ImageJ stopped working when we upgraded to MacOS Sierra (10.12)

We have a Fotodyne CCD camera that we communicate with using ImageJ from an iMac. We recently updated the iMac to the latest Mac OS (Sierra, 10.12) and now when we try to use the camera with ImageJ we get an error message: “cannot find plugin”. The plugin we use is “1394 camera”. The company that used to make this system does not sell it anymore and they do not support ImageJ. And we are very ImageJ illiterate.

Any help in getting this resolved is greatly appreciated!

Welcome to the forum, @mouse1!

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to know what is going wrong from your description. Where did you get this “1394 camera” plugin? I could not find it immediately with some quick web searches. Who wrote that plugin? Is it open source? Supported by the authors?

Without any support from an active development team, you are very likely out of luck.

Can you reinstall OS X 10.11? For these kinds of legacy unsupported systems, it is very important not to mess with them (e.g., upgrade :wink:) when things are still working, for reasons like this.

Did you check whether Micro-Manager supports your camera?


Thank you for your response.

The camera plugin was provided as a bundle with the camera. The company that sold us the camera, Fotodyne, no longer sells the camera and as a result they do not support the plugin. We do not know who wrote the plugin or if it is open source.

Going back to the original MacOS is an option we are considering, but we much rather make it work with the updated MacOs.

We will contact Micro-Manager and see what they have to say.

Thank you again!

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I am having the same problem I cannot downgrade the system either. Any solution now?

Hi Raquel,

I contacted close to a dozen experts and no one could give me a direct solution. The best suggestions I got, which I did not pursue, are the following:

  1. Install Micro-Manager and use that instead.
  2. Buy a new camera that uses USB/Gigabit Ethernet instead of firewire
  3. Try downloading the Java Runtime Environment. It is possible that the problem is not with ImageJ but JAVA.

Personally I ended up using an old Mac with an old version of the OS that works fine with ImageJ.

If anyone ever finds a way of getting ImageJ, and the “1394 camera” plugin, working on the latest Mac OS I would love to hear about it. I would even pay to get that solution installed on a computer.


You did not answer any of my questions from earlier. I still do not even know where this plugin is from, or anything about it. I cannot find it listed on any ImageJ plugin lists. So offering any sensible advice in that circumstance is impossible. Edit: I see your answers above now; my apologies. Still, it would be very helpful to see the source. If the company does not support the plugin, maybe they are willing to give permission to reverse engineer the plugin? Or at least share the binary distribution? Then we could decompile it ourselves to get some insight into how it is supposed to work…?

Perhaps plugins are not installed due to macOS Path Randomization. MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) introduced a security feature called Path Randomization that can cause ImageJ to not work as expected. Path randomization is in effect if the “ImageJ home” path shown in the Image>Show Info window starts with “/private” and plugins are not installed in the Plugins menu. You can disable path randomization by moving out of the ImageJ folder and then copying it back. If the ImageJ folder is in /Applications you will need to hold down the alt key while dragging out of the ImageJ folder.

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Hi Curtis, Thank you for your response. I’ve contacted the company to see if I can get permission to reverse engineer the plugin and/or get information about the binary distribution. Once I get through to them (it can take some time), I’ll post again.

@mouse1 Sounds good. And while you wait, definitely also check Wayne’s suggestion. It is possible that there are other issues at play unrelated to this specific camera plugin.

Hi Wayne, Thank you for the tip. As soon as I can give this a try I’ll let you know if it worked. Cheers.

Will do. Thank you again.

Hi Curtis, I finally heard back from the company. Here are their answers:

  1. Do we need to get permission from you to reverse engineer the plugin? If so can we get that permission? Yes - The company (Scion Corp) that developed the plugin is no longer in business.
  2. Could you share the binary distribution of this system so that way we can decompile it ourselves? No, I do not have this information.
    Let me know if this helps.

@mouse1 So, it sounds like they are OK with us sharing and decompiling the JAR file, then? Can you post the JAR file somewhere?

As far as I can tell their response implies that since the company is no longer in business we can do whatever we want with this.

I am not familiar with “jar” files. The only file with “jar” on it that I can see is the following: “sfwcam.jar” Would that be it? Could there be another jar file?

As for posting the jar file, can I just upload it to a website and post the link here?

It would be simplest to just ZIP up the entire “1394 camera” plugin, or even your entire ImageJ installation if you are not sure which files to include. And then share the link via a cloud service like Dropbox or Box. Or you can attach it directly to the thread here, as long as the ZIP file is less than 32MB.

Hi Curtis,

Thanks for the suggestion. I have ZIP files of the entire ImageJ installation and of the 1394 camera plugin, but I cannot upload them here because I am a new user.

I uploaded these files to Dropbox. Here are the links:

Let me know if I can do anything else.