Simon Willison’s Weblog


Doing more with the iSight

13th January 2004

The iSight came close to being the biggest disappointments of my new Mac experience. It looks gorgeous and appears to integrate seamlessly with iChat AV, although as I don’t currently have any contacts with an iSight I haven’t been able to try video conferencing yet. The dissapointment is that there was no clear way of using it to capture video directly—a feature that I reasonably expected from iMovie. Apple’s knowledge base knocks the point home pretty clearly:

iSight is intended for use as a video conferencing camera, and does not output the DV format necessary for capturing video with iMovie.

Well that sucks. Thanksfully before writing the thing off completely I did some Googling and turned up this excellent O’Reilly article: Making Movies with the Apple iSight, which shows how Apple’s free QuickTime Broadcaster software can be used to capture footage straight from the iSight to disk.

Surprisingly for Apple the procedure is far from transparent, but at least it’s possible.

Oh, and the biggest disappointment? The fabled backlit keyboard, which tends to be drowned out by the light from the laptop screen making it more of a gimmick than a useful feature.

This is Doing more with the iSight by Simon Willison, posted on 13th January 2004.

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