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Web Camera

2537 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2007 6:46 AM by EZ Jim RSS
Adriane Falk Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 18, 2007 4:45 PM
Is there a web cam that works with Panther 10.3.9 on a PowerBook G4? It does not have intel. Thanks.
PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (29,995 points)
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    Aug 19, 2007 5:24 AM (in response to Adriane Falk)
    The answer depends on your PowerBook G4 model. Early ones had the slower USB 1.1. The most recent ones had USB 2.0. If it has 2.0, there should be quite a few choices. Just search for USB 2.0 webcams and read the specs to make sure it works with Mac OS X 10.3.9.

    Now, if it has only USB 1.1, your choices are more limited. There are (or used to be) webcams for USB 1.1, but because the interface is slow, the picture quality was not very good. However, your Mac has FireWire (which is fast), and there are some FireWire webcams. Apple made a great one (the iSight), but it's no longer being made and they are quite expensive if you can even find one. There are other options.

    http://www.smalldog.com/product/34405
    http://www.meritline.com/adspyrwebwit.html
    (do a Google search on "firewire webcam" for other choices)

    I haven't tried any of them myself, so I can't make specific recommendations.
    Various including Power Mac G5, Pismo w/G4, CRT iMac (tray), Power Mac 8100 w/G3, Mac OS X (10.4.10), also Mac OS X 10.3.9 and Mac OS 9.x
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
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    Aug 19, 2007 6:46 AM (in response to Adriane Falk)
    Hello Adriane Falk

    As Kenichi Watanabe says, check those System Requirements carefully for compatibility with your system and the software you plan to or might use with your webcam. The following info may also be of interest.

    (1) The System Requirements for iChat AV 2.1 will tell you that iChat AV 2.1 requires "iSight or any FireWire based camera".



    (2) For other camera choices, see iSight versus DV Camcorder or other web-cam. This page was written before Apple quit selling external iSight, but you may be interested in the options about using a USB webcam with iChatUSBCam or a Firewire-equipped DV camcorder as an iSight alternative. If you opt for a USB cam, check iChatUSBCam's "camera guide" page for compatibility info.



    (3) You don't say what you want to do with your webcam or which software you plan to use to operate it. However, if you want to use video-capable application other than iChat AV, also check the system requirements for those other applications you might want to use with your webcam.  The different system requirements of some of the apps may influence your decision on which camera you choose.



    (4) If you are looking for specifically for Firewire alternatives to external iSight, Kenichi Watanabe has mentioned a couple of good possibilities. In addition, you can consider Unibrain Fire-i and any others that offer compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3.x and system requirements of the apps you want to use with your webcam.



    (5) In addition to the system requirements for all the apps you plan to use, also carefully check the specifications of the cameras that you are considering. Unlike external iSight (and many of the higher-priced USB cams), at least some of the lower-priced alternatives (whether Firewire or USB) do not have built-in microphones. Therefore, if you eventually need to use your camera with another Mac that has no built-in mic, you will need a separate one if the camera you choose does not have its own microphone.



    (6) As searching iSight Discussions will show, Tiger (OS X 10.4.10) users have other alternatives, but the above should let you get video chatting nicely with your Panther equipped PowerBook G4. My external iSight and my Mac-compatible mini-DV camcorders all work fine via the Firewire connection on my PowerBook.


    EZ Jim

    G4 PowerBook 1.67 GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.10)    G5 DP 1.8  External iSight
    Other OS

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