I have tested 2 different type cameras on my RPi; a USB WebCam and a TTL Serial camera. In this post I'll briefly discuss using a USB WebCam with my RPi. I have tried a couple different Gigaware USB webcams. One is model 25-1177, 1.3MP webcam with a built-in Mic. The other is a model 11A10. It's a 2MP without a Mic.
I haven't had much luck capturing anything but small 160x120 jpeg pictures. Here's a picture taken of one of my RPi's with the 25-1177. It's about 5.3KB in size. I'm using a program called Camorama, version 0.19 from the prompt with the 'm' option. That configures it to capture a minimum size pictures. The picture is broken up and the program freezes if I try to use the middle size (640x480) option -H.
This is a 24bit color camera. I suspect a black & white, lower resolution camera would work fine with larger pictures.
Executed from the prompt:
Here's a small 160x120 picture of my Gertboard taken with the 11A10 webcam. It won't even try to display a medium size 800x600 picture.
In my next post, I show some tests with my TTL serial camera. It actually works much better than an USB webcam, which I'm sure requires more resources than the serial camera.