to connect us don't get used.

As far as quality, I took these photos using only my iSight.

(btw, if anyone knows of an effective tunneling method or other way to get around this, feel free to PM me)
 

aswitcher

macrumors 603
Oct 8, 2003
5,351
14
Canberra OZ
I still hope Apple drop the price with a new model iSight. They are charging the same as they did 18 months ago for the same tech at the moment. I suspect a newer better resolution one will appear in the next 6 months.
 

DarkNetworks

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2005
1,527
0
yeah i'm thinking about bying one too...besides webcam, can u use it as a camera? besides iChat, any other programs that supports iSight? If i were to chat with my Windows friends using iSight, how can it be done? What program must the WIndows user use?
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,557
2
New Jersey
iStopMotion looks really cool! I downloaded the trial version to use tomorrow. I'm probably going to do a time lapse of the sky. This should be fun! :D Thanks for the link.
 

bzollinger

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2005
542
3
Webcam Newbie question

Here's a newbie question about the iSight. Can it be used to record video for playback. Say I want to turn it on for 2hours and have it trained in my living room for a dinner party. Can I then go back and watch it? Sorry for the ignorant question. THX
 

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,210
432
NY
tobefirst said:
I had one for about a year and a half, so I'll chime in. It was my experience that, unless you have a bunch of other family and friends who already have an iSight and use iChat, that it is NOT worth the money. I found that I very rarely used mine at all, and when I did, it was usually with people using windows, which meant that we had to find a separate IM client, and it was never really worth it. I finally traded my iSight away, and I'm completely happy with what I got for it. I have not missed my iSight at all.
agreed
 

DarkNetworks

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2005
1,527
0
NewSc2 said:
I want one, but now as I'm looking at eBay prices and new prices... $100 is a lot to spend on a webcam... cheap webcams can be found for free after rebate everywhere and $100 is more than halfway to a decent digital camera (which I don't have right now either... but I have access to one so that's not a priority yet).

If I purchase one used, are previous versions lower quality or something?

Why should I get an iSight? (pic quality, anything else?)
Just don't get it unless u use iSight and dats it...
 

itmakesmecool

macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2005
10
0
in a very dark place
I bought an iSight about six months ago before I left to study abroad so I could keep in touch with people from home. Mostly my boyfriend, who also has an iSight. When it actually works it is amazing, however we have had numerous difficulties with our different universities networks that will not allow us to connect. So before you buy an iSight make sure that you have a network that will allow connection to another user.

Also, to mimick posts from above make sure you have someone you want to use it with, if you can't think of someone to use it with reguraly it will undoubedly sit on your desk collecting dust.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
Does it work as a generic webcam?

I'd love to get one, but I heard it only works with iChat and nothing else.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,400
3
bzollinger said:
Here's a newbie question about the iSight. Can it be used to record video for playback. Say I want to turn it on for 2hours and have it trained in my living room for a dinner party. Can I then go back and watch it? Sorry for the ignorant question. THX
Yeah, if you have quicktime pro (comes with PB's and PM's), then you can record video from a firewire device. :)
 

bzollinger

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2005
542
3
ITASOR said:
Yeah, if you have quicktime pro (comes with PB's and PM's), then you can record video from a firewire device. :)
Cool man, thanks for the info. So here's a question for most of the posts in the forum. Is it your opinion that it would be a bad idea to buy an iSight camera to use for recording parties because I don't know another soul that has one? I guess I'm saying if I bought one, it wouldn't be used for the traditional video chat. Is it still worth the price?

Thanks again!
 

efoto

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2004
2,627
0
Cloud 9 (-6)
ITASOR said:
Yeah, if you have quicktime pro (comes with PB's and PM's), then you can record video from a firewire device. :)
Since when does QT Pro come with PB/PM's? I don't recall getting a Pro license with my PowerBook :confused:


I have seen two friends with iSights, and although they love the styling and function of them, they hardly get used because there is no one they know on iChat to use them with. If you knew of a few people dedicated to Mac and to iChat (ha) then it might be worth it for you, but otherwise probably not.
 

efoto

macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2004
2,627
0
Cloud 9 (-6)
ipacmm said:
Thats what I also want to know. I guess I will find out tomorrow when my Power Mac comes in.
I don't think it does, perhaps a mental hiccup :confused:

This certainly leads me to believe it does not.

From the Apple Store Online:

What’s included

Software

Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger
Improving on its predecessors, Tiger delivers 200+ new features, such as the amazing Spotlight search technology and handy Dashboard widgets. Tiger also includes all-new versions of the following system applications:

• Safari 2
• Mail 2
• Address Book 4
• iChat AV 3
• iCal 2
• Font Book 2
• DVD Player 4.5
• Preview 3
• Xcode 2
More software
In addition, the PowerBook G4 comes with an incredible bundle of software:

• iLife '05
• QuickBooks for Mac New User Edition [note: US/Canada only]
• Art Directors Toolkit
• FileMaker Pro Trial
• GraphicConverter
• OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner
• Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive
• Zinio Reader
• Apple Hardware Test