7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 28, 2010 7:19 AM by EZ Jim
EdinMPLS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a MacBook Pro, bought it used a few months ago. I'm just now getting around to using the isight camera with iMovie. But iMovie does not recognize the iSight camera. I am able to use photobooth and iChat with the camera, so I don't think the problem is iSight. I am using Mac OSX 10.5.8
The iMovie version is iMovie 4, which surprises me since this is a relatively new MBP. But whatever, it should work. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

MacBookPro 15", Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,660 points)


    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3095

    To use the built-in iSight included with some Macintosh models, use iMovie HD 6 or later.


    EZ Jim



    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz w/Mac OS X (10.6.4)  MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.4)

    LED Cinema Display  G4 PowerBook  1.67GHz (10.4.11)  iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9)  External iSight
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 Level 9 (50,430 points)
    iMovie version 4 (and previous versions) require a FireWire connected camera.
    iSight in a modern machine connects via USB.
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,660 points)
    Hello Kirk.

    As I understand http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3095, iMovie support for external (Firewire) iSight was added in iMovie 4.

    Support for the inbuilt (USB) iSight was not added until iMovie 6.

    I do not think that iMovie versions previous to iM4 work with any iSight.

    Best Regards,
    EZ Jim



    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz w/Mac OS X (10.6.4)  MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.4)

    LED Cinema Display  G4 PowerBook  1.67GHz (10.4.11)  iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9)  External iSight
  • EdinMPLS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    First of all, thanks for the responses. I just find it confusing that apple 1) makes a computer with a video camera, 2) installs movie software that 3) doesn't work with the built-in camera. I know, I know, different versions, usb vs. FW, etc. Still seems crazy to me.

    Here's another question: I bought this used, and migrated my old data on to it. Now, did it transfer the "old" version of iMovie from my old computer (iBook) when it transferred the data? Is it possible this newer computer still has a newer version of iMovie hidden somewhere in its bones?
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,660 points)
    EdinMPLS wrote:
    First of all, thanks for the responses.


    You're welcome.



    I just find it confusing that apple 1) makes a computer with a video camera ...


    Perhaps understanding a few facts will reduce your confusion.

    The Macs with the built-in camera are a fairly recent development. In fact, these Macs were introduced at (approximately) the same time Apple introduced iLife '06, which includes the iMovie version compatible with built-in iSight.



    ... 2) installs movie software that ...


    iMovie is part of iLife, which is sold separately:

    http://www.apple.com/ilife/ (current version)

    The fact that iMovie and other iLife apps are bundled with current Macs is a bonus for the customer.

    iLife was not bundled with some older Macs, but owners of older Macs that meet iLife system requirements can add the versions they need. Note that many requirements, not only camera compatibility, differ for different iLife versions.

    If you consider adding the current iLife, check your MacBook Pro's specifications against iLife '09's system requirements:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/SP515



    ... 3) doesn't work with the built-in camera. I know, I know, different versions, usb vs. FW, etc. Still seems crazy to me.


    The software that came with the Mac you bought did work with the built-in camera.

    It is important to consider system requirements for any software you add to your computer. As regards older software versions like iMovie 4 and built-in iSight, I think it impossible that any software could be made to be compatible with hardware that has not yet been developed as of the software release date.

    Based on this information, I hope that this lack of compatibility no longer seems as "crazy" to you as it initially did.



    Here's another question: I bought this used, and migrated my old data on to it. Now, did it transfer the "old" version of iMovie from my old computer (iBook) when it transferred the data?


    The answer will depend on how you "migrated." If you migrated your files manually, only those things you personally moved will be transferred.

    If you used Migration Assistant, the answer is likely yes. This article may be of interest:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1963



    Is it possible this newer computer still has a newer version of iMovie hidden somewhere in its bones?


    This answer, too, depends on what you did. If you erased the used disk before you began using it, a newer version of iMovie will only be there if you reinstalled it or "restored" your MBP using the disks that originally came with it.

    If you did not erase, all iMovie versions that currently reside on your MBP should be in your Mac's "Applications" folder unless someone has moved them.

    With Leopard (OS X 10.5) being comprised of hundreds of thousands of files, finding individual files manually is unlikely. At this time, your best choice is to look at the disks that came with your MBP. If you got an iLife DVD, you can install the version that came with your MBP now.

    EZ Jim



    MacPro QuadCore(Early 2009) 2.93Ghz w/MacOSX (10.6.4) 
    MacBookPro(13inch,Mid2009) 2.26GHz(10.6.4)
    LED Cinema Display  G4PowerBook 1.67GHz(10.4.11) 
    iBookSE366MHz(10.3.9)  External iSight
  • EdinMPLS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks EZ Jim.

    Doing a little more searching it appears that the only iMovie version on this computer (Which is MacBook Pro made in 2008) is iMovie 4---which is probably what was migrated over when I moved the data from my old iBook. It makes sense that the iBook would have iMovie 4. Not so much that this newer computer would. However, I can't find any newer iLife apps on this computer, so I am wondering if maybe somehow the computer did not have the iLife suite when I got it. I thought all Macs had that preinstalled but I can't find iMovieHD or any of the newer iLife apps, just the same ones from my iBook.

    I did not erase any discs that I know of and I do not find an iLife DVD with the discs that came with the computer.

    I may run this by someone at the Apple store or just get the newest iLife. Thanks again.
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,660 points)
    You're welcome, EdinMPLS

    You may be right that you did not get all the software
    that originally shipped with the MBP you bought.

    Given your circumstance, your plan sounds best.

    Thanks for letting us know your topic is "Answered."

    EZ Jim



    MacPro QuadCore(Early 2009) 2.93Ghz w/MacOSX (10.6.4) 
    MacBookPro(13inch,Mid2009) 2.26GHz(10.6.4)
    LED Cinema Display  G4PowerBook 1.67GHz(10.4.11) 
    iBookSE366MHz(10.3.9)  External iSight