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Tech Take-Apart
iSight
by kp

Apple iSight
Apple iSight
Showcase yourself on the web in style with Apple's web camera, iSight. It's a video and audio device wrapped up in a tiny 2.3 ounce package that gives you superior picture resolution and autofocus. iSight is equipped with three different mounts to fit any type of Mac, plus it has its own protective case. This groovy little device is connected through the FireWire port using a broadband, DSL or LAN internet connection. You only need iChatAV (included with Mac OS X 10.3) to get started videoconferencing with your fellow geeks.

iSight on a PowerBookIn addition to its lightweight design, iSight is adjustable to suit any computer set up. It has a swivel base built into the camera unit which snaps into the mount. The iBook and PowerBook mounts clamp onto the edge of your monitor where the eMac and flat-panel display mounts use an adhesive backing. Word of caution: you may need to find other means of securing the camera, because the adhesive can weaken every time you reattach the mount. Otherwise, you can just leave it on your desktop and use the tilt feature to angle the camera where you need it.

Once you have the iSight arranged how you want it, you can get started chatting with iChatAV. You need to have a AOL, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) or .Mac account to run this program. iChatAV's interface is fairly easy to use and gives you the option of video or just audio. Also, you can send text messages to those on your buddy list while video is active and customize your personal profile. The iSight outputs a maximum of 30 frames per second, but you will need a 1.5 GHz processor and at least 500 Kbps bandwidth for high quality video. When you're done, you can simply shut it off by twisting the lens ring to close the shield over the camera lens.

The iSight is a little more pricey that other web cams, but it's worth while for the features. Not only does it give you finer sound and video, but its innovative design compliments any Apple system. The iSight is a must have for any Mac connoisseur collection.

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