Webcams for iChat... I'm so confused!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cleo, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. cleo macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2002
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    Until my recent purchase of a MacBook Pro, I'd never used iChat's videoconferencing feature, as I didn't have a webcam. But in the past few weeks, I've gotten addicted... I have family all over the country (all of whom have iMacs or MacBooks), and it's awesome being able to stay in touch "face-to-face." The problem is that I really want to be using my ACD... I'm a grad student and writer, and I'm already sick of staring at the MBP's screen all day. So I need to get an external webcam to put on top of my monitor, but holy crap is that a confusing situation! From what I can tell, I'm going to have to use third-party drivers, and still may or may not be able to use iChat. Argh!

    I need someone to break this down for me. Money isn't a huge issue, so if the easiest/best bet is to get an iSight on eBay, that's totally doable. Like I said, brand-new MBP running Leopard. I want to stay with iChat and not have to switch to another chat application (all the family members use iChat, and it's easy, and I like it). I don't care about special fancy features... I just want to be able to do what I can do with my built-in iSight. And I want installation to be as straightforward as possible. So tell me...

    1: What camera do I buy?
    2: What do I do once I have it to make it work?

    Extra credit question: Repeat above for G4 Mac mini running Leopard. (Not sure if processor type makes a difference.)

    My fate -- or at least, my frustration level -- lies in your hands. Don't fail me, dear MR ones! ;)
  2. a456 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2005
    I had a vague memory that iChat started supporting USB webcams, but in the Apple support section it states a Firewire camera. It is possible to use a camcorder but on a regular basis proves to be a lot of messing about. So your choice is a firewire webcam or an iSight. There are cheap firewire webcams on ebay, but if money is not an issue get an iSight the quality will not be beaten by other cameras and compatibility will be ensured preventing many headaches. There is a shareware program that enables use of a USB cam, but this is fiddly and proves hard to remove - particularly annoying since it sticks writing all over your screen even when you use an iSight and needs manually tracking down on your system and being deleted.

    I used to use an iSight but the money was too tempting not to sell it on ebay once I got my iMac - it sold for twice what I paid for it, so I was really happy but do miss the more flexible option of being able to reposition it.

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