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This product is a 27-inch LED display with a resolution of 2650x1440 pixels released by Apple on July 27, 2010. It has the model number A1316.

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Upgrading 27inch display iSight camera

Can I swap out an iSight 27” Cinema Display camera for a Thunderbolt HD one?

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I’d love to do that as well, is there any news?


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Given the amount of work and the risks I really don’t think its wise to even try. The difference is not that much to be beneficial, that’s assuming it would even work (I haven’t tried doing it).

I think you’ll find getting a clip on camera will be cheaper and offer even better performance!

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Hi all, yes this is possible and quite easy. I’ve done it myself (installed the OEM FaceTime HD camera from a 27” Thunderbolt Display into a 27” Apple Cinema Display). Both displays are mechanically identical for the purposes of this tear down , and have the same opening and closing process. Both cameras use the same USB2 interface via a 5 pin flex cable. I bought a used camera from a Thunderbolt Display for a few dollars on eBay. And I followed the tear down process from iFixit to the point where I removed the camera from the Cinema Display, then installed the new camera with no modifications. They look identical, have the same connector and dimensions and attachments. I managed dust and installed the display panel and used suction cups to put the glass screen back in place.

Apple Thunderbolt Display Teardown

Follow Steps 1 to 6

Skip to step 16 for camera removal, dont remove the flex cable, just disconnect the camera

Install new camera with same screws

Steps 6 to 1 for reassembly

Following the steps above, I now have a Cinema Display that shows “Display iSight” for the installed camera (e.g., on Zoom camera settings) but returns a 1280x720 still and video which is an improvement of the 640x480 original. Interestingly device name seems to be a trait of the monitor it’s installed in. And performance seems fine. I have occasional single-frame blanking on the image itself, but I believe that’s a symptom of using it with a PC as I don’t get the same on a Mac.

To do this successfully, I bought the suction cup kit recommended in the teardown to take off the magnetically attached front glass, and used a driver kit to remove the display and connectors.

With these changes and attached to an Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock with a DP to MiniDP converter from Startech, my 27” LED Cinema Display is a great replacement for my Thunderbolt Display and has a longer life ahead of it (Display Port video, USB2 sound, camera & microphone supported broadly) vs the finicky TB displays

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