Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Ultimate Web Camera; Apple iSight

Written by James Fohl

Apple has really released some nice looking computers and computer accessories over the years. Take a look at their iPods and iBooks, and you will see exactly why Apple has so many companies that are constantly trying to copy their style.

Apple Computers Have Released Gadgets In Every Computer Category

Apple has pretty much placed itself into every aspect of the computer accessory world. They have made desktop computers, laptops, mp3 players, pretty much everything. While they have yet to produce a digital camera in recent years, they have been busy with perhaps the greatest webcam ever produced; the Apple iSight.

Following the wondrous white design of the iBook line of laptop computers and the iPod music players, the iSight is really (sorry for the bad pun) out of sight. Once you take one glance at the iSight you will quickly fall in love with it. Unfortunately if you do not own an Apple iBook or other Apple computer, the beauty of the iSight will quickly fade as it is situated near your plain old ugly computer case.

A Brief History Of The iSight

It was first introduced in 2003 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference to much fanfare. Not only is it a web cam capable of taking 640 x 480 pictures, but it also contains a built-in microphone which renders the iSight the perfect tool for internet conferencing.

Initially the main purpose of the iSight was to go hand in hand with Apple’s iChat AV communication program, which allowed users to talk and see each other using the iSight webcam.

The Technological Aspect Of The iSight

The Apple iSight uses Firewire technology in order to combine the video, microphone, and power supply into one cable. The Apple iSight is supposed to be a product only usable with Apple computers, however drivers now exist that allow PC owners with an available Firewire port to utilize the camera in their Windows or Linux environment. Windows / Linux users should however be aware that while they can use the webcam, they can not access the built in microphone for a variety of reasons.

The Software Aspect Of Apple’s iSight

Several pieces of Mac OS X software utilize the iSight camera. As mentioned before, iChat AV uses the camera primarily as a means for conferencing over the internet. Over software applications, such as iMovie and iPhoto allow the user to grab images and movies from the camera to put into projects. A wide variety of games also exist in which allow the player to actually become a part of the game.

While literally hundreds upon hundreds of other webcams exist, the iSight is declared as simply one of the best by most computer magazines that have reviewed the project. While the iSight is definitely more expensive than most other webcams, it is in no way built cheaply, and really operates well in any condition imaginable.

A Conclusion To A Great Product

If you are looking for a webcam and have an Apple computer, then in all honesty the Apple iSight should be your only choice. If however you do not have an Apple computer and wish to use the camera on your Windows computer system, then you should go out and find another model considering the iSight is not exactly one hundred percent Window friendly.

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