Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a utility that is able to run from the command line to capture a single frame of the iSight inbuilt (and external?) camera? This would save to an image file. I have searched on Google and found utilities that link to websites that don't exist anymore.

Other options are:

  • An Open Source GUI application I can hack into a command-line application?
  • A GUI application being run for a small period of time, that can be configured via the command-line, temporary config files, AppleScript, etc?

This would be quite handy for creating apps for timelapses, security, fun etc.

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

"ImageSnap is a Public Domain command-line tool that lets you capture still images from an iSight or other video source. You might remember Axel Bauer's original isightcapture tool (that is no longer supported but still works on most systems). With ImageSnap I hope we'll be able to move forward and add features, adapt to the ever-changing Apple architectures, etc."


share|improve this answer
+1 ImageSnap works fine and the code is provided (with a public domain license). –  ChristopheD Feb 20 '10 at 13:37
ImageSnap is also installable thru homebrew: brew install imagesnap –  Linus Unnebäck Nov 7 '13 at 13:02

wacaw looks interesting, andcommand line: http://webcam-tools.sourceforge.net/

share|improve this answer

Just found one!


It seems that the developer isn't continuing development on it though.

EDIT: Looks like he's closed off iSight completely:

Sorry, isightcapture is no longer available

Re-accepting the other answer!

share|improve this answer
interesting, cheers for the link! –  JT.WK Jan 21 '10 at 3:47
Looks like it's no longer available at that link. –  David Grellscheid Jun 11 '11 at 17:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.