9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2011 8:33 PM by Dr Sly
RickieV Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
Is it possible to change from the iSight cam on the Macbook Pro to an external cam ? I use the MB attached to a HDTV monitor and want to use an external cam, instead of keeping the MB open.

Macbook Pro 15" 2.53, 4G, 250Gigs, Mac OS X (10.6.5), iPhone 4, 16GB, iOS 4.2.1
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,815 points)
    RickieV wrote:
    Is it possible to change from the iSight cam on the Macbook Pro to an external cam ?...


    Yes it is. However, I expect that you want more information that that one answer...

    How you select among connected cameras depends on which application you are using to operate your iSight. Here is how camera selection works in a few examples:



    (1) For iChat, you can choose which iSight you use in the "Camera:" choices bar in iChat > Preferences... > Audio/Video that appears when more than one compatible camera is connected. Although your camera choices will be different, the choices bar will look something similar to the Preferences settings shown here:



      2camChat



    If you cannot see the "Camera" choices bar, your Mac is recognizing only one (or none) of your iSights. In that case, consider the suggestions from http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2090

    This particular choices bar solution applies ONLY to iChat. Most other applications also have settings that allow you to choose which camera to use. However, they do not all work the same way.



    (2) For instance, iMovie HD's camera choice is NOT set via Preferences. When you have more than one compatible camera connected, iMovie uses a drop-down menu choice something like this (depending on which version of iMovie you use):



      iSiteMov



    Note: Because I had no built-in iSight connected when I made this example, and because my external iSight was not connected, the drop-down menu showed only "Time Lapse." Because your Mac has a built-in iSight, your built-in iSight would show in the drop-down menu even when no other camera is connected. Connecting an additional Mac compatible webcam should allow you to choose either camera.

    iMove 9 (from iLife '11) uses a different camera choice button shown in this article:



    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=iMovie/9.0/en/mov39f84285.html

    iMove 8 (from iLife '09) is slightly different as explained in this article:



    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=iMovie/8.0/en/10172.html



    In general, you can use your Mac's help for the application in use to find out how to select among more than one connected camera.

    (3) Photo Booth in Snow Leopard 10.6.x uses the Photo Booth > Camera menu command to select which camera to use.

    Note for readers with older Mac OS X: The previous version of Photo Booth that came with Tiger (10.4.x) is such a simple, basic app that it offers no menu selectable choice. Unless your built-in iSight is already occupied as the camera being used by some open application before you launch Photo Booth, Photo Booth will use ONLY your built-in iSight.

    However, you can use the trick from 4 of http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302781 to let Photo Booth use an external camera.

    (If you have an external Firewire camera connected, it may be used in preference to any USB webcam. If that is a problem for you, merely disconnect the problem Firewire device.)

    (4) For other apps, see Help for each app for info on how to select your desired camera.


    Message was edited by: EZ Jim


    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz Mac OS X (10.6.5); MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.5)
    LED Cinema Display; G4 PowerBook 1.67GHz (10.4.11); iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9); External iSight; iPod4touch4.2.1
  • RickieV Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Thanks for the info....

    But... I dont see any setting for changing the Facetime app on MacBook for an external camera.
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,815 points)
    RickieV wrote:
    Thanks for the info....


    You're welcome.



    But... I dont see any setting for changing the Facetime app on MacBook for an external camera.


    Here's how:

    Launch the FaceTime beta and click the Video menu item.

    *If your Mac recognizes more than one connected compatible camera*, a "Camera" section listing the cameras from which you can choose will appear there. Clicking on the desired camera name will let you select the one you want.

    *If your Mac recognizes only one compatible camera*, the "Camera" section will not appear in the Video menu, but FaceTime will automatically use the connected camera that is recognized by OS X.


    Message was edited by: EZ Jim


    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz Mac OS X (10.6.5); MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.5)
    LED Cinema Display; G4 PowerBook 1.67GHz (10.4.11); iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9); External iSight; iPod4touch4.2.1
  • RickieV Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Awesome. Yes, I found it under "Video" I keep looking for it in the preferences.

    Thank you so much..
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,815 points)
    RickieV wrote:
    Awesome. Yes, I found it under "Video" I keep looking for it in the preferences.

    Thank you so much..


    You're welcome.

    Thanks for letting us know your topic is Answered.





    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz Mac OS X (10.6.5); MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.5)
    LED Cinema Display; G4 PowerBook 1.67GHz (10.4.11); iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9); External iSight; iPod4touch4.2.1
  • boogila2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same problem. Now that FaceTime is out of beta, I can't change the webcam that is used. Any Suggestions?
  • Dr Sly Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    I have the same problem! My MBP is connected to an Apple Cinema Display (27"), and previously (as in, the FaceTime beta), I could easily switch from my MBP's iSight to the one in the ACD from FaceTime's menu bar under 'Video'!

    Now it's only 'mute', 'use landscape' and 'enter full screen'... What happened to that bloody option to change the video source?!? iChat is still ok, even in my OS X Lion setup (the FaceTime 1.0 issue was there before I upgraded to Lion, FYI).

    Beta > 1.0. Talk about a fail... I'm happy to pay for something more stable, but to remove such a silly, easy, key functionality... Some rushed job, methinks lol

    I'll live, but can't wait to see this as an extra feature in 1.1 or 1.2 (sarcasm).

    S.
  • Dr Sly Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Also, I love how "help isn't available for FaceTime" if you click on the 'Help' drop-down menu.

    So much for paying for software...

    S.
  • Dr Sly Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Actually I found out that I have FaceTime 1.1 now (cause: Lion). Nevertheless, it's all the same as with 1.0 with regards to my problem...