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Archived - Using your built-in iSight camera

Many recent Apple computers such as MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac computers come with a built-in iSight camera that you can use for several purposes, including participating in video chat sessions over the Internet with a broadband Internet connection. Here are some ways you can use your built-in iSight camera and the images it produces.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Video conferencing

To use the built-in iSight camera to video conference, you must have the following:

  • A .Mac, America Online (AOL), or AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) account (required for iChat AV).
  • A broadband Internet connection that uses a DSL or cable modem, or a local area network (LAN). You can't use a dial-up Internet connection for video conferencing.
  • Someone to video conference with! (You can video conference with any iChat AV user who also has video conferencing capability.)

To start a video conference:

  1. Open iChat AV.
  2. Click the Camera button next to an online buddy in your Buddy List.
  3. Make sure that "Camera Connected" is enabled in the Video menu.

The green LED next to your built-in iSight camera will light, indicating that it's capturing video. At the same time, iChat sends an invitation to your buddy to participate in a video chat, while allowing you to preview and primp your appearance on your screen. Once your buddy accepts the invitation, you'll see your buddy on your screen and you'll appear on his or her screen!

Video conferencing with more than one buddy

You can video conference with up to three buddies at a time. One buddy "hosts" the video conference, while the others are participants. To host a video conference with more than one buddy, follow these steps:

  1. Open iChat AV.
  2. While holding down the Command () key, select the buddies you want to invite to the video conference in the Buddy List.
  3. Click the Camera button at the bottom of the Buddy List window.

Turning off your built-in iSight camera

To turn off the built-in iSight camera, just close the active iChat window. The green LED next to the camera will go dark, indicating that the built-in iSight camera is off and no longer capturing video.

Taking pictures to use as your buddy icon

You can use your built-in iSight camera to take a picture of yourself to use as your buddy icon. Anyone who has you in their Buddy List will be able to see your smiling (or grouchy) mug.

To do this:

  1. Open iChat AV.
  2. From the Buddies menu, choose Change My Picture.
  3. In the resulting Buddy Picture window, click the Camera button next to "Take Video Snapshot."
  4. Say "cheese" and voila—instant mug shot!

Additional Information

You can also take a video snapshot to use as your account icon and your Address Book icon. See "Mac OS X 10.4 Help: Taking a video snapshot" for details.

Last Modified: Nov 14, 2011
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  • Last Modified: Nov 14, 2011
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