Webcam for Linux


This is such a confusing topic. There is UVC which provices webcam drivers (but can’t take stills) and gPhoto which works for tethered still cameras. To get the best performing camera takes some work. The top selling Amazon webcam, the Logitech C920 gets marketed as a 15MP camera, but is actually 3MP underneath according to the FAQ and isn’t UVC compatible.
No one reviews these things anymore as most Laptops have them 🙁 So here is how to figure this out:

  1. Go to Amazon and sort webcams by most popular and look for Popular Webcams
  2. Go to the UVC (USB Video Class) site and see if that camera is listed at Linux UVC
  3. For Logitech, go to their product page, click on Support and then in their reference section on Technical Specification and see if they have UVC support as a yes.
  4. Look at their Mac compatibility list which shows what is officially supported and whiare are not.
  5. Look at the Linux Hardware Guide to see how compatible it is as a second check.
  6. Do a google search for the camera and linux gvc and pray that the UVC support actually works.

Here is what you get:

  1. Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. This an HD camera, but isn’t Linux UVC compatble, but is 3MP true resolution but the forums claim it works on Centos but not Ubuntu and they don’t support it.  Although not documented, but it does support the UVC standard to some extent. And most of therest as well.It does 720P by the way not 1080p. The C910 which is similar works fine but this latest one provide a direct H.264 stream which you can feed to gstreamer.
  2. Logitech HD Portable C615. It is a true 2MP with 74 degree FOV accroding to Logitech. Linux Hardware Guide says it works with Ubuntu and the microphone works as well. It produces 1080p30 with guvcview. 
  3. Logitech BCC950. This is a conference “stalk”. 3MP camera, 78 FOV and UVC supported

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