Two cameras on Mac OS X, possible?

Hi all,

I’m working on a OF-app that uses two cameras, both hooked up to Mac OS X.

Both cams are MS LifeCams VX 1000 and they work ok with macam (latest cvs build i think).

However, accessing both cameras at the same time doesn’t work.
I’ve searched the web and it seems to have something to do with usb ports being on the same bus. (one lifecam with built-in iSight works fine, iSight is on another bus?)

So - What are my options?

Will a combo of 1 usb and 1 fw800 camera work?
Should I buy 2 fw800 cameras and daisychain them?
Is there multiplexing software/hardware available?

thanks in advance and keep up the good work,


it depends on the camera and the driver.
i was able to use up to 3 ps3-cameras simultaneously on a mac pro after we inserted a pci-express usb-card.
but beware: there’s no way to make sure which camera comes first in the list. so if you are thinking of an installation that boots up every day without your assistance: forget it.
if you are using it for live video in a show this could work as you can change the settings before each show.


I plan to use a mac mini for this (currently working on an iMac) - so I can’t plug in an extra card.

Would a 1 usb+1fw setup work?


two usb cams worked without an extra card at least on my mac book pro and on the mac pro.

don’t know about th fw + usb solution



I’ve successfully used two cameras in of 0573. One was a FireI (firewire) and the other was the built in iSight (should be usb).

they were working together as a charm.

the isight is actually firewire. i’ve used a usb (ps3 eye) + firewire (unibrain fire-i) tho together and felt the latency of the usb quite a bit. going just firewire is much faster though it’s still okay going usb+fw depending on what you are trying to do with it.


You can easily daisy chain 3 firewire cameras (i did it with unibrain fire-i) on one firewire port on either macbook pro or mac pro. Adding more FW Cameras (even on different FW ports) starts to cause problems with dma channels. Sticking a FW PCI card in the Mac pro allowed me to easily add another 3 FW cameras for a total of 6.