Multiple Webcams

Hi Everyone,

New to openFrameworks, new to the world of webcams. I want to use several webcams on one computer to use for some analysis and playback on a screen. A lot of webcams have crappy drivers. Windows can’t handle webcams of the same kind. Macam has issues with processing (warnings about memory leaks) etc.

I’m sure some of you walked the same path, so I would like to ask if you guys have some suggestions which webcams work well on both mac and windows. Or any other recommendations that comes to mind working with webcams and openFrameworks.

Thanks for any pointers,



I’m sure there are plenty of other options but the Unibrain Fire-i is a firewire “webcam” which can daisy chain several cameras through the one firewire port. At 320x240 resolution I’ve been able to connect 3 cameras to a regular firewire 400 port.

I’ve had decent success running a PS3 eye and the built in iSight camera at the same time with no issues using Macam…

I’m going to have to run two PS3 Eyes simultaneously soon so I can let you know what happens if that helps?

PS3 Eyes are pretty sweet because you can get them for ~$30 US on ebay, they can be modified for infrared pretty easily, crazy framerates possible (120fps), and did I mention you can get them for ~$30?!

I haven’t heard about the Macam issues (memory leaks) that you are mentioning, any leaks? Very interested in this…

(Side note on this, I think the reason this camera is so cheap, which works out great for us, is that Sony can afford to take a loss or sell the camera at cost, like they do with all their hardware, because 99% of customers are gonna buy 2 or 3 PS3 eye games for $60 a pop. I love it I hope they make them forever.)

be aware that usb cams on OSX don’t have a unique ID so there’s no way to find out which cam is first and which is second. and it can change after a reboot.


Thanks Joerg, thats a super good thing to know/look out for


I’ve used 2 web cams a number of times. Generally not a big problem (although they were different brands) but I always store my camIDs in an xml file in case the ordering gets screwed up.