How to Use a Camera on a Mac Without Photo Booth

Written by alexander poirier
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How to Use a Camera on a Mac Without Photo Booth
The iSight camera is located on the top edge of the Mac computer. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Every iMac and MacBook computer comes with a built-in iSight camera. By default, however, the only way to take pictures with the iSight camera is through the "Photo Booth" application. If you want to take a picture with the iSight camera without the use of Photo Booth, you can do so by downloading the command-line tool "ImageSnap" and using the computer's Terminal to capture an image with the ImageSnap tool.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the computer's Web browser and navigate to "" Click the "ImageSnap" link, followed by the "Download" link to download the ImageSnap command line tool.

  2. 2

    Double-click the "ImageSnap" ZIP file downloaded in Step 1 to expand the contents of the download. Click on the "ImageSnap" folder and drag the "imagesnap" file onto the computer's desktop.

  3. 3

    Click the "Finder" icon in the computer's dock, followed by the "Applications" folder icon. Click the "Utilities" folder icon and double-click the "Terminal" application icon to launch the Terminal utility.

  4. 4

    Type "desktop/imagesnap" in the Terminal window and press the "Enter" key. The computer's iSight camera will now take a picture and save it to your user folder.

Tips and warnings

  • You can place the "imagesnap" file in any folder you wish. When in the Terminal application, simply replace the "desktop" portion of the command with the path to the directory that contains the "imagesnap" file.

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