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iSight : Improving Your iSight's Picture

As mentioned in the Title box - there are pages that were written a little while ago by EZ Jim, a poster on the Apple Discussions who contributed to iSight and iChat Discussions. The words the following pages are EZ Jim's

Use the the Information Column Menu for EZ Jim's pages

Improving Your iSight's Picture

:: This page was written for the External iSight, but some of these tips may also be helpful with the Built-In iSight. See THIS TOPIC for more about the new Built-In iSight. ::

The Apple software you use with iSight makes iSight sort of a "point and shoot" automatic web cam. Focus, color balance, and exposure are all set automatically.

You can improve your picture by using some simple techniques like having good lighting, sitting still, and not waving hands in front of iSight that will cause the camera to attempt to re-focus.

There are also Apple Technical Support Articles entitled

that will help you get a better picture.

As explained in your iSight User's Guide, if you are using your iSight with iChat AV, iChat AV automatically detects your Internet connection speed and optimizes video for best performance. If you are using iChat AV 2.1 and the video looks choppy, you or the person you are chatting with may need to set the bandwidth limit to a lower level. In iChat AV, choose iChat > Preferences and click Video. Then choose a setting from the Bandwidth Limit menu.

(iChat AV 3 requires more bandwidth. Leave the bandwidth limit set to "None" in iChat AV 3 unless you are sharing a T1 or faster internet connection with other Macs or if iChat AV 3 will not work unless you change the limit setting. For blocky iChat AV 3 video see Help for iChat AV 3 Problems.)

Although it may be more "adjusting" than "improving" your iSight's picture, some people want more control over their iSights than Mac's built-in auto-everything approach. iGlasses is a third party addition to iChat AV that allows you to make some adjustments to your iSight’s picture.

Some, if not all of iGlasses' functions are also included in iChatUSBCam from the same company.

Both of these products allow you to "try before you buy". See the above links for information on their capabilities, features, and terms.

Although it does not actually "adjust" your iSight, SightLight FireWire Light for iSight adds light to brighten your iSight's picture. See the link for more info. My SightLight adds cold, blue-colored light that is not flattering to faces, particularly when there is also some other light in the room. However, SightLight is a highly portable source of light for my laptop when there is no other light. Because some users do not like the color of the light, I suggest you try SightLight before you buy.

If you want opinions on these products from those who have actually used them, search the iSight and iChat AV Discussions areas for the above product names.


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© 2005, 2006 EZ Jim
Updated September 2006

© 2005 Ralph Johns: Edited 24/9/2005, 5/5/2006
Updated September 2006. Moved to Gargoyles Mar 2007

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