Recently picked up a salvaged laptop usb webcam from ebay for less than $3.20 including shipping. It is shorter than a raspberry pi zero, and has stereo analog microphones wires (not used yet). Luckily, on the back of the webcam board there was an indication for the pinouts.
Using a $5 Rpi Zero W from Microcenter, physically soldered the tiny webcam wires to the Zero: 3 V black to pin 1 on GPIO, ground to pin 6, D+ to PP22 pad next to the microusb and D- to PP23 usb pad. This wasn't easy and I made a mess of the usb pads, but it works!
After having set up a micro sd card to run headless with VNC using a Rpi3 and installing that micro sd in the Zero and booting the Zero, I used this guide to set up the video software: https://tutorials-raspberrypi.com/raspb ... eam-setup/
At video resolution of 1280X720 10 frames per second the processor usage was 100% so I changed to 1024X768 and 5 frames per second. Installed sysstat and ran mpstat but processor was still showing 96% usage. vcgencmd measure_temp showed 58.4 C, hotter than I am used to but probably ok.
I like the Rpi Camera board and purchased the expensive ribbon cable to connect to the Zero, but this salvaged laptop webcam scenario has some merit coming in for less than $10 at a respectable resolution. It is extremely thin and light. Easily fitting into a tick tack box without the ribbon cable challenges.
I think bringing the analog microphones into the Zero would require a HAT, but please let me know if anyone has ideas on using the GPIO pins or other Zero available inputs. Thanks.
Anyone think this would work for an inexpensive internet video front door bell if fitted with a speaker?
(sorry, not seeing option to upload photos)