How to Turn on the Camera on an Apple Computer

By Jason Artman

Virtually all computers currently produced by Apple have built-in cameras, known collectively as "iSight." ISight cameras can be used with any software that is programmed to interface with them, and are useful for live video chats as well as recorded videos and still photography. Turn on your iSight camera by enabling it within any iSight-compatible Mac program.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac computer with iSight camera

Initiating a Video Chat

Step 1

Click "Go," then click "Applications."

Step 2

Double-click "iChat." Alternatively, you can launch iChat by clicking the icon on the dock, if it is present.

Step 3

Click the green "camera" icon next to any online contact on your buddy list to initiate a video chat. The iSight camera will light up to show that it is turned on.

Taking Still Photos

Step 1

Click "Go," then click "Applications."

Step 2

Double-click "Photo Booth." When the application launches, a preview window will be shown on the screen with live video captured from the iSight camera.

Step 3

Click the button for the effect that you wish to apply to your photo. These effects might manipulate your photo to make it look silly, or add a pre-rendered backdrop. If you like, you can also choose to have no effect applied to the photo.

Step 4

Click the red "shutter" icon to take a photo. Your screen will flash to compensate for the lighting conditions in the room, and your photo will be taken.

Recording Videos

Step 1

Click "Go," then click "Applications."

Step 2

Double click "iMovie." This application may also be present on the dock, in which case launch it by clicking the icon.

Step 3

Find the switch at the top of the screen with a scissor-shaped icon on the right side and a camera icon on the left. Flip the switch so that it points to the camera icon.

Step 4

Click the camera-shaped icon next to the switch. A menu should appear asking you to select an input device. Click the "iSight" camera.

Step 5

Click the button labeled "Record with iSight" to begin recording live video from the iSight camera. When you want to stop recording, click the button again.