As of 14. March, 2004, one place to find the drivers for this camera on the Mac is VersionTracker. Logitech has pulled the drivers again. I still recommend you return the camera and buy one from a company that actually supports their products, though.
Back on May 22, 2002, I read about a spiffy new camera from SMaL Camera Technologies. It sounded like a nice camera, in that it would be small enough that I could carry it everywhere with me. Maybe the image quality wouldn’t be great, but as long as it wasn’t bad, it would probably be good enough. And it was under $150, so I went ahead and bought it from Logitech’s online store. At the time, SMaL’s website said that their camera supported both Mac and Windows, so I figured I’d be fine. After all, Logitech sells lots of peripherals into the Macintosh market.
The camera arrived on Wednesday, 10 July, 2002. The CD that came with it only had Windows drivers. So I looked around on the web, and discovered that Logitech had decided not to support the Macintosh.
I went to the Logitech website, and filled in their Customer Support Form asking about Macintosh support. The reply I received is reproduced here in full:
Thank you for using Logitech’s Electronic Technical Support. My name is Robert. The following information addresses your original question. You may wish to print this out and/or save this on your computer.
Microsoft Windows® 98, 98SE, Millennium, 2000, or XP
400 MHZ Pentium® II, Celeron, or AMD¨ Athlon processor or better
Available USB port
64 MB RAM
Hard drive with 75MB free space
16-bit or higher color display
Sorry but mac os is not supported for that camera
If you have additional technical questions regarding your product, please visit our web site at www.logitech.com and submit your question.
Thank you for your interest in Logitech.
Logitech Customer Support
So this morning (11 July, 2002), I got on the phone. First I called SMaL, since they’re on the east coast, and I could talk to a human before anyone would be in the Logitech offices. The person at SMaL informed me that while they’d provided drivers for the Mac to Logitech,
after the papers were signed, Logitech decided not to support the Mac and that SMaL wasn’t very happy about it. Another manufacturer would be making a camera that supported the Mac, but they couldn’t announce anything yet (which isn’t surprising, given the amount of heat they’ll probably take as a result of Logitech’s decision not to support the Mac. They can’t provide a Mac driver direct to Logitech customers, and the only recourse is to return the camera.
So once Logitech’s offices opened, I started calling them. First I called the number printed in the camera’s manual (800-231-7717). The recording there told me that if I needed technical support, I should hang up and call 702-269-3457. So I did. I spoke with a guy there. He wasn’t sure how to handle the return, as he’d never gotten a call from anyone who’d ordered direct from Logitech and wanted to return a product. After a consultation with his supervisor, he told me that I needed to call back to the sales number (800-231-7717 again) and talk to them. He also said as an aside, that his supervisor had mentioned the drivers for the Mac were available on SMaL’s website. I said that he should make sure that the message that not supporting the Mac wasn’t a good idea, and asked if he would make sure that message would make it up the channels. He said he had recorded my concerns in the call-record, and would flag it so it would be reviewed by his superiors.
I took a couple minutes to call SMaL again and let them know that Logitech TS had said that SMaL had a driver for the Mac on their website (they don’t) and that they might want to work to get that misconception corrected before their phones lit up.
Okay, so back to the sales office. They’re initially not sure what’s up, but once I explain that I’d bought the camera online, they refer me to their online sales number (888-863-8312). I repeat (while I’m talking to someone who works in Logitech Sales) that the decision to not support the Mac with this product was not popular, and more importantly, not making that clear on the sales website was going to cost them a return.
So, call the new number. Explain the problem one more time. They agree to take the product back. I should send it back according to the return instructions that are in the box with it. Except that there were no return instructions in the box. Oh. Well, we’ll email you instructions. And you’re going to pay shipping, right? Well, after a bit of discussion, they’ll pay shipping to take the camera back, too.
So, two emails and four phone calls later, they’re taking back the camera. I’m still looking for a digital camera that’s small enough that I can take it everywhere.
At this point, my biggest complaint is that Logitech made a conscious decision to not support those of us who use Macintoshes, and started taking pre-orders before they made that clear. Maybe they’ll come out with a Mac driver, but if you pre-ordered one of these cameras, continue to make noise until they agree to take it back at their cost.
Update: 11 July, 2002, 5pm
I just heard back from Logitech. They’re actually doing something right, and will have FedEx here to pick up the camera tomorrow. To say I’m surprised would be an understatement.
Update: 2. November, 2002
It looks as though the Axia Eyeplate has Mac support on the CD when you buy it, and uses the SMaL electronics. No idea if you can buy that one in the US, but perhaps a reader will know.
Update: 21. December, 2002
I’ve heard that Radio Shaft (sorry, I have some long-standing problems with Tandy Corp.) is selling a Mac-compatible version of the camera for under $100. Haven’t been in a store to verify it yet.
Update: 23. April, 2003
I’ve heard from a reader that the camera Radio Shack is selling is just the Logitech camera, and no Mac software is included. Again, I haven’t verified this, so check for yourself if you want to be sure. But the Oregon Scientific model claims to support Mac 8.6 and above.
Update: 17. May, 2003
Update: 14. March, 2004
As of February, 2004, Logitech says they've pulled the mac drivers to update them and they'll be back soon, but the readme on their ftp server says that soon would be
around September 15th, 2003. In any case, the driver still seems to be available on VersionTracker.