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Isight compatibility with OSX 10.8.2?

1752 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2013 8:32 AM by EZ Jim RSS
jakestar99 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 3, 2013 8:25 PM

I have purchased a stand alone isight camera to go with my 2013 mac mini; I've got the 6-9 pin firewire cable and have got the camera to power on and be recognised by the computer (see below), but it simply isn't functioning properly. Images are refreshed every 5 minutes or so? Any suggestions of a solution?






This is what is listed in the firewire device tree.



  Model: 0x8

  GUID: 0xA270004148B6B

  Maximum Speed: Up to 400 Mb/sec

  Connection Speed: Up to 200 Mb/sec


iSight Unit:

  Unit Software Version: 0x102

  Unit Spec ID: 0xA02D

iSight Unit:

  Unit Software Version: 0x10

  Unit Spec ID: 0xA27

iSight Unit:

  Unit Software Version: 0x11

  Unit Spec ID: 0xA27

iSight Unit:

  Unit Software Version: 0x12

  Unit Spec ID: 0xA27

  Product Revision Level: 1.0.3

Mac mini, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), External isight camera
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 8:14 AM (in response to jakestar99)

    First thing: Possible Hardware or Software Conflicts with iSight


    Chaining external iSight with other Firewire devices on the same Firewire ports often causes function problems.  Disconnect all other Firewire devices and restart your Mac while testing your iSight with your mini.  (I think your mini has only one FW bus.  If that is correct, you may need to disconnect all other FW devices every time you want to use use an external iSight with your mini.)


    If your trouble continues when no other FW device are connected, consider these other possibilities:


    (1) If the old external iSight you have still works, it should work with the new Mac mini.  You can test an external iSight using the suggestions in this link , including Apple's troubleshooting suggestions from


    Test more than one Apple camera-enabled app in more than one user account.  However, don't use the "Guest" account for testing.  If your Mac only has one account, create a new user account for testing.


    (2) Although unlikely, it is possible that your Firewire 400-800 cable is not working properly. You can check cable function by trying the cable with a different FW400 device.


    If you don't have another FW400 device, get at least one more connector to test for possible connection problems.  Any working one of something like those listed here should work to connect your FW400 external iSight:


    • This Firewire 400-800 cable can work: (I use this one.)


    • Some users report that this low-priced alternative cable works:



    • To use your iSight's FW400 6pin-6pin cable, you can use a 6pin-9pin adapter like one of these:

   (I successfully use this one, too.)



    (3) Apple discontinued external iSight several years ago.


    My external iSights (I have two) are great webcams, but they are getting old (as consumer electronics go.)  Both of mine still work as well as they did when they were new. However, some previously owned or even NOS iSights may have been damaged by rough treatment or improper storage.


    The only way to know whether any presently available external iSight works properly is to test it using suggestions similar to those I offered above before you buy.  If you did not test the external iSight before you bought and now find it will not work properly with your system, perhaps a trusted seller will give you return or exchange privileges.


    Otherwise, if you don't want to spend the money to have your external iSight serviced, consider a new, Mac-compatible USB cam that offers a current manufacturer's warranty instead of any external iSight.  Some examples of current compatible cams are described at


    (4) If you want to look for more ideas, you can search iSight Discussions.

  is a good place to start.

    (BTW, current FaceTime software versions work with external iSight's mic.)


    (5) If you need other suggestions after doing your own searches, we will try to offer more specifics based on the details you supply in your reply here.



    Message was edited by: EZ Jim



    Mac OSX 10.8.2

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 3:32 PM (in response to jakestar99)

    You're welcome, Jake.


    (1) Having:


        (a) excluded possible connection problems,

        (b) removed all other Firewire devices during testing, and

        (c) used HT2090 to rule out application-specific and user-specific issues,


    and especially if you experience an overall slowing of your mini, consider these possible causes of a slow-running Mac:


    However, if only the camera apps are slow, I would check Activity Monitor while using the camera to try to find whether you might have runaway camera-enabled apps, Login Items, or widgets.  If the trouble remains after you have eliminated that possibility, too, check for possible third-party app conflicts (uninstall all, restart, and check camera operation again.)


    (2) Unless your Mac's OS X is damaged, drivers are NOT your problem.  All driver software required for iSight has been part of (and automatically installed with) Mac OS X since version 10.4.9.


    You can repair your OS X if necessary by using one the following suggestions:


    • Restart your Mac.


    • Use your Mac's Disk Utility to repair permissions.


    • Then download and apply your latest Combo Update:


    • Repair permissions again immediately following the system restart that completes the Combo update.


    Properly applying the Combo version of updates (or in worst case, completely reinstalling OSX) can sometimes correct software problems, but, if your trouble is caused by a hardware problem, there are no user serviceable parts of the camera.  For hardware help, contact an Apple-Authorized Service Provider for service.




    Message was edited by: EZ Jim



    Mac OSX 10.8.2

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 9:00 PM (in response to jakestar99)

    You're welcome, Jake.


    jakestar99 wrote: ... so how would I go about reinstalling if that is what's needed?...

    So while connected to internet restart Mac while holding down ⌘R to access

    OS X Recovery:


    jakestar99 wrote: ... Any other ideas? ...


    If you have already tried everything else already suggested, contact Apple or an Apple-Authorized Service Provider for service.



    Message was edited by: EZ Jim



    Mac OSX 10.8.2

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 7:13 AM (in response to jakestar99)

    jakestar99 wrote:...  I have an issue with the Mac mini itself and should return it to the store?...

    Yes, Jake.  Exactly! 


    You may want to call the store first and ask whether you need an appointment time.


    Make a backup of all your mini's important files before taking mini for service.


    When you go for service, also take your iSight and the cable(s) and connector(s) that woked when you tested with the other Mac.


    Please let us know how it goes.



    EZ Jim



    Message was edited by: EZ Jim



    Mac OSX 10.8.2

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 7, 2013 8:32 AM (in response to jakestar99)

    You're most welcome, Jake!


    Congratulations on getting your problem resolved --

    happy I could help.




    Message was edited by: EZ Jim



    Mac OSX 10.8.2


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