Take Photos with a Webcam
Wouldn’t it be cool to turn your Pi into a camera? It’s not hard, and you can use a cheap webcam as your camera.
Why can’t you make a streaming video cam? Streaming webcams look simple, but they aren’t. The technology and the code used to make them work are complicated. The basic problems are
- The technology is flaky. Some webcams can do it. Others can’t. You can’t be sure whether your webcam works until you try it.
- It’s complicated. You have to do a lot of installing and setting up, and a lot can go wrong.
- It’s nonstandard. There are different solutions for the official Pi camera add-on and for other webcams.
Understand Photo Cams
Instead of making a streaming video cam, you can make a photo camera in this chapter and put it on a web page in Chapter 17.
A photo camera isn’t as clever as streaming video to the web, but it solves all three problems:
- The technology is more reliable. It works with almost all webcams. The only webcams that don’t work are very old, very cheap, or both.
- It’s simple. It uses Python and PHP, so you don’t need to install any new or special software.
- It’s standard. You have to type an extra one-line command to get the official add-on Pi camera to work with it. Otherwise, all cameras work with the same code.
Choose a Webcam
Many people have a spare webcam. Perhaps it’s used for Skype ...